Home Business & Economy Housing Premier Eby on housing: collaboration with federal government could improve affordability

Premier Eby on housing: collaboration with federal government could improve affordability

BC Housing Plan is moving ahead: "We're not waiting for the federal government", says Premier Eby.

premier, david eby, winnipeg, cof
BC Premier David Eby at the Council of the Federation meeting of Canada's Premiers in Winnipeg on July 10, 2023. [web]

Tuesday July 11, 2023 | WINNIPEG, MB [Updated 11:55 am]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

“We’d love federal programs to be aligned” with the provincial ones when it comes to attainable and affordable housing, said BC Premier David Eby in a media session at the Council of the Federation meeting of Canada’s Premiers today in Winnipeg.

Housing hasn’t come up yet at the premiers’ table during the premiers’ three-day meeting (July 10 to 12) but he hopes the Premiers will be able to identify what Eby calls “lots of opportunities to work together” with the federal government.

Last week the federal finance minister did something a policy huddle with BC’s premier. Freeland and Eby met in Vancouver on July 6 to discuss a range of common interests including housing.

Today Eby said that BC is “not waiting for the federal government” while the province continues to undertake the various aspects of the BC Housing Action Plan that was unveiled in April 2023.

Given that BC’s population increased by 250,000 people in the last two years — a good chunk of that from the arrival of newcomers through federal immigration channels (as well as Canadians relocating here from other provinces) — it would make sense of housing development were aligned with immigration policy and associated funding.

housing, federal, bc, freeland, eby, kahlon
Federal-provincial discussion about housing in Vancouver on July 6, 2023. [BC Govt]

There are also other housing needs, such as addressing aging-in-place for the growing seniors demographic. Smaller homes might be an option, so that young adults can buy into the market and think about starting families.

At last week’s housing roundable in Vancouver, there was discussion by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Premier David Eby, together with BC Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon and the federal housing minister and some housing experts. They discussed the impact of GST on rental housing, and opportunities to coordinate federal programs that fund housing with provincial programs so the program requirements are easier to meet.

There was also significant discussion around Indigenous housing, both on reserve and off reserve — the federal government could match provincial funding to make a big impact on homelessness in smaller communities by building more Indigenous oriented housing, and Indigenous operated housing.

david eby, ravi kahlon, chrystia freeland
Premier David Eby and BC Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon listen to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland at a joint meeting in Vancouver on July 6, 2023. [BC Govt]

“The Deputy Prime Minister and the federal Housing minister were both very receptive to hearing from the housing experts at the table, and we feel they took away from the meeting a number of items to consider that would allow us to make a greater impact on this issue together,” said Eby in a statement last week.

“While we continue discussions with the federal government, BC is also pushing ahead with its Housing Strategy, Homes for People, because we know we can’t wait to move on this critical issue for British Columbians,” he said.

ist main
Like what you’re reading? Get the Premium ENews sent directly to your Email InBox.


mary p brooke, editor, island social trends
Mary P Brooke, Editor & Publisher, Island Social Trends [2018 file photo]

Mary P Brooke has been writing insight-news since 2008. Her publication series has covered news of the day through broader socioeconomic and political insights in the west shore region as well as key sociopolitical and socioeconomic issues of today’s broader society, as published by Brookeline Publishing House Inc under these mastheads: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), West Shore Voice News (2014-2020), and Island Social Trends (since 2020).

The Island Social Trends print edition (previously West Shore Voice News) launches later in July 2023, after a three-year hiatus during the pandemic years. During 2020-2023 news has been published entirely online at IslandSocialTrends.ca and this news portal will continue.

subscription, premium

The print-bound copies of MapleLine Magazine, Sooke Voice News and West Shore Voice News are already part of the permanent collections at the Sooke Region Museum.

Ms Brooke now reports with the BC Legislative Press Gallery, as part of delivering regional news on Vancouver Island.

This year, Mary P Brooke has been nominated for the Jack Webster Foundation Shelley Fralic Award to recognize a professional female journalist whose journalism makes a contribution to the community.

LINKS: About Mary P Brooke | About Island Social Trends | Subscribe to the Island Social Trends Premium ENews