B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan have put a heavy emphasis on housing construction. (Chad Hipolito/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

B.C. welcomes Ottawa’s help on rental housing construction

Federal funds slow to arrive for child care, marijuana, Carole James says

Targeted funds in Tuesday’s federal budget to increase construction of rental housing adds to B.C.’s own effort to increase the supply of affordable homes, B.C. Finance Minister Carole James says.

Ottawa’s budget commits more than $1 billion to a fund for low-interest loans to builders of rental projects.

“I was glad to see the rental housing mentioned in the federal budget, but I haven’t seen any long-term plans,” James said. B.C. launched a 10-year housing plan last week.

James also praised the measure in federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s budget to increase data collection on housing purchases to identify the beneficial owner behind numbered companies and trusts that buy real estate. B.C.’s budget last week increased the foreign buyer tax from 15 to 20 per cent, and introduced Canada’s first speculation tax on empty homes, in a bid to cool down high urban housing prices and encourage long-term rentals.

But the federal budget’s multi-year spending plan doesn’t begin immediately, with Morneau continuing to deal with deficits three times as big as what he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised in 2015.

James was also concerned about immediate effects of federal spending on other areas of interest to B.C., including child care and preparing for the legalization of marijuana.

“We put $1 billion into child care, a major investment into helping women back into the workforce,” James said. “But it’s a long-term plan and long-term funds are going to be necessary.”

Morneau’s budget includes $65 million to provide education on marijuana use. James said education is needed, as other jurisdictions have found, but B.C. needs help with licensing marijuana production and roadside enforcement of cannabis-impaired drivers.

Just Posted

EMCS Wolverines off to slow start

Wolverines start season 0-2

Victoria Police investigate stabbing in restaurant on Douglas Street

Police were called to the 800-block around 1:30 p.m.

‘Fix Canada First’ posters found at Victoria bus stops

At least five posters found along Douglas Street

Saanich residents deliver notice to Capital Regional District

Grange Road residents fear the loss of up to 50 trees

Council approves plan banning cycling in Haro Woods

Municipality accused of caving to small minority of park users

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Vancouver Island man named Philadelphia Flyers assistant GM

Courtenay’s Brent Flahr spent nine-plus years in Minnesota

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Most Read