TimminsToday asked each of the federal candidates in Timmins-James Bay a series of six questions. The following responses were submitted by the candidates and/or their campaigns. The answers have not been checked for accuracy; they represent the candidate’s platforms and opinions. External links have been removed.
Q: Housing is a human necessity. But many in Timmins-James Bay are not able to afford a roof over their heads. The cost of living continues to rise while the price of housing and rent skyrockets well beyond affordability for the average person. What would your party do to address this?
Charlie Angus, NDP: For years the Liberals have promised a national housing strategy but have done nothing to make it a reality. We will build, renovate or preserve 1.7 million homes – including 500,000 new units of quality, affordable housing across Canada, set up fast-start funds for co-operatives, social and non-profit housing, boost construction of affordable homes with an HST rebate, and give immediate relief for families that are struggling to make rent by providing help of up to $5,000 a year.
We will turn over unused federal lands for housing projects.
We will reduce costs of first homes for young families by doubling the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit and make 30-year mortgages available to first-time homebuyers.
Steve Black, Liberal: We will commit to building or revitalizing 1.4 million homes over the next four years. We need more homes for middle-class working families, affordable housing for vulnerable people like women and children fleeing violence, or persons with disabilities. We need to make bold steps towards ending chronic homelessness.
To help accomplish this, we will permanently increase funding to the National Housing Co-Investment fund by a total of $2.7 billion over four years.
We will also make additional investments in First Nations, Inuit and Metis Nation housing as we continue to work towards meeting our 2030 commitment on closing the gaps for Indigenous community infrastructure.
We will introduce a new rent-to-own program to make it easier for renters to get on the path towards home ownership. We will commit $1 billion in loans and grants to develop and scale up rent-to-own projects.
We will develop a new tax-free first home savings account for young Canadians who want a chance to own a home. This will allow Canadians under 40 to save up to $40,000 towards their first home tax-free.
Morgan Ellerton, Conservative: The Conservative plan is best suited to tackle the housing crisis. The crisis is happening across Canada however, I believe it is at a tipping point in Timmins-James Bay.
When voters elect me as their MP, I will immediately begin working to deliver the Conservative plan here in our riding. A plan to help those who are homeless, those whose homes are not sufficient for their family and for homebuyers who expect better pricing and mortgage options. I will deliver on a plan to bring investment to build new and better homes and rental properties while working to drive down the cost of food, gas and cell phones and internet so people can afford housing.
In order to have a good housing strategy, we need to help builders and landlords want to build and maintain quality homes. Our plan stops foreign buyers who do not plan on living here from buying here. We will fix the mortgage stress test to stop discriminating against small business owners and many workers. We will never tax Canadians’ capital gains on the sale of principal residences, as many Liberals are threatening. Conservatives have a plan for housing and I will deliver for the riding.
Stephen MacLeod, PPC: On the subject of housing, we all know there is a major need for a change. Right now, we have a majorly inflated market and one of the driving factors of that is that the Liberal goverment has increased the immigration targets from 250,000/yr to 350 and is planning to raise it to over 400,000. This means an astronomical high demand for houses and even if they did a building spree, which would only drive the prices of our lumber and supplies even higher, the supply could still not keep up with the demand. So our plan, even though housing is primarily a provincial or local responsibility, is to first reduce the immigration quota to 100/150,000 per year which would reduce the demand on the market. We would also modify the bank of Canada's inflation target from two to zero per cent which would spread across all sectors. We would stop funding social housing as it unfairly competes with private developers. It's not the government's role to build and rent because dependency on government handouts is never the solution.