Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon says he expects a new law requiring cities to allow multi-unit buildings in neighbourhoods zoned for single-family homes will encourage creative solutions to combat the housing crisis. What that looks like will vary by community, he says, but the legislation introduced this week creates a standard for the whole province. If passed, the law would also require communities throughout BC to allow at least one secondary suite or laneway home on single-family lots. The province is releasing 51-million-dollars and a policy manual to help local governments make the changes by the end of June next year.
Holocaust educators say they’re heartened by moves in B-C and Ontario to make it mandatory for high school students to learn about the murders of six million Jews and others by the Nazis during the Second World War. Both provinces announced this week that high school students in Grade 10 must learn about the Holocaust starting in the 2025 school year. Jaime Kirzner-Roberts with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs says the Holocaust offers lessons about the dangers of unchecked hatred, and she says the action by B-C and Ontario is a signal for other provinces and territories. Holocaust survivor Claude Romney, who lives in Vancouver, says education is key to impress upon young people that it’s up to them to preserve the dark memories of the Holocaust and prevent history from repeating itself.
A new agreement between the province and the Tahltan Nation will require the nation’s consent ahead of any significant changes at a major mine. Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government, says it means substantial changes to the existing environmental assessment certificate for the Red Chris mine in northwestern B-C can only proceed with Tahltan approval. A joint statement released by the Tahltan and BC governments says the nation and the province’s environmental assessment office will conduct separate analyses of proposed changes to the copper and gold mine, including those needed to transition Red Chris from open pit to underground block cave mining. Day says the deal shows reconciliation and economic development can coexist with strong environmental, social and governance standards.
The BC government is urging drivers to avoid unnecessary travel as a winter storm with snow and freezing rain bears down on the province’s southern Interior. A statement from the Ministry of Transportation says wintry conditions are expected to last until sometime this afternoon, when a transition to rain is forecast. Environment Canada has issued freezing-rain warnings for the Coquihalla Highway starting at the summit north of Hope, as well as the Okanagan Connector between Merritt and Kelowna, and Highway 5 between Hope and Princeton. The warning also spans the South Thompson, Similkameen and Nicola areas, although the weather office says freezing rain is more likely to develop over higher elevations.
The Village of Lytton has reached a milestone in its rebuilding process after the Fraser Canyon community was destroyed by wildfire more than two years ago. Mayor Denise O’Connor says the village has issued its first building permit for a single-family home in the downtown area. O’Connor says she has a hard time accepting that it has taken so long, but more permits are expected to be approved in the near future. The first permit comes about four months after backfilling work began on properties destroyed by the June 2021 fire.
Work is underway to build 60 temporary homes for people experiencing homelessness in Kelowna with a goal to welcome residents early next year. A statement from the Housing Ministry describes it as a tiny-home development with single-room units located on city-owned land in Kelowna’s north end. The province says the homes will be operated by an experienced non profit organization that will provide support services such as daily meals, staffing around the clock, access to skills training and support navigating the housing system. It says the tiny homes are intended as a temporary solution, providing time for BC Housing to work with the city on permanent options.