Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes candidates on housing shortage

Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes riding

The local candidates for the Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes federal riding are giving their pitches as the final days of the federal election campaign wind down. 

Candidates spoke on the Bruce Wylie show this week to give their thoughts on the housing shortage in the area. 

Below are the responses: 

Alex Cassell - People's Party of Canada

"There are platforms from all different parties about new spending bills (and) creations of homes. The government should not be in the home manufacturing business. The government should be cutting red tape, slowing down immigration levels because this is a supply and demand issue. If we can encourage the free market and cut red tape to build new homes so that the individuals who live here, and of course new immigration as it continues in the future, have homes that they can afford and have a country they can prosper in. Homeownership is a vital part of people's financial plan and their future. This needs to be emphasized and considered what the roots of these problems are in solving those first."

Lorraine Rekmans - Green Party

"Greens are saying that we want to allocate 1 percent of GST to housing directly to the municipalities so that they can build infrastructure and they have funding that is on an ongoing basis to provide a baseline. We have to declare that housing affordability and declare homelessness as a national emergency. We are going to work to develop a co-op housing strategy. We have to make those investments and we have the National Housing Strategy Act which has provided the legislation to govern a national housing strategy across the country. We need to appoint a federal housing advocate so that there is a person to work on the issues. We have got to have better formulas for what's affordable. We have to take into account that there are regional variations across the country so what is affordable in Vancouver is going to be different from what is affordable in Eastern Ontario. There is a lot of work to be done but those investments have to be made."

Michelle Taylor - NDP

"The NDP is planning to build at least 500,000 units of affordable housing in the next 10 years. Half of that in the next five. (We will be) partnering with provinces and municipalities on that. One thing I'm particularly proud of here is we are going to put forth a housing strategy for Indigenous peoples within the first 100 days of an NDP mandate and all of that is going to be a huge job creator as well."

Roberta Abbot - Liberal Party of Canada

"We are reducing the ability of foreign buyers and speculators to make money from the purchase and sale of housing that ought to go to first-time homebuyers and low-income home buyers. We are creating a home buyers bill of rights and trying to help renters become owners by having a tax-free first-time home buyer’s savings account and we're exploring a rent to home program... We have a national housing strategy that we've launched over 1200 projects across the country to help over a million people find homes. We plan to construct 100,000 homes, adding 20,000 affordable units. Even right here in Brockville, the former site of the St. Vincent De Paul Hospital, we've worked with the province to invest $2-million to build 88 units of affordable housing. The Canada Housing Benefit is a joint federal/provincial housing allowance that assists people with affordable rental housing. Ontario was the first province to sign on with that bi-lateral agreement with a joint investment of $1.4-billion over nine years... So we are working at both ends of the scale to help people deal with affordable and inadequate housing and at the other end to try to reduce just the high-cost overall and bring down the overheated housing market."

Michael Barrett - Conservative Party of Canada

"We have a plan to build 1-million new homes in the next three years. We are going to release at least 15 percent of the 37,000 federal government buildings for housing. So we are going to turn unused office space into housing. This is going to help create more supply in areas where supply is at a premium. That will relieve pressure on outlying areas as well. We are also going to put an initial two-year ban on non-resident foreign homeownership. Right now we have a problem where people who don't live in Canada or are not coming to Canada are parking their money into our housing market and leaving the houses unoccupied and then flipping them to just make money and extract the equity from just sitting on that empty property. We are going to create incentives for corporations and private landowners to donate property to land trusts for the development of affordable housing... We also have a few measures about making the mortgage system work for Canadians and not just work for the big banks. Whether it's changing the initial term lengths. Whether it's allowing for longer amortization periods. Making it a little more competitive for consumers and not having the banks hold all the cards there. We think that will help as well."

Election Day is on September 20th.

You can find your polling station and the ID you need to bring to vote at Elections Canada’s website. 

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