Expansion of Speculation and Vacancy Tax is a good step, but the time is past for incrementalism


For immediate release


July 20, 2022


VICTORIA, B.C. – Today, the BC NDP announced the Speculation and Vacancy Tax will be expanded to six additional communities in British Columbia. The BC Green Caucus has issued the following statement:


“I am pleased to see an expansion of the Speculation and Vacancy Tax as B.C. struggles with the intensifying housing crisis,” said Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley. “Addressing this crisis requires a variety of policies targeted at both supply and demand, and the data on the impact of this tax so far is encouraging.”


“In February, my colleague Sonia Furstenau and I wrote to the Minister requesting an expansion of the Speculation and Vacancy Tax to areas in our ridings,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. “It is good to see some of these areas covered by the tax expansion today, but I am deeply disappointed that the Southern Gulf Islands were not included. I will be reaching out to the Minister to find out what the rationale was for the exclusion.”


“That said, this tax is not a silver bullet; we need to increase supply (especially of non-profit and co-op housing), encourage municipalities to enact density zoning, and more,” MLA Furstenau continued. “I would also like to see the government rein in the activities of Real Estate Investment Trusts, which are corporatizing housing to the detriment of the public.


“Housing is a human right; the Attorney General and candidate for leadership of the BC NDP said he agrees with this principle in Question Period last year. I would like to see our government’s actions reflect those words. We need bold action, not incrementalism, to address a crisis.”


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Media contact JoJo Beattie

Press Secretary B.C. Green Caucus +1 250-882-6187 | jojo.beattie@leg.bc.ca