EDITORIAL: Housing for all, not just the few

Shelter, like food, water and health care, should be a staple of our existence, not a luxury

You may of heard already: the construction industry on Vancouver Island is in the midst of one of its biggest growth spurts ever, with more than a staggering $16 million spent on building permits in Sooke alone and billions more throughout the rest of the province.

By that same token, you may wonder, why is Sooke, and indeed the rest of the Victoria region and B.C., still dealing with a massive housing problem?

We’d be relieved if it were some inexplicable, hard to believe paradox, but the reality is much simpler: the provincial and federal government are more concerned of who gets to call the shots rather than provide for its people.

Yes, the provincial election is upon us, and of course, with that come the hollow promises: More housing! Hurrah! More health care! Hurrah! More great stuff for everyone!

Reality isn’t that hurrah, though.

B.C., despite its self-titled “economic darling of Canada” is struggling to provide basic shelter for hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants.

What about the hundreds of houses sprouting up all over Vancouver Island every week? You’d think more housing meant better access for people who aren’t among the one per cent… but you’d be wrong.

For perspective, rent on Southern Vancouver Island (where literally billions of dollars are being pumped into property development and construction every year) is one of the highest in Canada.

On average in Sooke, rent prices, even for a decrepit basement suite, will hover between $900 and $1,200 or more, so it’s a sin that Sooke is not absolved of either.

That’s not realistic, not for anyone considering to start a new life here. Life should be more than just paying your rent or your mortgage (many of whom still do, even post-mortem.)

So while we can all hold hands and rejoice in the latest construction boom, let’s also look at how many British Columbians will actually afford to live in these shiny new homes, or worse, how many will slip into bankruptcy trying to get one.

Housing shouldn’t be based on election cycles or politics at all, but on the needs of the people.

Shelter, like food, water and health care, should be a staple of our existence, not a luxury, because at the end of the day, without any of those things, all you’ve got is an empty house that’s of no use to anyone.

 

Just Posted

Sooke council green lights funds for sculpture

A local group is chipping away at raising funds to build a… Continue reading

Get ready for the 39th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Up to 9,000 particpants are anticipated for this year’s three-day race weekend

Impaired driver crashes into Victoria police vehicle, injures officer

Cook Street collision occured in the early morning hours of Tuesday

SOOKE HISTORY: Fishing evolves at foot of Maple Ave.

Fishboat activity at the foot of Maple Avenue has varied greatly over… Continue reading

Plaque that replaced Macdonald statue at Victoria city hall vandalized

Less than 24 hours after plaque was installed, an ‘X’ had been scratched through the centre

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Most Read