(Ottawa) The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada wants to use sticks and carrots to encourage municipalities to issue construction permits for new housing. Pierre Poilievre plans to table a bill to this effect on Monday and asks the other parties to adopt it unanimously.
“I will introduce (sic) there Law to build houses and not build bureaucracy and that’s the difference between me and Justin Trudeau,” he said Thursday at a press conference in Vancouver.
His bill will contain six measures. He would cut federal funding for infrastructure for municipalities that are unable to increase the number of building permits by 15% per year, as he had already announced to The Press in June. Cities that exceed this target would get a bonus.
It would also require the construction of federally funded apartment buildings near public transit stations. Funds would not be delivered to the city until all of the land surrounding the station was developed.
It would impose tax penalties on municipalities that prevent the construction of new buildings and offer bonuses to those who increase it.
He would also like to cut the bonuses of civil servants and executives of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation if they take more than 60 days to make a decision on the financing of infrastructure projects. “We are no longer going to pay bonuses for failures,” he said.
He would eliminate the GST on the construction of affordable housing like the Liberals. “Justin Trudeau promised in 2015 that he was going to remove the GST on housing construction, two years later he said: “no, I’m not going to do it,” recalled the Conservative leader. Today, because he heard that I was going to announce this, he is turning around again. I’m going to do it. »
Pierre Poilievre would also sell 15% of all federal buildings and land for the construction of housing.
“That’s a common sense plan,” he said. I will put this before the House of Commons next Monday and I encourage Justin Trudeau to adopt it immediately with unanimous consent. »
He did not hesitate from the outset to blame the Prime Minister for the meteoric rise in the number of homeless people in Quebec, “an inevitable consequence of Justin Trudeau’s policies which doubled the rent, doubled the average payment for a mortgage and doubled the first payment needed to get the average house.”
He ended his speech by attacking the Bloc Québécois, “totally useless” according to him, in helping Quebecers find housing.
Stop blaming cities
“We have demonstrated over the last four years that we have made very clear gains, very interesting contributions to state affairs,” objected Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet, citing the contributions of the deputies. of his party Broadcasting Actthere Official Languages ActBill C-21 on gun control and supply management protection.
On the issue of housing, he invited his political opponents to stop pointing the finger at cities. His party’s caucus was meeting in Sherbrooke, in Estrie, in anticipation of the resumption of parliamentary work on Monday.
“It has already been several months since Pierre Poilievre literally attacked the heaviness of municipalities,” he recalled. I found it to be an insult to the level of government which is closest to the real population, and there, I saw the Prime Minister of Canada taking the same train. »
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also threw the ball to municipalities on Wednesday to explain the slowness in deploying a fund to accelerate the construction of new units.
Mr. Blanchet added to trust the municipalities because “they are the ones who, on a daily basis, must manage housing issues” and homelessness.
The number of homeless people has increased by 44% in Quebec since April 2018. There were 10,000 during the last count carried out in October 2022. The phenomenon has grown in several regions of Quebec, previously little affected. Evictions of tenants are the main cause.
The Union of Municipalities of Quebec will also hold a summit on homelessness on Friday.
“An issue which is of great sadness and which is also a great shame that a state like Canada or Quebec is faced with such a problem,” he declared.
The housing shortage has worsened in Quebec in one year, according to a report released the day before by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This estimates that 3.5 million additional housing units across the country are needed to keep rents affordable.
When asked Wednesday why the federal government took six months between announcing the new Housing Acceleration Fund in March and reaching a first agreement with the City of London, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threw the ball into the municipalities’ court.
“We should ask the different mayors why it took so long,” he replied.
“When there is an emergency situation, the last thing you are supposed to do is to put three levels of government around the table and say: pull yourself together,” said Yves-François Blanchet which relies on the sense of responsibility of the Bloc Québécois for the resumption of parliamentary work on Monday.
He believes that the attacks are not welcome in a glaring issue like that of housing. “Can we abstain from this so that people both in Canada and in Quebec understand that we are going to lower our tone, that we are going to approach serious subjects in a serious and, I want to say, responsible manner ? »
This issue, like that of the cost of living, will be one of his party’s priorities this fall. The Bloc Québécois will also focus on the fight and adaptation to climate change, and immigration.
With Mélanie Marquis and Joël-Denis Bellavance