OTTAWA – This week, two NPD MPs wrote to Minister of Human Resources Monte Solberg after information on the “Homelessness Partnership Initiative for Outreach Communities” arrived at MPs’ constituency offices only two days before the application deadline, demanding that the unreasonable deadline be extended.
NDP Housing Critic Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas) and NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) took action to get the deadline extended, both personally calling the minister to address the issue.
Mathyssen described the situation as “outrageous,” saying it was “clearly impossible” to notify all the community organizations who could apply, let alone provide them with support and assistance on the detailed application packages in just two days.
Late yesterday, notice was received that the deadline for applications would be extended until September 5.
“This is welcome news,” said Mathyssen. “Earlier in the day, I was hosting a community meeting on poverty reduction strategies. The HPI deadline situation was raised along with repeated calls for better federal funding for affordable housing and homelessness programs. I know that many organizations will be relieved to learn of this extension.”
Siksay also welcomed the news of the extension but noted that it only addresses the immediate concern.
“While today’s extension is welcome news, we are still waiting for the minister to show real leadership and address the need for long-term, stable funding in this area,” Siksay concluded.