VICTORIA — British Columbia's New Democrat government is pledging more homes for first-time buyers and eviction protection for renters in a throne speech that promises affordability measures in this week's budget.

The throne speech, read in the legislature by Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin, says the government is putting forward a vision where everyone can get ahead and no one is left behind.

The speech marks the start of the spring legislative session and comes ahead of the provincial budget on Thursday, which is less than nine months from the provincial election.

Austin told the legislature that housing is a generational challenge in B.C. and the government will not tinker at the edges to fix the problem but will continue its goal to build thousands of affordable homes for middle-income earners.

The speech says the government will introduce actions this spring to protect renters from "bad-faith evictions," and help first-time buyers enter the housing market.

It says the government will also introduce legislation connected to the sextortion suicide of 12-year-old Carson Cleland of Prince George, and the similar death of 15-year-old Amanda Todd, to shed light on bullying, cyberbullying and online safety.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2024.

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