Why are we asking all these questions?

Part of our job as realtors is to educate the public about the buying and selling process and then guide them, negotiate for them AND protect them throughout that process. According to the federal government, we are also tasked with the job of identifying all parties to a real estate transaction with the Personal Identification forms provided by FINTRAC (a lengthy explanation of what they are in the link below).

Essentially Fintrac is: The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) Canada’s financial intelligence unit (FIU). The Centre assists in the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities

As you may have heard, real estate has provided substantial opportunities for money laundering in Canada, in particular B.C. As of June 1st, in addition to providing us with proof of ID ( Driver's license or Passport), we will be asking you questions about your job, and the jobs of your family to determine if you are a PEP - Politically Exposed Person, someone who could possibly be a target of or be in involved in criminal activity, or a high ranking government official who again may be the target of criminal activity. If you are buying or selling real estate in the name of a corporation, we will be asking you for 

ownership information. This information will be kept safely at our brokerage until the government needs access to it.

Yes, it is more paperwork and questions, but at the end of the day, it is for the safety of all of us, that our homes and investments are not being used for criminal activity.


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Michael Geller, a contributor to the Vancouver Courier re: real estate/housing issues, always has a clear and calm view of the situation.

Six False Creek affordable housing lots still empty after three decades: Vancouver Sun front page story March 10, 2018

While I didn't write this story, I feel partially responsible for it.
     During the recent debate about the forthcoming North-east False Creek development, much was made of the city's promise to include significant affordable housing. This prompted me to comment that this was a noble goal, but before getting too excited about these units, what about the 6 empty social housing parcels lying fallow along the North Shore of False Creek?
     I knew about these parcels because I was given a tour of them by Concord Pacific during the 2008 municipal election. Furthermore, I was involved as an expert witness in a lawsuit over them a few years ago. Following my comments, Lori Cuthbert contacted me. I happily put her in touch with Cameron Gray, who was the City's Housing Director, and while not directly involved in the acquisition of these sites, knew why they remained undeveloped.
     I told Lori that I thought it was outrageous that these sites remained undeveloped, not as a criticism of Concord Pacific, but rather of the city, province and feds who could have come up with a strategy to see these parcels developed with affordable housing, even in the absence of deep government subsidies. Enough said.

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