Horgan says Wilkinson pledge to axe speculation tax would lead to skyrocketing housing prices

NDP Leader John Horgan on Friday said a re-elected BC NDP government will build on the progress they have made to put the brakes on skyrocketing housing prices and build thousands more affordable rental units. 

The NDP noted that B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson had doubled down on his plan give a tax break to developers and speculators.

“Lack of affordable housing for people is one of the biggest challenges we face in our province — and it’s been years in the making,” said Horgan. “We’re seeing signs of progress, but we know people are still struggling. Helping make rent more affordable and giving more British Columbians a path to home ownership will be among my top priorities in the years ahead.”

Horgan was joined in the Tri-Cities by Selina Robinson, BC NDP candidate in Coquitlam-Maillardville, who warned that Wilkinson would cancel the successful speculation tax — driving up housing prices and rent. She said axing the speculation tax would turn 11,000 new rental units back into empty condos and hand wealthy real estate speculators $80 million a year that is now being used to build affordable housing. 

“BC Liberals created the housing crisis by putting wealthy speculators and big developers ahead of people for 16 years,” said Robinson. “Now Andrew Wilkinson wants to reverse the progress we’ve made and hand people with multimillion dollar homes a big tax giveaway while making housing less affordable for the rest of us. That’s a risk we can’t afford — especially not right now.” 

The NDP said that under Horgan’s leadership, BC has capped rent increases to inflation and has almost as much affordable housing complete or underway in the last two years than the BC Liberals built in the entire decade and a half they were in government. Just two years into the BC NDP’s 10 year plan, 25,000 affordable homes are complete or underway in 90 communities across the province.