China is buying Canada

China is buying Canada: Inside the new real estate frenzy

How China’s affection for Canada’s real estate is reshaping the nation’s housing market well beyond Vancouver

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 2.45.26 PM

Paul Shen can tick off the reasons Mainland Chinese people buy property in Canada as surely as any fast-talking B.C. realtor. Some long to escape the fouled earth and soupy air of their country’s teeming cities, he explains, while others are following relatives to enclaves so well-populated by other Chinese expats they hardly feel like foreigners.

The richest, of course, regard homes in the West as stable vessels for disposable cash, but Shen lays no claim to such affluence. Last spring, the 39-year-old left behind his middle-management advertising job in Shanghai to seek the dream of home ownership he and his wife couldn’t afford in their home city. “We just followed our hearts to begin a totally different life,” he tells Maclean’s, adding: “We can make the house dream come true in Canada.”

The starting point was one-half of a modest duplex near downtown Victoria, close to the university where his wife is seeking a master’s degree, and priced about right for their limited means. Selling points ranged from the quiet of the street—perfect for their six-year-old son—to the stunning Vancouver Island vistas all around. High on his list, though, was Victoria’s comfortable distance from the bustling Chinese communities of B.C.’s Lower Mainland. As Shen—betraying his limited knowledge of pre-settlement Canadian history—puts it: “We wanted a place that would allow us to live with the natives.”

It’s hard not to smile at his idealism. Substitute any one of two dozen nationalities, after all, and you have a chapter in Canada’s cherished narrative of migration, settlement and shared prosperity.

But as a Chinese newcomer with a buy-at-all-costs resolve, Shen also personifies a phenomenon dividing those “natives” he’d like to call his neighbours. In the past five years, the flow of money from mainland China into Canadian real estate has reached what many consider dangerous levels, contributing to a gold-rush atmosphere in the nation’s leading cities, while stirring anger among young, middle-class Canadians who feel shut out of their hometown markets.

Its impact on Vancouver’s gravity-defying boom is the best known—and most hotly debated—example, as eye-popping price gains leave behind such quaint indicators as average household income, or regional economic activity. “We’re bringing in people who just want to park their money here,” says Justin Fung, a software engineer and second-generation Chinese-Canadian who counts himself among those frustrated by Vancouver’s surreal housing market. “They’re driving up housing prices and simply treat this city as a resort.”

(…)

Burgers ‘N Fries Forever’s owner says their meat has been halal since ever

‘It’s 2015’: Ottawa burger joint responds to anti-Muslim comments

Burgers ‘N Fries Forever’s owner says responses to halal toppings include: “I’m not going to eat here because you include Muslims.”

An Ottawa burger joint quoted Prime Minster Justin Trudeau to respond to anti-Muslim Facebook commenters who apparently didn’t like the fact that halal beef bacon was an option on the menu.

In a sponsored post on Facebook, Burgers ‘N Fries Forever advertised the burger topping – made from the belly of a cow as opposed to a pig – alongside a photo of three Muslim women wearing a hijab about to take a bite out of a burger.

Jennilyn Morris charged and convicted under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Remittances: $24 billion a year sent home from Canada

Prison time for first Albertan convicted under refugee protection laws

‘They felt like second-class citizens,’ judge says of exploited foreign workers

By Janice Johnston, CBC News Posted: May 20, 2016 4:59 PM MT Last Updated: May 20, 2016 7:36 PM MT

Jennilyn Morris is the first person in Alberta to be charged and convicted under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (CBC)

​An Edmonton woman who once told an employee “if you can stand, you can work” has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for exploiting more than 70 foreign workers.

Jennilyn Morris is the first person in Alberta to be charged and convicted under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Teodora Bautista was one of her victims.

The single mother wanted to provide a better life for her five children in the Philippines.

To do that, she came to Canada because she believed she could make as much working one day here as working three days back home.

On April 22, 2009, Bautista arrived in Edmonton as a foreign national, sponsored by Morris.

She signed a contract with Morris that promised her a 44-hour work week doing residential and commercial cleaning for $11.44 an hour.  

Reality was much different.

Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jagtar Gill, Bhupinderpal’s wife

Co-accused in murder trial were in long-standing affair, conspired to kill, Crown contends

Bhupinderpal Gill, victim’s husband, and Gurpreet Ronald spoke for dozens of hours before killing

By Laurie Fagan, CBC News Posted: May 20, 2016 11:44 AM ET Last Updated: May 20, 2016 4:44 PM ET

Bhupinderpal Gill, left, and Gurpreet Ronald, right, have been charged with first-degree murder in the January 2014 death of Jagtar Gill, Bhupinderpal's wife.

Bhupinderpal Gill, left, and Gurpreet Ronald, right, have been charged with first-degree murder in the January 2014 death of Jagtar Gill, Bhupinderpal’s wife. (CBC)

The husband of a woman who was found beaten and stabbed to death in their home in 2014 “hated his wife” and didn’t consider divorce an option, the Crown alleged during opening statements on the first day of a high-profile murder trial in Ottawa.

Bhupinderpal Gill, the husband, and Gurpreet Ronald, a neighbour, are each charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jagtar Gill and have pleaded not guilty. Both worked as bus drivers for OC Transpo.

The two accused are being tried together, but each have their own defence lawyers.  ​

Crown prosecutor Jason Neubauer told Ontario Superior Court that Ronald and Bhupinderpal Gill were involved in a long-standing affair of a year and a half and that they conspired to kill Jagtar Gill, whom Ronald hated as well.

Phone records show the co-accused spoke for about 48 hours during hundreds of calls in the 28 days leading up to the killing and met each other repeatedly, Neubauer told court.

Stats Canada: In 2011, 20.6% of the total population was foreign born

Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada

Table of contents
Highlights

Immigration

  • In 2011, Canada had a foreign-born populationFootnote1 of about 6,775,800 people. They represented 20.6% of the total population, the highest proportion among the G8 countries.
  • Between 2006 and 2011, around 1,162,900 foreign-born people immigrated to Canada. These recent immigrants made up 17.2% of the foreign-born population and 3.5% of the total population in Canada.
  • Asia (including the Middle East) was Canada’s largest source of immigrants during the past five years, although the share of immigration from Africa, Caribbean, Central and South America increased slightly.
  • The vast majority of the foreign-born population lived in four provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta, and most lived in the nation’s largest urban centres.