SIKSAY AND COAD CALL ON CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT TO RENEW RESPONSIBILITY FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
VANCOUVER: NDP Housing Critic Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas) and federal NDP candidate for Vancouver-Quadra, Rebecca Coad, today called on the Conservative government to end the federal government’s 15 year hiatus from housing and renew an urgently needed national housing programme for Canadians.
“The biggest cause of homelessness in Vancouver is in fact the federal government”, stated Siksay. “New Democrats have called on both the past Liberal and current Conservative governments to renew this important programme but our calls have fallen on deaf ears.”
In 1993, the then Liberal government dismantled Canada’s national housing programme and, despite record surpluses, each Liberal and Conservative government since have failed to reinstate this vital programme.
“The lack of affordable housing is a widespread issue which is felt in every corner of this riding,” stated Coad. “The need for affordable housing is most keenly felt by those individuals and families in our communities who already pay too much on rent and who face mounting bills with very little change in their own incomes.”
The only new money that has gone into housing from the federal government in the past 15 years came from the NDP’s additions to the 2006 budget through Bill C-48. While report after report has called on the federal government to take action and implement a national housing programme, no funding commitments have been made for current housing programs.
“When will the Harper government realize that safe and affordable housing is a right, not a privilege?” asked Siksay. “This is precisely why the NDP introduced Bill C-382 to enshrine this right into legislation.”
“Our communities cannot afford to wait any longer for safe housing they can afford,” argued Coad. “Vancouver-Quadra needs affordable housing now, and we call on the Harper Conservatives to make a national housing programme a priority in this budget.”
For more information, please contact:
Sonja vanDieen, Office of Bill Siksay, MP, 613-996-5597 or Siksay.B@parl.gc.ca
Russ Neely, Rebecca Coad Election Campaign, 604-878-8883