Over the last week, our government met with local leaders from communities across B.C. We’re committed to making your life more affordable and improving the services you count on while creating good jobs and building a sustainable economy. And we’re working with in partnership with local governments to make it happen.
For too long, provincial governments have failed to listen to concerns from community leaders, and failed to give them the tools they need to help our communities thrive. Local governments are on the front lines of big challenges facing people in our province, like wildfires, climate change, the overdose crisis and housing, and they need our support. We’re listening, finding solutions, and responding to urgent crisis.
To get people moving, we’ve cancelled tolls and we’re making smart investments in transit and transportation. We’re also working to strengthen traditional industries like forestry and mining, and encouraging growth in the technology and innovation sector, while tackling the challenges of climate change and protecting B.C.’s environment. As part of that, we’re supporting community bids for the new Amazon HQ, and working to make sure that every community in BC has a chance to be a part of the emerging economy.
We’re taking concrete action to save lives and deliver support to the front lines of the overdose crisis, focussing on public awareness, harm reduction, outreach, enforcement and help for people who need it the most. People are losing their loved ones. Families, communities, and front-line workers are carrying an enormous load and it’s time to give them the support they need.
We’re helping wildfire affected communities with significant and long-term support for recovery. The wildfires carry a tremendous cost. 1.2 million hectares has burned, an area 4 times the size of Metro Vancouver. It has a devastating loss for local economies and our communities. It will take time to rebuild. That work has started, and we will be there for communities every step of the way, so that they come back even stronger than before.
Our government has also stepped-up the delivery of safe, affordable housing for people, including the construction of 2,000 modular housing and new units of rental housing across the province. The housing crisis affects people of all incomes, in all communities. Families are spending more and more money on a safe place to live, with runaway housing costs, and near zero vacancy rates. Working people have been force forced to leave their communities because the prices are too high.
For many years, local governments have looked to the province for leadership, and for many years, the province did not meet its obligations. Our government is making different choices. We’re ready to work with municipalities and the federal government to create housing for people.
After years and neglect, we need to come together with all levels of government to support communities, create good jobs in every part of our province, and help people when they need it most. Our government is getting to work building a better B.C., and we’re working with local governments to get it done.