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BC Needs New Municipal Governance Model

Vancouver recently invoked very high energy efficiency standards for buildings, including housing, which discourages some forms of energy like natural gas.

Natural gas is the most affordable option for many homeowners, and a preferred heat source for restauranteurs.

In addition, natural gas has actually reduced emissions by replacing coal in North America.

Vancouver has become one of the world’s most expensive housing markets partly due to extreme regulations.

The result is an obstructive environment where affordable energy is discouraged and building permit applicants wait 7 months on average compared with 2 days in Langford.

The source of these regulations is the Vancouver Charter enabling the city to set policies separate from the National Building Code.

Setting code standards is not to be taken lightly. They must be supported by proven practice to avoid unintended consequences.

Also, a cost/benefit analysis is essential to ensure changes are affordable for consumers.

All municipalities should be subjected to the diligence and cost/benefit criteria of a National Building Code in the interests of consumer protection and affordability.

The BC government must abandon their failed experiment in municipal governance called self-determination, starting with the Vancouver Charter.

In addition, restore the minister’s ability to amalgamate communities in the interests of proper regional planning, efficient transit and housing affordability.

A Liberal candidate announced he will revoke the Vancouver Charter and the city’s ability to set energy efficiency standards for buildings.

He will have more than Vancouver to deal with.

BC’s Step Code, quietly passed before the election, enables BC’s 160 municipalities to ignore Canada’s National Building Code and set very high energy standards similar to Vancouver.

These expensive efforts do not even serve the climate effectively. A renovation saves 20 air changes in older homes versus 1 or 2 air changes via new energy efficiency regulations.

The government can demonstrate real climate leadership with a renovation tax credit.

Authorized by Victoria Residential Builders Association; registered sponsor under the Election Act, 250-383-5044.

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