North Saanich Gulf Islands Green Party MP Elizabeth May is calling for the seizure of an $18-million North Saanich property that was briefly the home to Prince Harry, his wife Megan, and baby Archie in 2020.
Over two years later, there’s no evidence anyone is living here, although a gardener is working on the landscape.
According to an investigation by the CBC, Russian oligarch Yuri Milner bought the property back in 2013 and May says she wants to see action taken.
“Since Vladimir Putin saw fit to put me on a list of people banned in Russia, I’d like to make sure there are no Russian oligarchs in my riding. We know Mr. Milner is Russian, Russian born and now a billionaire. Got his early investments that got him on the track to being a billionaire from Kremlin-friendly sources in Russia.”
May says she hopes Ottawa will act, and if necessary, seize the property.
“Let’s look into his property. If he meets the standards for the kind of Russian billionaire who meets the standard of an oligarch, we should seize the assets, absolutely.”
With a net worth estimated at $7 billion, the Kremlin backed Milner’s early business ventures.
He’s exactly the type of owner that needs to be exposed, according to Sasha Caldera, Campaign Manager for Beneficial Ownership Transparency at Publish What You Pay Canada — an advocacy group that is calling for a public registry of owners like Milner.
“The more transparency we have in this regard, the better off we’re going to be as a society and a community because we will have an understanding of who ultimately has control of assets in their neighbourhood.”
As for May, she wants to ensure that anyone potentially associated with the war in Ukraine should have to pay the consequences, and she feels they should not be able own a luxury property in North Saanich fit for royalty like Prince Harry and his family.