Our View: B.C. budget biggest shakeup in housing for years

The broad scope of the budget’s measures are likely to have an effect.

If the new provincial B.C. budget announced Tuesday does nothing else, it will try to repair the out-of-whack B.C. housing market.

The lengthy list of measures the NDP and their Green partners announced to repair housing affordability appear to take a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach.

Increasing and expanding the foreign buyers tax might do something to cool the markets. So might the new speculation tax or the boost to the property transfer tax on $3 million-plus homes.

Then there’s the multiple new regulations or efforts aimed at cracking down on money launderers and fraudsters, who have made the real estate landscape their playground.

Even before that extra money from new taxes and fees comes in, the province will be spending on building new rentals, co-ops, and increasing rental assistance programs. They’re planning to build or support new housing for the homeless.

Some of these efforts won’t pan out.

But frankly, it’s impressive to see the broad scope of the efforts. If even half of them have a measureable impact, it will change the housing landscape in this province.

The BC Liberals had a tendency to attack each housing problem separately. They made some efforts to improve rental affordability, to tackle speculation, and to build for the homeless.

But they never launched a campaign like this. And yet housing is just one piece of a budget that also tackles child care, MSP premiums, prescription drugs, and skills training.

It’s a big budget, the biggest B.C. has seen in years.

– M.C.

Just Posted

Langley chamber joins call to kill ‘no pipeline ever’ law

Bill C-69 will hurt the local Langley economy, Chamber warns

World Day of Prayer returns to Langley

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is hosting the annual day on March 1.

Young Langley family plagued by angry cab customers

A couple rents a house formerly used by a cab firm, and unwelcome visitors knocking.

Woman groped on Langley’s 208th Street

Police are asking for tips to identify the man responsible.

PHOTOS: Family Day a success at Aldergrove Telephone Museum

A record number of people visited the Telephone Museum on Monday to tour the historic exhibits.

VIDEO: Nail-biter game against Germany tonight earns Langley’s Team Canada a win

Langley’s Team Tardi is 5-2 at the junior curling worlds in Nova Scotia, hoping to defend their title

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Most Read