British Columbia Real Estate Association’s (BCREA) Government Relations team attended the annual 2019 Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention in Vancouver from September 23 to 27. On the first day of the convention, VP of Government Relations and Stakeholder Engagement Trevor Hargreaves participated in a panel presentation on anti-money laundering, along with Attorney General David Eby and Minister of Finance Carole James.
We also staffed a trade show booth and attended many sessions where we spoke with cabinet ministers, MLAs, mayors and local government councillors. We received interest across the province from delegates who shared BCREA’s commitment to building better neighbourhoods.
One of the issues we promoted is the need for the BC Government to develop a consistent process to remediate homes used to produce drugs. Whether legal or illegal, using homes to produce drugs can have serious negative impacts on the health and safety of future occupants. To promote the issue, we offered delegates hand sanitizer with the tagline, “If only there was a sanitizer for homes used to produce drugs.”
The second issue we showcased is the need for provincial leadership for floodplain mapping. Many homes are in high-risk flood areas, often unknown to the families living in them. Working with local governments, the BC Government should create a province-wide plan to map flood hazards for all BC communities and ensure the maps remain up to date.
The concerns of REALTORS® and BCREA on these issues and others were echoed in several convention sessions and resolutions. Some of the provincial government initiatives we learned about include:
- a complete overhaul of the legislation used by government for emergency planning; the new approach will include more focus on minimizing the damage of disasters like flooding, so this works well with our recommendation for floodplain maps,
- plans to develop a home plate policy for homes in the Agricultural Land Reserve; this would create requirements for where a home could be placed on a lot, in addition to how big it can be, and
- the formation of a provincial-UBCM working group to consider ways to strengthen the regulation of short-term rental properties.
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