Libby Speaking out for Affordable Housing

HANSARD
House of Commons

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, a report to be tabled at the UN Monday is yet another indictment that Canada has failed its citizens in the most basic of human needs: affordable housing.

The report spells out that Canada urgently needs a comprehensive and coordinated national policy. The budget was yet another example of the failed approach that the government is taking. There is no new money to end homelessness and nothing for new social housing.

Will the minister implement the recommendations in the UN report and commit to a national housing strategy?

Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, we have committed a number of dollars with respect to housing: $1 billion to support much-needed repairs to social housing, $600 million for new housing and repairs to existing housing on reserve, $400 million for on reserve, $200 million for the North, $400 million to build more seniors housing, and $75 million for new housing for people with disabilities.

We are addressing that issue in a significant and substantial way.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. There is money there for decks for cottages, but there is nothing for new social housing for families or for homelessness. Why is that?

In Vancouver we have a housing crisis. B.C. needs support and money for new social housing, not just for upgrades or retrofits. The government is still in denial. In fact, it is now an embarrassment in the international community.
I ask again, will the minister commit to a real housing plan that will actually deliver the affordable housing units that are so desperately needed in this country?

Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I was just enunciating a number of initiatives we took. That particular party voted against each and every one of them while at the same time trying to promote the issue of housing.

With respect to homelessness, we have committed $1.9 billion over the next five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. These are the kinds of things we are doing. We would ask the New Democratic Party and this hon. member to get behind us and help support that to happen.