Home Business & Economy Housing BC working to retain young families amidst 3-year population surge

BC working to retain young families amidst 3-year population surge

david eby, ravi kahlon
Premier David Eby and Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon announced legislation for better protection of renters and landlords, April 2, 2024 in Victoria. [livestream]

Tuesday April 2, 2024 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

The BC population has increased by as much as 300,000 in the last 36 months.

But within that, the Premier is concerned about the out-migration of young families who feel BC has become too expensive, calling it a “subset of the big picture where we’re setting records for population growth”.

Premier David Eby at podium about rights for renters and landlords, with Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon and Deputy Speaker Spencer Chandra Hebert in Victoria on April 2,2 024. [livestream]

The strain on service infrastructure such as health care and schools has been considerable over the past three years, on top of years where there were already challenges in fast-growing areas like Surrey and the west shore of Greater Victoria.

monk office, chairs

Premier David Eby articulated all this during a media session today held outdoors in the Fernwood area of urban Victoria. He was accompanied by Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon, deputy speaker Spencer Chandra Herbert who leads on renters’ rights, and local MLA Grace Lore, Minister of Children and Family Development.

Retaining young families in BC:

Eby said his NDP government has taken several actions cross-Ministry to incentivize young families to stay in BC.

“We want them to see a future here,” said Eby about young people in BC. “Where they can raise a family, where they can build their lives, where they have access to affordable child care, affordable housing and that they’re able to manage costs and continue to build a life here,” the Premier said today.

young family, parents, children, millenial
Parents with young family.

Premier Eby itemized those measures as interest-free student loans, free contraception, the IVF initiative, allowing the construction of more than one home on a single family lot, and redressing tenancy rights. He described that as “so many different initiatives to ensure that young people see a future for themselves” in this province.

“It’s critically important for me,” said Eby.

“We’re grappling with that head-on in British Columbia. We’re going to continue to do that work,” said Premier Eby.

dumont tirecraft, winter road safety

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Island Social Trends reports news with socioeconomic insights and analysis. Independent news service on south Vancouver Island, BC. Read free online or get the biweekly PDF by email.


Island Social Trends provides socioeconomic and political context for the news of south Vancouver Island, BC, and national issues. Publishing daily at IslandSocialTrends.ca since mid-2020.

Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke reports with the BC Legislative Press Gallery.

Ms Brooke is the publisher of a series of publications that led to the emergence of Island Social Trends in 2020: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).

Island Social Trends news is available to read at IslandSocialTrends.ca. There is also a print edition of Island Social Trends that is issued biweekly. Premium PDF version of the print edition is available by paid subscription.