B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan have put a heavy emphasis on housing construction. (Chad Hipolito/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

B.C. welcomes Ottawa’s help on rental housing construction

Federal funds slow to arrive for child care, marijuana, Carole James says

Targeted funds in Tuesday’s federal budget to increase construction of rental housing adds to B.C.’s own effort to increase the supply of affordable homes, B.C. Finance Minister Carole James says.

Ottawa’s budget commits more than $1 billion to a fund for low-interest loans to builders of rental projects.

“I was glad to see the rental housing mentioned in the federal budget, but I haven’t seen any long-term plans,” James said. B.C. launched a 10-year housing plan last week.

James also praised the measure in federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s budget to increase data collection on housing purchases to identify the beneficial owner behind numbered companies and trusts that buy real estate. B.C.’s budget last week increased the foreign buyer tax from 15 to 20 per cent, and introduced Canada’s first speculation tax on empty homes, in a bid to cool down high urban housing prices and encourage long-term rentals.

But the federal budget’s multi-year spending plan doesn’t begin immediately, with Morneau continuing to deal with deficits three times as big as what he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised in 2015.

James was also concerned about immediate effects of federal spending on other areas of interest to B.C., including child care and preparing for the legalization of marijuana.

“We put $1 billion into child care, a major investment into helping women back into the workforce,” James said. “But it’s a long-term plan and long-term funds are going to be necessary.”

Morneau’s budget includes $65 million to provide education on marijuana use. James said education is needed, as other jurisdictions have found, but B.C. needs help with licensing marijuana production and roadside enforcement of cannabis-impaired drivers.

Just Posted

Trail bus line readies to takeover Kelowna run

Silver City Stage Lines must have a booking site up by Sept. 30; two vehicles activated by Oct. 26

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Cops For Kids’ southeast B.C. tour rolls on

Annual RCMP fundraiser will see 34 cyclists ride 1,000 kilometres raising funds

B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

Provincial registration uptake among lowest in Canada

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Pot, cash, mansions: Judge divvies up illegal estate of divorcing B.C. couple

The Smiths ran a multi-million marijuana operation that spanned three counties

Most Read