B.C.’s fishing, hunting and ecotourism operations are mainly on Crown land, and have been shut down or struggling due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C.’s fishing, hunting and ecotourism operations are mainly on Crown land, and have been shut down or struggling due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. reviews Crown land residential rent after hikes of up to 300%

Rent relief for fishing, hunting lodges hanging on in COVID-19

The B.C. government has come up with an additional $1.87 million to cover big rent increases for seasonal campgrounds, guest ranches and lodges that lease provincial Crown land to operate and are trying to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

People who reside on Crown land without a business haven’t been so lucky, and some of them are looking at rent increases as high as 300 per cent as the rents are tied to the value of the land. That is soaring in some locations, where private property assessments are rising quickly

Opposition MLAs raised the issue in the B.C. legislature March 24. The NDP government was recently criticized for extending its COVID-19 rent freeze on private properties to the end of 2021, and tightening rules for renovation of urban rental properties. The current policy is to set rent at five per cent of the property value for residential tenures, and three per cent for seasonal or recreational purposes.

B.C. Liberal MLA Jordan Sturdy said he has been corresponding with the forests and lands ministry for two years on the residential rent issue. He cited the case of a constituent whose Crown land rent jumped from $5,650 last year to as much as $19,650 this year.

RELATED: B.C. extends rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

RELATED: B.C. forests, lands ministry ‘unwieldy,’ Horgan says

Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad cited another case in Sturdy’s constituency of West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, where a single mother in the Cheakamus Valley has been billed for an 86 per cent increase for rent on property her family has lived on for generations.

Forests Minister Katrine Conroy said the rent is tied to land value assessment, which is jumping up in some areas based on private property sales, and the ministry is looking into it. “The ministry is commissioning an appraisal to determine the market rent for their tenures and advise that the ministry is working with other agencies to resolve other issues raised,” the ministry said in a statement to Black Press April 1.

Meanwhile, this week some of the seasonal and recreational users got a break.

Conroy announced March 30: “Our government has identified another 438 commercial recreational operators that are eligible for rent forgiveness as part of this initiative,” she said, identifying hunting and fishing lodges, seasonal campgrounds and other commercial recreation operators.

Some of the leases are through the environment and parks ministry, which overlaps with forests and lands in wildlife management and other functions. Premier John Horgan has ordered ministers to create a new ministry of lands to sort out the situation.

The total rent forgiveness program now amounts to $3.23 million for 1,473 tenures and permits, 990 of which are Land Act tenures. The other 483 are Park Act permits to operate on Crown land.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Alberni Golf Club is located on Cherry Creek Road. FILE PHOTO
ALBERNI GOLF: Parhar picks up win in Partner with a Pro

Next Sunday, April 18 is a two man best ball

Two of the heritage buildings from McLean Mill National Historic Site that have been restored at the Port Alberni tourist attraction. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
McLean Mill application breaks new ground for ALC

Process just another ‘misstep’ by city, says critic

Coulson Aviation’s newest Chinook helicopter, N43CU, takes to the air above the Alberni Valley Regional Airport following a complete airframe conversion into a helitanker, April 8, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY BILL MCLEOD)
Coulson Aviation’s newest helitanker takes flight

Converted Chinook helitanker off to U.S. for new paint job

Dave Cusson, Community Policing Manager with the City of Port Alberni, offers some tips for pedestrian safety in a Community Policing video. (SCREENSHOT)
City of Port Alberni on way to dubious pedestrian safety record

Pedestrian crashes a growing concern in Port Alberni

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

(Amandalina Letterio - Capital News)
Kelowna demonstrators show support for Vancouver Island logging activists

Two Kelowna men stood atop a pedestrian bridge on Harvey Avenue to raise awareness about old-growth forests

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read