As the October federal election approaches, housing continues to be one of the critical issues Canadian face. After over 20 years of minimal attention on the issue, the federal government has finally re-engaged with housing policy and funding. While much jurisdictional authority for housing provision and regulation lies with provincial governments, the federal government, nonetheless, can leverage significant affordable housing infrastructure through its spending powers. Indeed, federal leadership in ensuring affordable housing has been key in the past. Yet, housing experts worry the current initiative promises too little, to be delivered tomorrow and not today.
Many Canadians have, with good reason, embraced the idea of a Green New Deal. Supporters of the idea rightly say that dealing with the global climate crisis cannot be separated from the pursuit of social and economic justice. They emphasize that, with strong government leadership, a rapid transition away from the old carbon economy can generate many good new jobs in areas like renewable energy and energy conservation such that no workers need be left behind.
Of late, many mainstream Canadian media pundits have sided with centrist Democrats in the United States to argue that a left-wing Democratic nominee would lead to the re-election of President Donald Trump. For example, Konrad Yakabuski wrote in the Globe and Mail on August 2 that “their (Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren) hate-on for private enterprise has cut them off from the mainstream United States. Instead, they seem to have embarked on a kind of space odyssey 2020.”