NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his party will provide $5,000 in rental support for families if it wins this year’s federal election.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Singh also vowed to “take big money out” of Canada’s housing market. He has also said he’ll enact a foreign ownership tax of 20 per cent on housing and ensure 500,000 affordable homes are built within the next ten years.
“Buying a home, renting a place to call home has gotten worse, not easier,” he said.
“I want to put a stop to that.”
Asked where the NDP would get the funds for the rental subsidy, Singh said he would “close loopholes” and increase taxes on wealthy corporations like Amazon, which don’t pay taxes in Canada.
Singh also called Trudeau “missing in action” on Canada’s housing issues, as the Liberal leader decided to take a day off campaigning.
“He has been missing when it comes to helping people who are struggling with trying to find a place they can rent, when it comes to people who are struggling to find a place they can buy,” Singh said, adding he was unsure why Trudeau had chosen not to campaign.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole had campaign stops scheduled in Alberta and British Columbia on Saturday, while the NDP leader spoke in Toronto.
Housing affordability has become a top priority on the campaign trail, after the rising cost of inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic saw thousands of Canadians evicted from their homes.
Data from Statistics Canada showed the country’s inflation rate had reached 3.7 per cent in July — the highest it had been since 2011. The Consumer Price Index, released each month, also found that the price of new homes had skyrocketed 13.8 per cent “year over year” in July, making it “the largest yearly increase since October 1987.”
On Thursday, O’Toole pledged to create one million homes in the next three years by repurposing 15 per cent of federally-owned buildings, converting unused office space, banning foreign investors who live outside the country from buying property for at least two years and making changes to the mortgage stress test.
The Liberals have also promised to help keep housing affordable.
On their platform, the party, led by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, has committed to funding $20 billion in social infrastructure that will focus on affordable housing and long-term care facilities and increase the residential rental property rebate GST to 100 per cent, aimed at “eliminating all GST on new capital investments in affordable rental housing.”
Meanwhile, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul called for “affordable housing for all” on Wednesday, although her party has yet to release its 2021 platform online.
“This is absolutely something that is within our grasp, something that we have all the tools necessary to do as long as we can get the political will to put it in place, because housing is a fundamental right,” she told reporters on Wednesday.
More to come.
— with files from the Canadian Press, and Global News’ Erica Alini and Rachel Gilmore