On Thursday morning, Pierre Poilievre held a press conference in the city, wherein he outlined his plan to solve the crisis while also putting the Trudeau government's policies regarding housing on blast. The Conservative Party leader vowed to enact policies that encourage construction, penalize NIMBYism, and ensure that land is being used to its full potential.
"I'm here to address the housing hell that Justin Trudeau and the NDP have unleashed on Vancouver and on all of Canada," Poilievre began, slamming the federal government for allowing housing costs, rent, and mortgage payments to double over the past eight years.
He then announced that he would be introducing the Building Homes Not Bureaucracy Act in the House of Commons on Monday.
Under the act, cities will have to permit 15 percent more home building per year or lose a proportionate amount of federal grants. Those who go above and beyond will receive a "building bonus."
The federal government will also have to sell off 15 percent of its buildings and thousands of acres of federal land that will then be repurposed for housing.
The act will also require the construction of high-density housing next to transit stations.
"Look at this appalling scene behind me today," Poilievre said, pointing to the terminus of Vancouver's Millennium Line. "What do you see here? You see a transit station. Where's the housing?"
The former housing minister questioned why Canada was spending billions on transit stations while failing to provide anywhere for riders to live. He explained that his bill would ensure that funding for transit would be tied to the construction of high-rise apartments next door.
"That's good for the environment!" he said. "Folks can jump on transit ... instead of having to drive a car."
Poilievre went on to explain that his bill includes a "NIMBYism penalty" for municipalities that block new housing development, and bonuses for those that approve more than expected.
To mitigate the extent to which bureaucrats can slow down construction, the act also mandates pay cuts for those who fail to meet their approval targets.
Many cities across Canada lack affordable housing. The bill aims to fix that problem by doing away with the goods and services tax (GST) on new developments on properties where the rent is below market average.
Vancouver has the third most unaffordable housing market in the world, worse than Singapore, London, and even New York City. As a result, tent cities have popped up everywhere, and many young people feel as though they will never be able to buy a home.
Across Canada, the number of dwellings being built has declined, with fewer under construction these days than in the 1970s, a time when the country's population was much smaller.
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