Pressure building against NDP’s blank housing legislation: BC Liberals

BC Liberal Housing Critic Mike Bernier on Monday called for government to wait for the release of the final BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) report on the proposed cooling-off period before continuing debate on the NDP’s Bill 12, the Property Law Amendment Act, 2022.

“The NDP’s proposed legislation is nothing more than an empty shell, making it impossible to have a real discussion about it,” said Bernier. “Bill 12 lays out no timelines or details for the cooling-off period, but instead allows the NDP Cabinet to dictate the substance of the bill behind closed doors by regulation. Not only is this an insult to the parliamentary process, but it is also yet another example of this government’s worsening transparency problem. There is simply no way we can debate or vote on this bill until the Minister of Finance provides more information.”

He noted that the finance minister has claimed that the BCFSA report will inform the design of the Bill 12’s regulations but is asking MLAs to vote on that legislation before the report becomes public. In order to allow MLAs to properly look out for the interests of British Columbians, Bernier tabled an amendment, asking the house to pause debate on Bill 12 until the report is released.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous that the NDP are asking opposition MLAs to vote on major interventions in the housing market without even knowing what they are yet, especially when we’ve heard concerns from industry experts that a cooling-off period could actually worsen affordability,” said Bernier. “Housing affordability is one of the biggest issues facing people today, and we cannot make decisions experts say could dramatically impact prices without the opportunity for a real debate. The NDP pushing this bill through with so little information shows they either have no idea what they are doing or are too ashamed to let their decisions be debated in public.”