Douglas Todd: B.C. desperately needs Ottawa to tie immigration levels to housing
Wherever B.C. Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon has gone this year, he has urged the federal Liberals to connect their record-high immigration levels to housing in Canada.
Last week, hundreds of B.C. mayors and municipal councillors heard exactly why Ottawa’s failure to do so is causing them grief when it comes to providing adequate infrastructure, particularly affordable housing, but also schools, health-care facilities and daycares.
Delegates to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention heard the country’s record population growth last year of one million was 96 per cent from offshore arrivals. Forty per cent of those newcomers were permanent residents and 60 per cent were temporary residents, especially foreign students.
The flood of foreign nationals is creating unprecedented demand for homes, which is pushing up rents and housing prices, which are among the highest in the world in cities like Vancouver and Toronto.
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