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

Terrace Community Fund was able to set up the Dare to Dream Fund with a significant donation from Trumpeter Donnie Clark. (File photo)
Dare to Dream Fund set up after a large donation from musician Donnie Clark

The fund will provide financial support for the Dare to Dream music program in Terrace and Thornhill

The average selling price of a single-family home in Terrace has climbed 26 per cent in the last year. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)
House prices soar in Terrace

Average prices increased by 26 per cent

Nurse Vicki Niemi administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Joyce, 88, on Mar. 23, 2020 at the Terrace Sportsplex. All adults in Terrace are now eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccination. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
All adults in Terrace can now register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

Community members can register by calling 833-838-2323 or visiting getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca

April 2020 to March 2021 was the second wettest year on record since at least 1969, according to Environment Canada. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
VIDEO: Terrace records wettest spell in over a half-century

Terrace saw close to 1,500 millimetres of precipitation between April 2020 and March 2021

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Most Read