Chilliwack-Hope MLA – “Don’t Expect The Province To Fix The Problem Of Vancouver Housing To Be More Affordable”

Victoria/Fraser Valley (With files from News1130)– Stop expecting the provincial government to make Vancouver housing more affordable and move to where you can buy a home.

That’s the blunt message from coming Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laruie Throness (this ahead of the BC’s budget).

Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness

The issue came up during debate in the Legislature on the Liberal government’s announcement of $355-million to support affordable housing in the province.

Laurie Throness says land is finite in Vancouver and there isn’t a government program which can change the basic structure of the market there. He says he couldn’t afford to live in Vancouver. “There’s nothing wrong with that. I didn’t go to the papers. I didn’t complain to the government. I didn’t complain to the opposition. I didn’t go to the Human Rights Tribunal, Mr. Speaker. I bought in Abbotsford.”

He thinks if more people were like him and moved out of Metro Vancouver, the jobs will follow. “Companies are going to move to locations that will accommodate their employees and it won’t require a government program to do that.”

Something similar was said by the premier last year when she suggested moving to Fort St. John where prices are more affordable.

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz says they’re noticing interest increasing. “I’m hearing anecdotally from realtors that we are seeing an increase in migration, but we won’t know that for sure until our studies are actually done and that will be at the end of 2016.”

Sharon Gaetz

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz

She says there are jobs in Chilliwack to support people once they move.

The province has alluded to something in the budget to help first time home buyers, but experts say something like a tax break will do little to improve affordability.

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