Vancouver Granville riding too close to call on election night

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The tightest race in B.C. this federal election is in Vancouver Granville, where the Liberals and New Democrats are in a dead heat.

The NDP’s Anjali Appadurai and the Liberals’ Taleeb Noormohamed were neck and neck as the ballots were counted, at one point only separated by a single vote.

A winner in this riding was not declared Monday night. More than 8,000 special ballots were mailed in and will be counted starting Tuesday.

NEWS 1130 was the first to report that Noormohamed has bought and sold at least 42 properties in Metro Vancouver within the last 17 years. Of those, 21 homes were bought and sold within a year, in stark contrast to his party’s promise in this year’s federal election to crack down real estate speculation with an anti-flipping tax.

Noormohamed made $4.9 million in profits on those property sales, before transaction costs are factored in.

Housing activists have labelled Noormohamed’s real estate activity as consistent with flipping behaviour, in which a person buys a home only to sell it in a short time span for a profit. Flipping has been criticized as one of the contributing factors in rising home prices in Metro Vancouver and throughout the country.

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Questions about the tech entrepreneur’s real estate activity have dogged him throughout the campaign, with Justin Trudeau being challenged on his decision to keep Noormohamed on the slate during a stop in Vancouver.

“Why should people … take you seriously on housing affordability, if in what is arguably the most overheated housing market in the world, you’re running a literal house flipper?” a reporter asked.

Trudeau failed to mention Noormohamed in his answer, only going through his party’s election promises on housing.

“Canadians have seen over the past number of years how seriously we, as a government, have taken the housing crisis,” Trudeau said, criticizing the former Conservative government’s lack of action on housing when in power.

“But we know that there is much more to do. That’s why we’re moving forward with measures that will make it easier to save for a down payment and allow first-time homebuyers to get into the market, particularly young families,” Trudeau added.

The NDP has repeatedly raised the issue, with the party asking for Trudeau to clear up whether it is “acceptable that a Liberal candidate in Vancouver has made millions of dollars flipping dozens of homes while people and families have paid the price.”

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Locally, Noormohamed’s challenger has described herself as a proud renter, and said voters deserve better.

“Housing is a human right, and homes are for living in. The current system is broken because money begets money, and it’s us working people who pay the price,” Appadurai said.

The seat in Vancouver-Granville was left vacant by Jody Wilson-Raybould, who was first elected as a Liberal in 2015. However, she has sat as an Independent since 2019. That came after she resigned from cabinet, following claims the Prime Minister’s Office pressured her to help Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

She was re-elected in the Vancouver riding as an independent that same year.

In July 2021, she announced she would not seek re-election, saying in an open letter that Parliament Hill had become “toxic and ineffective.”

Other B.C ridings that remain too close to call include Nanaimo-Ladysmith, and Richmond Centre.

With files from Martin MacMahon and Hana Mae Nassar

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