Former B.C. premier Dave Barrett dead at 87
B.C.’s co-op movement, and B.C. social democrats, lost a long-time and great advocate last week with the death of former B.C. premier Dave Barrett.
Barrett, who led the province’s first NDP government, died Friday at the age of 87 in Victoria.
His short-lived government from September 1972 to December 1975 carried out reforms at a blistering pace including the creation of the Agricultural Land Reserve, the public auto insurance corporation ICBC, a provincial ambulance system and Pharmacare.
First elected to the B.C. legislature in 1960, the former social worker from Vancouver who became known as the champion of the little guy, would be elected to the assembly eight times.
David Mitchell, a former B.C. Liberal MLA and political analyst, said Barrett epitomized the politics of personality, at a time when British Columbia was known for larger than life personalities.
Barrett, he said, was outgoing, funny, outrageous, flamboyant and always very quotable. But behind all of that flamboyance, he always had a very strong policy background. The initiatives that the first NDP government in B.C. launched in the 1970s continue to this day, all these years later, said Mitchell.
Former B.C. Premier Glen Clark saidmore social housing was built under Barrett than in any other period in British Columbia — government housing, co-op housing, and public housing.
B.C. Premier John Horgan said the province had lost “a giant” with a deep commitment to helping ordinary people, a legendary sense of humour and the ability to command a room with his gift for public speaking.
“We are all better off, thanks to his tireless work and immeasurable contributions to public life,” Horgan said.
“He was an inspiration to me and many other British Columbians. His legacy will live on in our hearts,” Horgan said.
Barrett’s son Dan said his father cared deeply about the province and that he devoted much of his life trying to make it a better and fairer place to live.
New housing co-op opens in Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek community
The Co-operative Housing Federation of British Columbia and the Community Land Trust are proud to announce the opening of the Railyard Housing Co-op at 95 East 1st Avenue in Vancouver.
The 15-storey 135-unit building was developed by Concert Properties as part of its 6.4 acre Southeast False Creek site, The Creek. The Community Land Trust was selected by the City to own and operate the site through the new Railyard Housing Co-op.
The new co-op’s focus will be on affordable homes for a mix of families with children and singles or couples.
B.C. cities call for tax changes to address housing affordability
A group that represents municipalities in British Columbia is calling for significant tax and regulatory changes for a comprehensive approach to more affordable housing.
The Union of B.C. Municipalities has issued a report containing 32 recommendations for provincial and federal governments based on research and best practices from across Canada and around the world.
The report recommends using taxes as an incentive to encourage rental housing development by giving breaks to those building affordable units and providing more funding toward non-profit and co-op housing.
BC Local News: Otter Co-op maintains pledge of ‘Integrity’