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

Disc golfers play in first-ever Grand Forks tournament

The course is located just south of Extra Foods in Grand Forks

Rural Boundary areas get funding for flood risk assessment

The study will mesh with those completed for Grand Forks, Midway and Greenwood

Grand Forks nets $3.6M to upgrade Eastside reservoir

Necessary upgrades for the facility were identified nearly 10 years ago

Christina Lake fire department christens new boat

The department leveraged its members’ skills to repurpose a former recreational pontoon boat

Gun enthusiasts arrive in Kelowna for the Western Canadian Skeet Championship

The competition will be held from July 17-19, 2020 in Joe Rich

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Thousands of dollars in stolen rice found in B.C. warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

NDP wants Lower Mainland MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

B.C. health officials pleased with likely extension of Canada-U.S. border closure

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the situation is ‘very serious in the United States’

Children suffer swollen eyes, burns while playing at Lower Mainland spray park

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Most Read