Homelessness is bad for business, says the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Earlier today, delegates to the Chamber’s annual meeting adopted a resolution from the Burnaby Board of Trade calling on the federal government to create a national plan to end homelessness. The Chamber represents more than 300 local chambers and boards of trade and more than 175,000 businesses across the country.
“The endorsement of the BBOT resolution by chambers and boards of trade across Canada, highlights the fact that homelessness is an issue of concern for businesses coast-to-coast,” said Darlene Gering, President and CEO of the Burnaby BOT. “Last year, the federal government spent $3.57 billion in direct spending on homelessness and affordable housing initiatives, but without a national plan to manage and coordinate the effort, Canada’s capacity to end homelessness is significantly diminished.”
“A national plan to end homelessness will clearly set the goals, objectives, metrics and outcomes to address the issue,” said Susan Papadionissou, Chair of the Burnaby Board of Trade’s Homelessness Task Force. “Without a clear strategy to end homelessness within a reasonable timeframe, businesses across Canada will continue to be impacted by the crisis.”
The Burnaby resolution focuses on the segment of insecurely-housed Canadians who are without a permanent home. The Wellesley Institute’s Precarious Housing in Canada 2010 sets out a practical 10-year national housing plan for low, moderate and middle-income Canadians who are poorly housed.