HANSARD: Replying to Conservative member's question on accountability for the housing crisis

House of Commons Hansard #242 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session
Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings
October 30, 2023  5:15 p.m.

Anna Roberts King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague has formed a partnership with the Liberal government, so she has to take some accountability for the housing crisis.

The current mayor of Toronto and the former NDP leader of the opposition lived in social housing when they should not have been allowed to, given their incomes. Can the member please explain to me who is accountable for that? If we are going to create these opportunities for individuals who cannot afford the cost of rent, how can we be accountable to the people who should be in those units?

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, just to be clear on the record, the NDP is fighting for people. We did get $8.3 billion invested in indigenous housing, for both distinction-based and urban, rural and northern communities. We did get the government to invest in the accelerator fund. We did get the government to invest in co-op housing and a variety of other measures. Is it enough? Absolutely not. Are New Democrats going to push for more? Everyone can bet we are.

With respect to the mayor of Toronto, let us be clear. It is my understanding that she and the late Jack Layton lived in co-op housing. People in co-op housing in that sector were actually paying market rent because a lot of times, these housing projects brought in a balance of one-third, one-third and one-third: one-third market, one-third subsidized and one-third below market. They were doing what most people would want to see: a successful model of co-op housing, ensuring that we build communities that have a mix of incomes in those projects.


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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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