bc1966ndp_plt_28072011_193250

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					A program
for the people


 By ROBERT M. STRACHAN                     our lower income groups that will                             guideposts, can only lead to crash-
      NDP Provincial Leader                only end in continual buck-passing.                           ing chaos and many unfilled needs
    There is a growing feeling of             Provincially we have had our                               throughout the province;
fear, apprehension and a n g e r           Premier announce with a grand                                     For many years Mr. Bennett
throughout British Columbia. This          flourish that from now on he wants                             and his government have been rid-
feeling is engendered partly because       to be addressed as Mr. Prime Min-                              ing high on the crest of booming
of happenings on the federal field         ister. (Anyone worthy of being ad-                             times but now that there are eco-
and partly on the provincial field.        dressed as Prime Minister wouldn't                             nomic problems it is obvious that
    Nationally we have had a Con-          worry about what his title was).                              his policies are no different to those
ference of the Confederation of To-        Then we had a threat of wage and                               of the Liberals and Conservatives.
morrow attended by all the Premiers        price controls; followed in rapid                                 During these years we in the
of Canada except Premier Bennett.          order by the news that the Queen                              New Democratic Party have been
We have also been witness to Mr.           of Prince Rupert would not be put                             advocating the policies that would
Sharp's budget of last June. This          back in operation until next spring.                          have provided the economic growth
was followed by numerous state-            Then there was another freeze on                              without run away inflation. We also
ments in recent weeks threatening          school construction. We have also                              advocated the policies that would
dire things for the economy. On            been informed by a Victoria doctor,                           have provided the schools, hospitals
November 30 came the mini-bud-             that patients are dying because of                             and other public works so badly
get with increased taxes followed          the long waiting list for hospitals                            needed. These policies would have
 a week later by an announcement           and finally our three public uni-                              involved the government         to a
of a considerable cut-back in fed-         versities have announced that they                            greater degree and much more di-
 eral spending. We have also had a         will be turning students away next                             rectly in the economic development
 federal-provincial meeting on med-        year unless there are drastic changes                          of the province.
 icare which indicated that we will        in present plans.                                                 The New Democratic Party is
 have no national medicare scheme.             No wonder there is a rising surge                          growing in strength and support.
 Finally we have had a federal-pro-        of a n g e r and disenchantment                               We expect to keep on growing as
 vincial meeting on housing (again         throughout     the province. The                               more and more people look for the
 attended by all the Premiers but our      honeymoon is over. It must now be                              answers to the many problems that
 own), which produced what has             obvious that flying the economy by                             are now showering around the
 all the earmarks of being another         the seat of the pants with political                          heads of the people of British Co-
 scheme for providing housing for          expediency and private privilege as                            lumbia and Canada.



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                                                                        •
                                           There                       IS         a      solution
                                         as a stimulus to the economy when        only a fraction of that amount.
                                         things are slack.                        What this means is that a relatively
    Canadians have tended to think          But this is where government has      few property owners are profiting
that man's search for shelter is                                                  from this situation.
                                         gone wrong because the needs of
mainly a problem in other coun-                                                       Right now, housing demand
                                         people are not directly related to
tries, yet it is one of the great                                                 greatly exceeds supply and as long
                                         the business cycle, people need ade-
problems of our own country. Hun-                                                 as we face this situation house
                                         quate housing regardless of the
dreds of thousands of Canadian                                                    prices will continue to rise and
                                         business cycle.
families live in over-crowded hous-                                               home ownership will become im-
ing, many live in substandard hous-        We in the New Democratic               possible for most families.
ing. And we all live in housing          Party believe that a new approach            If government was truly con-
that should be costing us less.          must be taken, a new approach            cerned about the housing problem
                                         based on human values. Housing           then it would tackle the cost ques-
   The past year in British Columbia     must be seen as one of the basic         tion so that more people could
has shown a housing need greater         needs in a modern society.               afford their own homes.
than any time since the second                                                        Modest attempts have recently
                                            The National Housing Act has
world war. At that time, after 1945,                                              been made in British Columbia
                                         mainly been geared to guaranteeing
because of the great need and                                                     through the Home Owner Acquisi-
                                         the loans of mortgage companies in
public protest, government inter-                                                 tion Grant of $500.00, but the
                                         the housing field; that is guarantee-
vened and built housing in count-                                                 grant does not come near to tackling
                                         ing that mortgage companies will
less cities across the country. It was                                            the larger problems related to
                                         not lose the money they invest in
then that the National Housing Act                                                houses and cities. The grant is an
                                         housing, (thus eliminating any risk
was passed. But today the National                                                attempt to subsdize home owner-
                                         factors for those who least need
Housing Act is not enough. Today                                                  ship but the long term result will
                                         the help of government).
the N.H.A. housing, which is a                                                    probably be to encourage higher
product of that Act, is not meeting         What should be guaranteed is          land costs.
the needs of people. The Act has         shelter for our citizens, not risk           If the basic land cost problem is
mainly produced housing for the          free investments for major lending       not tackled and resolved, then land
middle and upper middle income           institutions.                            prices will continue to rise, forcing
groups in the country - and then            The most important and often          more people to do without the kind
 mainly on a basis satisfactory to       most ignored aspect of housing is        of housing they need.
 the private mortgage companies.         the price of land in our cities.             The high land costs mean that
                                            The great increase in costs in        the saving of individuals will be
   The search for shelter is most        the housing field cannot be attri-       diverted from home building to
difficult for those in the lower         buted to labor and materials. The        the buying of the lot. Your savings
income groups, those on fixed in-        great cost increase for housing in       will be dissipated by land inflation
comes and those with families. And       Canada, and in British Columbia,         rather than going into the produc-
while the needs of these groups          has been in the price of urban land.      tive enterprise of home building.
are not being met at all, the needs
                                            Countless people can remember             The NDP believes that provid-
of the middle income groups are                                                    ing housing - good housing - for
only being met at excessive cost.        when residential lots in Vancouver
                                         and Burnaby, in the later 1940's,        our citizens should be one of the
Housing simply costs too much                                                     main concerns of Government. That
today.                                   were selling for as low as $200 or
                                         $300 a lot. The land market how-         is not to say that government should
   Too often our governments have        ever has become a semi-monopoly           build the housing or all of the
                                         market. This has meant that 20           housing, but rather that govern-
regarded housing simply as an
                                         years later lots in the same districts   ment should make sure that condi-
economic "pump primer." When
the economy slows down we build          cost $7,000 or $8,000. A cost that       tions exist where all people can be
                                         puts housing out of reach of almost      assured of adequate shelter.
housing or provide money for hous-
ing through the federal Central          everybody.                               What We Will Do:
Mortgage and Housing Corpora-              Land prices have increased from            1. The NDP would tackle the
tion. Government has not regarded        20 - 30 times in the last twenty         problem of land speculation. Specu-
housing as a social need, but rather     years, while wages have increased        lation and land inflation have in-
o the housing crisis!
  creased housing costs to a prohibi-          5. The NDP would embark on           occupancy standards. The NOP
  tive level. Between 1950 and 1960         an increased program of public         would enact legislation w hie h
  the price of building materials rose      housing. In British Columbia, only     would make it possible for tenants
  by 24 per cent, wages in the build-       one city, Vancouver, has a public      to see that premises are repaired
  ing trades rose by 60 per cent but        housing program. The National          and maintained at reasonable oc-
  land prices leaped by anything            Housing Act provides that Ottawa       cupancy standards. While we realize
  from 100 per cent to 3,760 per            will pay 75 per cent of the cost and   only a minority of landlords fail
  cent depending on the city. The           the Province pay the remaining 25      to maintain their premises we be-
  consequences of land speculation          per cent of the cost of public hous-   lieve that in those instances where
  are disastrous for everybody but the      ing. This is housing that has a        buildings are in very poor repair it
  speculator.                               rental subsidy and rents are based     should be possible to advise the
                                            on ability to pay.                     City and if necessary the city exe-
      We believe that an increased tax                                             cute the repairs and add the cost
  on the value of unimproved land                                                  to the tax bill.
  would be a powerful incentive to                                                     7. The NDP would take a new
  land owners to develop or get off.                                                approach to urban renewal. Urban
  This kind of tax would also lighten                                               renewal has only begun to get
  the tax burden on homeowners that                                                 under way in British Columbia. It
  pay increased taxes when they im-                                                 is financed 50 per cent - 25 per cent
  prove their own property.                                                         by the Federal and Provincial Gov-
      2. The NDP would establish                                                    ernments. In Vancouver the funds
    "Land Banks." The best way to beat                                              have been used mainly for clear-
   speculation beyond the tax pro-                                                  ance in the older parts of the city.
   posals covered above is for the                                                  Unfortunately     the approach has
   public to become land owners                                                     been to neglect the human factors.
   through local government. We be-                                                 The people who are displaced are
   lieve that cities should buy develop-                                            rarely consulted. Those living in
   ment land, particularly on the edge                                              the poorest housing in the city are
   of the city, so that it can be planned                                           usually the aged, the unemployed
   and serviced before home construc-
                                                                                    or deserted mothers with large
   tion begins. It would also mean
                                                                                    families. Poor housing is generally
   that land could be sold at cost so
   that exorbitant profits would be                                                 aU that is available for these people.
   removed.                                                                         When that housing is destroyed,
      3. The NDP would work for low                                                 these people have no easy alterna-
   interest housing loans. The NOP                                                  tives.
   does not believe that interest rates        Having public housing confined          The direction that might be taken
   for housing should be tied to the        to separate large enclaves such as      should be more in the area of
   cycle of the private money market.       Skeena and Raymur in Vancouver          rehabilitation of older buildings
   The NOP would work toward                creates socially segregated parts of    where, if at all feasible, funds
   changes in the National Legislation      the city that should not be repeated    should be supplied for the repair,
   in order to assure low interest loans    for they do not meet our standards      renovation and alteration of these
   for individual home buyers.              of social justice.                      dwellings.
      4. The NDP would enact a                 In the present emergency how-          8. Emergency shelter. The NOP
   Tenants Bill of Rights. Such a bill      ever public housing has a vital role   would establish a fund for com-
   of rights would require landlords        and must be expanded and it must       munities that wish to provide a
   to give notice of rental increases       be dispersed.                          stock of emergency housing for
   three months in advance. It would           The NOP would also work to          families left without shelter by dis-
   require landlords to lease at a fixed    encourage the growth of co-opera-      aster or economic circumstances.
   rate for a period of not less than       tive housing in order to help low      The emergency housing stock could
   a year upon the request of the           income families share in the owner-    become as natural a municipal func-
   tenant that has shown reasonable         ship of their new homes.               tion as the fire and police depart-
   performance.                                6. The NDP would establish          ments.
     Education for opportunity
  By EILEEN DAILLY,           MLA         the same grant basis as the other        pense of attending institutions of
                                          grades in our public school system.      higher learning and an actual lack
   Today the undereducated are the
                                             The importance of a proper pre-       of classroom space, many deserv-
unemployed and the unemployed
                                          school environment can never be          ing students are denied access to
are the poor. The children of the
                                          underestimated in relation to a          such institutions.
poor are the school dropouts and
                                          child's future development.                  The New Democratic Party be-
the school dropouts are the unem-
ployed.                                                                            lieves that just as public school ~du-
                                                Public   School System
    The New Democratic Party be-                                                   cation has been accepted as a rIght
                                              Of course our modern schools         for all children, so too must we ac-
lieves that it is the responsibility of   are a great improvement on the
government to provide .an edu~a-                                                   cept the fact that higher educati~n,
                                          "little red schoolhouse" of the past.    through     universities,   commulllty
tional system in our provmce which        But the New Democratic Party be-
will give all our citizens ~he oppor-                                              colleges, technological institutes and
                                          lieves that the whole philosophy         vocational schools, must be made
tunity to develop to their full po-       of education, especially primary,
 tential.                                                                          available for all deserving students.
                                          elementary and secondary schools
    The New Democratic Party con-                                                      The New Democratic Party is
                                          must be changed to adequately meet       working toward the increase of
 tends that in our province today         the needs of the new technological
 there are barriers to full educational                                            both provincial and federal grants
                                          society in which our children will
growth. What are these barriers                                                    to provide the capital and operating
                                          live.
 and what policies ot the New                                                       funds necessary to build and .mai?-
                                              To do this, our provincial depart-   tain facilities of higher learlllng III
 Democratic Party WIll eradIcate          ment of education must give strong,
 them?                                                                             this province. An over-all policy
                                          vigorous leadership to. school dis-       must also be adopted so that no de-
        Day Care Centers                  tricts, encourage experImental pro-
                                                                                   serving student is depriv~d ~he.op-
   The working mother is here to          grams through the provision of gov-
                                                                                   portunity to attend such InstitutIons
stay. Thousands of children in BC         ernment funds for educational re-
                                                                                    because of lack of financial means.
                                          search and providing         increased
do not have proper supervi.sed daX                                                     To break down the barriers
care facilities to attend while their     funds to school districts for the new
                                          tools of learning which the new           which exist today in education
mothers are working.                                                                means that education must become
   The New Democratic Par t y             age demands.
                                              The New Democratic Party is           one of the biggest activities in our
would step-up the involvement. of                                                   society. It must involve m 0 r e
the aovernment in the establIsh-          aware of the importance of prov!d-
                                          ing a curriculum for our selllor          people, more public expenditu:e,
ment of these needed centers and                                                    more organization and more daIly
also increase government subsidies        students which will not create a
                                          barrier as a result of either too         preoccupation.           .         .
to these centers.                                                                      It is no longer pOSSible to buIld
                                          much or too early specialization.
                                          The time is past when we can rea-         success simply on human physical
           Kindergartens                                                            energy and on raw re??urces. ~t-
                                          sonably expect to hold t~e sa.me
   Kindergartens have been accept-        job throughout our ",,-orkmg. lIfe.       tainment of our ambitiOUS SOCial
ed as an integral part of many             Increasingly, the pre1?1Um ~Ill be       and economic goals will depend
school systems in Canada and other        on the kind of education whICh can        on how well prepared our citizens
parts of the world for years:             be applied to a variety .of occupa-       are both emotionally and intellect-
   In the province of BrItish Co-         tions. An educatIOn which teaches         ually. For this we need, ~bove all,
lumbia only about one-third ~f our         our young people to think for them-      a highly educated and Informed
students have the opportunity to                                                    population.
attend a public school kindergarten.       selves and adapt to different situa-        The New Democratic Party be-
The New Democratic Party believes          tions and kinds of work is essential.
                                                                                    lieves it is the duty of government
that kindergartens should be part                                                   to see that our educational system
of our basic school program and                   Higher   Ed uca tion              in British Columbia will produce
that they should be financed on             Today, because of the great ex-         such a population.

				
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