Paul Liberatore

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Clark criticized for bringing realtors on Asia trade mission

There is nobody on Christy Clark's trade mission to Asia promoting the sale of residential real estate, the B.C. premier said in a tweet Monday morning.

"We are focused on growing B.C.'s economy and creating jobs. There is no promotion of B.C. residential real estate. Full stop," said Clark's tweet.

Clark published the tweet after concerns were raised last week about representatives of two real estate companies travelling with her on the trade mission to Asia, at a time when many people are calling for measures to limit foreign real estate investment in the province's red hot real estate market.

The B.C. government lists more than 60 companies taking part in the trade mission to Korea, Japan and the Philippines as part of the province's strategy to create more international trading partners. The trade mission is not visiting China.

Listed among those companies are two real estate brokerages — Nu Stream Realty and Sutton West Coast Realty.

Commercial real estate investors sought

One of the companies, Nu Stream Realty, said it is on the trade mission to promote its commercial real estate division.

"This trip is mainly the commercial purpose. So we don't do any promotion for the residential side," said Anna Zhang, the company's executive vice president for its commercial division.

She said one example would be to find investors for construction projects in B.C.

A statement released by the B.C. government said the Ministry of International Trade provides an open application process for B.C. companies interested in joining a trade mission.

"It's important to note that business delegates pay their own fares and any questions relating to business intentions or plans pertaining to a specific company should be directed to that company or the individuals involved," said the statement.


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