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B.C.’s latest housing session comes to a close with new legislation, opposition complaints

The B.C. government has ended the latest legislative session in Victoria with a slew of new legislation intended to increase housing.

But that has also come with a slew of opposition complaints, with some claiming the housing supply bills have been rushed without adequate feedback.

Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon was unapologetic Thursday about the content or the timing of the bills.

“What people have clearly said to us is, it’s time to stop talking and we need those solid actions in our communities to get the housing crisis addressed. That’s what we’ve done in this legislative session,” he said.

He says the housing supply legislation passed this session is anchored in a review with local governments from 2019, adding he’s been talking about this since spring — when he claims he made it clear these measures were coming.

“We did a development approval review with local governments. The foundations of a lot of the legislation we brought in actually started then, so we’ve been talking about this issue — about how we address housing — for a long time,” Kahlon explained.

“Two months ago, the question the opposition was asking was: where’s the housing legislation? Now they’re saying there’s too much housing legislation and if we’d postponed to the spring they’d have said, ‘Oh it’s just for the election.’ There’s no pleasing the opposition, that is not our goal here.”

Ultimately, BC United Leader Kevin Falcon says the government will need to show results, especially heading into an election next fall.

“So, at some point, the government has to be held accountable for results and I hope that the public and the media will think about that,” he said.

According to Falcon, people will need to answer whether life is better in B.C. now than when the Liberals were in power.

“When we ask that question, I have no doubt what the answer is going to be,” he added. “The answer is going to be, no, it isn’t, and our job is going to be to make sure that we’ve got a credible plan to fix B.C.”

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