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Jul
8
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Housing Crisis in Vancouver – Solutions and barriers
Clubs, Politics, Vancouver
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By

Dr. Hamdy El-Rayes, MBA, Ph.D.,

Author of The New Era: Returning the U.S. to Democracy & Prosperity

The City of Vancouver is going through one of the most critical times in its history but our politicians are unaware to the danger of maintaining the status quo. It could create economic and social problems leading to racial conflicts between the visible Chinese immigrants and the rest of the population. You can feel the resentment of Vancouverites when you talk to them privately about these issues.

What started this problem is the pace of flow of wealthy Chinese “immigrants” and investors into Vancouver at a rate beyond the capacity of the city to digest. Vancouverites were overwhelmed with the rapid change in Vancouver landscape, the number of visible Chinese taking over their neighborhood, the escalation of real estate prices to unprecedented rate reaching 30% in 2015 alone. While Chinese investors/immigrants are speculating on housing properties like a penny stock and keeping them vacant, working people are unable to have a home. The situation has deteriorated where young workers who have lost the hope of owning a home in the Vancouver area are now being priced out of the city’s rental market. Property owners are forcing them to bid among each other to pay the highest rent possible. Other property owners use loopholes in the current regulations, such as reno-viction to get rid of old tenants and replace them with new tenants for the sake of huge rent hikes.

To make the situation even worse, the City Council allows Airbnb to take some of the rental property out of the long-term rental market that amounts to more than 6400 units in 2015. Now with the rental vacancy rate reaching less than 0.6%, working Vancouverites cannot find an affordable, decent rental place to live in and would have to commute for hours to get to work. This laisse faire policy would drive businesses out of Vancouver and turn Vancouver from a vibrant city into a ghost city used by Chinese money launderers to park their money and take advantage of our generous public services. However, politicians at all levels would maintain the status quo until the tsunami of economic troubles and racial conflicts hit Vancouver.

Politicians looking after their own self-interest to keep the status quo have exacerbated housing crisis in Vancouver. It benefits the political parties as they get more election funding donations (legal bribe) from developers and wealthy Chinese, the government collects more taxes from real estate sale activities. In the short term, it looks good to them, but when the share of real estate in BC reaches 80% of GDP, it is a sign of great danger because this bonanza cannot last forever. The bigger the bubble gets, the worse the economic consequences when the bubble bursts. In addition, nobody is willing to address the elephant in the room—the risk of racial conflict is looming and has to be curtailed by not allowing more Chinese wealthy investors until the current housing crisis is resolved. When Vancouverites lose their dream of home ownership because of the open door of immigration for wealthy Chinese, the consequences would be dire. However, politicians are not visionaries. They do not act until the problem becomes too difficult to resolve. They do not realize that the danger of alienating the millenniums in our own country is a dangerous precedent.

The wealthy Chinese investors/immigrants have no interest in enriching the Canadian economy. The majority of them are interested in getting FREE education for their children, FREE health care for their aging parents, social services for their families, and at the end, be rewarded with the Canadian passport for future material gains. They enjoy the services the governments offer, but do not intend to pay their fair share of taxes because most of their wealth is away from the reach of the Canadian Revenue Agency. Although Canadian residents and citizens are supposed to report their global income, wealthy Chinese immigrants do not report it on their income tax, knowing that our government would not hold them accountable. Because of reporting low income on their tax return, they can take advantage of all the services we offer to low-income families and seniors. This means that their children and their parents who live here get all these benefits which they are not entitled to because they are supposed to be wealthy. Their elderly burden our medical services and their children use our educational services free and working Canadians have to pay the bills. And after three years, they are rewarded with Canadian citizenship. It is interesting to hear them calling the mandatory residency years in Canada as jail time, but it is worth it because the Canadian passport enables them to purchase properties and do business freely in Hong Kong.

In the USA, you have to present your tax returns with your application for citizenship. Canada does not require that. So wealthy Chinese immigrants do not have to show they paid their fair share of taxes to deserve the privilege of having Canadian citizenship. They may report income less the cost of utilities for their mansion, but the CRA never questions that. If CRA audits those wealthy Chinese immigrants, it will find that the majority of them evade paying taxes. If we request those wealthy Chinese immigrants to report their global income during their mandatory stay in Canada to be eligible for Canadian citizenship, they will leave Canada like mice deserting a sinking ship. They would not bother to buy real estate here in Canada and would take they laundered money elsewhere. This would be very good for our economy because this kind of unscrupulous people are not good to have as Canadian citizens. I remember a wealthy Chinese immigrant managed to run a fraudulent operation to deceive Immigration Canada, made $10 m in 5 years, but during that time, he was collecting welfare. He got a sentence of few years in jail. The judge described him as a thief who robbed the bank and took the donation box (welfare money) on his way out. Canada can do without this kind of people. Canada is better off without those “wealthy Chinese” because they harm the reputation of hard working Chinese-Canadians who contribute to our economy and help build a future for their families and their country. Unfortunately, they could be painted with the same brush as happened in several incidents in Vancouver.

As we have seen in the past few years, many of those wealthy Chinese investors/immigrants are just money launderers. They managed to defraud the government of China of billions of dollars or made their money from unscrupulous businesses, smuggled it from China, and put it in a safe country, while depriving hard-working Canadians from a decent place to live in. for this reason, many of them are speculating on the limited inventory of real estate in Vancouver. They turned Vancouver into a stock exchange for real estate speculation and we will end with a burst bubble like any hyped penny stock. Unfortunately, our politicians do not see it this way because it helps them achieve their own short-term objectives.

Politicians benefited from the of real estate bonanza in the form of election campaign funding donations from the developers and wealthy Chinese immigrants. Consequently, they do not want to rock the boat and stop the speculation party. By the time it is over, they will be out of office and somebody else will have to carry on with the losses we endure.

In the last decade, the real estate industry has donated about $12 m to the Liberal Party of BC. In 2014, Bob Rennie invited 50 developers to a luncheon to raise funds for the Vision Party led by Gregor Robertson. The luncheon cost each guest $25,000 (about $1.25 was raised). In the long-term, Canadians will pay for our politicians lack of action to protect us from this catastrophe.

While the Liberal government of Christy Clark is stalling, the NDP is suggesting a 2% tax on the properties bought by foreign investors or wealthy Chinese immigrants who do not pay income taxes in BC. This proposal would not stop wealthy Chinese immigrants/investors from speculating on real estate in BC for two reasons. They want to park their money here in BC at any cost and the loss of 2% in taxes would have no impact on their capital gains. On average, excluding the past 10 years, real estate in Vancouver appreciated by 12% per year. If you cut their capital gain by 2%, they will make 10% of capital gain per year. Would this deter a Chinese investor or wealthy immigrant? Of course not. It is still a good deal considering he could get less than 2% a year on his money in a saving account.

Canadian governments at all levels have to collaborate on solving this problem to help the country avoid economic and social problems, and racial potential racial conflict that could last for many decades to com. The sooner they do, the less the impact the bubble would have on our economy.

  1. Immigration Canada & Quebec Ministry of Immigration

Immigration Canada should end the generous 10-year visa, which allows wealthy Chinese to live in Canada nine month each year. This visa does not serve our economy or Vancouverites because it exacerbates the housing problem in Vancouver. In addition, those wealthy Chinese are inclined to enjoy living here without paying their fair share of taxes.

Quebec should end the wealthy immigration program, which was terminated in the rest of Canada a couple of years ago. Wealthy Chinese immigrants continue to use it as a backdoor to move to Vancouver.

The government of Quebec continued with the business-visa program, which nets for the Quebec government about $50,000 per immigrant family, but the program fails to bring new immigrants to Quebec and the cost to BC and to Canada is too high because those immigrants are not interested in contributing to our economy.

Citizenship application – Wealthy Chinese immigrants should present their tax return on their global income during the mandatory three years residency in Canada as part of their application for citizenship and continue to pay their share of taxes after obtaining their citizenship.

  1. Support of parents and children of wealthy Chinese immigrants – Wealthy Chinese immigrants should be required to support their parents permanently and not to compete with Canadian senior citizens for benefits offered by the government such as low-income housing, transit passes, and other senior benefits. The wealthy immigrants were expected to support their parents and their children—not to depend on government handouts. But when they land in Canada, they cheat the system and take advantage of it.
  2. Ban foreign nationals from buying real estate in residential areas due to shortage of land and housing properties in the lower mainland. This will enable working Vancouverites to find a place to live in Vancouver. Many countries like Switzerland and China have a similar law.
  3. Wealthy immigrants have to pay taxes on their global income before they are allowed to buy real estate in Canada.
  4. Control of rent for new tenants – Currently, after a tenant vacate a rental property, the property owner is free to raise rent as much as he wants. In a city where the vacancy rate is less than 0.6%, the government must has control over the rent for the new tenant not to exceed 5% over the rent paid by the previous tenants. This law will deter property owners from using devious means to get rid of the older tenants.
  5. This law would achieve two goals: cool down the skyrocketing rise in the price of rental properties and maintain rents affordability for working people
  6. A corporation should not own housing properties unless the owners reveal their name. In this way, we will avoid having foreigners buying residential properties by hiding behind a corporate name.
  7. The Corporate Registry of BC should provide name of owners of corporations, which own real estate properties in BC. Under the current law, the Registry would reveal the name of directors, but not the name of owners. It lacks transparency and allows foreign nationals to hide behind a corporate name registered in BC.
  8. The City of Vancouver should ban Airbnb and other bed and breakfast providers in the Lower Mainland to force property owners rent their property to long-term tenants. This will increase the available rental properties by five times to 3%.
  9. If a property owner decides to demolish a low-rise to build a high-rise, old tenants should be entitled to have a rental unit with the same size at the same rate they used to pay in the old building.
Mar
29
webmaster
TERRORISM: Could We Stop it?
Clubs, Politics, Vancouver
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There is an easy way to end terrorism at huge benefits for our country. We do not have to spend billions of dollars, or waste lives of our soldiers, our innocent country men and women, or those in the Muslim world.

Let us start with the definition of Terrorism. It is defined as the use of violence or threat of violence for a political, religious, or ideological change.

Since 9/11, we watched on TV thousands of hours from “terrorism experts” on how much terrorists hate us and their intention to kills us at home and abroad. The current Republican Presidential candidate, Ted Cruz says that Muslims are ideologically committed to murder or violently kill all of us.

The alleged terror experts discuss in details their speculations on what terrorists intend to do to us next, how we should increase our security at home and abroad, and turn our country into a police state, what we should do to the Islamic world from invading and carpet-bombing their countries, to nuking them. Nevertheless, missing from the discussion is the basic question as to why Muslim extremists attack us. As usual, the media, politicians, and so-called “terrorism experts” remain as evasive and clueless as ever because such a discussion would lead to ending terrorism for good. However, the answers as to the terrorists’ motives are not hard to find.

We have heard them from leaders of “terrorist groups” and read them on the internet, but the media and career politicians are unwilling to share it with the public and discuss how to solve the problem. Indeed, propagation of fear and the sporadic terrorist attacks are important for the war merchants and their political agents in the government and the media to justify our perpetual wars with Muslims and Islam. Terrorists’ activities help those politicians raise election campaign funds from the global war merchants (referred to in the U.S. as the Military Industrial complex) and ideologues who have interest in subjugating the Muslim countries. Consequently, politicians ignore addressing the basic question as to why Muslim extremists attack us because solving this problem would make it difficult for the politicians to raise election campaign funds and have a strong hold on our population. Also, we have a new breed of media terrorism experts, who make a living by coming regularly on TV and radio to scare us about our bleak future if we do not accept taking away our freedoms and continue our wars against the Muslim world.

Evangelical Christians now believe that it is an existential war for us because those Muslims will invade us, impose their religion on us and the Sharia law will become the law of the land. Brainwashing the public by this propaganda enables our governments to justify the perpetual wars that have not stopped against Muslims and Islam in the past century and continues in the 21st century. Despite the collapse of the economy in the West, our political leaders would not stop from supporting the interests the war merchants. Today the US owes close to 20 trillion dollars but continues to spend on its military more than the rest of the world does.

If you look deeper in the history of the terrorist groups such as Alqaeda and the Islamic State, you will find that the West created them, then we launch wars to destroy them and in the process destroy the Muslim countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Libya and turn them into failed states.

To justify their wars in the 21st century, we heard Farid Zakareya of CNN and President Bush saying, Muslims hate us because of our freedom. We heard radical evangelicals say that they want to kill us or convert us to Islam. All are lies designed to scare us enough to support aggression and killing or maiming innocent Muslims in unnecessary wars.

You would not hear on mainstream media that we have been in war against the Arab countries since World War I. As a result:

  • We destroyed Palestine in 1948 and created the first refugees crisis in the Arab world to accommodate European Jews who wanted to create a country for themselves by displacing the indigenous population of Palestine. Since then, Palestinians who still live in Palestine are ruled by the most oppressive military regime in the world.
  • We supported ruthless dictators to serve interests of war merchants in the Arab world and deprived the Arabs of freedom and liberty.
  • We created Alqaeda (by the CIA) and claimed that the billions of dollars spent on the intelligence could not uncover the 9/11 attack before it happened. Then there’s Osama bin Laden, who told us the main reason for the 9/11 attacks was the deployment of U.S. forces in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia, which he called “the greatest of “aggressions incurred by the Muslims since the death of the prophet.”
  • We destroyed Afghanistan, now it is a failed state.
  • According to the United Nations, economic sanctions against Iraq caused the loss of lives of 500,000 children. Then, after 9/11, the Bush administration lied to the American people and claimed that Iraq had biological weapons that will destroy us at home. He invaded Iraq, killed and maimed a million innocent Iraqis, created the largest migration of professionals from Iraq, and broke up Iraq in various factions. Now, it is a failed state.
  • One of the consequences of the invasion of Iraq was the creation of ISIS, which was a reflection of the despair of the Iraqis who felt victimized by the U.S. invasion and the government it appointed following the invasion.
  • We destroyed Libya and watched it fall apart in the hands of various competing terrorist groups. Now it is a failed state.
  • We supported the dictatorship in Egypt, impoverished its people and we are on the way of depriving them of the Nile River, which the lives of Egyptians depended on for thousands of years.
  • We destroyed Syria and created the second refugee crisis in the Arab world and the biggest since World War II.

In the past, we never felt the reaction of Muslims when the West committed terrorist activities against their countries. Now, the world is so connected that what happens in one part of the world echoes, in real time, around the globe.

In the past five years, Syria has been in war against terrorist groups supported by the West and their ideologues. President Assad of Syria referred to our double standards, he says, when Syria is attacked by terrorist groups, they are called democracy and freedom fighters, but when they attack us [in the West], they are called terrorists.

Imagine:

  • What would happen if we stop labeling Muslims who fight for their freedom as terrorists and stop calling our military personnel who invade Islamic countries as heroes?
  • What would happen if our politicians stop taking handouts from war merchants and ideologues that drive us into wars with the Muslim world, and plant fear and hatred in our hearts?
  • What would happen if we stop depriving the Palestinians of their human right to live with dignity in their homeland, side by side with the Jews?
  • What would happen if we stop supporting dictators to rule the Muslim world and stop invading their countries to kill and maim their children, depriving them of a peaceful life?
  • What would happen if we make our countries more inclusive, embrace the Muslims among us and acknowledge that they are victimized whenever a terrorist attack occurs?
  • What would happen if we spend just a tenth of what we spend on the military on helping the Islamic countries to recover and grow their economies?

Wouldn’t this put an end to terrorism?

The dream of those radical Muslims is for us to leave them alone in their Islamic countries and end our aggressions against their people.

  • Stop imposing our will on their people.
  • Stop invading their countries and killing their loved ones,
  • Stop conspiring against them on behalf of the war merchants and ideologues who steal their lands and resources, and
  • Stop dehumanizing their people.

The benefits for us at home and abroad are limitless: No billions of dollars to be spent on the military, no concerns about our security. Our government would not have an excuse to take away our freedoms and liberties.

  • Financially, we will save billions of dollars spent on wars and security at home and abroad.
  • We will be able to direct more funds to build affordable housing, build our economy, improve our schools and healthcare services, and shelter our homeless.
  • We will have politicians who work for us not for ideologues who serve the interests of foreign countries and want us to go to war to achieve their objectives.
  • We will live in peace in our country and spread peace around the world.
  • We will spare our country becoming a police state.

Moreover, we will be able to give the Muslims of the world the gift of living freely after five centuries of oppression.

Sep
7
webmaster
Harper’s Discrimination Against Syrian Muslim Refugees
Clubs, Politics, Vancouver
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In their article titled, “Forget labels when we witness such dire human need,” Amira Elhawaby and Bernie Farber write, “The Canadian government has explicitly stated its intent to grant refuge to religious minorities fleeing Syria, contrary to international norms that assess refugees primarily on the basis of need.”
This policy was adopted after Jason Kenny misinformed his conservative base about the Syrian refugees. In an email dated, January 21, 2015, Kenny writes,
“Dear friend, The Liberal and NDP parties, together with special interest groups, are outrageously attacking our government for focusing our refugee protection efforts on persecuted religious minorities.”
“I have been to refugee camps in Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon. The scale of the humanitarian disaster there is heart-breaking. However, Canada obviously cannot solve this humanitarian crisis by resettling hundreds of thousands of refugees to our country. We can only help a relatively small number in this way. I believe it makes sense to focus these efforts on those who are particularly vulnerable, which includes the persecuted minority communities like Syrian and Iraqi Christians who have been bombed out of their homes by jihadi terrorists, and who often face further danger in refugee camps.”
Indeed, this is an untruthful statement to justify discrimination against Muslim Syrian refugees in need of our help. Choosing refugees not based on their needs but their religion is a violation of the spirit of the Canadian law and the essence of our values. Eventually, Harper has been discriminating against not only Muslim refugees, but also Muslims’ immigration.
History shows that in Syria, Muslims have been more vulnerable to prosecution than minorities by the Assad regime and now by ISIS. This is shown by the number of Syrian refugees that amounts to more than 7.6 million internally displaced and 6 million registered refugees, 90% of them are Muslims. Among those refugees, more than 2 million are children. Most of them may not survive the war, and are in dire need for our help. Alan Kurdi and his brother, who were not lucky enough to survive the war, are an illustration of how this war does not discriminate between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Under Assad’s rule, persecuted religious groups in Syria are not Christians and other minorities, but Sunni Muslims whom Assad’s minority religious group (Alawis) discriminated against and prosecuted. His family has a history of aggression against this sect. In August 1980, his father, Hafez Al-Assad, destroyed Aleppo, killed more than 5,000 Sunni Muslims, and arrested more than 10,000.
After 9/11 attack, Bashar al-Assad was used to torture Sunni Muslims sent to him by the CIA under U.S. the Rendition Program. One of the well-known victims was Maher Arar who was illegally arrested by the FBI based on a tip from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and was flown to Syria where he was detained and tortured for a year. He was later cleared of any links to terrorism and the government of Canada settled out of court with his. He received C$10.5 million and Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologized to him for the government’s role in his terrible ordeal.
Harper’s decision to discriminate against Muslim refugees is racist, merciless, and hateful. It is divisive to discriminate against Muslims while we have more than one million Muslim Canadians, a high proportion of them are highly educated and occupy leading positions in businesses, governments, universities, and other institutions.
Mr. Harper’s bigotry reminds me of discrimination against Jews who sought refuge in Canada in 1939. Canada refused to take them in and the ship sailed back to Europe, where 254 would later die in concentration camps. A racist government against Canadian Muslims is not in the best interest of Canada.

UNICEF Canada, Syria: the most dangerous place to be a child. You can help

Sep
3
webmaster
Canada – A Destination for Chinese Fugitives
Clubs, Politics, Vancouver
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In the past two decades, Canada has become a haven for foreign white-collar criminals and International gangsters. Their numbers increased significantly due to the misguided immigration policy, which allowed wealthy foreigners to immigrate to Canada—no question asked about the source of their wealth in their homeland. The Harper government brought us 24 of these wealthy Chinese fugitives who are wanted on a variety of charges.  This policy attracted  fugitive billionaires who are trying to escape punishment in their own country. In Canada, the major source of these fugitives is China for two reasons:

  1. They are able to stay away from the long arm of the law in china since Canada does not have an extradition treaty with Beijing due to concerns about human rights abuses and excessive punishment in China
  2. They can continue their devious business activities and tax evasion, knowing that they can get away with crimes in Canada, and would get a slap on the wrest if caught.

Currently, they became a source of anxiety as they buy everything they can get their hands on in Vancouver and Toronto driving local young families out of the real estate market.

The flood of those corrupted Chinese into Canada started in the early nineties with the Chinese International gangsters moving their headquarters to Vancouver, and in the past decade, more of them immigrated here under the Harper’s failed immigration policy–giving away  “wealthy immigrants visas” to those who are interested without asking about the sources of their wealth. Those new immigrants and their families are a burden on our strained health care and education systems because they evade paying taxes, but take full advantages of our badly needed services. Research shows that in five years, a refugee who comes to Canada penniless would be paying more taxes than those billionaires. It is shameful that this subject has not been raised during the current elections because it is ruining the quality of lives for hardworking Canadians who cannot afford living in Vancouver or Toronto because of these crooks, bidding the prices of real estate up to unaffordable levels. If these people want to become Canadians, they should be forced to pay taxes as every Canadian does.

Currently, China launched Operation Sky Net, a massive crackdown on listed 100 financial fugitives who have fled China since the 1990s, reported in the New York Times.

If you are interested in more details, here are some references.

Teenage daughter of Vancouver developer pumps $1 million US into Titanic salvage venture

China launches “Sky Net” campaign to capture fugitive officials

China’s financial fugitives accused of laundering funds into U.S. and Canada

Canada not targeting offshore tax cheats, analysis shows

Canada to seize assets and extradite fugitives: Envoy

Charged With Graft in China, Some Fugitives Are Finding Luxury in U.S.

China’s financial fugitives accused of laundering funds into U.S. and Canada

Chinese high-rank gangster gunned down in front of his mansion in Vancouver’s Shaughnessy.

Alleged cyberspy faces extradition to United States

 

 

 

Aug
15
webmaster
Make your vote count
Uncategorized
0

Representative democracy is a farce because ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what our government does. We may joke about our elected politicians, but they always have the last laugh.
Corporations and special interest groups fund election campaigns in order to control the government and turn our democracy into an oligarchy—a government by the super-rich for the super-rich. Funding the elections is their best investment because they get back their contribution many times over in government subsidies, as in the case of oil companies. In some cases, the return on investment could be hundred times in the form of tax exemptions, more lenient environmental regulations, or other favors to improve the bottom line for the company at taxpayers’ expense.
As part of the payback, corporation and special interest group get their operatives appointed in leading role in various government agencies and institutions to ensure their control bureaucrat’s decision making. As a result of their control of the elected politicians and the operatives within, they tailor our laws for their benefits to the detriment of the majority and create laws that take away our liberties and freedoms. They enabled the intelligence agencies to spy on us and label us as terrorists for just practicing our democratic rights. They destroy our environment without consequences as in the case of the mine Mount Polley spill in British Columbia, fracking, pipeline projects in British Columbia, and the tar-sand projects in Alberta. They would not mind making our countries uninhabitable if they did not face strong resistance from courageous environmentalists and First Nations. They export our jobs overseas or bring foreign temporary employees to avoid paying full wages to our citizens. They evade paying taxes by sending their wealth to tax havens.
They open the doors to foreign investors and Chinese money launderers who use Canadian real estate to park their money away from the eyes of the Chinese government.
They get away with crimes we would spend the rest of our lives in jail if we committed them. They push the government into unnecessary confrontations and wars with other nations to please some special interest groups.

Coming from a dictatorship, I was so excited about participating in the political process. I even ran as a candidate in my constituency on behalf of the Green Party. After working from within the system, I discovered democracy is big lie. In my book, The New Era: Returning the U.S. to democracy & Prosperity, I devoted a chapter about democracy and how all its principles are violated.

Since my candidacy in 2004, I stopped voting and withdrew from participation in politics until the 2008 financial crisis hit. I decided to find out how those gangsters on the top the food chain managed to rip the world off trillions of dollars and got away with their crimes. Most of those crooks were rewarded with higher pay or huge severance/retirement packages that counted in tens of millions of dollars, while many of us lost their jobs and their savings, and have to work in their retirement age to support themselves. My research opened my eyes to the dark side of our world, and helped me to find a way to make democracy works for all of us.

Here is how the election system currently works:
Before the general elections, the political parties, multinational corporations, and special interest groups screen the candidates to identify those who would best serve their interests.
In the first screening round, the political parties decide who could run for nomination in each constituency based on their ability to raise election campaign funds from corporations and/or special interest groups.
In the second screening round, each constituency association takes a vote to select the candidate who would represent their constituency.
In the third round, corporations and special interest groups vote using their checkbook to fund candidates from the top two political parties to guarantee their control of the new government regardless of who wins the elections. Incumbent candidates are evaluated based on their previous record of service, dedication, loyalty, and potential to serve the interests of the corporation and special interest groups. Each candidate gets a share of the funds based on their ability to payback after the elections, a favor for a favor (quid pro quo).
After the third screening, selected candidates have enough funds to run their own public campaign, hire image consultants, and use the media to promote their polished image and reach out to the voters. At this time, corporations and special interest groups know that they own the government regardless who wins the elections.

In the general elections, you have four options:
1. Vote for a candidate from either leading parties – As a result, you support corporations and special interest groups control of the elected government and give legitimacy to the election process.
2. Follow your conscience, and vote for an independent candidate who is passionate about public service, knowing that he will not win – As a result, you are endorsing the rigged election process.
3. Boycott voting as a way of passive resistance against the tyranny of the oligarchs – As a result, you waste your time while politicians and the media would turn a blind eye to the turnout and would never question the legitimacy of the elections even when the majority of eligible voters do not participate.
4. Bloc voting – it is the most effective way to restore our political power from the corporation and special interest groups. Using our bloc vote, we could control the outcome of the elections. Here is how it works:
At the beginning, concerned citizens in each constituency would establish a New Era Constituency Club committed to voting for the most qualified candidate based on criteria established by the Club. The bloc vote would be able to hold the balance of power within the constituency, and consequently within the legislature.
The ability of the club to decide the outcome of the elections would give it a much bigger weight than that of the corporation and special interest groups. I explained it in detail in my book, The New Era Returning the U.S. to Democracy & Prosperity and on the website http://www.TheNewEraClubs.com. We can use that system in the coming federal elections to tip the balance for a candidate or a political party. In the future, the Club would be able to formulate its platform and use it to select their preferred candidate(s).
If you are open to explore this system, learn more about it, and want to make the political system work for all of us, not just the oligarchs; join us at the New Era Constituency Club. Each club will be independent, led by constituency members. If there is no constituency club, please be the first to start one.
Then, you can promote your club on social media and friends from the constituency or anywhere else where concerned citizens want to restore their democratic government.
Potential for success:
The disgruntled voters represent more than 60% of the eligible voters. If we can attract one third of them, the Constituency Club could decide the outcome of the elections.
Make your vote count and join at The New Era Constituency Club.
By joining us, you will be securing a better future for your children and your country.

Apr
6
webmaster
Wealthy Chinese Immigrants and Tax Evasion
Clubs, Politics, Uncategorized, Vancouver
0

The tax season is upon us and the federal election date is approaching. During this time, we are reminded how taxes and government policies affect our lives. A good example is the Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneur Program by which Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) expedited immigration of thousands of wealthy Chinese investors. Nevertheless, the government did not ensure that those immigrants would pay their fair share of taxes as they and their families enjoy our public services such as medical and education services.
The Government of Canada mistakenly thought that those investors would bring their wealth and expertise to Canada and contribute to the growth of our economy. This assumption has been proven wrong and the government terminated the program on June 19, 2014 because of its abject failure. However, the program continues to run in Quebec and wealthy Chinese immigrants still have a back door open to get into British Columbia.
It took the Government of Canada sixteen years to discover that those wealthy immigrants took from our public services much more than they would ever contribute and did not pay a dime in taxes on their profits overseas. It is unfair for the local struggling Canadians to carry all the burden of funding public services. It is time that the Government of Canada took a serious step to make those wealthy immigrants pay their fair share of taxes on their global income if they want their families to continue enjoying living in Canada. No free lunch anymore!
Most of the wealthy Chinese who immigrated to Canada, did not care much for Canada. They were seeking a safe haven to secure a residence for their families and a citizenship they can lean on if for any reason, things go bad in China. In addition, Canadian citizenship makes it possible for Mainland Chinese investors to do business and buy real estate in Hong Kong. They did not bother to learn the English language because they know they would not need it.
The immigration visa to Canada was one of the best investments for Chinese wealthy investors—free health care for their seniors and other family members, free education for their children, much better life quality in Canada, no taxes on their investments overseas, and their speculation on real estate in Canada would make them a small fortune. In addition, their seniors who have no income might be able to join poor senior Canadians to enjoy some free benefits. Because of this program, we did not see the expected tax revenues, nor ground shaking investments other than those digging foundations to build new homes and condominiums and sell them at astronomical prices to those immigrants, making life too difficult for the rest of us who live and work here.
Those investors brought in their families, children, parents, grandparents, but their wealth and profits stayed overseas hidden from the sight of CRA. The head of the family goes back to China to manage their businesses and leave behind their family members who need medical and educational services. If you visit our hospitals today, you will see the demand those Chinese senior have on our medical services. Most of those new senior immigrants do not speak English and would not belong to this society in anyway other than consumption of our public services without any contribution to our economy.
Those immigrants exploited the visa to the detriment of Canada and Canadians who work and live in Canada. They overloaded already diminishing education and medical services. Through speculation, they caused the astronomical rise in the prices of real estate making it unaffordable, increased of cost of living in Metro Vancouver due to higher retail properties rent, and contributed to congestion in the Lower Mainland as each of their families added two cars to our already congested roads. In addition, they increased the waiting period for surgery because of the huge number of senior they brought (their parents and grandparents). They turned the most beautiful city into one of the most congested and most expensive in the world. Soon, due to the increase in demand for medical services by their seniors and education for their children, exacerbated by their taxes evasion, governments will not be able to continue to offer the services needed and would privatize them—making them available only to those who can afford to pay.
Instead of facing the problem of tax evasion heads on, Revenue Canada using its security and intelligence resources to deal with it, it launched its 2013 Informant Leads Program (OTIP) to fight international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. The program offers financial awards to individuals with information about major cases of international tax non-compliance resulting in more than $100,000 of additional federal tax being assessed and collected.
In other words, the government is telling us that it does not have the resources to catch International tax evaders, but has the resources to spend on a war in the Middle East or chasing the ghost of terrorism at home. Moreover, while the government spends millions of dollars to collect every phone call we make, every email we send, and every move we make, it is unable to find out who those tax evaded are, and how much taxes they are stealing from the government. Evidently, this program will be another failure because it is asking individuals to do the government investigative work.
An easier solution is for Canada Revenue Agency to audit those new wealthy immigrants who claim on their tax return that their income is less than a portion of what the utility services cost them at their luxury homes, and the maintenance of their luxury vehicles. May be asking them where they spend most of the year will give the government a clue where those businessmen make their profits overseas.
It is time that our government took this issue seriously and investigate who those wealthy immigrants are, where they have their businesses overseas, and how much of taxes they report. It should dedicate some of Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) resources to find out how much taxes those immigrants are evading. It would become a source of income to make up for public services consumed by the families of those wealthy immigrants.

Mar
8
webmaster
Thinking App for mayors to solve TransLink problems
Clubs, Politics, Vancouver
0

I am developing a “Thinking app for mayors” which can be run on iPhone, iPad, and other android devices—No brains required. Among other things, the app evaluates the current TransLink plans and funding which are getting more complicated by the minute.
When I fed the solution the Mayors Council reached so far, the phone beeped loudly and the warning signs were flashing “Danger, Danger, Danger,….”
The app offered the following explanation:
By appointing Jim Pattison as a head of a committee to oversee spending of taxpayers’ money on Metro Vancouver transportation plan, TransLink becomes the first corporation in the world to have three redundant boards of directors:
1. The Mayors Council—in charge of planning the transportation plans and overseeing the operation board of directors;
2. The operational board of directors in charge of executing the plans; and
3. The Pattison Committee to oversee both the Mayors Council and the operation board of directors, to disapprove the expenditure plan, return it to the previous two boards, and ask them to make sense of it!
A major flaw in this arrangement is that Pattison will be given responsibilities but does not have the authority to fire both the Mayors Council and the Board of Directors when he finds out that they are wasting taxpayer’s money or double dipping—paying the Mayors Council more than $1 million per year in perks from TransLink.
The app offered the following solution to lower cost and avoid conflict of interests:
1. Fire the current board of directors and elect a Professional Board of Directors. No appointees.
2. Cancel the payment arrangement between TransLink and the mayors. If they want to be paid for doing their job concerning the transportation plan, they should charge their own municipalities.
The same solution should apply to TransLink’s sister company, Metro Vancouver (Vancouver Regional District).

Feb
4
webmaster
Why vote NO to a 0.5% sales tax increase (congestion tax)
Clubs, Politics, Vancouver
0

Something fishy is going on in the Lower Mainland. For the first time, politicians from all stripes including the B.C. Liberal Government, the NDP, the labor unions, boards of trade (chambers of commerce), environmentalists (David Suzuki Foundation), and the city councils are united, using scare tactics, to “convince” us to approve the increase of the provincial sales tax (PST) by 0.5% in order to fund the Regional Transportation Plan. Do not fall in their trap because approving it would pronounce the end of funding public services, as we knew it.
The Regional Transportation Plan for the Lower Mainland should be funded from existing municipal, provincial, and federal tax revenues. If raising taxes is necessary, developers should pay for the new transportation infrastructure demand because they created it. They built high rises and sold them to foreign investors at inflated prices, making billions of dollars in profits. The excessive increase in real estate prices raised cost of living in the Lower Mainland, made it unaffordable for average Canadian to own a home, lowered availability of rental properties to a dangerous level, and increased demand for transportation infrastructure and services.
Although the Plan is too expensive, when it is complete, it will not be able to meet the demands because of the rate of growth of the Lower Mainland population.
While elected politicians complain about lack of funds to pay for the Plan, they have plenty to spend without accountability on fancy trips and generous raises and perks for themselves and their unions. Although they are well compensated, mayors increase their income by double dipping, rewarding themselves with a pay of 0.07% of TransLink budget. This amount reached $1.06 million in 2013. This arrangement creates a conflict of interest for the mayors because as they increase TransLink budget, their “reward” would increase, accordingly. It makes you wonder how Translink’s funds are managed, seeing the CEO made $468,015.00 in compensations and the top seven employees made more than $2.3 million. Before funding the Regional Transportation Plan, TransLink should be audited to see how its budget is managed and why taxpayers’ money is on the hook to pay two boards of directors (Operation & Mayoral boards). These two boards should be dismantled and replaced by an effective board of directors not appointed by or affiliated with the current governments (provincial and municipal) or their cronies. Mayors should not be paid by a company they are supposed to oversee on behalf of taxpayers.
In the City of Vancouver, the project for the Broadway corridor ($3 billion SkyTrain) is shortsighted. By the time, the project is completed, public transportation to the University of British Columbia (UBC) would be more congested than it is today because UBC can only be accessed through Vancouver’s already congested streets. Lack of affordable accommodations around campus forces UBC students to live all over the Lower Mainland.
The congestion problem will not be resolved until UBC change its policy–stop its exponential expansion of building luxury high rises, and builds enough affordable accommodations for its students on campus. This will alleviate the congestion created by student use of public transportation to and from UBC.
Still, the carrying capacity of streets in Vancouver is a major problem because the city was designed as a small town with narrow streets and no highways. Continuation of building high-rises in Vancouver is not environmentally sound. It would continue to increase pollution in the city and make the congestion problem unresolvable within the Lower Mainland regardless of the money spent on TransLink. The beneficiaries of the wave of building high-rises in Vancouver are the developers and the municipal parties (Vision and the Non-Partisan Association) who secure most of their campaign funding from those wealthy developers. The losers are the Vancouverites whose cost of living continues to increase despite the decrease of wages, and their ability to own a house in Vancouver became an unachievable “dream.” So, do not be fooled by those scare mongering politicians and their cronies. Say no to the new 0.5% sales tax increase. If they want to follow on with their shortsighted plan, let them fund it from the existing tax revenues.

Oct
21
webmaster
Time to accommodate the homeless and low-income people in Vancouver
Vancouver
0

Vision Vancouver leads in raising election campaign funds from developers and environmental “charities”, and has well-paid election strategists. Nevertheless, in their 2014 election campaign platform on housing, they missed an opportunity to solve the non-ending complaint about affordable housing and homelessness in Vancouver.
In the past six years, Vision Vancouver succeeded in turning downtown Vancouver into VanKong (named after Hong Kong). In 2014 campaign, Mayor Robertson and his Vision Councilors promised to proceed with their plan using downtown as a model for the remaining parts of the city. If Captain George Vancouver (after whom the city was named) came back, he would be very upset because of turning his “Green City” into ugly blocks of concrete and air polluted, congested streets.
Despite their limitations, Vision Mayor and Council members have been very amusing. As soon as they won the elections in 2008, they issued their historical decree to legalize building chicken coops in our backyards. They allowed us to enjoy the company of hens in our homes, but banned roosters from living in Vancouver. Although the violation of hens’ right to enjoy the company of their rooster was intolerable, animal rights and environmental groups stayed quiet and ignored the issue. Robertson and his Council have never retracted their action and after six years of deafening silence, it is time for us to speak out on behalf of these quiet hardworking, productive birds.
When Vision councilors opened the door for chicken to live among us, some Vancouverites were so exhilarated, some disappointed. Others thought how ridiculous it was. It took us six years to realize that Vision was foresighted. With the escalating numbers of homeless people and skyrocketing prices of housing, Vision can resolve the homelessness issue overnight by turning the existing inventory of chicken coops into housing for the homeless and solve homelessness in Vancouver for good. We can extend this program to low-income working people so that they can enjoy living in a nice neighborhood next door (I mean next backyard) to our favored, speculating foreign investors. At the same time, we put an end to the sufferings of working hens and allow them to move out of town to join their long-missed roosters.

Apr
17
webmaster
Politics no longer attracts the best folks and that is a problem
Vancouver
0

If you are a manager in the provincial government, would you hire a university drop out who has no experience to be an engineer, accountant, lawyer, surveyor? of course not 🙂
But these are all the qualifications and experience our current premier, Christy Clark has. Gordon Clark wrote in the Province, Politics no longer attracts the best folks and that’s a problem.
We need to have the best and brightest as politicians because they decide the future of our country. This is almost impossible if we cannot stop the corporation and special interest groups from picking the least qualified among us and fund their election campaigns. The less knowledge and experience the politicians have, the easier for these organizations to manipulate our politicians and control our economy and our future. Read more.. Clark’s article Politics no longer attracts the best folks and that’s a problem