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. 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

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
Kootenay-Columbia MP pans federal budget

Conservative Rob Morrison says budget doesn’t have a plan for long-term spending priorities

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
Man arrested in incident at Canada-U.S. border near Roosville

A man who crossed the border illegally was apprehended by U.S. officials

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

The golf course in Elkford would need to be re-zoned to allow for 10 camping sites. (Image courtesy of District of Elkford)
Elkford to consider allowing campsites at golf course

The district has expressed support for 10 campground spaces at the golf course

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read