Charter challenge shows government inaction on housing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHARTER CHALLENGE SHOWS GOVERNMENT INACTION ON HOUSING SAYS NDP MP DAVIES

OTTAWA – “It is shameful that Canadians are forced to take the government to court for decent housing and housing support,” says New Democrat Housing and Homelessness Critic Libby Davies (Vancouver East).

“It speaks volumes about the housing crisis in Canada and need for federal leadership on the issue.”

Davies was responding to a landmark legal challenge filed Wednesday by four individuals and the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation. The applicants are challenging the Federal and Ontario governments under sections 7 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, asserting government policies have not only failed to address homelessness and inadequate housing, but that their inaction has contributed to the problem.

“Since Canada dismantled its housing strategy in the 1990s, the impact has been severe,” said Davies. “An estimated 4.2 million Canadians are living in inadequate, often unhealthy and unsafe housing. The people in this lawsuit represent the millions of single parents, families with catastrophic healthcare costs, laid-off workers, and others whose low incomes or inadequate and underfunded social assistance rates can’t meet soaring housing costs.”

Davies has been pushing the federal government to show some leadership and has introduced legislation for a National Housing Strategy (Bill C-304), currently being debated in Parliament.

“The federal government must take a leadership role and bring all the stakeholders together to develop and implement a national strategy to deal with the housing crisis,” said Davies.

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This Press Release was posted on May 27, 2010