New tax a concern

Kelowna's mayor is concerned a proposed new speculation tax could have a negative effect on the city.

Colin Basran says foreign investment has been a key economic driver in the city, and a slow down in development or investment could hurt jobs and local staples like the tourism industry.

Following Monday's city council meeting, Basran said city staff are working with provincial counterparts and other regional municipalities to evaluate information made available by the province regarding the tax.

He says council would then consider an "appropriate and timely response."

Basran says council takes the matter very seriously.

"We recognize as a council that any new, well intentioned legislation could have negative, unintended consequences that must be fully considered," said Basran.

"Early indications from many in our community is this could very well be the case in regards to perhaps well intentioned in terms of trying to find people homes, but could have some very disastrous potential impacts on other parts of our economy."

The mayor has already spoken with Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, but wouldn't elaborate on the nature of that discussion.

He also plans to meet with Premier John Horgan and Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson, says the city needs to explore everything this could possibly impact.

"We are working to make sure your best interests, the community's best interests are kept in mind.

"We want a win-win solution here, it's a multiple bottom line solution that we are looking for, and not just perhaps something that could have disastrous impacts on one part of our community while helping another."

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