September 12th, 2020
Homelessness in Canada is another example of empty Liberal words
September 12, 2020
VANCOUVER – Three years after the Liberal government announced what they called their National Housing Strategy (NHS), people in several provinces still haven’t seen a dime of support for housing and the entire NHS still completely ignores the dire housing situation for urban, rural, and northern Indigenous people.
“When the Prime Minister admitted that adequate housing is a fundamental human right, it should have meant something. Instead, it was more empty words from Mr. Trudeau,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. “Justin Trudeau is not only breaking his promise to address homelessness, with this failure, he’s also breaking his promise to move forward with reconciliation. The Prime Minister needs to do more than say the right things; he needs to actually do the right things too.”
Across Canada, 235,000 peopleexperience homelessness every year and 1.7 million families live in substandard or unaffordable housing. Singh noted that last year a federal study found that thirty percent of emergency shelter users were Indigenous people. In some communities, that number is predicted to be two or three times higher.
NDP Critic for Housing Jenny Kwan has uncovered information that the central part of the Liberals’ failure is that they’ve allowed the largest program within the NHS to fail people in many provinces. B.C. got a scant 0.5% of funding from completed agreements whileAlberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories and Yukon have all received none of the promised funding.
“Now we know why the Trudeau government has failed to make good on their promise to appoint an independent Federal Housing Advocate to monitor the government's progress,” said Kwan. “In most places, there’s no progress to monitor.”
Despite repeated calls from the NDP to immediately flow the money and get affordable housing built, the Liberals have refused to act.
“With the consequences we’ve seen and lessons we’ve learned through this pandemic, we have an obligation to build for better,” said Kwan. “I am proud to sponsor a petition to implement a Recovery for All, a plan put forward by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness that aims to bring an end to chronic homelessness, create over 500,000 jobs and save taxpayers $18 billion on the current estimated costs of homelessness.”