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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

GREG KYLO – Sadly, young people today are being shut out of the housing market no matter where they go in BC

 


The new year is a time of review and reflection for many of us, both in our personal lives and in our outlook as a province. It is a time when we can check the economic trends and understand whether BC is going in the right direction; if life is becoming more affordable, or if we desperately need to change course.

 

One of the greatest gauges of the economic health and livability of our province is housing affordability and people’s ability to purchase a home so they can live and work in BC.


Unfortunately, the latest property assessments are continuing a worrying trend in our province: BC is becoming one of the most unaffordable places to live in Canada, if not the world. The latest notices from BC Assessment reveal that housing prices have once again skyrocketed compared to last year, with headline increases in places like Chilliwack (40%), Langley (39%), Abbotsford (38%), Port Coquitlam
(35%), and Squamish (31%).

 

But this is not a problem that is just confined to Vancouver and our major urban areas. These high prices are spreading to the rest of the market. Even Salmon Arm’s properties are up 34% in this latest assessment.


Traditionally, the Shuswap has been such an appealing place for young British Columbians to move to because they could escape the astronomical housing prices of Vancouver by purchasing a home, working, and building their lives here in the Interior. Sadly, young people today are being shut out of the housing market no matter where they go in BC.

 

Year over year, the current government has broken its promise to curb the monumental rise in housing prices or bring more affordable housing to the market. The dream of home ownership is slipping away from more and more British Columbians every year, and this government doesn’t seem to have a plan or really seem to care.


I don’t want to see the Shuswap become an unaffordable place to live. It’s time this government addressed this crisis and brought forward a real plan that will allow British Columbians to own their homes one day and build their lives in the parts of this province we all love so much.

Greg Kylo … is the MLA for the Shuswap riding and is a member of the BC Liberal caucus.

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