Tuesday, October 25, 2022

North Coast MLA speaks towards Rental increases and Prince Rupert housing initiatives in Legislature session

Rental caps made for the focus for debate Monday at the BC Legislature

Housing was the theme of the tail end of the Monday morning session in the British Columbia Legislature, with MLA's speaking on the topic of private members bill from MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert in support of holding to only a 2 percent allowable rent increase for 2023.

For North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, the opportunity to take to the topic allowed for support for the motion while also making note of some of the recent housing initiatives that have taken place in Prince Rupert.

On the cap on rents, the MLA held to the NDP policy themes on global inflation and how the rent cap would assist renters during this period of rising costs.

I'm happy today to rise to my colleague's motion that this House support holding the annual allowable rent increase for 2023 at 2 percent. We all know that global inflation is making life more expensive around the world.

In fact, British Columbians have seen costs go up from the grocery store to the gas pump, and household budgets are being stretched.

British Columbians need a break, and we're focused on helping families make ends meet by capping rent increases below inflation, at 2 percent. Capping rent increases below inflation, to 2 percent, will provide significant savings for renters — more than $800 for a renter paying $2,000 a month in rent. 

We're focused on helping the 1½ million renters in B.C. by capping rent increases below inflation at 2 percent. Capping rent increases below inflation to 2 percent will provide significant savings for renters — more than $800 for a renter paying $2,000 a month in rent. 

We're focused on helping the 1.5 million renters in B.C. through this challenging period of global inflation. This, along with other new supports, is our government's next step in helping people with the current cost-of-living challenges we're facing due to global inflation. These measures are significant and targeted. 

They allow us to provide the most help to those that need it most. We've been reducing costs for people since 2017, when we formed government. We're going to continue to find even more ways to help people with costs so that British Columbians have the help they need today while building for a more secure future.

Part of her prevention to the Legislature, served to revisit some familiar themes for the MLA on the Liberal times in government and in this case how she viewed their time in office of one of neglect on housing.

In 2018, the province capped annual rent increases to inflation, saving renters hundreds of dollars a year. Prior to that, rent increased at inflation plus an additional 2 percent under the B.C. Liberal government. 

So, for example, an average rent for a one-bedroom apartment per month in October of 2022, let's say — the increase per month under the B.C. Liberal formula, which was inflation plus 2 percent, would look at a total increase of 9.7 percent per month. 

The increase under our government is 2 percent. 

This is a stark contrast in how our various parties treat renters in British Columbia. 

For 16 years, the B.C. Liberals refused to act while housing prices soared out of reach, vacancy rates hit historic lows and rental rates became unaffordable. They would double down on the bad choices that created these problems if given the chance. We've had more housing complete or underway in three years than that side of the House built in 16 years. 

They refused to build affordable housing, allowed massive rent increases and let dirty money and speculation drive up real estate costs. 

And Homelessness tripled. They have opposed nearly every major action we've taken to support renters and would have cost renters hundreds of dollars more per year.

We've taken action to support renters, such as capping rent increases to inflation and freezing rents during the pandemic. We put protections in place around fixed-term leases and renovictions. The speculation tax and tax on homes are proving to work. We're actually taking that funding and putting it into more affordable housing. 

We put in an eviction ban during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have to keep moving forward, because that side of the House would take us backwards. 

Our government is working to make housing more affordable for everyone, implementing an ambitious 30-point housing plan to tackle the housing crisis and make the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C. history — more than $7 billion over ten years to build 114,000 affordable homes so that all British Columbians can find an affordable place to live.

Ms. Rice also provided an update for Members on the pace of housing for the North Coast in recent hears, listing off some of the projects that have been completed or in some cases are still in development.

I also just wanted to mention that since we've been government, we have completed or have underway numerous housing projects within my riding of North Coast. 

We have the Crow's Nest supportive housing completed — 36 beds. 

Lax Kw'alaams has eight beds built for seniors and ten beds for low-income individuals and families. 

The Cedar Village — we saw it to completion. It's independent seniors' housing for 32 people. 

The Crane's Crossing — 35 beds shelter. 45 new supportive housing units coming into effect. 

The Harbour View — 30 for low-income individuals and families.

The BC Liberals challenged some of the NDP themes on Housing during the course of the debate, observing that while the NDP government speaks to helping residents, but doesn't follow through on what they say they plan to do. 

The Liberal side of the house also noted how the Finance Minister and Housing Minister don't always seem to be on the same page.

The Rental debate starts at just after 11AM.

The full account of her participation in the Monday session can be reviewed through the Legislature Archive page, or from the Video Archive for Monday morning's Legislature session.

The MLA's contribution to the discussion starts at the 11:15AM mark

You can revisit some of the housing developments noted by the MLA through our Housing archive page here.

More items of note from the Legislature can be reviewed through our Legislature Archive.


  1. Nice try MLA Rice, homelessness among other social issues have grown exponentially in Prince Rupert in the past four years.

    Overdoses - 58% increase in the last four years
    First Responder call outs - 29% increase in the last four years
    Homelessness - 68% increase in the last four years
    Violent Crime Severity Index - 288.9 in 2020, the highest ever recorded

    Sources -




    "We've been reducing costs for people since 2017, when we formed government. "

    Are you sure about that?


  2. Why does this government continue to punish property owners? Inflation doesn't just affect renters, it affects landlords too.

    The NDP promised 114,000 affordable housing units yet they've done almost nothing in this riding. They've helped create temporary, transitional housing by buying up hotels across the province, but we have much less available housing here than there was in 2017 when they assumed control of the government. Cedar Village was a BC Liberal initiative which is why Metlakatla invited Rich Coleman here for its opening.

    When are people going to wake up and realize that Jen Rice is spoon feeding them a whole bunch of rhetoric? Same old prepared statements about 16 years of bad BC Liberal governments, making life more affordable, blah, blah, blah. I agree with the above poster. Reducing costs since 2017? Gimme a break! Life is not more affordable. You can't tax your way to affordability.