Cartoon draws attention to Liberal housing plan

Now is the time to adopt a provincewide comprehensive housing strategy to prevent the contagion of unaffordable housing to spread

There are times when a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

The cartoon by I. Rice, “ Oh what a difference a year before an election makes,” in the July 29 edition,  exposes just how out-of-touch, cynical, ill-thought-out, and cosmetic the BC Liberal’s pre-election housing tax ploy is.

As we approach the fourth and final year of Premier Christy Clark’s regime, hurried, incoherent policies appear to be the order of the day.

For example, rather than formulate a comprehensive provincial anti-poverty strategy – such as exists in every other province – our provincial housing minister staggers from stating that social housing advocates in Vancouver are “whiners”, to using millions of dollars on crisis action triggered by the politically embarrassing pre-election Victoria court house encampment.

Waiting until the fourth and final year of her regime, Premier Photo-Op has made token, inconsistent housing taxation policies that apply only in Metro Vancouver despite the fact that housing affordability is an issue as far up the Fraser Valley as Chilliwack; here in Greater Victoria; in the Squamish-Whistler-Pemberton corridor, and in Okanagan centres such as Kelowna.

It is a tragic pattern that reflects the inadequate missteps of an out of-touch, incompetent government sticking its finger in a dike while a tsunami of speculation, money laundering and real estate flipping will destroy the hopes of hardworking British Columbians – particularly a whole younger generation – who will never be able to afford a place of their own. Those who must, or choose to, rent are equally victimized by ever-rising rents.

The proposed 15 per cent tax on foreign purchasers of property in Metro Vancouver will not deter a foreign money launderer who would view such a meagre tax as a simple cost of doing his nefarious business.  American buyers, whose dollar is at least 25 per cent above the Canadian dollar,  will still see a benefit to purchasing a Victoria condo for a brief annual holiday in Victoria – all the while waiting to cash in when Victoria condo prices approach those of their Vancouver counterparts.

Now is the time to adopt a provincewide comprehensive housing strategy to prevent the contagion of unaffordable housing to spread in a province blessed with forests, underutilized saw mills and unemployed workers. Poverty in the midst of plenty is a man-made, not a God-ordained condition.

As Gandhi said, “We have enough resources for every man’s need – but not every man’s greed.” We desperately need a new government that understands that affordable housing for all is a possible future for all who work by hand and brain to contribute to our common good.

Ron Faris





Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read