A recently announced provincial government grant aimed at providing an HST rebate for new secondary and recreational homes will result in unintended negative consequences for the remote communities of Port Renfrew and Jordan River.
The grant is meant to assist workers and communities in B.C. that depend on the residential recreational development industry during the transition back to the PST, but in a shortsighted move, the Liberals limited eligibility to properties across the province outside of Greater Vancouver and Victoria regional districts.
“This limitation is contrary to the spirit of the grant, and leaves Port Renfrew and Jordan River out in the cold,” said Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan.
“The B.C. Liberal government’s decision to restrict the rebate to communities outside the Captial Regional District further hurts communities in my constituency that are already struggling to overcome the loss of resource-related industries and are just now enjoying some benefit from the sale of recreational properties.”
In a letter to Finance Minister Kevin Falcon, Horgan requested a review of the restrictions, noting less rural communities like Lake Cowichan and Shawnigan Lake are eligible, but not the isolated areas of Port Renfrew or Jordan River. Unfortunately, the minister has refused to make any changes.
“These communities desperately need the support this grant could provide, but the Liberals have refused to change their policy,” said Horgan. “What initially sounded like a good idea for rural B.C. has turned out to be shortsighted and discriminatory for these particular remote areas in my constituency.”