Victoria MLA questions sale of government land

The province has 63 properties listed throughout B.C. for sale or are already sold.

  • Feb. 26, 2015 8:00 p.m.

Rosie Townshend-Carter

Victoria News

The B.C. government’s attempt to gain quick revenue by selling off a large amount of assets at once, may be doing the province more harm than good, says a Victoria MLA.

The province has 63 properties listed throughout B.C. for sale or are already sold.

“It’s not a good idea to dump a bunch of property on the market at the same time, you won’t get the same return,” said Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake.

Only three properties are listed for sale on Vancouver Island, with two being pieces of vacant land in Victoria.

“The government approach to put up a quick fire sale all across B.C. is not efficient or strategic,” said Fleming.

The vacant land for sale in Greater Victoria, which lines Highway 1 near Highlands, is sized at 16 and 24 hectares each with 27 hectares already sold.

“When you look at Highway 1 and the approaches to Greater Victoria, those were acquired to insure there was a proper buffer room for growth and flexibility for transportation systems,” said Fleming.

Sometimes the land is purchased by the province with hopes of a future build.

“It’s identified if there is value, are we going to be building? Or land is bought in anticipation of a project and then plans change after they’ve bought it,” said Blair Phelps, communications director for the Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services Communications Office.

Previously, the province did a trade of Crystal Gardens with the City of Victoria for its Harbour Road industrial lands.

“It’s not to say the government should never sell land, but when they’re doing it to acquire short term revenue to abandon long-term planning, it’s a bad combo,” Fleming said.

 

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