WHISTLER, B.C. — British Columbia’s Liberal leader says more supply is the answer to the province’s housing affordability crisis, while one local leader says urgent action is also needed.

Opposition leader Kevin Falcon says a Liberal government under his leadership would increase supply as a way to help first-time buyers. 

He says he would also back “direct” supports for renters, but he hasn’t “fleshed out” exactly how that would look.

Falcon made the comments after addressing the Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention in Whistler, B.C., where he said the province is also facing emergencies in health care, mental health and addictions. 

When it comes to climate change, however, Falcon says it’s not the government’s role to solve that crisis but to support the technology sector in taking the lead through innovation.

Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday, who introduced two motions on housing at the convention aimed at increasing affordability, says supply should be part of the solution but shorter-term strategies are also needed. 

He says the cost of renting a vacant two-bedroom apartment in Victoria rose 34 per cent in the past year, and called for the B.C. government to explore a policy to limit rent increases between tenancies.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2022.

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