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. 

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."

MEDIA RELEASE - Liberals and Conservatives protect the profits of big oil companies instead of Canadians

OTTAWA – Today, Liberal and Conservatives teamed up to vote down an NDP proposal to stop giving billions of tax payer dollars to profitable oil and gas companies and instead reinvest that money in Canadians struggling to make ends meet. The government’s rejection of the NDP plan to help Canadians comes on the same day that inflation reached its highest rate since 1991.

“Canadians have been getting crushed by the soaring cost of living. The price of food and gas is so high that people struggling to take care of themselves and their families,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. “What we proposed today is a way to get money back into people’s pockets to give them a little extra help to cover their growing costs. Its unthinkable that the Liberal government and the Conservatives teamed up to defeat our motion. They think public money should go to the oil and gas companies who are already making record profits instead of helping Canadian families. New Democrats know that’s wrong and we’re going to keep fighting to get people the help they desperately need.”

MEDIA RELEASE - NDP urging the government to defend Canadians getting gouged at the pumps instead of helping big oil companies profit

OTTAWA – As the price of gas reached over two dollars per litre in most parts of the country today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is urging the Liberal government to help Canadians struggling with the rising cost of living. While Canadians are getting gouged at the pumps, big oil and gas companies are making record profits. In a Parliamentary motion, Singh is calling on the Liberals to stop giving billions of dollars of public money to oil and gas companies and reinvest those funds in renewable energy and solutions that make life more affordable for Canadians.
“Canadians have been through a lot in the last two years of the pandemic. They’ve been isolated from their loved ones and now, the price of gas is so high people are cancelling the trips they had planned to see their family and friends because they simply can’t afford the trip,” said Singh. “While people are making these sacrifices, oil and gas companies like Suncor and Cenovus are making record profits. Instead of helping Canadian families with the cost of living, the government continues to give billions of dollars in subsidies to oil and gas companies who are already making a fortune. It makes no sense. New Democrats are calling on the government to stop helping to maximize corporate profits and start defending Canadian families.”

MEDIA RELEASE - NDP calls on government to put more money back in Canadians’ pockets

“People are anxious. They’re very worried about covering the costs of the everyday things they need, like gas and groceries,” said Singh. “Canadians are paying record-high prices at the pumps so that these big oil and gas companies can make more and more profits. This is exactly what is wrong with the system designed by Liberals and Conservatives – in times of crisis, the rich and powerful win – Canadian lose. It doesn’t have to be this way. New Democrats are urging the federal government to act and make things fairer for everyday Canadians.”
New Democrats are proposing that the government double the GST tax credit and increase the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for all recipients by $500. This would mean middle-class and low-income Canadians would get between $500 and $1000 to help them pay their bills. With these NDP proposals, at least 40 per cent of Canadians would get money back in their pockets to help with their growing expenses.

MEDIA RELEASE - Canadians across the country need affordable Internet services

The pandemic has shown how much people depend on Internet and cellphone services to stay connected, work and study. The reality is that Canadians are tired and frustrated from paying high fees for Internet services that make big, rich telecommunications companies even richer. They feel like they are being ripped off, especially people who are struggling to get by with the cost of groceries, gas for their cars and other bills pilling up.

Today's announcement is a first step, but government eligibility criteria still excludes many low-income families and seniors who depend on Internet services.

Since Justin Trudeau came to power, instead of taking action to reduce internet charges, his government has protected the monopoly and profits of telecom giants at the expense of the people who pay some of the highest fees in the world.

OPEN LETTER to housing minister on cost-sharing plan with BC provincial and municipal government urgently needed to address homelessness crisis

OPEN LETTER to housing minister on cost-sharing plan with BC provincial and municipal government urgently needed to address homelessness crisis

The homelessness crisis is not only an affront to human rights, but also poses an enormous national public health risk. This puts the individuals and the communities they live in at risk. Despite the undisputable importance of housing, I am deeply concerned that your government’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is woefully inadequate.
Based on the response to my order paper question submitted February 4th, 2020, it seems the largest component of the NHS, the National Housing Co-investment Fund (NHCF), has fallen short of expectations. I was shocked to learn that only 23 of 432 of submissions have finalized funding agreements. Even more troubling was the lack of funding outside of Ontario. Among these applications, over 50% of the finalized agreements were from Ontario and over 91% of the $1.47 billion in these agreements went to a single application in the City of Toronto.
Only 2 applications were finalized in British Columbia, which represents 0.05% of these funds. To say the least, this fails to recognize the housing crisis that has impacted Vancouver and communities in my riding particularly hard.

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister - Stop the garnishing of tax credits and refunds during the pandemic

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister - Stop the garnishing of tax credits and refunds during the pandemic

One of the emergency measures to support low and modest income earners during the pandemic is an increase in the Goods and Service Tax Credit (GSTC) this year, doubling the maximum GSTC amount, providing an average boost of $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. While this measure will bring much needed relief to those who qualify, we are concerned that this tax credit will not reach those whose student loans are in default and in collections. We have similar concerns for the Emergency Care Benefit, which will also be administered through the CRA.

Emergency funds like the increased GTSC and the Emergency Care Benefit are intended to help those who are financially hit the hardest and are most vulnerable during the pandemic, in addition to providing a boost to the economy. If the benefits are garnished and returned to the government, it would defeat the intended purpose. For these reasons, we are requesting that the garnishing of tax credits and tax refunds to repay student loan debts be suspended so individuals can fully benefit from the emergency financial measures that have been put in place during these trying times.

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on nationalwide rent freeze and guaranteed income to protect Canadians needed before rent day

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on nationalwide rent freeze and guaranteed income to protect Canadians needed before rent day

As we approach the end of the month in 6 days, rent and mortgage payments will be due for renters and homeowners across Canada. While a number of economic measures have been announced, they will not be enough to protect Canadians from losing their housing during these difficult times. The increase in GSTC and CCB payments won’t be received until May, and application for the Emergency Care Benefit doesn’t open until April. There are many others who don’t equality for these measures but have suffered debilitating income loss during the pandemic, including but not limited to small business owners, and gig, freelance, contract workers, artists and people in the film industry during the crisis. For people on fixed incomes, such as seniors and people on disability pensions and benefits, the decrease in accessibility to community programming mean that living costs are increasing.

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister - Resources and support needed for Van East NGO

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister - Resources and support needed for Van East NGO

I am writing with regards to an urgent need for direction and resources for non-profit organizations in my riding, some of whom have reached out to my office directly expressing dire needs. As you may know, Vancouver East is home to one of the highest number of non-profit organizations per capita of any ridings in Canada. Many of these non-profits provide essential services that have enormous health impacts for the community. Some of these services include, but are not limited to, housing provision, food security, home support services, overdose prevention, mental health support, urban Indigenous programs and services, seniors’ and youth services, support for victims of domestic violence and abuse, and others.
Because of the importance of these services to the community members who count on them, many of these organizations are continuing to deliver these essential services despite the pandemic and the risks and challenges involved. In fact, many are trying to step up services, such as offering grocery deliveries for seniors isolated at home, to meet the emerging needs of the community. In order to do so, many of these organizations need urgent support and resources from the government, and it is vital that we step up to meet their efforts.

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