Sanctions needed on Russian-owned Canadian real estate

There are more severe forms of sanctions that could be imposed on Vladimir Putin and his influential billionaire buddies.

Newsfirst Multimedia political columnist Robert Vairo.

The punishment imposed by the US and the rest of the west against some Russians certainly squeezes important people, but as The Guardian points out, sanctions would be more effective by also striking Russia’s much thicker layer of multi-millionaires, said to number over 20 thousand. They include those with upwards of 10 million dollars in assets, most of which are in real estate and other holdings in Canada and the United States. They consist of the “social layer of multimillionaires upon which the regime relies.” There is even advertising in Russian publications “Canada is the best place to invest to form a shell company”- Financial Post. These rich Russians love Canada, a country that almost welcomes laundered money. And tax dodgers, “including Russian oligarchs linked to Vladimir Putin, know Canada is weak on financial crime.” A French blogger suggests “a centralised register” of owners of foreign assets, as was proposed in Canada to track Chinese who hide their cash in Canada. Seizing those Russian owned hotels, office and apartment buildings in Laval, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, would place a lot more immediate pressure on Putin.

It was embarassing to hear our Prime Minister tell the foreign press that even though Canada is rich in natural resources and produces the cleanest and most environment-friendly oil and gas in the world, sorry, we can’t help Europe, much less Ukraine in this time of need. But some day we may be able to export hydrogen. Really? Next door there is an American president who is led by the far-left green movement, I dare say socialist group, headed by Senator Bernie Sanders. It defies logic, especially at this time, to see Hollywood types continue their vicious attacks on Canadian natural resources. They are the same gang of hypocritical activists, the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr., Jane Fonda. This time they have petitioned RBC to stop “supporting and funding genocide.” How can these good actors but apparently not so intelligent people, not understand the definition of the word genocide? Especially at a time when Russia is waging a true genocide of Ukrainians. Do they not recognize that this monster Putin is waging war on Ukrainians, while at the same time holding European countries hostage by supplying, when he wants, pipelines of oil and natural gas? Why not try to shut down their massive American coal industry, the third largest polluter in the world? It is much greater a threat than Canada, that has the most environment conscious energy industry on the globe, with a near complete phase out of coal. In fact, the US is the third largest polluter by maintaining its billowing coal mine smoke stacks. China leads the pack, producing 60% of its energy powered by coal, and India is a close second. Canada produces a mere 1.6% of all carbon gases in the world, and that includes our Oil Sands industry. What environmental benefit is there to keep our resources in the ground and no longer build the infrastructure to get them out of our land-locked quagmire? Particularly when other nations continue to pollute our earth with indiscriminate mining and production of oil and gas? We have allowed these enviro activists to fail our allies, and fail Canadians.

The latest trip to Europe by the PM and the ‘Canadian delegation’ included a group of ministers and their aides, jets, and photographers. It did not amount to much other than photo ops and small talk with some European leaders. There was a $50 million dollar donation to the Ukrainian cause, but as former defence Minister Peter Mackay pointed out recently, there are tons of armaments collecting dust in storage. These were purchased by the previous government for the war in Afghanistan, and could be most useful to Ukrainian forces at this time. More virtuous posturing by our PM who was accused of being the master of not answering questions by the foreign press with examples like “We are taking the matter very seriously and we will continue to take the matter seriously.” Isn’t it time we have an adult leading this country?


Twenty thousand volunteers have gone to the Ukraine to help fight the Russian butchers, such as this Canadian soldier from the Royal Canadian 22nd Regiment, one of the most feared marksmen in the world. “It’s like a firefighter that hears the alarm”. The sniper goes by the name of “Wali.” The 40-year-old left his wife and baby son (Canadian location undisclosed) packed his bags and went to Ukraine. He served in Afghanistan where he earned his reputation with killer shots, taking out Taliban more than two miles away. Go get ‘em “Wali” and please take care.

Canadians have left to help the homeless of war and the injured, including this Prince George BC nurse, 45-year-old Christy Woods a former firearms officer. Signing the waiver that read “you may be injured or killed,” she wrote, “put me where you need me.”

God bless you Christy.

That’s What I’m Thinking

Robert Vairo