February 2011
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Connections (February 2011)
Connections: Advocacy News from the British Columbia Real Estate Association – February 2011 
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 Leadership Races—Where are the Housing Issues?

Very few of the 12 leadership candidates have specific platforms in the areas of housing. This is surprising, considering the fact that housing impacts every British Columbian, and that buyers in this province pay some of the highest prices in Canada.

BCREA prepared a brief introduction to its key issues (namely, the Harmonized Sales Tax, Property Transfer Tax and Strata Property Act) for Liberal and NDP leadership candidates, and is reaching out to determine their positions. Read the document here.

 Strata Property Act Survey

About 25 per cent of people in BC live in strata-title properties. On February 9, the provincial government released its web survey on strata regulations that are being developed for depreciation reports, audited financial statements and changes to the Form B (information disclosure). The survey is being hosted by BC Stats so confidentiality will be assured.

Click here to complete the strata survey, which closes at 4:30 pm on Monday, March 7, 2011. 

To read BCREA’s full Strata Property Act brief, visit the Association’s website at www.bcrea.bc.ca/government-relations/strata-property-act.

 Proposed Water Sustainability Act

On December 17, 2010, the Ministry of Environment released its Policy Proposal on BC’s New Water Sustainability Act. The document outlines a new vision for water governance to replace the existing Water Act.

While questions remain, such as how will water considerations be managed as they relate to land use decisions, BCREA is pleased that its recommendations for a strong provincial framework, regional standards and conservation of water are reflected.

The deadline for feedback on the policy proposal is February 21, and the Ministry of Environment encourages everyone providing input to use the Living Water Smart blog.

 Residential Uses in the ALR

The Ministry of Agriculture is currently seeking input on a draft Bylaw Standard for Residential Uses in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The draft bylaw is a response to a request made by Metro Vancouver for a standard bylaw for municipalities to use in regulating the size and location of homes on ALR lands.

According to the draft, “The growth in the urban population and recreational and second home development, adjacent to a fixed ALR boundary, has contributed to increasing residential uses in the ALR instead of farm-oriented residential use.” Concerns have been raised that so-called mega-homes that are set back far from roads have long-term negative impacts on the agricultural uses of property.

BCREA and other stakeholders have been asked to provide comments on this matter by February 28.

 Contact Us

What are your organization’s positions on the public policy issues addressed in this issue of Connections? Please contact us at [email protected] with your comments about these issues, or to update BCREA on your organization’s successes.

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British Columbia Real Estate Association
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PO Box 10123, Pacific Centre
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1C6
Phone: 604.683.7702
Fax: 604.683.8601
[email protected]
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