HANSARD: What would government do to stop housing financialization?

House of Common Hansard
Oral Questions
October 28th, 2022 / 11:30 a.m.

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, under the Harper government, the cost of buying a home increased by 77%. It doubled under the Liberals. The average rent in Canada is now over $2,000 a month. Families just cannot afford it. 

Both the Conservatives and the Liberals allowed for the financialization of housing to go unchecked, treating housing as a stock market instead of a necessity by allowing corporate landlords to evict people from their homes to turn a profit. Canadians deserve to find a home they can afford.

Will the Liberals stand with Canadian families and put a stop to the profiteering of housing?

Soraya Martinez Ferrada Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion (Housing)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. There is definitely a speculative element in the real estate market right now. That is why our government decided to implement an annual tax of 1% on the value of residential property owned by non-resident non-Canadians and to prohibit foreign investment for two years. We want to make sure we protect our market here in Canada.

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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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