Our Jordan Bateman gives you the heads-up on MP housing hypocrisy, B.C. taxes killing affordability, and a hospital groundfaking.
🏠 There was a fascinating column from Chris Selley in the National Post yesterday, looking at how the Trudeau Liberals are desperately trying to reverse the tide of polls showing them falling further and further behind Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives. But they just can’t get out of their own way. He included a great series of tweets from one Liberal MP who attacked Poilievre’s plan to punish cities financially if they didn’t increase housing density near transit stations. A day later, Calgary mayor and council released a letter showing the Trudeau government had adopted the same plan! Another Liberal MP tweeted that she can’t afford a home in her London, Ontario, riding. She makes $194,000+ a year! When the Conservatives retweeted her, she attacked them. Great stuff from Selley, and worth a read. Trudeau wants to be rumblin’ with Poilievre, but he’s stuck stumblin’ and bumblin’.
💸 Economist Jack Mintz analyzed B.C.’s affordability issues and came up with a diagnosis: NDP tax hikes are making life far more expensive in B.C., calling the tax increases “relentless”, and all “to feed its spending appetite.” He cited hikes to income taxes, corporate taxes, sales taxes, energy taxes, payroll taxes, and property taxes. “B.C.’s taxes and other own-source revenues (such as fees and royalties) have risen sharply under the NDP. As a share of GDP, they are up from 18 per cent in 2017 to 22.9 per cent this year, while real per capita own-source revenues have risen from $9,628 to $11,584. That’s more than 20 per cent in just five years. It’s clear that taxes are the real affordability problem in B.C.”
🚜 Speaking of the BC NDP, they had a big announcement last week in Surrey – the fastest growing city in Canada with 10 swing ridings – that a new hospital was now “under construction”. But within 48 hours, the excavator used at the event was gone and the site was deserted, leaving one BC United MLA to call it a “ground-faking, not groundbreaking.” Said the head of the Surrey Board of Trade: “Why hasn’t construction already started? Why were construction equipment being taken away from the facility when it should be beginning immediately? Every single day construction costs escalate.” They sure do – the project, delayed by the NDP for more than two years, is already more than a billion dollars more than the original pricetag.
💻 And a bonus story: SiteNews sat down with construction tech expert Jeff Sample to get a sense of where the industry is headed. “Modern delivery methods are changing into more collaborative methods, teaming up earlier together to achieve more predictable and reliable products for owners, “ he says. You can hear Jeff for yourself at ICBA’s Construction Innovation Summit in Vancouver Oct. 30-31. Visit icba.ca/CIS for details.