BC Liberal leader candidate Andrew Wilkinson in Prince Rupert on Jan. 4. (Shannon Lough/The Northern View)

BC Liberal leader candidate Andrew Wilkinson in Prince Rupert on Jan. 4. (Shannon Lough/The Northern View)

In Our Opinion: Big spending programs

BC Liberal leader hopeful Andrew Wilkinson doesn’t have a clear response for the housing crisis

A politician who plans to be the future leader of the BC Liberals said he doesn’t want to spend money on programs that don’t generate revenue.

Andrew Wilkinson is all about creating opportunity to invite the private sector into communities to build homes and thus solve the housing crisis.

Wilkinson came to Prince Rupert last week and spoke to a small group of BC Liberal members on why they should vote for him. He stressed that he is fiscally prudent, and he is hesitant on big spending programs.

“The NDP are offering things that the public are asking for. In this leadership race, some of the other candidates are piling on,” he said.

READ MORE: BC Liberal leader hopeful Wilkinson shares vision with Rupertites

What has the Rupert public asked for? An emergency shelter for homeless and affordable housing. The NDP government responded with a shelter costing BC Housing $93,500 from BC Housing and to deliver 44 modular units in 2018 for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Now, let’s review what the NDP government is offering to our community — the Modular Housing Initiative — a big spending program that is promised to assist Rupert’s homeless population, a social program that Wilkinson may argue doesn’t generate revenue.

READ MORE: Housing Series — City council tackles the affordable housing shortage

The Modular Housing Initiative is a big spending program, costing the province $291 million in two years to build 2,000 modular supportive housing units across B.C. This is not a program that directly generates revenue but it does offers support and dignity to raise residents out of poverty and back into the workforce.

As Wilkinson said, 44 units isn’t nearly enough, but his response to the housing crisis isn’t either.


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Andrew WilkinsonBC Liberals