Parliament: Question on large delay in affordable housing spending announced in 2017 budget

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, I am going to pick up on a point made by my friend from Courtenay—Alberni. I am not out of sympathy with the efforts of the government to emphasize affordable housing. It is really nice, after 10 years of the previous government, to have a government that understands affordable housing. I certainly know there are many members opposite who care about it as passionately as we do on the opposition benches. It really is difficult to have it described as a long-term vision when it is so clear in all the categories, whether it is spending on climate change, infrastructure, child care spaces, or help for the homeless, that very little money will be spent before the next election.

If it had been described differently, if the government were making a historic contribution to fight homelessness of $300 million before the next election, that would be honest. I have to say it seems to be a bit of a shell game to say that the government is spending $11 billion on helping to deal with the homelessness crisis, but only $300 million will be spent before the next election.

Wayne Long – Saint John—Rothesay, NB

Mr. Speaker, again, to run a government, to look at the big picture, there has to be a long-term investment. I am absolutely thrilled that our finance minister and our government stood up and put their money where their mouths are with a long-term 10-year investment, a strategic investment in a national housing strategy. I just came back from travelling coast to coast to coast. If one talks to people across the country on the front lines, those dealing with people in need day in and day out, they are absolutely thrilled with our commitment. They are thrilled with our investment. This is going to change the lives for tens upon hundreds of thousands of families living across the country.