25 November 2017 0 Comments Posted By : Dan Fumano

'Sea change': Vancouver considers 'restricting property ownership by non-permanent residents'

Two years ago Andy Yan’s academic work placed him in the centre of a storm. But he decided to carry on with his work, and, he recalled this week, “double down.”

When Yan, an urban planner with Bing Thom Architects, reported in November 2015 that he’d found two-thirds of house buyers in expensive west-side Vancouver neighbourhoods had “non-Anglicized Chinese names,” he wanted to use the names to show, in the absence of more precise data, there appeared to be a lot of money flooding from overseas into Vancouver real estate.

Instead, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported in November 2015: “For his troubles, Yan has been caught in a storm this week over whether or not his use of such a proxy was racist.”

“He rejects his critics with some heat,” the Morning Post reported at the time, quoting Yan saying: “‘My great-granddad paid the head tax … So to somehow use ‘racism’ to protect your privilege. That’s just absurd. This is an almost-uniquely Vancouver reaction.’”

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