Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. (Contributed)

Kelowna rep on urban mayors’ caucus encouraged by B.C. budget

‘Funding signals province’s commitment to supporting the most vulnerable in B.C. communities’

The B.C. Urban Mayors’ Caucus (BCUMC) sees encouraging signs in the provincial government’s 2022 budget.

“We are pleased to see the province invest $164 million in complex care housing and supports, with the promise of 20 new sites across British Columbia,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, co-chair of BCUMC.

Basran added the funding signals the province’s commitment to supporting the most vulnerable in B.C. communities.

“We look forward to hearing more details emerge about where those sites will be, how much will go towards each site, and most importantly how quickly those sites will be operational. We know the need is great across our communities and the dollars committed today is another step forward.”

A news release from the BCUMC also acknowledged the province’s commitment to focus on the root causes of homelessness by investing more than $633 million through a cross-government approach, critical towards providing services and support for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

“Four of the top five fastest growing Canadian metropolitan municipalities are in B.C. and this accelerated growth is accompanied by a housing affordability and supply crisis,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, co-chair, BCUMC.

“The Province’s budget made clear commitments to further build and incentivize affordable housing including through the Building BC’s Community Housing Fund.”

The BCUMC has focused on partnership commitments to address four pillars: Mental Health, Substance Use, and Treatment, Affordable Housing, Public Transit, and a New Fiscal Framework.

“We know that housing and transit are key for economic recovery and affordability for our residents,” added Helps and Basran. “We are pleased to see the provincial budget includes further investments in the Transportation Investment Plan. These critical investments in sustainable transportation services are the backbone to business and workforce revitalization and play a vital role in our community’s ability to meet our aggressive climate change and adaptation targets.”

The BCUMC is a coalition of 13 non-partisan mayors representing more than half the population of British Columbia.

Read More: B.C. budget gets cool reception from Kelowna Chamber

Read More: Nominate your favourite small Okanagan business for a provincial award


@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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