Canada pays First Nation $49 million for land in Nanaimo

Plus, blaming governments for unaffordable housing and playing Trump online

A weekly roundup of news and views on property development, sales, affordability and more

The Snueymuxw First Nation has accepted a $49,148,121 land-claim settlement from the federal government. It is compensation for a 32-hectare piece of land taken from the Vancouver Island First Nation in the 1800s in what is now downtown Nanaimo. Ninety-eight per cent of the 848 community members who cast a ballot voted in favour of the settlement. The agreement will also give the Snueymuxw the right to request a replacement parcel of land, which could include part of a former military camp in Nanaimo. Money from the settlement will go into a trust to create economic opportunities for the Snueymuxw First Nation. (The Globe and Mail

Politicians have favoured economic globalization over the needs of Vancouver home buyers, says Vancouver Sun columnist Douglas Todd. Because politicians have focused on deregulation and making it easier for outside wealth to enter the city’s housing market, immigration and tax officials have failed to catch many abusers of their systems.  Immigration Canada, says Todd, has refused to properly assess the Business Immigrant Program (BIP), arguably the most crucial factor driving up Metro housing prices, while the Canada Revenue Agency ignored another red flag—that many BIP newcomers and other owners of Metro mansions have been reporting strangely low incomes and avoiding taxes. (Vancouver Sun

Could you be a digital Donald Trump? Computer game Project Highrise lets players build and manage virtual skycrapers. You begin the game by managing the costs of building infrastructure and trying to avoid taking on too much bank debt before your tenants can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, you’re hiring consultants to lobby city hall for a metro station and wondering whether “prestige” artwork in the hallway might attract higher-paying residents. (The Guardian