Earlier this week I shared a post about media jumping on the wagon of mass hysteria about Montreal real estate prices that are about to 'shoot through the roof'. I think it is critical that we all recognize a few things:
1. There is very little new independent journalism out there...much of what we read is based on one opinion piece, an article or even simply a Twitter comment that catches attention. Attention means EYEBALLS and that leads to ADVERTISING REVENUE. Rehashing has no bearing on the worthiness, accuracy or reality of the item that initially generated the attention. Rehashing small stories without providing critical analysis creates a feedback loop, gives non-stories momentum and blows things out of proportion.
2. Montreal real estate has lagged behind Toronto and Vancouver for many reasons, one of the majors being a lack of people choosing to make this city their home for long enough to justify a purchase. Language, unstable politics, difficulty in finding employment, lower wages, education, high taxation are all barriers that certain other provinces seem(ed) to have less of, so people moved there, invested there.
3. Montreal is in an upswing now, low unemployment, higher paying jobs, booming tech sector, new business investment, a federalist government and an optimistic population. YES that will lead to an increase in housing sales, and YES that will lead to prices rising and lack of inventory and YES that will lead to more new arrivals. But to say increased sales and prices mean we are facing an invasion is an exaggeration designed to get attention.
Most people take what they see in the media as fact. That is why opinion pieces such as the shocking and downright racist piece by Daniel Germain in Les Affaires earlier this week is so dangerous. It will get noticed, it will get picked up and all of a sudden the general public will be under the opinion that we are 'under attack'. We know where that belief leads.
In my PERSONAL OPINION, we are facing an opportunity; one that we need to meet with facts, good analysis and vision. Opportunities have costs which need to be carefully assessed and managed. Closed minds, fear and xenophobia help no one.
M Germain I denounce your racist attitude and your method of labelling Asians as 'carp' (bottom feeders) and I call on you to make an apology.