Millennials run for mayor in Montreal suburbs to push for affordable housing
A new generation of mayoral candidates is pushing for housing affordability as a key issue in the upcoming municipal election.
With the real estate market up another 14 per cent compared to last year, the prospect of home ownership is slipping away for many Quebecers.
"We believe that we have reached a critical point now. Prices have been skyrocketing in the last year or so, and we don't want to become another Vancouver or Toronto," said Laval mayoral candidate Stephane Boyer.
The 33-year-old is running for mayor in Laval, and says it’s time for new blood on the housing file.
Boyer has teamed up with another mayoral candidate, 29-year-old Catherine Fournier, who is running in Longueuil, on Montreal’s South Shore.
She says leadership on housing should come from the generation that's being affected the most.
"I think it's a question of social justice too. The question of housing and that's why we want to address those issues, because they are fundamental for our generation, but also for the next to come," she said.
Together, Boyer and Fournier are calling for a province-wide summit on housing with leaders from all levels of government, as well as advocates and community groups.
The goal: to put together a global strategy to keep housing affordable in Quebec.
"We believe it's a complex issue. There is no single simple solution that will address this, so it has to be a series of actions," said Boyer.
It's an issue that has taken up a lot of space in this municipal election already.
In Montreal, mayoral candidates Valerie Plante and Denis Coderre have both talked about affordability.
On Thursday, housing groups plan to stage a protest, calling for a more ambitious housing plan.
"I think levels of government did not do what they could do maybe to prevent this crisis, but we want to act now. We think it's very urgent," said Fournier.
Both candidates do need to be elected before any housing summit can actually take place. Both Boyer and Fournier say the point of proposing the summit was to say that any solution to the affordable housing issue will require a collaborative approach.
Municipal elections will be held in Quebec on Nov. 7