wilkinson-struggle-rent
wilkinson-struggle-rent This article is more than 2 years old
Video

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson Says Struggling to Pay Rent Can Be ‘Fun’ and ‘Enjoyable’

“I was a renter for 15 years ... It’s kind of a wacky time of life, but it can be really enjoyable”

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson thinks the BC NDP government is spending too much time “pandering to renters” when it’s “landlords” who are really struggling.

In a speech to the BC Legislature Wednesday, Wilkinson suggested the government take a glass half-full “attitude” towards British Columbians who struggle to pay rent.

“I was a renter for 15 years,” Wilkinson said. “I lived in a dozen different rentals.”

“It was challenging at times, but it was fun,” he told the Legislature.

“It’s kind of a wacky time of life, but it can be really enjoyable. Being a renter is a fact of life. it’s a rite of passage.”

Wilkinson even offered himself as a success story.

“I crawled out of those tiny basement suites and into a place with some sunshine,” Wilkinson said, but added that he worries no one will “move up the ladder” if the government places caps on rents.

“Nowadays, it’ll be tough to find anything to move to because the landlords are not interested anymore.”

Although Wilkinson suggests there’s no need to “protect the renters” because renting apartments is just “part of growing up,” many British Columbians of all ages continue to struggle with sky-high costs of living.

In Vancouver, the average rent for a single-bedroom apartment is $2,100 per month.

A study by the Canadian Rental Housing Index found 21% of renters in BC spend 50% or more of their income on rent, meaning the province has the highest rate of rent poverty in Canada.

According to the most recently available data, about one-third of all households in British Columbia are renters, meaning it’s not just young people on the up and up who are feeling the pinch.

A big factor in driving up housing costs is the former BC Liberal government’s failed to take action on real estate speculation and money-laundering, which independent reports confirm contributed to skyrocketing housing costs in the province. Data suggests recent measures by the BC government have begun to cool the province’s housing market.

Despite this data, Wilkinson criticizes the government for capping rent increases.

“They’ve put all kinds of restricted caps on the behaviour of landlords around changing rents” and “long-term leases,” he complained.

 

Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.

 

Support Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-05-011 News Brief

Long-Term Care Executives Give Themselves Big Bonuses Claiming ‘100% Customer Satisfaction’ During Deadly Pandemic

Related Stories

Video

Ontario Health Minister Under Fire Over Insensitive Response to Death of 13-Year-Old Brampton Girl

View the post
Video

Doug Ford’s Assistant Labour Minister Downplays COVID-19, Compares Critics to ‘Chicken Little’

View the post
Video

Watch One of Jason Kenney’s UCP MLAs Read a Bizarre Poem About ‘Cancel Culture’

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Canadians Are Talking About ‘Defunding the Police’. Here’s What That Means and What It Could Look Like.

View the post
Politics & strategy

Tom Parkin

How Federal Leadership Can Help Establish Important Social Programs and Health Reforms

View the post
Power and democracy

Andrea Reimer

Why Powerful People Do Stupid Things

View the post