British Columbia

Foreign cash is 'gasoline' on Vancouver's overheated housing market: RBC CEO

The CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada weighed in on the housing crisis in Vancouver and called for the government to clamp down on foreign buyers at a bank conference in New York on Tuesday.

'We do not need foreign capital using Canadian real estate as a piggy bank,' David McKay said

The CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada called on governments to clamp down on foreign money in B.C. (David Horemans/CBC)

The CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada weighed in on the housing crisis in Vancouver and called for the government to clamp down on foreign buyers.

David McKay called foreign cash "gasoline" to the market at a bank conference in New York on Tuesday.

"We do not need foreign capital using Canadian real estate as a piggy bank," he said.

"We've got this cocktail of factors that are leading to unconstrained growth in home prices."

In his address, he expressed support for taxes and other measures targeting foreign buyers in British Columbia.

Weaver welcomes remarks

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver found himself nodding in agreement with McKay's comments.

"We need the public support, we need the CEOs of RBC and others' support," he said. "The more the people who speak out the quicker we're going to get a resolution to this."

Andrew Weaver has suggested a flat-out ban on foreign buyers in B.C. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

Weaver is calling for a full ban on home purchases using foreign capital and says the NDP is not doing enough. He says the new speculation tax in the 2018 budget will punish Canadians as well as foreigners.

"If the government wanted to deal with this they could bring in legislation next week to clamp down on foreign purchase in B.C.," he said. "The barrier is not legislative, the barrier is political will."

The NDP has said it has a number of measures planned to tackle the crisis, including cracking down on tax fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.

With files from Natasha Frakes

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