Making your life more affordable
The BC Liberals have made life more expensive for hard-working British Columbians while giving billions in tax cuts to the richest British Columbians. They increased Hydro rates, ICBC premiums and ferry fares. They tripled tuition and doubled MSP fees. As our cities grew, they put steep tolls on key commuter bridges and ignored transit users. They did nothing while the price of housing and rent went through the roof.
It’s time you get a break.
John Horgan and the BC NDP will work for you and take real action to make your life more affordable – like reducing or eliminating fees, tolls and fares, while bringing in $10 a day childcare.
what they're saying
"I would love to have a few kids but I have to think about what kind of quality of life I can provide for them. I hear a lot of people talking about not having kids because of the expense. John Horgan understands where British Columbians are coming from. And $10 a day childcare would help in so many ways."
"As I age, I’m becoming more aware of how limited my retirement funds have become. I’m concerned about affordability and the services I expect haven’t been there. I believe the BC NDP will create a more equal society and restore the services that people depend on."
"As a renter, the BC NDP’s plan for a $400 a year rental rebate will give me some financial relief.
By finally closing the loophole on fixed-term leases, John Horgan will make landlords play by the rules."
all the pieces
Making your home more affordable
Whether you rent or own your own home, housing costs throughout BC have skyrocketed.
Instead of investing in rental housing, the BC Liberals made it harder for renters to protect their rights and sided with unscrupulous landlords – letting them dodge controls on rents, either through fixed-term leases or through renovictions. They accepted more than $10 million in donations from wealthy developers and turned a blind eye to would-be homeowners, calling concerned families “people who get up and whine every day.”
Their choices have impacted renters and new home buyers and hurt our province’s ability to attract and retain skilled workers. Fixing the housing crisis is important for affordability and our economy.
For John Horgan's BC NDP, a better BC means decent housing is available and affordable. It means renters are secure where they live and young families can afford their first home.
We will take action with a comprehensive 10-year plan for affordable housing:
- Through partnerships, we’ll build 114,000 new rental, social and co-op housing units.
- We’ll make sure renters are treated fairly and both renters and landlords understand their rights and responsibilities.
- We’ll crack down on the cheaters who are distorting BC’s housing market.
10-year housing affordability plan
John Horgan's BC NDP will fix British Columbia’s shortage of decent, affordable housing. We will work with all levels of government, First Nations and the not-for-profit and private sectors to secure land and build needed housing; make renting affordable, fair and secure; and close loopholes that help real estate speculators drive up prices.
- Building 114,000 affordable rental, non-profit and co-op housing units through partnerships over 10 years, building on public land where available. As much as possible, we will build with innovative BC-manufactured wood products, creating new markets for BC wood products and new jobs in BC’s forest industry-based communities.
- Providing a new renter’s rebate of $400 dollars per rental household per year.
- Closing the BC Liberals’ “fixed term lease” loophole and ensure controls on rent increases are enforced.
- Passing legislation requiring fair treatment during renovations and demolitions of rental properties.
- Closing loopholes that let speculators dodge taxes and hide their identities, and charging a yearly 2% absentee speculators’ tax to crack down on empty homes.
- Directing revenue from the absentee speculators’ tax into a Housing Affordability Fund.
- Establishing a multi-agency task force to fight tax fraud and money laundering in the BC real estate marketplace.
$10 a day childcare
Under the BC Liberals, British Columbia had the slowest wage growth in the country while the cost of childcare has gone up 35% since 2007.
Together with the federal government, municipalities, businesses, First Nations and others, the BC NDP will create a $10 a day childcare plan. It will initially focus on children under the age of two before gradually expanding to cover other pre-kindergarten children.
Over time, the plan will pay for itself by empowering parents with the choice to continue their careers and boost our economy.
This plan will be:
- Affordable: We will offer full-day care for $10 and part-time care for $7 a day, with no fee for families with annual incomes below $40,000 a year.
- Accessible: We will build a childcare system that provides safe care for every child whose family wants or needs it. All children will be welcome and licensed family homes and centres will continue to offer a range of programs that reflect the diversity of BC communities. Families can select the type of childcare that works for them.
- Quality: The $10 a day plan invests in the Early Childhood Educator workforce – helping ensure that they are well-educated, well-respected and fairly compensated.
Getting rid of MSP fees
In 2015, the BC Liberals doubled the MSP fees hard-working British Columbians pay, costing most families an extra $900 a year. Meanwhile, millionaires and those earning more than $150,000 a year received major tax breaks.
John Horgan's BC NDP will eliminate MSP fees and make sure low and middle income families come out ahead. We’ll go ahead with the 2017 budget’s 50 per cent reduction and completely eliminate MSP fees within four years, saving families as much as $1,800 a year.
A non-partisan MSP Elimination Panel will advise on how to protect healthcare funding while phasing out this unfair flat tax.
When it comes to MSP fees, Christy Clark is only working for her rich friends and donors. John Horgan's BC NDP are working for you.
Affordable education and training
Going to school to get the skills you need shouldn’t be a lifelong debt sentence. After years of Christy Clark making it harder to get education and skills training, John Horgan's BC NDP will make sure low and middle income students have help getting the education they need to succeed.
- Making life more affordable for people just starting their careers by making all current, future and outstanding BC student loans interest-free.
- Creating a new, one-time, Opportunity Award for graduates that will erase $1,000 of BC student debt for every British Columbian student upon graduation from a program of study or completion of an occupational or trades program.
- Eliminating fees for Adult Basic Education and ESL.
- Capping tuition fees at colleges and universities.
- Introducing a new graduate student scholarship fund to encourage excellence in BC’s graduate programs.
These steps will help current, future and former students get the education they need and a good start on life. It will also reduce defaults on student loans and help more British Columbians successfully find their place in BC’s economy.
Fair wages for hard work
As BC’s cost of living skyrocketed, Christy Clark let BC’s minimum wage fall behind. Today, a person working full-time in a minimum wage job simply can’t make ends meet.
Meanwhile, other places are leading the way. The city of Seattle made a $15 an hour minimum wage law in 2015. Now restaurants are thriving and the economy has strengthened as people earning a minimum wage spend more, putting money right back into their local economy.
John Horgan's BC NDP will bring in a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2021, with increases each year. Phasing the increases in will allow businesses to adjust, ensuring that jobs aren’t put at risk and that employment in minimum wage sectors actually increases – as has been the case in Seattle. Once we reach $15 an hour, we will index the minimum wage to inflation to ensure we don’t fall behind.
Freezing or reducing rates and fees
The BC Liberals claim they keep taxes low -- and they’ve certainly given tax cuts to wealthy moneymakers. What they never mention is how they pay for those cuts: by charging you more for Hydro and ICBC, then taking “dividends” from these Crown Corporations.
John Horgan's BC NDP will give you more money back, by:
- Freezing BC Hydro rates.
- Stopping Christy Clark’s 42 per cent increase on ICBC rates.
- Rolling back ferry fares on small routes by 15 per cent, freezing fares on major routes and restoring the 100 per cent seniors’ weekday discount.
BC Hydro, ICBC and BC Ferries will all be required to conduct comprehensive operating reviews to look for inefficiencies, fiscal mismanagement and cost savings that don’t impact services. Every dollar saved will be used to keep rates and fees down.
We need to see the books to understand the full scale of Christy Clark’s mismanagement. Until then, we need to hit pause on making you pay for BC Liberal choices.
Eliminating bridge tolls
By refusing to fund transit, Christy Clark has forced more Lower Mainland commuters into their cars, where they pay more than $1200 for costly tolls every year.
Worse, the BC Liberals ignored all the evidence that many people would change their routes to avoid paying the toll, even if it meant driving a little further. As a result, the Port Mann Bridge is underused while New Westminster traffic has reached dangerous levels. The same is true for the Golden Ears Bridge.
Commuters who live on routes without reliable, accessible transit options should not be punished for driving to work. John Horgan's BC NDP will immediately eliminate bridge tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges.
At the same time, we will work with local mayors to invest in reliable transit infrastructure to reduce congestion, fight climate change and help commuters spend more time with the people they care about.
Climate action rebate cheques
John Horgan's BC NDP will implement a comprehensive climate action plan that provides a pathway for BC – and people who live here – to prosper economically while significantly reducing our carbon pollution.
It will get the province back on track to meet our climate targets, stimulate innovation, create jobs, protect BC businesses, support rural communities and use new carbon tax revenues to put more money back in the pockets of low and middle income families.
Carbon taxes are meant to encourage people and industry to make choices that have a lower impact on our climate. They aren’t meant to make life harder for families like yours.
That’s why the BC NDP will ensure that our climate action plan will meet the federal government’s new carbon price mandate, and that people like you will be better off than they will be under Christy Clark.
- When the price goes up to match the federal mandate, we will create a new climate action rebate cheque for low and middle income families (80 per cent of families).
- All new money from carbon tax increases will be used to provide rebate cheques for families and invest in climate change solutions that create jobs, benefit communities and reduce climate pollution.
Support our affordability plan
Add your name to support our plan to make life more affordable for you and all British Columbians.