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

Okanagan residents can win ride in army vehicle

A social media campaign offers the chance to win a ride in the Dragoons armoured vehicle

Reel Reviews: War from both sides of the desk

We say, “Forgive these films their faults and they will be entertaining enough.”

Residents should keep air intakes clear of snow

Silver Star Fire Department is encouraging residens to keep their air intakes clear after snowfall

Provincial program offers assistance to agricultural producers

AgriStability Enhancement Program benefits agricultural producers who saw an income decline in 2017

‘Backs game cancelled due to weather

Match-up against Merritt called off as heavy snow creates treacherous roads

PHOTOS: Icing the competition

Skate Canada 2018 Okanagan Regional Championships skated through Vernon this weekend

Street Sounds: Rolling with the Stones

The Stones’ On Air is a blast from the past in every sense

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

Update: Highway 97C reopened following multi-vehicle incident

Highway 97C is closed to eastbound traffic near Pennask Summit following an incident Sunday afternon

Brakemen pulling out all the stops for 2018

Kettle Valley Brakemen planning some surprises

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

DRAWL searches for Okanagan Valley accent

UBC study wants to hear from Okanagan residents

Most Read