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PODCAST: Wolfgang Depner reports from the B.C. legislature

TODAY IN B.C.: Carbon tax, vacation rentals and Taylor Swift discussed

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Host Peter McCully chats with Wolfgang Depner, legislative reporter for Black Press Media.

The podcast opens with Depner explaining the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi, the Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party.

The provincial and federal carbon tax was hotly debated in the legislature the past two weeks, as podcast listeners will hear from Premier David Eby, Leader of the Opposition Kevin Falcon, BC Green Party house leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. Conservative Party leader John Rustad.

“If you look at the big picture, two out of the four are threatening to get rid of it (carbon tax) if the stars align, as in the case of BC United,” said Depner. “Now, BC United has made the point, ‘look, the current system is not working, but we’re going to come forward with environmental policies that are actually going to work’. But you can already see this issue becoming, to some degree… the defining issue in the next provincial election.”

During the session the NDP government introduced legislation increasing density for housing.

“That change also comes along with changes to how public hearings are going to take place,” said Depner. “Down the line, there will be fewer public hearings. Public hearings will still take place outside of OCP reviews. But there will be far fewer of the, and OCP reviews will now happen every five years.”

During the session discussed, Falcon made the argument that newly introduced legislation restricting short-term vacation rentals would hurt people looking for accommodation for Swift’s scheduled 2024 concerts, because Vancouver does not have enough hotel rooms to accommodate large events.

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