On April 30, 2019, Dan Clement, United Way Centraide Canada President and CEO, wrote to both the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos regarding the National Housing Strategy Act.  The act was included in Bill C-97 (Budget Implementation Act, 2019), tabled April 8, 2019.

Through the National Housing Strategy Act, Canada has taken a major step forward, committing to the progressive realization of the right to housing for the first time in our history. The act also reflects many of the recommendations made in an August 2018 open letter signed by United Way Centraide Canada and more than 1,100 individuals and organizations from across the country.

In his letter, he:

  1. recognized this legislation as a historic step forward for housing rights; and
  2. highlighted small but necessary amendments to strengthen the human rights accountability of the legislation, mainly related to the role of the Housing Advocate and the Housing Council.

The proposed amendments do not alter the scope and principle of the legislation, and none require any public expenditure not already provided for in the legislation. We continue to work closely with housing advocates to move these proposed amendments forward.

On May 8, 2019, Anita Khanna, UWCC National Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, attended the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) to comment on Bill C-97. Anita spoke about the small but necessary amendments to the National Housing Strategy Act outlined in my letter. She also proposed small amendments to the Poverty Reduction Act contained in Bill C-97, drawing on the work of the 25-member working group that shaped UWCC’s submissions to the Poverty Reduction Strategy consultations. You can listen to Anita’s FINA appearance below. Or read her speaking notes.