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June 2nd, 2023
Last month, there were 488 sales of single-family homes in the VIREB area, an eight per... more »
April 24th, 2012
Nanaimo, BC - The Real Estate Profession and BC’s elected officials held discussions over two days in Victoria April 23rd and 24th. The annual Government Liaison Days (GL) event is organized each year by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA). This yearly meeting between delegates representing all 11 of British Columbia’s Real Estate Boards and the province’s MLAs is an opportunity to meet, mingle and directly advocate to the government on behalf of the real estate profession.

A total of 75 delegates, representing Real Estate Boards from across BC took part in numerous topic specific break-out sessions, listened to various keynote speakers and engaged in some 31 scheduled meetings with 72 of British Columbia’s 85 Members of the Legislative Assembly. Representing the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB), President Guy Bezeau, President Elect Gary Gray, Director Blair Herbert (Government Relations Portfolio), Executive Officer Bill Benoit and Darrell Paysen, Manager Member Services all participated in the event.

Organized by BCREA, the yearly GL Days is a way to deliver real estate related public policy issues directly to the province’s numerous elected representatives. Three main themes were driven home by the various delegates: Concerns over the Property Transfer Tax, the need standardize the process for the identification and remediation of properties used in drug operations (both legal and illegal) and promotion of BCREA’s Quality of Life initiative, including its emphasis on protecting property rights. VIREB’s delegates had opportunities to meet one on one with four different MLAs, Leonard Krog (Nanaimo), Bill Routley (Cowichan Valley), Honourable Minister Don McRae (Comox Valley) and Ron Cantelon (Parksville-Qualicum).

Introduced 25 year ago, the Property Transfer Tax sees the government receive 1% on the first $200,000 of a home sale and 2% on the remainder – which can result in a tax bill to the seller of thousands of dollars. BCREA recommends increasing the 1% threshold to $525,000 to more accurately reflect current housing values.

The delegates, representing the nearly 19,000 REALTORS® in the province, serve as a form of grassroots link between the profession and the various levels of government. By developing relationships and interacting directly, this non-partisan approach to information distribution will ideally add some dimension to the profession’s concerns that could not be delivered in any other way.