Media Releases

 

 

Metro Vancouver supports the Government of Canada's 2022 budget, which has among its principal themes an issue close to the hearts of the region's residents — housing availability and affordability."The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many pre-existing issues in Metro Vancouver, including sky-high housing prices that make owning a home out of reach for many people," said Sav Dhaliwal, chair of Metro Vancouver's Board of Directors. "The federal budget's pledge to invest in building thousands of new affordable housing units is a step in the right direction."With 49 housing sites, Metro Vancouver provides more than 3,400 homes to support close to 10,000 people, making it one of the largest not-for-profit housing providers in BC. The federal government's commitment to more than $10 billion in new spending on housing-related initiatives — including the $4-billion Housing Accelerator Fund committed to increasing the overall supply of housing and $1.5 billion through the Rapid Housing Initiative to build affordable units — are welcome and much needed to deal with the ongoing housing crisis.The regional district is committed to creating and operating great places to live for families, seniors, and people with disabilities, and plans to spend $190 million over the next 10 years while working closely with member local governments to make a meaningful impact on the region's housing needs."Additional federal and provincial government support could further leverage Metro Vancouver Housing's investment to deliver over 2,000 units of new and redeveloped housing over the next 10 years," said Dhaliwal. "We look forward to working together to build more safe, high-quality homes for low- and moderate-income households, and build a more resilient, equitable, and inclusive region."Metro Vancouver has monitored and regulated the region's air quality for 50 years, and released its Clean Air Plan last month. This is the region's fourth air quality management plan, and it has an ambitious focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent from 2010 levels over the next decade and supports Metro Vancouver's longer term goal, outlined in Climate 2050, of becoming a carbon neutral region by 2050. The federal budget's focus on reducing emissions from the transportation and buildings sectors align with actions outlined in the Clean Air Plan, including increasing accessibility and affordability of zero-emission vehicles, enhancing electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and promoting the use of heat pumps to provide zero emissions space and water heating. The federal budget also supports the development of net-zero energy plans."Our goals are well aligned with those of the federal and provincial governments, including Canada's 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan and the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, and we look forward to working with both orders of government to achieve those goals," said Dhaliwal.Metro Vancouver's efforts to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change include upgrading the critical infrastructure which provides vital services while withstanding changing conditions and meeting or exceeding stringent regulatory requirements.The regional district plans to invest more than $7 billion in these kinds of projects over the next five years, including the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. The new facility will replace an existing primary-level treatment plant in Richmond. "Federal regulatory requirements are a significant driver for the replacement of the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is why Metro Vancouver is seeking provincial and federal co-investment in this dynamic and transformative project," said Dhaliwal. "We would have liked to see a commitment to predictable, equitable cost sharing with local governments on critical infrastructure projects, which would help with the planning and execution of important and necessary work."The Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant projects will protect the health and well-being of people, wildlife, and ecosystems, enhance climate and seismic resiliency, maximize energy and resource recovery, and make a significant impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while creating thousands of family-supporting jobs.