Saturday, April 08, 2006

Demonstration in Front of Stephen Harper's Office in Ottawa

"Will the Conservative Party election posters be the only shelter that Stephen Harper's government intends to give the homeless and poorly housed tenants?" That is the question 500 members of the Front d'action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU), who were demonstrating in front of Stephen Harper's offices in Ottawa, ironically asked today by building makeshift houses out of conservative ministers' election posters. The demonstration was organised only a few weeks before Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty's first budget.

FRAPRU fears that the Conservative government will not even use the $1.6 billion dollars voted last June in the House of Commons for "affordable housing". FRAPRU recalls that the Conservative party opposed such an investment at the time and made no promises during the election campaign to maintain it. However the Conservative's promised to "develop tax incentives for private-sector builders so that low-income city dwellers will have improved access to affordable housing." According to FRAPRU these incentives will only benefit property developers and will not increase in the long term the availability of low-cost housing units in Canada.

FRAPRU explained that according to federal statistics 1.5 million households in Canada have urgent housing needs; 352,000 of which are in Quebec, while 150,000 persons are homeless. FRAPRU demands that the federal government invest $2 billion per year for the development of new social housing units in Canada. This would be possible by using the $ 1.6 billion dollars already voted and by adding to it part of the surplus from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This crown corporation has an accumulated surplus of $4.1 billion, a surplus that should rise to $8.3 billion by 2009.


Post a Comment

<< Home