The180

OPINION: Money from China leaves a stain on Vancouver's green image

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson has set the lofty goal of making the city the world's greenest by 2020. Journalist Jagdeesh Mann says that dream may come true, but only thanks to money generated in the pollution-pumping Chinese economy.
Vancouver's Convention Centre boasts a six-acre "living roof," covered in plants and grasses. The City of Vancouver aims to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

A debate is raging over how foreign investors are affecting Vancouver's housing market. In recent years, that debate has centred on money from one source: China. 

The financial services company UBS Group estimates that 324 billion US dollars moved out of China in 2014, much of it landing in cities like Sydney, New York and Vancouver. One Vancouver real estate company estimates that 70 per cent of the homes, condos, and townhouses worth over three million dollars that they sold in 2014 went to buyers from mainland China.

Residents who are worried that they'll be priced out of their city by overseas buyers have called on local, provincial and federal governments to do something to protect the market from foreign money. 

Vancouver journalist Jagdeesh Mann says it's time to look beyond what money from China means for the real estate market, and start thinking about what it means for Vancouver's green ambitions

Click the blue button above to listen to the piece. 

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