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​On March 1, Metro Vancouver sent letters to each of the four main political parties in BC with the seven questions you will see on this website, with a requested response deadline of March 31.

Letter to BC New Democrats

 

  • Affordable Housing


    If elected, what specifically will your party do to support an expanded inventory of affordable rental housing options for Metro Vancouver region?

    Instead of investing in rental housing, Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have made it harder for renters to protect their rights and sided with unscrupulous landlords – letting them dodge controls on rents, either through fixed-term leases or through renovictions. They accepted more than $10 million in donations from wealthy developers and turned a blind eye to would-be homeowners, calling concerned families “people who get up and whine every day.”

    Their choices have impacted renters and new home buyers and hurt our province’s ability to attract and retain skilled workers. Fixing the housing crisis is important for affordability and our economy.

    For John Horgan's BC NDP, a better BC means decent housing is available and affordable. It means renters are secure where they live and young families can afford their first home.

    John Horgan and the BC NDP will build 114,000 affordable rental, nonprofit, co-op and owner purchase housing units through partnerships over ten years. These homes will be a mix of housing for students, singles, seniors, and families and will range from supported social housing to quality, market rental housing. We will work with all levels of government to grow the number of rental units, protect existing units and strengthen protections for renters province-wide.


    If elected, what specifically will your party do to support the recommendations included in the Regional Homelessness Task Force Position Paper?

    After 16 years of neglect from Christy Clark and the BC Liberals homelessness in Metro Vancouver has become a crisis. This crisis requires immediate action.

    We will partner with the federal government, local municipalities, agencies and community groups to create an immediate homelessness action plan, which includes a provincial poverty reduction plan.

    Because we understand that homelessness is tied to family breakdowns, mental health and addiction, chronic health problems, unemployment, and other issues, we will connect our homelessness action plan to initiatives in other areas such as mental health, social assistance, justice, safety, and health.

    We agree with the Regional Homelessness Task force that homelessness is also a growing issue in suburban and rural areas of Metro Vancouver, which is why will also conduct a province-wide homeless count and commit to reduce the homeless population through permanent housing and services as part of our action plan on housing.

    In addition to our housing commitments, our poverty reduction strategy and other initiatives such as enhanced supports for children out of care are part of a larger, systemic approach to reducing homelessness in BC.

  • Building Better Transit


    If elected, what specifically will your party do to help TransLink and the Mayors' Council deliver Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision for Transit and Transportation in Metro Vancouver, and how quickly do you foresee Phase Two proceeding?

    Gridlock is costing our economy over a billion dollars a year. We need to get people and goods out of gridlock and moving again. Metro Vancouver has a growing population. It’s time for a transportation system that grows with us. We’ll build projects we need and create reliable long-term funding models.

    We will support the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation. We have committed to funding 40 per cent of the capital costs of every phase of the plan, in partnership with all levels of government. The plan is essential to growing the region, breaking traffic gridlock, and will create thousands of jobs and fuel economic growth.

    This means important projects like the Broadway SkyTrain, rapid transit in Surrey, replacing the Pattullo bridge, and adding essential bus service and improving road networks will all go forward.


  • Protecting the Environment


    If elected, will your party commit to working with Metro Vancouver and industry to expand provincial EPR programs to include mattresses, furniture, and other large, bulky items by 2018?

    A BC NDP government would build stronger relationships with municipalities and work with them on shared areas of concern, including issues such as recycling regulations.


  • Working with Metro Vancouver


    If elected, will your party be willing to strike an ad-hoc Committee comprising members of Cabinet and elected officials from Metro Vancouver that would meet regularly to discuss issues of common concern?

    British Columbians are tired of the BC Liberal government pointing fingers at communities instead of working to get things done. A BC NDP government will renew the province’s relationship with municipalities, working together for our shared goals instead of blaming communities for problems, that will include more open and inclusive dialogue about issues of shared concern.


    If elected, how will your party commit to providing long-term, sustainable funding to Metro Vancouver for large capital projects such as upgrades to the Lions Gate and Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plants, which under federal regulation must be completed by 2020 and 2030 respectively and that combined will cost in excess of $1.7 billion?

    We are committed to working with the region and with local mayors to find long term solutions to funding critical infrastructure projects. For transit and transportation, we have already committed to providing 40% of the capital funding for the Mayor Council's 10 year plan. Over the long term, we will sit down with Mayors to find fair and equitable solutions for infrastructure funding. We will also work with local governments to achieve funding partnerships with the federal government. With the federal government finally stepping up to the plate with infrastructure dollars, now is the time to work together to improve our cities, towns, and communities. We are committed to working together with local governments, not fighting against them like Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have done for 16 years.


    If elected, will your party commit to supporting changes to the Home Owner Grant program that provide a fairer and more equitable property taxation system in BC, and if so, how?

    The BC NDP has no current plans to change the Home Owner Grant program. But we do believe that renters deserve a break too. That is why our platform proposes a $400 renter's rebate to make life more affordable for renters and to help families manage the high cost of housing and rent in today’s market. If we form the next government, we would sit down with Metro Vancouver mayors and work collaboratively to ensure that the homeowner grant program and associated taxes are fair and equitable for everyone in the region.