B.C. government recalls legislature to debate LNG

Plus, two ways to bring down soaring property prices

Legislating LNG
The B.C. government is really serious about LNG. In 2013 the legislature sat just 36 days. This year, it will hold a special summer session starting July 13 to debate legislation enabling the project agreement between B.C. and Pacific NorthWest LNG. In a release, B.C. Finance Minister and government house leader Michael de Jong said, “The company has met its commitment to ratify the agreement we signed, which establishes the path to a final investment decision on the project. Now it’s for the government to address our commitment, which will see the public release of the PDA and the introduction of legislation that would both ratify this agreement and enable future agreements with other proponents.” 

Pop goes the property bubble
Certain U.S. hedge fund investors are betting that an increase in U.S. interest rates this fall will cause Canadian housing prices to tank along with the Canadian dollar, according to a story in the Province. Some investors have started short-selling anything connected to Canadian housing and debt. Yet while Vancouver’s bubble is the biggest, whether or not it pops could depend on whether investment from China continues to flow.

About that flipping tax
Speaking of housing prices (again), in an interview with the Globe and Mail, China’s consul-general to Vancouver, Liu Fei, says Vancouver’s problem is not Chinese buyers but a lack of regulations. This would never happen in China, where the government imposes policies to ensure affordable housing, she says. Vancouver could introduce quotas for affordable housing units in new construction, improve oversight of real estate developers from the city or tax overseas investors.