Atrill re-elected in Smithers, Eby on the campaign trail in Northwest BC

Eby, Atrill and Cullen in front of housing development
Smithers Mayor Gladys Atrill, BC NDP Leadership hopeful David Eby, and MLA for Stikine Nathan Cullen hold a press conference in front of a private housing development in Smithers, BC. Photo by Dan Mesec.
Daniel Mesec - CICK - SmithersBC | 18-10-2022
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The votes have been counted and Smithers, as well as all communities across the northwest have selected new Mayors and Councils.

Gladys Atril was reelected mayor of Smithers, as well, Frank Wray and John Buikema were also reelected as councilors. They Will be joined by rookie councillors, Laura Leonard, Calvin Elliott, Genevieve Paterson, and Sam Raven.

Julie Maitland was elected as Mayor of Hazleton, Leroy Dekens was elected as mayor in Telkwa, Herb Pond was elected as mayor in Prince Rupert and Knut Bjorndal was elcted mayor in Port Edward. Terrace and Kitimat Mayors, Sean Bujtas and Phil Germuth respectively were both acclaimed.

Just the the municipal campaigns were wrapping up, last week David Eby was in Smithers to discuss his recently release housing proposal, which he says will finally bring relief to the housing crisis in BC, if he is elected leader of the provincial NDP and thus the next primer of BC on Dec. 3rd.

However, housing has long been an issue in BC and yet no government has been able to tackle this behemoth of an issue, especially in rural, northern BC.

Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen and Smithers Mayor-elect Gladys Atrill accompanied Eby during his announcement which took place in front of a private housing development on Victoria Avenue here in Smithers, which had absolutely nothing to do with his housing plan.

Although Eby made some great promises and declarations about revamping BC housing with stuff like “BC Builds” for middle –class housing, offering a BC Flipping Tax, a $500 million dollar capital fund for long-term rental housing and removing strata restrictions and legalizing secondary suits across the province, all of this is still pie in the sky.

There has also been much criticism from housing advocates and the opposition in the legislature of his plan, which, although aims to reduce speculators interest and control of rental units, might actually allow them to dig in to the market even more.

One high profile criticism comes from Douglas King, executive director of the Together Against Poverty Society, he said his main criticism of Eby’s proposals is that it would not provide immediate relief to anyone dealing with housing issues.

According to the times colonist King said Eby’s plan would “push supply as much as possible in the hopes that we reach a point where supply is so great that prices start to go down.”

King also noted any relief from eby’s plan would be at least five years away, if not more, and that’s not good enough for renters and those looking for a home right now.

Still, Eby took the opportunity to speak to the media in Smithers about this plan and what it could mean for northerners. CICK was on the scene during the presser and was able to lob a few questions at Eby as to how and when this plan could be set in motion.

Listen to the media scrum with Eby here.