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QUESTION PERIOD — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Affordable Housing

May 2, 2024

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition)

Leader, yesterday Canadians who are unable to find a home that they can afford got more bad news from this NDP-Trudeau government. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s spring outlook says that housing starts will decline this year, even though we are in the midst of a housing crisis. Next year, new housing starts will not reach 2021 levels, and we were not building enough homes then either.

Leader, having the Prime Minister fly all over the place for photo ops isn’t a plan to fix the crisis that he has created. Isn’t this report from our very own housing authority more proof that Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh are not worth the cost? Thank you. You know the line.

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Yes. The answer is no.

The challenge to build more housing in Canada, as we all know — I will simply make the point — is a function of a partnership between the federal government, which has the power of the purse; the provinces, which have jurisdiction; the municipalities, which are responsible for zoning; and, of course, the private sector. It is a challenge. Canadians are facing the challenge, and the government is very aware of, sensitive and responsive to it.

It is regrettable, however, that the projects that have already been put in place, or at least the federal part, are not progressing as they could. Let me cite one example. In the province of Ontario, in order to receive up to $357 million in funding to reimburse investments in affordable housing, the Government of Ontario committed that they would have a plan to build tens of thousands of homes. They have announced that they are only going to be able to build 23%. That is one example of failure, and not the federal government’s failure.

Leader, an Ipsos poll last week showed that 80% of Canadians believe that owning a home is only for the rich, and among our youth that figure rises to 90%. This is dreadful.

Senator Gold, you’ve often claimed that the NDP-Trudeau government has done more than any other on housing. Don’t blame the Ontario government.

In my view, spending more money and getting the absolute worst results is pure incompetence, leader. What do you call it?

Senator Gold [ + ]

I’m pointing out facts to this honourable chamber.

The Government of Ontario promised that they would have a plan to show how they would create 19,660 new affordable homes by 2028 and repair over 25,000 homes. Their plan now only reaches 28% of that target. They refuse to show how they would ultimately meet it. They have voided that agreement with the federal government, and the residents of Ontario are the ones who are the losers.

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