Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is warning homeowners if they fail to declare their property status by Feb. 2, they will face the city’s empty homes tax plus a $250 fine.The tax is one per cent of a home’s assessed value.It affects any property that is not a principal residence and is not occupied for six months a year.Robertson says property owners can expect to receive instructions in the mail starting this week on how to make their declarations.He says there is a $10,000 fine for false declarations and the city is in the process of setting up an enforcement system that will include hiring staff in the new year.The tax is the first of its kind in Canada and is aimed at freeing up as many as 20,000 units for rent as the city’s vacancy rate hovers near zero.Robertson says the city must do everything it can to ease the housing crunch, and it’s also proceeding with a plan to open 600 new units of temporary modular housing for the homeless.
The construction site of the hydroelectric facility at Muskrat Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador is seen on July 14, 2015. An Innu leader is asking that protests stop at the Muskrat Falls hydro construction site in Labrador while complaints about hiring and alleged racism are discussed. Innu Nation Grand Chief Anastasia Qupee said Monday the head of Crown corporation Nalcor Energy has apologized for an incident involving an Innu worker. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan Innu leader calls for end to Muskrat Falls protests as racism, jobs discussed HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. – An Innu leader is asking that protests stop at the Muskrat Falls hydro construction site in Labrador while complaints about hiring and alleged racism are discussed.Innu Nation Grand Chief Anastasia Qupee said Monday the head of Crown corporation Nalcor Energy has apologized for an incident involving an Innu worker.She said Nalcor President and CEO Ed Martin has also committed to followup talks “in coming days.” Discussions are to include dissatisfaction with aboriginal employment rates on the $8.6-billion project along with concerns about racially-motivated clashes among staff.“We’re certainly committed to moving forward and working on the issues that we need to address,” Qupee said in an interview. “We’ve requested that the protests should stop.”Nalcor Energy declined Monday to comment.Qupee said about 218 Innu Nation people are working at the dam and power plant being built on the lower Churchill River. But there are questions about whether Nalcor has lived up to the Impacts and Benefits Agreement reached as part of the development’s approval. Part of the deal’s intent is to help ensure qualified aboriginal people land jobs.Qupee said small protests last week at Muskrat Falls work sites followed reports that a non-Innu worker assaulted a young Innu man also employed on the project. She confirmed the accused employee has been fired after allegedly making racist comments and then retaliating when a formal complaint was filed.“That’s what we’ve been told. I’m glad that Mr. Ed Martin came in and apologized to this young man,” she said of the worker who was allegedly kicked in the head. He is now recovering and is expected to return to his job later this month.“I appreciate that he (Martin) went out to the site and spoke to the elders there,” she added. “We certainly don’t want anybody else to go through this.”RCMP say a 23-year-old Goose Bay man faces an assault charge in connection with an incident Aug. 9 at the Muskrat Falls site. He is to appear in provincial court Oct. 14 in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.Qupee said members of the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation and Mushuau Innu First Nation were also present for meetings with Martin that lasted all day Sunday and well into the evening. She said the highest number of Innu workers employed at Muskrat Falls so far was about 278, and that leaders have heard of other racist incidents involving “non-Innu” employees.“We know for sure we need to improve things.”Muskrat Falls is expected to produce first power in late 2017. by The Canadian Press Posted Aug 17, 2015 12:53 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 17, 2015 at 4:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email