Vancouver News | Local Breaking | CTV News Vancouver
‘Condo King’ denies being tipped off about B.C.’s foreign buyer tax
Real estate magnate Bob Rennie has denied a report suggesting he knew about the B.C. government’s foreign buyer tax weeks before it was announced to the public.
The Globe and Mail newspaper ran an article over the long weekend reporting that Vancouver’s “Condo King” said he knew a tax was coming about three weeks ago, though the BC Liberals didn’t officially unveil it until July 25.
On Tuesday, Rennie issued a statement through his spokesman contradicting the contents of the piece.
“I did not have or was given any advance knowledge on the Foreign Buyer Tax,” it read. “Any speculation to the contrary is untrue.”
Premier Christy Clark’s office also issued a statement denying Rennie, who chairs Clark’s fundraising committee and is a major Liberal donor, had been tipped off.
“Any assertion that Bob Rennie was given advance warning of the tax is completely untrue,” it read.
But given that Rennie is the reported source of The Globe and Mail’s information, a mere denial won’t suffice, according to the opposition NDP.
Housing critic David Eby held a press conference calling on Clark to launch an official investigation.
“This information is very valuable to someone in the position of Mr. Rennie as a major industry player,” Eby told reporters.
“To understand from Mr. Rennie himself that he had advanced knowledge of this is incredibly disturbing and needs to be investigated, so we’ve asked the premier to look into this.”
The public needs to know whether Rennie was told about the tax, and whether he acted on that information, Eby added.
“Did he engage in real estate transactions based on this insider information? Or did he tell his clients about this information and encourage them to act on it? These are all really serious questions,” Eby said.