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

Just Posted

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

x
Kimberley issues Water Quality Advisory

The first Water Quality Advisory of the season was issued by the… Continue reading

The City of Kimberley has launched a new survey to assess its short-term rental situation. Paul Rodgers file.
Survey launched to assess short-term rental situation in Kimberley

The City of Kimberley has launched a survey with the goal of… Continue reading

BC Wildfire Service personal put out a suspected human-caused fire near Horseshoe Lake. (Photo courtesy Jaime Vienneau)
Small wildfires near Cranbrook are under control or out, but risk still high

The small Hidden Valley wildfire southeast of Cranbrook which started Sunday is… Continue reading

Columbia Valley RCMP say there was one fatality in a single vehicle accident Friday. (File photo)
Traffic fatality reported near Fairmont, Friday May 14

Columbia Valley RCMP are reporting a traffic fatality on Friday, May 14,… Continue reading

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read