Saanich firefighters survey damage to a tent in Regina Park after a fire broke out Sept. 1 in one of B.C.’s largest tent camps of 2018. (Kristyn Anthony/Black Press)

Housing Minister Selina Robinson touts B.C. government housing programs

Municipal leaders cheer new infrastructure funds

Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson congratulated local politicians Wednesday for their “bold moves” to accept modular housing for homeless people in less than half the time promised by her NDP government.

The NDP election promise of 2,000 modular housing units was delivered in less than half of the two years allowed for it, Robinson told delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler. She congratulated them for standing up to public push-back in the 22 communities that accepted the effort to eliminate “tent cities” popping up in urban areas.

Speaking to reporters after her speech, Robinson said the acceptance of transition housing has improved as communities have seen it is effective, with “wrap-around supports” to help overcome the disorder of people living on the street. She said the program got 200 people off the streets in the Whalley strip in Surrey and other locations with persistent camping.

Robinson got a standing ovation with the announcement of two new federal-provincial infrastructure funds. The $95 million rural and northern communities fund will cover up to 100 per cent of costs for approved projects in communities with fewer than 5,000 people, for things like broadband internet, local transit and Indigenous health and education facilities.

Another $134 million goes toward a community, culture and recreation fund, with approvals to be announced in late 2019. Robinson advised delegates to “go home and get busy” applying for the funds.

She also announced that land has been purchased for a new 50-unit rental housing project for Grand Forks, which was hit hard by flooding last spring. That’s in addition to a 50-unit project for homeless people in the community, with meals and other supports such as employment and skills training.

Robinson received polite applause when reminded delegates that her government moved to get “big money” out of local politics. The NDP government passed legislation to ban corporate and union donations to local politicians and capped individual donations at $1,200, in time for province-wide local elections in October.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Parksville council won’t ban single-use plastic bags

Politicians vote 6-1 against proposed bylaw

History: The architectural legacy of Sam Little

Designs leave legacy in Qualicum Beach, other Island locales

Qualicum Beach doles out Community Awards

Jacobson is Citizen of the Year; new mayor Wiese named top newsmaker

Finalists announced for annual Business Achievement Awards

Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce honours individuals, businesses

Parksville artist aims to produce zero waste with creations, business

Margie Preninger even dabbled with dryer lint years ago

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Most Read