Canada did a lot of good in Jordan — if you count on the generous aid that thousands of Jordanians fled to, along with its soil, with Mohammed VI. But its royal family acquired thousands of luxury homes on the very shores they now settled.
The king now has more than 300 luxurious homes in Jeddah, and in Doha, Qatar, valued at more than $2 billion, according to an analysis from Canadian nonprofit Coalition to Protect Aid Transparency .
Because the value of the properties was publicly available from the Canadian government from 2002 to 2010, the coalition analyzed what the properties are now worth.
The Iraqi war, the Syrian crisis and peacekeeping missions are taking a toll on the kingdom’s huge, sprawling property portfolio, many of which the king began acquiring before he became king.
He inherited some of the 70,000 Jordanians who emigrated to Canada from the early 1950s until the mid-1990s, according to the website maptourism.com. Many of those left for Canada after their land was taken over by the Israeli military.
He also acquired thousands of residences in Doha, Qatar, after becoming Qatari ruler in 1999.
The organizations behind Canada’s 2020 initiative that hosted the five-day march said, “We applaud Jordan’s entrepreneurial spirit and the engagement of young entrepreneurs in Jordan. We are delighted that Canadian companies are investing in the Jordanian market.”
The NGO said it takes “a cynical view of Canada’s laudable aid program to Jordan” when Canadians buy “several of these homes in Doha, which are illegally squatted on.”
“The revelation serves as a warning to Canada about the conflict between its (aid) program and its expectation that the recipient country will enforce its laws. Rather than help government in its crackdown on the controversial property speculators, Canadian companies should find places in Jordan where their interests and ethical codes are respected.”
The NGO said that the Canadian government is attempting to “ignoring Jordan’s problem with real estate speculation,” and has been particularly lax on such cases.