The federal election is now down to the wire. It is time for those of us who have not yet made up our minds on who to vote for to focus on the issues that are the most important to us. We need to take a look at where the parties stand on these issues.
For me, with my long-time focus on municipal politics, housing is a key issue.
For decades, no matter how poorly the economy was doing and no matter what the unemployment rate was, we did not have a crisis in homelessness. Yes, poverty existed at unacceptable levels and people were under-housed or housed in sub-standard housing, but they were not forced to live on the streets. Today we have a crisis.
I recently searched for the housing policies of the four federal parties. Only Elizabeth May’s Green Party of Canada offers a national housing strategy.
To start, the Green Party is committed to funding the cooperative housing sector. This is a critical point. Up until the time the Liberals terminated CMHC’s funding of housing co-ops, this housing alternative successfully created thousands of housing units, all with the rent geared to income.
The Green Party also commits to providing the funding necessary to retrofit all Canadian homes within the next 15 years in order to increase energy efficiency and reduce heating and electricity bills. The retrofits will also reduce the building’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent and generate the spin-off effect of creating thousands of new jobs and stimulating the economy.
If housing is as important to you as it is to me, Elizabeth May’s Green Party is your option.