We’re in the midst of election season in British Columbia, with Premier John Horgan seeking a second term after his minority government electoral victory on May 9th, 2017. After cobbling together a working coalition government with Andrew Weaver and the BC Greens after what was a very close election, Horgan returns to the campaign trail seeking a new mandate. Both the BC Liberal and BC Green parties come into this election with new leaders seeking to carve out gains in a difficult election during a pandemic. This article will go over one of the main issue areas of the election, the BC housing crisis, laying out each party’s position.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, average housing prices have grown across Canada since post-financial crisis lows in 2009. In British Columbia, housing prices have more than doubled, appreciating by $1 trillion in inflated-adjusted value. This is of particular concern with growing indebtedness and fewer young British Columbians entering home ownership. As Michal Rozworski (an economist and research associate for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) states, there a paradox within the crisis that “has literally created wealth under the feet of one set of Canadians and foreign property owners — many of them already wealthy — while making simple existence for another set, in particular the urban poor, increasingly difficult.”1 In an Angus-Reid poll, the housing crisis and housing affordability ranked as the third most important issue in this election at 31%, only slightly behind health care (32%) and response to the COVID-19 pandemic (33%).2 Each of the main parties have outlined their ideas on how to tackle this pressing issue.(more…)