B.C. expert panel releases interim housing report
An expert panel created by the governments of Canada and British Columbia has released an interim report of measures that can be used to build on existing initiatives and investments to assist B.C. citizens looking for affordable housing. The Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability was created in September 2019 and since January 2020 has consulted with more 100 stakeholders and reviewed more than 2,000 submissions from the public. The interim report focuses on governance, diversity of housing for all income levels and acceleration to the process of adding housing supply. The report is available online.
City of Winnipeg puts $1.25 million to economic development
The City of Winnipeg’s preliminary 2021 balanced budget proposes $1.25 million to support economic development. Approximately $750,000 would support additional staff to grow the assessment base to support residential permit volume increases, focus on the pre-application process and review and develop secondary plans to guide new development. Around $500,000 would go to re-establishing the Office of Economic Development within the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer to prioritize support for local businesses working with the city during and after the economic recovery.
Federal government and FCM announce support for net-zero infrastructure
The Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities announced $11.5 million for two net-zero municipal building projects in Fort St. John and Cowichan, B.C. The Fort St. John RCMP will replace their existing 35-year-old building with a new net-zero energy building and the District Municipality of North Cowichan will conduct a feasibility study to determine specifications required to make the local RCMP detachment into a net-zero facility including optimizing the building’s envelope, lighting and HVAC systems, and adding an onsite solar photovoltaic system to generate energy.
Interior Health declares Kamloops COVID outbreak over at construction site
Interior Health (IH) has declared the COVID-19 outbreak at the Royal Inland Hospital Patient Care Tower construction project is over. IH linked 13 COVID-19 cases to the outbreak at the project and two 14-day incubation periods have passed since the last case, allowing IH’s medical health officer to state the outbreak has ended. All cases associated with the outbreak received appropriate follow-up and have recovered. Contacts of each confirmed case were identified through contact tracing and received direction from public health. Construction continues on schedule with the tower set to open to patients in summer 2022.