Welcome-homebuyers-from-China banner strikes a nerve on social media

The banner was only up for an hour in Surrey, B.C., but that's all it took to create some drama on social media among Vancouverites who are sensitive about the housing crisis.

Banner was part of a movie set and only up for an hour in Surrey, B.C.

This sign was part of a movie set. (CrankcaseHobbit/Reddit)

The banner was only up for an hour in Surrey, B.C., but that's all it took to create some drama on social media among Vancouverites who are sensitive about the housing crisis. 

A photo posted on Reddit shows a car driving under a sign saying "Welcome homebuyers from China" and includes Chinese characters. 

"You're denying the truth if you deny that the vast majority of vacant homes belong to Chinese nationals," wrote one commenter on Reddit

Last year, research suggesting foreign buyers from China are fuelling the rising price of housing in Vancouver sparked cries of racism, while Vancouver's mayor, Gregor Robertson, has repeatedly demanded better data from the province, which doesn't keep information about foreign ownership. 

Others on Reddit pointed out that at least the sign included English — referring to a controversial issue in nearby Richmond of Chinese-only signs — an issue with which the local council is trying to deal.

"I'm impressed that they put English on it," said another Reddit user. 

CBC confirmed with the city of Surrey that the banner was part of a set for the movie Finding Mr. Perfect 2 and was up only for an hour in August. 

The city's mayor says foreign ownership is not an issue in Surrey. 

"It's clearly an issue on people's minds, but it's not a Surrey issue," Linda Hepner told CBC. "It's only a film shoot."

As another Reddit reader said, " I officially feel like an idiot for letting a context-less picture get me all huffed up."

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