Two news items featuring ICBA. First, president Chris Gardner weighs in on the municipal election results in the Journal of Commerce:

Independent Contractors and Businesses Association president Chris Gardner expressed optimism at the municipal changes both in Vancouver and beyond.

“There’s significant change in both Vancouver and Surrey. I think in Vancouver the election was historic on many levels. This was the first mayor of Chinese descent elected in Vancouver and every single candidate who won with Ken Sim under the ABC banner was elected on council, school board and the park board,” Gardner said.

“Ken Sim was very purposeful during the campaign in talking about housing affordability and the role that his administration can play in increasing supply, reducing red tape and regulations that are impediments to affordability and getting the kind of housing stock on the market as soon as possible that we need to start making a dent on affordability.”

Gardner pointed specifically to Sim’s “3-3-3-1” permit plan which would allow three days to approve home renovations, three weeks to approve single-family homes, three months to approve multi-family and mid-rise projects and one year for approval of highrise and other large-scale projects.

“That’s significant. Anecdotally, what builders will say is that it takes longer to approve or permit a project than it does to build it. Every very single observer and analysis of the housing issue in B.C. and Canada will say that’s the biggest challenge we have in terms of affordability,” he said.

And VP-Communications Jordan Bateman was interviewed on housing prices by Aaron Gunn for his popular Politics Explained series: