Melissa Lantsman, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Thornhill, delivered a speech at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference in Toronto, addressing many issues, but one particular pressing issue stood out during the MP's speech: the housing crisis. Lantsman underscored the importance of affordable housing and called for decisive action to tackle the escalating problem.
The Thornhill MP stressed that homeownership, once considered a symbol of opportunity and progress, is slipping away for many Canadians, "nine out of ten young people in this country do not believe that they will ever own a home and that's not me saying that that's what they're saying to the pollsters."
She lamented the skyrocketing housing prices, stating that the average mortgage payment and rental costs have doubled in just eight years.
The Deputy Leader criticized the current government's approach, accusing them of failing to address the crisis effectively. She pointed out that despite the substantial investment of nearly $90 billion in a national housing strategy, the country has witnessed a loss of 20,000 units of affordable housing over the past eight years.
"My home here in the (Greater Toronto Area) we need to build three hundred thousand homes a year, and that's a conservative estimate, and we're on track to build one hundred and twenty five thousand. So the problems that we are facing with supply, with price, with density are only going to keep getting worse."
Lantsman also criticized the lack of accountability, emphasizing that promises and press releases do not translate into tangible results.
She outlined the Conservative Party's plan, which involves rewarding cities that expedite housing projects and cut through red tape. "Canada's Conservatives think that the amount that you get (in infrastructure funding) should be tied to the amount that you do, and there are so many out here doing so much."
Lantsman acknowledged the infrastructure needs associated with housing projects but highlighted the importance of increasing supply and addressing the affordability crisis. She continued by mentioning the struggles faced by private builders, charitable groups, and municipalities due to bureaucratic barriers and red tape. She expressed her party's commitment to removing these obstacles, ensuring that all municipalities can access the necessary funding to address the housing crisis effectively.
The Deputy Leader ended her speech by calling for political will and a sense of urgency to tackle the housing crisis. She promised that the Conservative Party will continue to develop and present a comprehensive platform that addresses this critical issue and seeks to provide hope for millions of Canadians struggling with the current housing situation.
As the Conservative Party continues to develop its platform, it is expected that the issue of affordable housing will remain at the forefront of their agenda.