B.C. government Throne Speech puts focus on housing, child care, affordability

NDP expected to target childcare and housing

British Columbia’s New Democrats say their quest to make life more affordable for residents involves making the largest-ever investments in housing and child care.

In its speech from the throne on Tuesday, the minority government says its ultimate goal is affordability for B.C. residents.

The speech outlining the government’s plans, read by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon, says it will move to address housing demand and stabilize B.C.’s out-of-control real estate and rental markets.

The government plans to take measures to ensure people who seek to profit from B.C.’s real estate market will also contribute to housing solutions.

The speech says legislation will be introduced to crack down on tax fraud, tax evasion and money laundering in B.C.’s real estate market.

It says the government will start the journey this year to affordable, quality child care by moving to convert unlicensed spaces to licensed, regulated care allowing more parents to benefit from savings provided by the government.

“Safe, affordable, licensed child care will become B.C.’s standard, giving parents the peace of mind they need and quality care they can rely on,” Guichon said in the legislature. “We begin this year by making a difference in the cost of child care for tens of thousands of families with the largest investment in child care in B.C. history.”

The speech says the greatest challenge to affordability in B.C. is housing.

“Young families wait longer to have children, or give up their dreams of home ownership because they cannot afford to pay for both,” Guichon said. “Businesses cannot grow when the skilled workers they need are shut out by the high cost of housing. Renters are afraid of eviction or unexpected rent increases that will force them to relocate when prices are sky high and vacancies hover at record lows.”

The speech says the results of real estate speculation are evident across B.C. with distorted markets, high prices and empty homes.

“Your government believes that people seeking to profit from B.C.’s real estate must also contribute to housing solutions,” said Guichon. “Safe, decent housing is a right that is under threat by speculators, domestic and foreign, who seek windfall profits at the expense of people who work, live and pay taxes in B.C.”

The speech says the government will pursue its innovation goals with plans to create 2,900 new technology related spaces at colleges and universities throughout B.C.

Catch up on Black Press Media’s coverage of childcare and housing here:

Just Posted

Flooding hits Cache Creek trailer park again

Residents say some easy steps could be taken to alleviate ongoing damage.

Closure of Steelhead fishery a blow to Spences Bridge

Decision to close the fishery comes after prediction of fewer than 200 returning fish in 2018.

Painting of Ashcroft fetches more than $200,000 at auction

A 1965 painting of the town by E. J. Hughes exceeded pre-auction estimate at recent sale.

Fraser-Nicola MLA frustrated by lack of progress on Clinton seniors’ housing

Jackie Tegart talks about various issues affecting the riding.

Wildfire smoke poses health risks to many

Stay safe when skies are smoky.

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

The collapse of the Morandi Bridge sent dozens of cars and three trucks plunging as much as 45 metres (150 feet) to the ground Tuesday.

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Most Read