Andrew Wilkinson has walked back comments he made earlier this week about his experience with renting, following backlash from renters and advocates.
The BC Liberal Party leader told CKNW’s Jon McComb on Friday that he understands the high cost of living in B.C., specifically in Vancouver, and would have phrased his comments differently.
Two days earlier, Wilkinson told fellow MLAs at the legislature that his 15 years as a young renter were “fun,” “wacky” and “a rite of passage.”
Renters, advocates and the NDP were quick to lambaste him, saying he was out of touch with the challenges renters face with high costs and a low vacancy rate.
“Understandably, some renters perhaps were miffed with my remarks, and I apologize for that,” he said on air.
“It’s an understanding, of course, in this society that it’s not cheap living here, and we all have to work on making this a better place by getting higher incomes and getting more supply of rental. So yeah, would I phrase it differently next time? Sure. Why not?”
Wilkinson acknowledged it was more affordable being a student when he was younger,“although I didn’t have two nickels to rub together.”
He went on to say there is a need for more rental units, more co-op housing and a “sufficient balance” between the landlord and the tenant.