Province pushes through controversial Arbutus project to circumvent court challenge
The province is for the first time using legislation to push through a controversial supportive housing development in Vancouver’s Kitsilano area and circumvent a court challenge by a neighbourhood group.
It’s a sign that Premier David Eby has lost patience with so-called NIMBYs who he says use every excuse possible to oppose desperately needed housing projects. And it likely won’t be the last time the province uses its legislative hammer to force through housing.
Residents leading the opposition to the Arbutus project and another development in Kitsilano say it sets a “scary” and undemocratic precedent.
Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon cited the long delays facing the supportive housing development on Arbutus Street — which will provide permanent housing for 129 people without homes — as justification for Bill-26, introduced Tuesday morning. Vancouver council under Mayor Ken Sim asked the B.C. government to intervene to prevent the project from being derailed by a court challenge from community group Kitsilano Coalition, which has opposed the project at every step.
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