Would you like to subscribe to our newsletters?

Sun Peaks wants exemption from foreign homebuyers ban

FILE PHOTO - The village at Sun Peaks Resort is seen in this undated photo.
FILE PHOTO - The village at Sun Peaks Resort is seen in this undated photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

Sun Peaks near Kamloops is one of three ski communities in the province where foreigners are banned from buying houses, and the mountain resort municipality wants to change that.

New federal legislation put a temporary stop to foreign homebuyers in cities across the country. While Sun Peaks wasn't targeted specifically, it was rolled in with the foreign buyer ban because Statistics Canada considers it as part of the Kamloops metropolitan area.

"The purchase prohibition in Sun Peaks is certainly making us less competitive as a tourist destination," Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality councillor Len Hrycan told Kamloops city council recently.

READ MORE: Skier who died at Sun Peaks collided with a tree

The mountain municipality looked to Kamloops for support as it lobbies the federal government to give Sun Peaks an exemption from the regulation, which was extended for another two years in February.

The ban came into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, and was set to expire two years later. It's now been extended to 2027 as the federal government aims to curb foreigners from snapping up real estate in major cities across Canada.

Hrycan said ski resort communities were initially promised exemptions from the ban. That came true for around 250 ski resorts, except for Sun Peaks, SilverStar and Apex, he said.

"As non-Canadians can purchase properties in Whistler, Big White and many other resorts across Canada, Sun Peaks should have an regulatory exemption from this legislation," Hrycan said.

He said Sun Peaks shouldn't be included in the Kamloops metro area as the economies don't have a "high degree of integration." Fifty per cent of residents should be commuting to Kamloops for work in order to be included and be near the city, yet Hrycan said that isn't the case.

"Sun Peaks and Kamloops have distinctly different economies and different housing needs," he said.

Other smaller communities in the Kamloops census area include Savona, Logan Lake and Chase.

Seventeen per cent of homes are foreign-owned at Sun Peaks and they are consistent visitors to the resort, Hrycan said.

The federal Ministry of Finance was not immediately able to respond when asked why the three Thompson-Okanagan ski resorts weren't exempted from the ban.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.