British Columbia

Trudeau reannounces budget measures around housing crunch in B.C.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to make several appearances in B.C. Monday, one to reannounce plans to support housing affordability and another to campaign with a byelection candidate on Vancouver Island.

Prime minister capping off B.C. visit with housing, byelection announcements

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with first-time homebuyers in Pitt Meadows, B.C. on Monday. (Yvette Brend/CBC)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to make several appearances in B.C. Monday — one to reannounce plans to support housing affordability in the Fraser Valley and another to campaign with a byelection candidate on Vancouver Island.

Trudeau reannounced federal budget measures to help homebuyers in Maple Ridge, where tensions around a homeless encampment known as Anita Place have risen in recent weeks with destructive fires and eviction notices creating a back and forth between residents, the city and the province.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the federal budget last week, which included $1.25 billion in spending over three years on a shared-equity mortgage program for first-time home buyers. There was also a rise in RRSP withdrawal limits for first-time buyers from $25,000 to $35,000.

As for the crisis in Maple Ridge, Trudeau said, "It's not for the federal government to determine what is best for a particular neighbourhood or community," but to support and partner with local governments in their decisions instead.

Later Monday, the prime minister will be in Nanaimo for an appearance with byelection candidate Michelle Corfield, who is hoping to be elected May 6.

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding was formerly held by NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson. She resigned in January to run in a provincial byelection in the Nanaimo riding — a vote she won.

The appearance will cap the prime minister's visit to B.C. before he flies to Winnipeg for a fundraising event Monday night.

On Sunday, he was in Vancouver at a nomination event for former TV anchor Tamara Taggart, who is running in the Vancouver Kingsway riding.

The B.C. visit comes at a time when support for the Liberals has taken a hit amid allegations that the Prime Minister's Office pressured the former attorney general over a prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. The allegations, combined with resignations of two high-profile cabinet ministers, have tested the prime minister's popularity as he heads into an election this fall.

With files from the Canadian Press

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