British Columbia

Andrew Weaver to put forward Green Party housing policy recommendations

Weaver, whose party holds the balance of power in the legislature, has recently called for a foreign ownership ban in B.C. similar to the one in New Zealand.

Vancouver Green Coun. Adriane Carr called for new housing policies for the city Tuesday

Elected members of the B.C. Green Party, from left, MLA Sonia Furstenau, party leader Andrew Weaver and MLA Adam Olsen. The party said in a release it would put forward housing policy ideas for the province Wednesday morning in Vancouver. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

The day after his City of Vancouver counterpart called for action on the file, B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver says he will outline his party's ideas for improving housing affordability in the province Wednesday.

Weaver, whose party holds the balance of power in the legislature, did not elaborate on his announcement in a release sent to media. He is scheduled to speak in Vancouver at the Creekside Community Centre at 11:30 a.m. PT.

However, he has recently called for a foreign ownership ban in B.C. similar to the one in New Zealand and his party's 2017 campaign platform called for "measures to eliminate money laundering and property speculation" as well as more support for affordable rental units and for more construction of affordable homes.

Premier John Horgan has said his government will reveal new housing policies in the February budget.

Finance Minister Carole James has said a foreign ownership ban is "not being considered."

'Supply alone is not going to solve our problems'

The lone Green Party councillor in Vancouver called for new housing policies of her own Tuesday.

In a release, Adriane Carr says she has tabled a notice of a motion calling on the provincial government to restrict foreign buyers in the city and to tax flipping and speculation that she says is driving up the cost of home ownership.

"We hear so much about how the way you tackle housing affordability is supply, supply, supply," she said.

"Supply alone is not going to solve our problems in Vancouver because we simply cannot supply enough to meet the demands of a global market."

She says the proceeds of such a tax could be used to provide social and supportive housing or to retrofit older buildings for energy efficiency.

Carr said she didn't know if her motion would mirror what Weaver will put forward Wednesday, but said his party discussed policy ideas with her.

"Some of the things I'm calling for ... I think they are incorporating them," she said. "I believe they've got broader measures and more measures."

Carr says her motion will be discussed and voted on on Feb. 20.

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