Right now the federal government is set up to continually fail unless it starts imposing some organization on a policy file it clearly has trouble grasping.
Why the heck would we ever demand that the government fix housing when they can’t even figure out their own payroll system? Who got us into this mess in the first place, and why the hell would we ever ask the same people to fix it? We need to get LESS government in our lives. Not more. Fix the roads, keep the lights on, and pay the bills. I’m so sick of all this moaning about how government needs to do more. They need to do less, but get better at it fixing the problems they created first, before taking more on.
I would disagree, the national government is not well positioned to understand the local nuances of housing requirements, shifting demographics and a myriad of other variables that contribute to the appropriate allocation of housing density permits within a municipality. What the federal system provides, due to the significant imbalance in taxation revenue, is funding. Allocating funding to the provinces on a per-capita basis (population or immigration stats) and then allow the provinces through their relationship with municipalities, to address local needs.
Creating additional bureaucracy in Ottawa has never successfully address a public issue. To add federal funding with caveats (targets, requirements, etc) will place housing squarely in the same arena as healthcare - too many peas in the pot and no one to blame, a finger pointing extravaganza when it all goes sideways.
This is one file where the Feds need to support through funding and get out of the provinces way, then us citizens will have a singular government to hold to account for housing. Asking the feds to jump in with two feet will lead to nothing but chaos and mayhem, clearly indicated through a litany of policy failures over the past two administrations. Pay up and step aside is the best advice possible.
The responsibility for the housing shortage falls squarely on the shoulders of local leaders. The incredibly slow and byzantine approvals process, insane zoning policies and a constant barrage of NYMBY opposition are 3 of the main reasons why we can't build housing fast enough.
Almost none of it is within the purview of the feds.
I like PP's proposed approach, a little carrot and a lot of stick, aka diplomacy.
Interesting article. Interesting comments as well.
Housing is a Municipal responsibility because of Zoning and permitting. Municipalities are a Provincial construct - as everyone agrees. What is missing is some serious COLLABORATION between all levels of government on this issue. Bureaucracy has always had difficulty collaborating. However, life is too complex. Another issue is construction labour shortages - which ties in to Education. Material shortages - which ties into Supply Chain - and this connected list is long. How about some leadership at ALL levels to help solve this problem. Oh, and did i mention NIMBIEs? This is a citizen problem.
Do you hear that flushing sound? That’s Canada going down the toilet unless we stop electing short sighted politicians who only care about photo ops and getting re-elected! Did no one plan for aging demographics. Infrastructure failures, immigration problems, defence stagnation? Does no one look at policy planning in our changing world? Are there any worker bees or are we going to continue relying on drones?
The Liberals can't bring more housing to large city urban areas or work to reduce the cost of housing, their voting base won't allow it.
The fact of the matter is that the Liberals base is educated, middle aged and boomer urban Central Canadians home owners (Lower Mainland as well). That and big city suburban immigrants, for whom owning a detached home is literally a major reason they even moved here, they love real estate so much. These folks do not want more density, they certainly don't want to see home prices go down in their area. Renters and newcomers can move to Alberta for all they care.
The Liberals are hooped, and the NDP is as well since yes they have class warriors in their coalition, but they also have many of those well-to-do over educated public sector workers in their base. More so than newcomers or the young, who don't vote anyways.
So yeah, Pierre has a road to victory a kilometre wide if he doesn't screw it up. The jury is still out if he does or not though.
Solutions? I think at this stage only the feds can break though the provincial and municipal created roadblocks with their big stick... We need post-WW2 Europe style homebuilding. Pre-formed council housing. Yes, Canada needs Brezhnevka's and in a big way. Slum creation? Slum life is better than homelessness. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brezhnevka
The Liberals deserve to lose because they're actively making things worse with their reckless immigration policy and refusal to provide ample supply of housing.
The problem is the Conservatives won't provide the solutions to build more housing, question corporate ownership of housing and lower immigration to lower housing demand.
The NDP are contempt to just side with the Liberals in legislation and refuse to touch on immigration while the working class they're supposed to represent get crushed.
No party is willing to have an actual discussion on immigration and corporate ownership's effect on housing demand. If no party provides an option on the ballot, then trust in democracy will erode. (A bunch of elites enriching themselves with reckless abandon and no care of the country's overall well being)
It's why the PPC has a chance to steal votes of any party next election, they're the only party willing to discuss immigration at least.
Housing is a provincial responsibility. The provinces have done a terrible job on housing in all areas. They have not build anything in decades. The Harper Cons did nothing either, just brought in people and the problems with housing in Toronto and Vancouver were well known.
If PP becomes PM he will do nothing either.
Don't think I am a Liberal fan boy. I am not. The Liberals are only marginally better than the Cons but frankly they are all we have because Canada is not going to elect an NDP government.
All the Con provinces have done is slash taxes and then ask the feds for more money.
So does something need to be done? Yes. Government needs to get in the housing game. Start building Ontario housing units and subsidized housing. Do the Liberals need to do something, yes bring in less people.
Anyway the people at The Line seem to like beating up on the Liberals but lets not forget to hold the other guys to account at the same time.
Clearly written by someone who hasn't thought much about this issue beyond how it looks from a Liberal election perspective.
Housing policy is clearly a provincial responsibility, constitutionally speaking. Provinces have devolved some of the responsibilities to municipalities. Also factor in land use policy, building and development policy, and pure nimbism just to name a few and you realize housiis a loser policy initiative for the Liberals.
There was a tweet by a bulder from Vancouver recently where he documented some of the dozen permits he required just to renovate a bathroom!
Immigration and housing are linked but this calls for federal means tested financial assistance for immigrants not empire building by the federal government.