Big City Mayors say Canada is facing ‘Perfect Storm’ on housing (06/10/2015)
(Montréal) Canada's Big City Mayors say the country is facing a 'perfect storm' on the issue of housing and that federal parties need to make it the focus of the remaining weeks of the election campaign.
The mayors were in Montréal today to meet following the UN's Habitat III conference which brings together representatives from the world's large metropolitan areas to discuss the critical role cities play in the development of modern societies.
The meeting comes one day after the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) released its report Seniors and Housing: The Challenge Ahead. The report lays out the looming crisis that is set to unfold for older Canadians over the next two decades.
Over the next 20 years, Canada's seniors' population will double to more than 10 million. At the same time, federal support for social housing will all but disappear as federal contributions decline from $1.6 billion today, to nearly zero.
"That is simply unsustainable. The federal government needs to remain a committed partner for our cities instead of walking away from the table. Working together we can offer relief to our growing population of seniors and to hard-working Canadian families who struggle to find affordable housing," says the Chair of FCM's Big City Mayors Caucus and Mayor of Vancouver Gregor Robertson.
The latest report buttresses previous studies that have detailed the growing threat Canada's housing crunch presents to the strength of the economy. The Bank of Canada has repeatedly called high housing prices and high household debt the greatest domestic threats to the country's financial system.
"This is not a partisan issue. It's about supporting an essential pillar of our economy. To give the economy a boost, we need to give Canadian families a break. We need the federal government to be a reliable partner on housing. That means long-term, predictable funding," said Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre.
With less than two weeks remaining before the federal election, the mayors plan to keep the focus on the need for a strong federal partner in housing, calling it a key pillar of the urban economy along with transit and infrastructure investments.
FCM is the national voice of municipal government. In leading the municipal movement, FCM works to align federal and local priorities, recognizing that strong hometowns make for a strong Canada.