Canadians have been struggling for decades with a housing affordability crisis. With the rapidly rising cost of living in addition to the housing crisis, Canadians are struggling harder than ever.
 
To address the root cause of the affordability crisis, the government must prioritize people over the profits of corporations, oil and gas, and the ultra-wealthy. By closing tax loopholes, tax havens, and stopping tax-payer funded subsidies to oil and gas industries and corporations, we will be able to make the investments that will improve affordability and enhance the well-being of Canadians, such as affordable housing, universal dental and pharmacare, public education, a just transition to a green economy, and Guaranteed Livable Basic income. 
 
The pandemic has shown us that the government can respond rapidly to a crisis if there is the political will. The CERB and CRB showed that the minimum wage for survival is $2000, yet the incomes of seniors and people on disability fail to reach that. The NDP has introduced a private member's bill to develop a national framework for a permanent Guaranteed Livable Basic Income (GLBI) in Canada with reporting requirements. The bill proposes a GLBI for all people living in Canada over the age of 17 regardless of participation in the workforce or an educational training program.
 
I will keep fighting for real policies that will make sure that the rich pay their fair share and that all Canadians can live in dignity and security. 

HESA#38: Committee debate on Bill C-31 Cost of Living Relief Act, An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing

In a different committee.... I don't normally sit on this committee, so I'm a bit bewildered as to how this committee normally works. I don't know if this is how it always works. In any event, this is my first time sitting on this committee. In the committee I sit on, which is the immigration committee, there have been many times when the Conservative members challenged the chair. Sometimes they succeeded and sometimes they didn't.

All of that is to say that it is within members' rights to do what they wish to do and then follow the procedures accordingly. Nobody is usurping the rules here. We are following the rules as they are.

Getting back to the issue at hand, the purpose of this amendment is.... In my community of Vancouver East, for example, there are a lot of people who pay room and board. Sometimes they're students. Sometimes they're seniors. Sometimes the amount they pay is not the 25% that is deemed in this legislation. What I intended to do was come up with a number that better reflects the actuality of how much they pay, so that more people would qualify. I will admit that I am trying to get more people to qualify. That is my sin here. I am trying to do that.

If the Conservatives don't like that and don't support it, which is exactly where they are, they're entitled to that and to vote against it, accordingly. However, to somehow suggest that I'm trying to usurp the rules, Mr. Chair, is offensive and it is just not true.

HANSARD: Discussion on mental health, housing and Constable Shaelyn Yang

I will build on what I heard from my colleague about the need for the social determinants of health to be addressed, because that is intrinsically linked to both our physical and mental health.
The reality is that there are so many people in our communities who do not have access to basic supports that should be a basic human right, such as housing. When people cannot access housing, they are in turmoil. Pregnant mothers feel so hopeless because they cannot have access to housing that they take their lives.
I have had situations in my own riding of Vancouver East where mothers and families who are trying to get away from domestic violence are not able to access housing. There is desperation when sending them back to the abuser because they have no other choice. I have met mothers who lost their children, and not because they are bad parents but because they do not have access to safe, secure and affordable housing. Let us imagine for one moment the trauma associated with that. What does that do to their hearts, to their minds and to their mental health? Those are the realities that people have to live with every day across Canada and most definitely in my riding of Vancouver East.

IN THE NEWS: CITV - NDP 'Greedflation' motion calling for grocery pricing probe gets unanimous support from MPs

IN THE NEWS: CITV - NDP 'Greedflation' motion calling for grocery pricing probe gets unanimous support from MPs

An NDP motion calling on the federal government to take steps to tackle "greedflation," and investigate grocery chain profits, received unanimous support from MPs on Monday. 
The motion called out grocery store giants for making "massive profits in the last year," while the cost of groceries keeps rising. It also calls on the government to "recognize that corporate greed is a significant driver of inflation, and to take further action to support families during this cost-of-living crisis." 
While not binding—meaning the federal government is not forced to act, but will have to take note of the House of Commons' unanimous request—the motion calls on the Liberals to:
•  Force CEOs and big corporations to "pay what they owe" by closing tax loopholes;
•  Launch an "affordable and fair food strategy" to tackle "corporate greed";
•  Ask the competition bureau to investigate grocery chain profits; and
•  Support a previously-agreed upon House committee study calling grocery CEOs to testify about "high food prices and the role of 'greedflation.'"
“After standing by for months, the Liberals and Conservatives finally agreed today that corporate greed is a problem,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in a statement following the vote.  
IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - 'This is the time for getting things done,' says former Liberal staffer after retreats wrapped up

IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - 'This is the time for getting things done,' says former Liberal staffer after retreats wrapped up

The confidence-and-supply agreement between the Liberals and the NDP looks to be in good shape as Parliament returns for the fall, say strategists, even as both parties look to address growing frustrations with the rising cost of living, and prepare for the election of a new Conservative leader.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) was expected to announce on Sept. 8, the last day of the cabinet retreat in Vancouver, that the government was taking three steps to address affordability, according to a Canadian Press report. These included $650 a year to pay for dental care for children under the age of 12, a one-time $500 top up for renters, and a temporary doubling of the GST tax credit for low-income households.
The first two items are directly from the Liberal-NDP agreement, and the increase to the GST rebate is also something the NDP has called for. But Trudeau’s planned press conference was delayed, and when he did appear before the cameras several hours later it was to react to the death of Queen Elizabeth.
MEDIA RELEASE: New Democrats Force the Liberals to Act: Wins for Everyday Canadians

MEDIA RELEASE: New Democrats Force the Liberals to Act: Wins for Everyday Canadians

Whether it’s sky-high rent and housing costs, gas pump gouging, or record-high grocery bills – working families are feeling the squeeze of inflation as big box stores and CEOs earn massive profits. At the NDP caucus retreat in Halifax last week, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh reiterated ​urgent calls for inflationary relief measures ​to address the affordability crisis.
New Democrats used their power in the minority parliament to get wins for everyday people, forcing the Liberals to finally agree to ​take action on a historic expansion of Canada’s healthcare system through the establishment of a dental care program for families earning less than $90,000 without insurance and an increase to the Canadian Housing Benefit – real measures that will help household budgets. 

Open Letter to Federal Housing Minister on urgent housing crisis

Open Letter to Federal Housing Minister on urgent housing crisis

I am therefore calling on the federal government to re-establish the Vancouver Agreement – a tripartite initiative that brought all levels of government together to support social, economic and community development in Vancouver, with a specific focus on the Downtown East Side.  We need an urgent and concerted effort between all levels of government working in collaboration with local non-governmental organizations to address the challenges in our community, with urgent interventions to find safe housing and supports for people in crisis, and long-term systemic solutions to address the needs of the community.  The status quo simply cannot continue.

MEDIA RELEASE: New Democrats fight for increased support for people living with disabilities

OTTAWA – Earlier this month, NDP Critic for Disability Inclusion, Bonita Zarrillo, secured support from all Members of Parliament to put in place a Canada Disability Benefit without delay. Thanks to Zarrillo’s motion, the federal government has finally committed to bringing legislation forward before the end of June, to make this benefit a reality.

"People living with a disability in Canada who have felt ignored by this government are rightly frustrated. For years they have heard empty promises with no real action from the government," said Zarrillo. "People living with a disability make up 41 per cent of all those living in poverty in Canada. The pandemic created even more financial challenges for them and now, due to the rising costs of essentials like groceries and housing, people living with a disability are finding it even harder to make ends meet."

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