Federal government announces funding for housing in Toronto and Calgary

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Speaking of housing we’ll go to our next topic the federal government announced more deals to fund housing Construction in Toronto and Calgary today but absent from those announcements provincial governments the Finance Minister says she’d be happy to have Premier kick in their own funding have a look I am

Really pleased to see the premier paying attention to municipalities I would love to see them providing even more support uh to the municipalities over whom they are proudly asserting their jurisdiction what are the political Optics around these housing announcements the power panel is still with me to discuss this

So Kate um some criticism from the premier last week about the housing accelerator fund saying that they don’t like it when Ottawa goes directly to the cities and cut deals they don’t get to be there when they hand out the cash and the provinces doesn’t get to take any

Credit for that um or assert any control or assert any control and that’s the question to you do you think that there is a problem with how this is all structured and do you think that the provinces need to step up I mean we spoke to the Calgary mayor earlier in

The program and she said look I’m not going to turn turn down cash from Ottawa if they’re coming with $228 million I don’t care who it comes from as long as it helps with this crisis do you think that their the conservative Premier have misfired here like maybe they they’re

Just not getting it that it’s a crisis and it doesn’t really matter where the cash comes from yeah no I I think they certainly get it and we’re seeing that play out in Ontario Doug Ford’s entire political Legacy is probably going to be determined on the housing file which is

Why we’re seeing uh switch gears on on things like green Bel and other things so I think they certainly get it I do think it is of course about control and parameters and playing a bit of a role in in who gets what I also think the

Provinces are probably a little bit more sensitive to Municipal concerns on things like zoning they’re probably hearing about that much more often than necessarily the federal government I think at the end of the day though what we’re seeing is a huge injection of cash from the federal government for

Something that is going to be realized medium to long term uh I I think think you know the Liberals are right to focus on housing I think the way they’re going about it is going to benefit the next government and maybe the one after that

Not them today uh and when it comes to kind of the jurisdictional question we see a lot of carrot in terms of the federal government’s approach I don’t think we’re seeing any stick we don’t see the uh feds really asking municipalities to remove red tape uh and

Regulation uh we haven’t seen any kind of parallel commitment like what Pier PV has talked about in terms of actually holding cash back if certain housing targets aren’t met so this is a really complex problem uh 70,000 units is great it’s not even a drop in the bucket to

The 5.3 million we need to sustain the growth the country is having uh but it’s going to cost $450,000 per unit uh based on the calculation today which is a lot of dough for very limited short-term political gain for this government yeah so the Freeland announcement in Toronto

Today as you were just saying there Kate $1.2 billion in loans they are repayable low interest loans to folks that are building these these units and they’re going to get 2,644 rental homes across seven projects so it’s a lot of money for not that many units but I guess that’s just the cost

Of doing business now in Canada fruis what do you make of this I mean the cmhc the can mortgage and housing Corporation says they need to build 3 and a half million units by 2030 we only build about 260,000 a year so we really have to turbocharge the amount of homes that

We’re building it’s a huge political problem especially among Millennials young people really care about this the largest voter block the government’s trying to be atten to it how do you see this housing file play out well I I see it as a big right now

The same way we said in the first block that uh the Liberals were were really bad at communicating what they were trying to do with their carbon tax now all we’ll see is them going to announce IND different in as many municipalities that will welcome them uh with open arms

And with a check and that makes for for for good TV because I saw Minister Fraser today I saw Chris jeffre land today and and that’s just a few example is it good for the country is it good for the housing crisis I do not think so

The the the ex law student in me uh went back to my books because I’m like my god when I was a politician and I was in the House of Commons I would have dreamed to go do some announcement directly with my Municipality of gatau but we were forbidden because municipalities

According to my book my law books uh falls under provincial total exclusive jurisdiction so it’s going to be a battle but the feds are are betting that it looks bad to go battle jurisdiction when people need a home need a a roof on top of their head but this is a

Dangerous dangerous play just to be able to go in certain writing that you want to keep uh from here to the election I think it’s a dangerous game and they might see Province answering uh doing what Quebec has been doing all along because we do not have those problems in

Quebec because we said no you want to come and spend in our Province well you make some deals with the province and for those who say well it takes time to for the federal to negotiate with the provinces just imagine Ontario has 444 municipalities good luck dealing with

400 and maybe what 40 left uh to negotiate with and in in other provinces it’s it’s even more than that so it’s like seriously I think it’s just for optic and I find it sad that we play optic political game with a subject that is so serious as as uh the housing

Crisis in in Canada I was at the cabinet retreat in charlott toown PEI just before this uh session of parliament returned and the government was there meeting trying to discuss what the housing agenda would be for the fall cognizant of the fact that it was a big

Issue among young people and in the polls and we were quite critical of them at the time that they didn’t have anything to announce there was no real plan there was nothing like enunciated from that cabinet Retreat That was supposed to be about housing we’re like

Okay where’s the beef but at least now I guess we’re seeing the beef right we are seeing the housing accelerator fund roll out the Sean Frasier is racking up the Aeroplan points flying across the country announcing New Deals every seemingly every day with different municipalities and he’s getting units

Built I mean that’s what people were clamoring for right people want to see homes built and he is having some success shachi do you think that that is going to help them in the standings with Millennials and young voters who really I don’t know what the latest numbers are

But I know historically over the last few months this has been at the top of the list of priorities for them it continues to be a top priority it continues to be a top priority for two reasons one because mortgage rates are as as high as they are and uh and so the

The dream of owning a home becomes uh that much more distant and also the rental factor and how rents really that the rental equation of this has skyrocketed a couple of points first of all I started to to smile when franois was talking because you know it’s almost

As though we’re all realizing it’s like that in Casablanca where where the the Police Inspector uh Louis who’s played by clae Reigns comes in raids the casos I’m shocked shocked to discover gambling are we shocked to discover that that now some of these announcements are rolling out and what are very obviously swing

Ridings and in cities and urban areas that are in play of course that’s happening what else do we expect is going to happen at this stage but you may you said something a moment ago JP about getting units built what we’re here hearing and what we’re seeing from

The the federal government from this level of of politician at this Federal level are announcements aimed at spending some money aimed at eventually getting some units built and there are so many steps in between and I say this to you as somebody living in Metro Vancouver speaking to you from Vancouver

Where people have been clamoring for more Supply and greater affordability and relief for the better part of a decade we’ve been the canary and the coal mine and guess what it remains a crisis so dropping in from riding to riding and and swing region to swing region and Battleground to Battleground

With some checks yes it helps the Optics and the visibility and I’m not going to dunk on the communications of that but frankly housing has not been a winning file for this government in part because we’ve heard the Prime Minister say in the past it’s not primarily a federal

Responsibility and now realizing and once again playing defense because you’ve got an opposition leader who is playing on the fact that that people are not necessarily experts uh in in jurisdictional law saying well what are you guys doing on this front so it’s defensive it’s also as as Kate mentioned

The payoff comes years from now but in the meantime it’s like here’s a chocolate release some endorphins please just stop beating us up on so many different files Stevie I think that shachi makes a good point there that the Prime Minister got in trouble for saying well it’s primarily a provincial

Responsibility you know like he and he wasn’t necessarily saying that he said that they would step up they would be there they would help but he did kind of make that definitive statement that it maybe is more of a provincial problem now they’re just throwing that out the

Window right now they’re like let’s just cut deals with the cities directly I want to be there I want Sean Frasier to be in Calgary with that big check and we’re going to announce all these units like they’ve just gone the opposite direction right realizing that when it

Comes to politics you might as well just do it right you might as well just sign these deals forget about the Constitutional considerations pv’s up 20 points among Millennials you know we got to do something is that am I is that a fair read of how how this is playing out

I I I don’t think it’s pure politics I think a crisis is a crisis and and it’s a top issue and they heard over the summer and they’ve been hearing from caucus and they’ve been hearing uh from Canadians that this is where they want their government to focus they’ve even

Been hearing from the opposition leader that this is where they want the government to focus so that is where they are um putting their focus and as you said Sean uh Frasier has been on fire since the shuffle it feels like there’s an announcement every week um

And we like I said earlier The Fez is next week and I think we largely anticipate seeing more housing related announcements coming out of that my only concern is that the we may be losing the forest for the trees here a little bit and there’s a danger of oversaturating

The voters with these housing announcements to the point where they start tuning them out and there aren’t those economic action plan signs uh up to uh to remind them Kate really quick final word to you where do you think this goes do you think the feds will

Have a bunch of cash to Splash around on housing yeah I I think that’s really the only place they seem to be putting cash cash lately um certainly would expect that to be the the core Focus but again it’s not you can’t really buy your way

Out of the housing crisis um it’s tied to so many things it’s tied to immigration which you know finally just now the government is deciding they need to link um you know infrastructure support too and that includes how um and it’s tied to labor shortages so uh more money for the housing

Accelerator fund or the rental uh construction financing initiative all well and good not going to fix the housing crisis tomorrow and it doesn’t get out some of those more systemic challenges to do with population growth to do with labor market shortages that really needs to be addressed in order to

Have any kind of a short-term impact and it’ll be hard for Builders to build in this interest rate environment no matter what the government does so that is a real concern okay thank you to the power panel Stevie Brian Kate Harrison France wasw and Shi K you guys are great thank

You so much for joining us tonight thank you

Federal government officials on Tuesday announced $1.2 billion to build 2,644 rental homes in Toronto, and $228 million for a housing deal with Calgary. The Power Panel discusses what these agreements say about the government’s approach to the housing crisis.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Promises… Promises. Why compromise so much to the extent that nothing will be accomplished like the Eglinton Crosstown that started in 2011 and Metrolinx previously announced completion dates of 2020 and 2021…bunch of experts at holding a clipping board.

  2. The cities go directly to the federal government too. The premises are embarrassed over their failures. I think the municipalities are the ones that know the bylaws, not the provences.

    Alberta cannot stand it when Ottawa is nice to Albertans. And they don't like missing out on being able to misappropriated that federal money as they have before.
    We need help, the orovencecwouldntvdo it, so they did it. THANKYOU OTTAWA!!!

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