The response of the Liberal candidate for the South Burnaby
1) What is your party’s position on addressing homelessness?
The Liberal Party of Canada understands that homelessness has an economic and social impact on every community in Canada. Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That’s why the Liberal government created Reaching Home, Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, which integrates and expands the existing federal homelessness program. As a part of the National Housing Strategy (NHS), this plan is committed to cutting homelessness by 50% in the next 10 years by empowering local communities to deliver a combination of housing measures. The Liberal government also introduced Canada’s first-ever Poverty Reduction Strategy, which is building on existing measures to fight against poverty and help more Canadians. The strategy includes initiatives like increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the new Canada’s Workers Benefit, and the Canada Child Benefit which has lifted more than 300,000 children out of poverty.
2) Does your party plan to establish a national housing strategy to address the growing housing crisis in Canada? Please provide an explanation.
The Liberal Party is proud of creating and implementing Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy. This plan will invest $40 billion over the next ten years, lifting hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of housing need – including the most vulnerable. To help address this, the NHS has bold outcomes to achieve over the next decade, including:
● Reducing chronic homelessness by 50%.
● Removing more than 530,000 households out of housing need.
● Creating 100,000 new housing units: four times what the Conservative government did during its last 10 years.
● Repairing and renewing more than 300,000 housing units: three times what the government did during the last 10 years.
● An additional 385,000 households will be protected from losing
3) If elected what resources would your party allocate to increase the supply of affordable and core need housing stock in Canada, the Lower Mainland and to Burnaby?
As the father of three children here in Burnaby, I understand the needs of
affordable housing – because every Canadian deserves an affordable place to call home. As MP for Burnaby South, I will work to ensure this community receives the funding and investment required to develop sustainable, accessible, and affordable housing that serves the needs of this community. I look forward to working with other levels of government, not-for-profit, and co-operative housing providers, and the private sector to build new and preserve existing affordable housing supply, as well as develop solutions to persistent challenges across the housing continuum. As part of the Liberal’s National Housing Strategy, the $15.9 billion National Co-Investment Fund is expected to create up to 60,000 new, high-performing affordable homes located close to necessary supports and amenities, from public transit and jobs to daycares, schools, and healthcare. As well, the Liberal government signed a bilateral agreement with the province of BC to invest $991 million in BC housing under the National Housing Strategy. The Liberal government and the government of British Columbia also agreed to work together on the design and implementation of a new Canada Housing Benefit for the province, to provide affordability support directly to families and individuals in housing need.
4) If elected what resources would your party allocate to prevent the loss of
existing affordable housing from conversions, demolitions, or serious
As important as it is to build new affordable housing to keep up with demand, it is just as important to ensure existing affordable housing units will continue to be available for those who have called them home for a long time, and as someone who represented Burnaby for 16 years at the provincial level, I understand these challenges first-hand. The $15.9 billion National Housing Co-Investment Fund will ensure that existing rental housing is not lost to disrepair. The Fund is expected to support the repair of up to 240,000 units of existing affordable and community housing.
The NHS will also invest $500-million over 10 years for a new Federal Community Housing Initiative. Starting April 1, 2020, federally-administered community housing providers with expiring operating agreements will be eligible for a new rental assistance program, to protect tenants and stabilize the operations of some 55,000 units of federally administered social housing projects.
5) If elected what strategies and resources would your party commit to the
prevention of homelessness amongst those at risk such as low-income
As part of the National Housing Strategy, the $4 billion Canada Housing Benefit will provide affordability support directly to families and individuals in housing need, including potentially those living in social housing, on social housing wait-lists, or those house in the private market but struggling to make ends meet. Delivered by the Provinces and Territories, with support from municipalities and other partners, it is estimated that the Canada Housing Benefit will provide an average of $2,500 per year to each recipient household.
By the final year of the NHS, the Canada Housing Benefit will help significantly reduce or eliminate housing affordability challenges for 300,000 of the most vulnerable households. This is in addition to the steps that the Liberal government has taken since 2015, to make life more affordable for Canadian families, including those here in Burnaby South. Initiatives like the Canada workers benefit and the new Canada Child Benefit, that helps 9 out of 10 Canadian families, are making life more affordable for families that need it the most.
6) What strategies and resources would your party commit to assist low income earners overcome barriers such as to improved employment, better health and resource access?
As the federal Liberal candidate for Burnaby South, I am committed to
● The new Canada Child Benefit, which is lifting 300,000 children out of poverty and is increasing to keep up with the cost of living. In Burnaby
South, 15,540 children benefited from this program last year.
● Increasing Guaranteed Income Supplement and restoring age of eligibility to 65 for old age security, so seniors and their families have less to worry about.
● Canada Workers Benefit (CWB), which will allow low-income Canadians to take home more money for utility bills, groceries, and other essentials as they work.
The Liberal government is also making huge investments in the Youth Employment Strategy, supporting the creation of 40,000 new affordable childcare spaces across Canada, launching a new Employment Insurance Parental Sharing Benefit, strengthening the Canada Pension Plan, and investing $1.4 Billion in BC in-home care and mental health services – so more youth have the skills and training required to succeed in this job market, parents have the support they need to take care of their children while contributing to Canada’s growing economy, and seniors are cared about in their old age.
7) If elected what resources would your party allocate to ensure people without homes have access to appropriate emergency shelter and supports
in their home community?
The National Housing Strategy will, first and foremost, respond to the housing needs of the most vulnerable Canadians. As part of the NHS, $2.2 billion will be used to support local solutions to homelessness. As an MLA for this area for 16 years, I understand how important the work local organizations do is, and I look forward to continuing partnering and supporting these organizations and working together on reducing homelessness. In addition to the federal homelessness program, Veterans will benefit from other federal commitments that promote well-being and increase social infrastructure, which is supported by the vision of Veterans Affairs Canada’s Homeless Veteran Strategy.
8) If elected what resources will your party commit to Burnaby to address the challenges for Burnaby citizens who are dealing with homelessness?
As an MP with local roots in our community, I would look forward to
9) If elected what will your party do to ensure that short term/transitional
housing is established in Burnaby specifically for people who are dealing
The National Housing Co-Investment Fund will support the construction, repair, and renewal of more shelter spaces as well as transitional and supportive housing in Canada, including 7,000 shelter spaces for survivors fleeing the violence. As MP, I will work to ensuring that Burnaby South receives the funding it needs to adequately support programs that look after the most vulnerable in our community.
10)Given that the current federal homeless initiatives are not based on stable or ongoing funding, what would your party and you as an individual do to ensure stable ongoing funding to homeless initiatives that address current homelessness and prevent future homelessness?
The National Housing Strategy, a $40 billion investment over the next 10 years, provides stable and predictable long-term funding. The Liberal plan has re-established the federal government’s leadership role in housing, and as the MP, I will continue to be a strong local voice for our community and offer real help to those who need it the most.