Good news: Another step forward in the campaign to create a comprehensive affordable housing plan for Canada. The House of Commons has wrapped up debate on the third, and final, reading of Bill C-304 – a private member’s bill from MP Libby Davies that would require the federal government to create a comprehensive national housing plan for Canada. During the Thursday debate, MPs from the New Democratic Party, Liberal Party and Bloc Quebecois all spoke in support of the bill. C-304 now moves to a recorded division (vote) on Nov. 24, where it is expected to be sent back to committee for final amendments before coming back to the floor of the Commons for final consideration – perhaps before the Commons recesses for the holidays, or early in the new year.
With three of the four political parties in the Commons backing C-304 (subject to final amendments), a majority of MPs should be able to assure passage of the bill. Only the Conservatives oppose the draft legislation.
Under the provisions of C-304, the federal government would be required to consult widely with provinces, territories, municipalities, Aboriginal groups, private and non-profit organizations and others and report back to the Commons within six months with a new national housing plan for Canada.
The Wellesley Institute’s Precarious Housing in Canada 2010 sets out the latest research and data on housing and homelessness in Canada, and also provides the framework for a practical ten-year housing plan. The research and policy work of the Wellesley Institute was cited by NDP, Liberal and Bloc MPs during the Commons debates on C-304.