Weekly update from MLA/Minister Conroy

Katrine Conroy
By Katrine Conroy
February 21st, 2024

The BC Legislature resumed Feb. 20 with a Speech from the Throne that outlines our commitments for the fall session. The 2024 Budget will be announced on February 22. Our government has taken on some of the biggest challenges facing British Columbians, like childcare, housing, and healthcare. We will continue to add important pieces to our integrated plan to make life more affordable everyone.

We know that the cost of housing is one of the biggest challenges people face to building a good life here in B.C. It’s something I hear about from constituents often, and I know my colleagues across the province hear the same. Even for middle-income earners, housing is expensive or out of reach, and it’s pushing good people out of our communities.

That’s why this week we announced our government’s BC Builds initiative, which will help get more housing built, quicker, and at a lower cost, so more people in B.C. can find the housing they need. This initiative is being financed by our New Democrat government, with the work spearheaded by BC Housing.

Homes created through this initiative will be purpose-built to provide rental housing and options at market or below-market rates for lower and middle-income earners. Many of these homes will be two- to four-bedrooms to be more accessible options for families and those who are hoping to start a family.

BC Builds is part of our comprehensive Homes for BC plan which launched last spring with the goal of creating historic levels of new housing, faster, including affordable and below-market housing. This plan includes actions we took in the fall to speed up the creation of housing in B.C., including reining in short-term rentals, turning land near transit hubs into housing, increasing small-scale-multi-unit homes, and addressing restrictive zoning rules, with more work underway and to come.

Learn more about our BC Builds initiative at https://www.bcbuildshomes.ca/

New compensation model connects more people to primary care
Last year, we committed to rethink the way we deliver primary care. In the first year of the new payment model, we’ve seen more family doctors register in B.C. We have lots more work still to do, and we’re working to improve access to care for everyone.

B.C. Family Day offers fun-filled free events
People all over B.C. are planning to celebrate Family Day with a special activity. It’s important British Columbians have a great selection of inclusive, meaningful experiences in their communities where cost is not a barrier. Families throughout B.C. will have access to free activities from Feb. 16-19 in their communities to celebrate and spend time with loved ones.

Province strengthens sport opportunities for youth
We recognize hosting the BC Games is a significant undertaking that has become more challenging with rising costs and the economy. The BC Games Society has been greatly affected by rising costs in transportation, accommodation and food. We’re providing $2 million in one-time funding to ensure the BC Games remain affordable for all participants.

$29 million legal aid expansion for people experiencing family violence
When someone is fleeing family violence, they are often experiencing the worst trauma of their lives. With these changes, we are taking action to further improve services and better support people leaving dangerous situations. More people will soon have a historic level of access to legal aid services, including legal representation through a new family law clinic model and a significant expansion of legal aid eligibility criteria.

Funding available to organizations targeted by hate, violence
There is no place for hate in British Columbia. We’re supporting community organizations that have experienced or are at risk of experiencing hate-motivated crimes with assistance for enhanced security measures and repairs. Our government staunchly opposes those seeking to create divisions in our communities and stands firm in our support for these organizations.

B.C. boosts wildfire-fighting fleet, equipment
We’re reminded of last year’s devastating wildfires and the impact they had on people and communities around B.C. We’re taking action by upgrading and expanding B.C.’s firefighting aviation and ground fleet, as well as equipment for ground crews. By increasing our resources on the ground and in the air, we will have a greater ability to respond to wildfires when and where they happen.

Province updates act to prioritize affordability, clean energy
With costs rising at rates that are unsustainable for many people, we are focused on keeping the cost of clean electricity as low as possible. Affordable, stable BC Hydro rates are good for households, businesses and climate as we work together to power B.C.’s growing economy with clean energy instead of fossil fuels. We’re updating B.C.’s energy objectives in the Clean Energy Act to help ensure that people and businesses continue to have access to affordable, clean electricity needed to power a growing economy, while reducing carbon pollution.

My community office is open this Tuesday to Thursday 10am – 3pm. To ensure Angelika or Sarah are available please contact in advance to set up an appointment. The office can be reached at 250-304-2783 or Katrine.Conroy.MLA@leg.bc.ca.

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Categories: GeneralOp/EdPolitics