Thursday, February 22, 2018

BC government's housing pledge misunderstood by constituents, says premier

British Columbia premier John Horgan has said his party's commitment to address the province’s shortage of affordable housing by building 114,000 new homes has been misunderstood by its constituents.

To recall, the NDP government, as part of its May 2017 platform, pledge to erect 114,000 rental and co-op homes in over 10 years. But the recent BC throne speech revealed instead that 2,000 units of modular housing and 1,700 affordable units were approved for construction last year.

"The plan certainly is to continue on with the goal over 10 years to get to 114,000 units. That's again not just social housing," the premier clarified in an interview with CBC’s On the Island.

"I think people misunderstood that, and we tried as hard as we could to correct that. It's the continuum of housing. What you would find in a community,” he told host Gregor Craigie.

Earlier reports quoted Horgan saying the housing commitment also includes incentives for private developers to build family housing that people from the province would want to move into.

Meanwhile, Horgan also addressed the dispute with Alberta over the BC government's proposal to restrict diluted bitumen shipments to the port of Vancouver. He said this could impact the province's negotiations with Ottawa regarding the support for housing initiatives and child care.

"We had until very recently a very positive working relationship with the federal government. I don't want to put the two issues together, but certainly there is consternation in Ottawa that the governments in B.C. and Alberta are at a fundamental disagreement," he said.

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