IN THE HOUSE | Question on Canada’s housing affordability crisis

Published: January 29, 2019
Categorised in: In the House

42nd Parliament, 1st Session

Context : Question
Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister misled Parliament and all Canadians when he said in this House that he has already “helped more than one million Canadians find affordable housing”. We checked the CMHC record and it says only 14,703 new units have been or are even being built. Therefore, the government gave away $14 billion in corporate tax writeoffs in the mini-budget, but has only built a few new housing units.
Why is the Prime Minister deliberately misstating the facts? When will the government find new affordable housing for Canadians?

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Canadians deserve housing that is safe, affordable and accessible. That is why we have made unprecedented investments in housing across this country since day one, including with our national housing strategy. We have already helped more than almost one million Canadians access homes. Our plan is for stable housing and financing now and for the next decade. We know that quality of life, better opportunities for kids, for families, for everyone relies on housing. That is why we are investing in a national housing strategy.

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP): Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Doing routine repairs and maintenance is not finding new housing for Canadians. That answer shows appalling disrespect for Canadians in Burnaby and everywhere else who are suffering through the worst housing crisis we have ever had. Canadian families are struggling under the worst family debt crisis in our history and in all the industrialized world. Forty-six per cent of Canadians are $200 away from financial insolvency in any given month.
Why does the government not build affordable housing? Why does the Prime Minister not start to care as much about Canadians as he does about Bay Street billionaires?

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the NDP be careful about maligning the idea of repairing or refurbishing existing housing stocks. Far too many Canadians live in housing that is unacceptable and the investments we have made that have helped rebuild, refurbish, renovate, improve housing for Canadians right across this country is making a real difference. That is part of the money we are flowing to communities and to Canadians to make sure they have safe and affordable places to live. Yes, there is much more work to do, but we are doing it with unprecedented investments in housing.

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