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

Rotary Club picks up the Chemainus Elementary School weekday lunchtime tab

Donation helps supplement the Starfish pack weekend program

Angel O’deth Crofton’s claim to roller derby fame

Monica Arthurs makes her presence felt in the game at 50

Performer’s jazz star clearly on the rise

One of Canada’s 35 best under 35 brings a quartet to Pat’s House of Jazz in Crofton

Amount of water consumption important for so many reasons

There are ways to slowly add more if you’re not taking enough now

Arrow’s Flight sails into bookstores

Chemainus author’s second crack at promoting novel lands a publisher

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

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: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Most Read