Mr. Speaker, in April 1999 the federal government started requiring Canadian residents to report their foreign assets in an effort to reduce tax evasion. This is a laudable goal which unfortunately has resulted in negative unintended consequences.
Would-be investors feel this is an unnecessary breach of their privacy and some immigrant investors avoid compliance by changing from resident to non-resident status.
Studies have shown that the foreign asset disclosure rule has taken some $1 billion out of the B.C. economy by discouraging investment. Therefore I urge the Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions to review the foreign asset disclosure rule to encourage new business and new investment in British Columbia and indeed in all of Canada.