It’s a feature of the Left that whenever they come up with some truly sinister objective or worse, a gobsmackingly stupid plan to do good to all of us against our will, they will not take ‘no thanks’ for an answer. Fluoridation of the water is a case in point: No matter how many times the voters turn it down, back comes the referendum question every year until one day it passes by accident, after which you’re not ever supposed to ask it again.I was reminded of this when UBC’s Professor Paul Kershaw, Canada’s leading and relentless advocate for a home equity tax, spoke to a Parliament Hill press briefing on Friday, a briefing to which nobody came.Well, that’s a good sign at least.But this is one of these sinister, gobsmackingly stupid plans I’m talking about that just won’t go away.I can personally attest to the fact researchers have been rolling it out for 30 years, having written about it in Brian Mulroney's day. And, a quick Google search reveals that it's been touted by quack academics at least back to the '40s.A home equity tax is what it sounds like, a tax on what you have in your house. What's it worth, minus the mortgage, apply a percentage tax to the remnant. Every year.In other words, an assault on private property and a disincentive to striving for that self-reliant security of home ownership that socialists rightly perceive as a stumbling block to their own goals for a country where everybody is dependent on the government. Who thinks of this stuff? Well actually, Kershaw's studies were funded by the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, to the tune of $450,000. In his report Wealth And The Problems Of Housing Inequity Across Generations, Kershaw proposed that $5.8 billion might be raised.I don't often have a kind word for Prime Minister Trudeau. However, when Kershaw presented his studies last year, Trudeau gave the idea a firm thumbs-down. “We will not do that,” he said. “I am happy to declare very strongly and clearly we will not be doing that.”But like the fluoride bores, there was Kershaw back in Ottawa last Friday, and hoping to pitch the idea one more time. As Blacklock's Reporter described the scene, "No reporters, MPs, senators or political aides attended remarks by Professor Paul Kershaw of the University of British Columbia, a CMHC consultant.“We have come to Ottawa today to ask the Government of Canada to launch a rapid response task force on generational fairness, one that will act decisively in response to the evidence Canada is no longer working fairly for all generations,” he said.Kershaw complained circumstances were “financially convenient in the moment for baby boomers” who paid down mortgages. “There is only so much wealth we can extract from a housing system,” he said.“Policy decisions have let homeowners like me and especially those older than me extract so much housing wealth we have transcended from the middle class to be among the more privileged,” said Kershaw. “But we are doing so at the cost of housing unaffordability.”“Do people have questions anyone would like to ask?” asked a moderator. The room was silent. “That’s fine,” said Professor Kershaw.It's not that there isn't a problem with housing affordability. But increased demand and diminished supply are the things to fix first. If the federal government didn't think bringing in half a million new immigrants a year without ensuring there would be homes waiting for them could be a problem, well that's sadly typical. First job then, synchronize the policy goal of population growth with the policy goal of affordable housing. (And meeting reduced carbon emission goals, may we suggest?)Then, get rid of the bureaucratic overlay of licencing and permitting. The CD Howe Institute has shown that in Toronto, gatekeepers and regulations add $350,000 to the cost of the average home. In Vancouver, it's nearly $1.3 million. That means that over 60 percent of the price of a home in Vancouver is due to delays, fees, regulations and taxes. If that seems familiar, it would be because in a slick electioneering video, Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre seized on this like gold. But it isn't just Toronto and Vancouver; across the country, 'gatekeeping' is a disease.There are other problems, to be sure. Unreasonable expectations, for example: The first house owned by the people with the paid-off mortgages probably wasn't a luxury home. Old fashioned scarcity for the most desirable locations surely drives prices, as well. But the problem is not, and never has been, that some Canadians work hard all their lives to build equity in their homes, so that they won't be a burden to anybody else when they're too old or sick to work. Ripping them off is neither just nor solving any problem. But somehow, academics with gold-plated pension plans can never quite drop the idea of a quick-fix tax grab. And so like the fluoride, and the smoking bylaws and a dozen other do-good-isms, it never quite goes away.