B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus is a Stupid Idea

A few days ago the B.C. government announced a new $10,000 bonus for new home buyers. Not only is this a stupid waste of money that could have been diverted to many more important things, it may not actually do anything to improve affordability as housing prices will surely go up accordingly. Even Cameron Muir, who is generally wrong about everything, is probably correct when he says "That should induce additional sales activity, as well as later on we’ll likely see housing starts rebound as a result of that demand . . ." It's reminds me of when the federal government allowed people to carry 30, then 35, then 40 year mortgages in order to help people afford a home. This back-fired and caused housing prices to sky-rocket even further than the already were.

BC Parks Slated for Development

I just heard a talk show on CKNW tonight talking about the recent news that the BC government is inviting proposals for private development in BC Parks. One of the reasons this is controversial is because "it allows private development for profit within park boundaries and lacks tools to limit expansion of private facilities."

That's what concerns me is that although some of the parks they are currently requesting proposals for already contain a lot of front-country type facilities and areas that aren't exactly "untouchned wilderness" there does not seem to be anything in place to limit which parks can be developed in the future.

A few people that called in to the radio show were arguing that BC Parks are for people and that people should be allowed to use the parks (implying that we should be allowed to develop the parks willy-nilly). The radio show host (Michael Smyth) mentioned that some handicapped people can't go to some parks unless there is a resort there with proper facilities, etc... I don't really see how that logic makes any sense. That logic basically says that BC Parks are just some sort of "land commons." Land that can be used for whatever purpose people want to use it for. I don't really see it that way. I have always grown up to think of BC Parks as places for nature first and foremost. There are some campgrounds that I can't go to because there are literally no facilities (I'm not skilled enough to go back-country camping, front-country camping, sure. Call me back-country-capped) and that doesn't bother me. I see the purpose of those parks as being there to protect nature. A place where nature can do whatever it wants with it, not a place for humans to do whatever they want with it (the other 87% of BC or whatever is reserved for that purpose). As a BC resident I don't see BC Parks as "our land" (like 2 of the callers to the radio show including the host Michael Smyth did) but as "nature's land." Anyone who thinks that BC Parks are "their land" for all people to share are greedy and selfish. BC's Parks should be excluded from any development beyond facilities that already existed within those parks, small basic huts for back-country camping, and limited front-country camping facilities.

More information available at wildernesscommittee.org.

I couple other blogs are speaking out against this: daz who says "Our parks are one of BC's greatest riches, and should remain that way for our children and their children to enjoy. If these resorts/lodges have to be built then I make the argument, why on park land?" and also provides some links to MLAs and email addresses for Gordon Campbell and Barry Penner, the Environment Minister and frodowm.

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