Update on Bill C-304 and a Canadian Day of Action for Housing

Bill C-304 calling for a National Housing Strategy

Bill C-304, an Act to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians, will be in the House of Commons for final debate on Wednesday, October 20th – and there has been a big push for its support during Homelessness Action Week.

There have been so many great events this week! While I was handing out postcards at the Broadway SkyTrain station in Vancouver, in support of a national housing strategy, the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition was collecting signatures for Bill C-304 in Whitehorse. In Halifax this week, there are workshops and coffee houses to share ideas and discuss the latest housing initiatives for Halifax Housing Week.

A big thank you to all the volunteers across Canada who have made these events happen.

There are a lot of people gearing up for the Canadian Day of Action!
On October 19th, the Red Tent Campaign is holding a Day of Action for a National Housing Strategy on Parliament Hill. As they say on their website (www.redtents.org) – Parliament Hill will be awash with red tents as advocates from across unite in the call for “Housing for All!”
Everyone is invited: Tuesday, October 19, at 9:30 am on Parliament Hill!

There will be similar actions in cities across the country including Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Moncton, Halifax, and St. John’s.

Here are just a few more campaigns underway to support Bill C-304:

The Burnaby Board of Trade Resolution calling for a national homelessness plan was adopted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The Unitarian Church of Vancouver are holding their monthly Meet, Eat and Write where folks enjoy a potluck dinner and this month will write letters to MPs in support of an national affordable housing strategy

Jennifer Hales and SFU have published a Teacher’s Guide on Homelessness in BC, a new resource on homelessness for senior high-school teachers! You can download the guide at: www.sfu.ca/~pendakur/teaching/homelessness/

Make Poverty History has initiated an
online petition
in support of Bill C-304. Through their website, you can instantly send a letter to your MP, and can also sign onto the Dignity for All campaign if you haven’t had the opportunity yet.

The list of supporters keeps growing! The following are the most recent organizations and municipalities who have signed on to Bill C-304
• YWCA Canada
• City of Ottawa
• Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
• Raising the Roof
• City of White Rock
• Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
• Streams of Justice

The lobbying that groups are undertaking across Canada is working. Our office is getting calls from Members of Parliament from all parties asking for more information and expressing their support.

Keep up the great work everyone!

Libby Davies, MP Vancouver East
NDP Spokesperson for Housing and Homelessness