B.C. Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson shows 40-year-old front page where then-minister Bill Vander Zalm promises to cut red tape from housing approval process, UBCM convention, Vancouver, Sept. 25, 2019. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. on track for housing plan, minister tells local governments

Opposition rejects claim that 22,000 units built or underway

B.C.’s NDP government is on track to meet its ambitious election commitment of 114,000 homes over a decade, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson told local government representatives Wednesday.

There are more than 22,000 government-funded residences either completed or in process, Robinson told delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver. She said it is more publicly funded housing than the previous government’s 16 years, in only two years.

B.C. Liberal housing critic Todd Stone was quick to contradict that, saying that only 2,300 have actually been opened, including temporary modular housing set up in communities that have grappled with tent camps and accompanying crime and disorder.

“At this rate, it will take 100 years to meet their 114,000-unit promise,” Stone said.

Robinson said her ministry has completed consultation on ways to get housing projects approved more quickly at the municipal level, and pilot projects are ready to go for those councils who want to step up.

RELATED: Modular housing disputes spark call for local autonomy

RELATED: Mayor under fire for ‘raping and pillaging’ remark

She quoted the newly appointed critic Stone in a radio interview, advocating that the province “get local governments out of the way” to expand housing supply.

Projecting a newspaper front page from 40 years ago where then-Social Credit municipal affairs minister Bill Vander Zalm was promising change, Robinson said her government is going to do it without running roughshod over local councils to mandate zoning.

“Together we can fix the problem that Bill Vander Zalm was going to fix back in 1979,” Robinson said.

Delegates at the convention also endorsed a Maple Ridge resolution calling on the province to consult with local governments before installing modular housing, and ensuring there are supports for people with addictions and mental health issues who are housed there.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police watchdog investigating Lake Country incident

A man was taken to hospital after the June 3 incident

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

West Kelowna emergency crews rescue injured mountain biker

The woman fell from her bike on a Smith Creek trail

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Vernon protesters take Black Lives Matter movement to park

A handful of demonstrators raised fists, signs in solidarity Friday

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Bear strolls into Okangan homeowner’s living room

Conservation officers are searching for the bear, which entered a home in the Foothills area

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Youth advocacy group pulls out of Vernon Black Lives Matter protest

Earth Strike Vernon pulled its support after concerns raised about Kelowna, Vernon protests

Most Read