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Simons: New real estate tax is no help outside Vancouver

Simons: New real estate tax is no help outside Vancouver

simons chAfter denying –and even trying to mock the Official Opposition’s concerns about the crisis in housing affordability and availability– the current government must have read the headlines and realized they were the only ones with their heads in the sand.  They recalled the legislature to reverse their position –but as Opposition Leader John Horgan said, the summer is a good time for flip-flops.  A new 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers (not capital) in Vancouver, the end of self-regulation for the real estate industry, and an optional vacancy tax for Vancouver only, were this government’s solutions –very small steps towards the right direction but with potential downside to the Sunshine Coast.

The housing crisis on the Sunshine Coast was on full display with the story of a constituent named Doris who was living in her car.  Once my office was made aware of the situation, Kim contacted the Minister’s office who sent BC Housing out to try to find a resolution.  People have been living in our campgrounds, in cars, and in the forests off the beaten track in larger numbers than ever before and our homelessness outreach coordinator is dealing with an overflowing caseload.  Investing in affordable housing and regulating short-term rentals may be part of the solution –a date for a meeting to discuss these issues and possible solutions will be announced.

Our current government’s direction to Vancouver Coastal Health to turn the care of our seniors and long-term care residents into a “for-profit” enterprise is a betrayal of the residents, workers and community alike.  The level of care for seniors may stay the same in theory, but stories of cut corners, short-staffing, poor food and lack of accountability from the big corporations is a serious problem.  Dedicated workers who contribute significantly to our communities in so many ways are going to lose their jobs –with meek assurances that they will be given an interview with the new provider.  The same thing was promised the last time Vancouver Coastal Health flipped contracts, and 17 workers on the Sunshine Coast lost their jobs.

To contact me please call Kim in Davis Bay at 604 741 0792 or email me at  I hope everyone is finding time to enjoy this beautiful summer

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