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YYC Matters

Supporting Calgarians through the Economic Recovery

Supporting Calgarians through the recovery

 

Calgary matters in the 2021 Federal Election. Calgary's priorities include supporting Calgarians through the recovery in the following areas:

Affordable housing


1 in 5 households in Calgary are in need of affordable housing, yet non-market affordable housing makes up only 3.6% of Calgary’s housing stock. An additional 15,000 non-market housing units are needed in Calgary to reach the national average of 6% for non-market housing supply in urban centers. Meeting Calgarians need for non-market affordable housing will require a focused and determined effort by the Federal Government to ensure Calgary catches-up to the national average and that requires both:

  1. Maintaining our existing supply of non-market affordable housing units in Calgary and ensuring current units are not lost due to disrepair and neglect as a result of inadequate maintenance funding; and
  2. Building many new non-market affordable housing units to meet local citizens’ needs along with the funding for their supporting services. 

Question 1: Will your party commit to a non-market affordable housing building program that is designed to meet Calgary’s unique needs? 

Question 2: If yes, how will your party commit the capital funding required for new non-market housing stock? How much? How many units built per year?

Question 3: Will your party commit to adequately funding maintenance of Calgary’s existing non-market affordable housing units and their supporting programs?  

Question 4: Will grant-based funding options be available for developing affordable housing to reduce the need for loans and minimize debt loads for organizations serving the lowest income households?

Answer from the Conservative Party

Thank you for your survey request. As you can imagine, we receive plenty of correspondence, surveys and questionnaires. While we intend to respond to all of them, we are dealing with a short window in which to do so. In the meantime, I encourage you to view and share our platform with your members which is a comprehensive plan for all Canadians and speaks to issues related to Calgarians.

Learn more at https://www.conservative.ca/

Answer from the Green Party

Answer from the Liberal Party

Calgary is a leader on housing and the fight against homelessness. From the community’s RESOLVE initiative to the City’s 10-year plan to end homelessness, Calgary has shown the way on affordable housing. Inspired by regional initiatives such as these, we launched Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy. We also introduced legislation recognizing the right of Canadians to access adequate housing. And we tripled the federal government’s investment in homelessness prevention and reduction and are on track to reduce chronic homelessness by 50% by 2027. In response to the immediate challenges of COVID-19, we launched the Rapid Housing Initiative, which included a dedicated cities funding stream and which is investing $2.5 billion to create at least 9,200 new units of affordable housing across Canada.

In this election, the Liberal Plan for Housing includes a $4 billion for a new Housing Accelerator Fund which will grow the annual housing supply in the country’s largest cities every year, creating a target of 100,000 new middle class homes by 2024-25. This application-based fund will offer support to municipalities that: grow housing supply faster than their historical average; increase densification; speed-up approval times; tackle NIMBYism and establish inclusionary zoning bylaws; and encourage public transit-oriented development. This fund will support a wide range of eligible municipal investments, including red tape reduction efforts, and reward cities and communities that build more homes, faster.

At the core of all of these measures is a commitment to building housing systems that provide permanent housing solutions to Canadians. We support the City's housing aspirations. A re-elected Liberal Government will work with the City to make those aspirations a reality.

Learn more at https://liberal.ca/our-platform/.

Answer from the Maverick Party

Answer from the New Democratic Party (NDP)

Everyone should have the right to a safe and affordable place to call home but far too many Canadians don’t have access to one right now. The Liberal government has talked about building new homes, but the PBO says they haven’t delivered what was promised. New Democrats believe that it’s time to help people now. We have an ambitious plan that will make a difference in every community in our country, including Calgary. We will make the investments to build, renovate, and preserve 1.7 million homes over the next four years.

This will include investments in non-market affordable housing, including social housing, coop housing, and community-owned housing. We will set up dedicated, fast-start funds to support municipalities, and not-for-profit and community organizations building houses, in addition to mobilizing federal resources and federal lands to ensure these homes get built quickly. We will also provide support for renovations and upgrades to ensure energyefficiency and accessibility of existing affordable housing.

Our affordable housing investments will not be one-size-fits-all. Rather we will work with provinces, territories, municipalities, and community groups to ensure that the right mix of measures are used in each community. We will come to the table with the City of Calgary and the Alberta government to ensure that new affordable housing gets built quickly in Calgary. 

Learn more at https://www.ndp.ca/commitments.

Answer from the People's Party

Transit operating shortfalls


Reliable transit is an essential public service, helping citizens get to work, shop and travel throughout their community. However, significantly lower ridership resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic caused transit operating shortfalls and has forced The City of Calgary to scale back transit service levels and planned capital improvements. Federal operating support was critical for Calgary and other Canadian transit-operating municipalities to maintain a base level of transit service for our citizens in 2020.  In 2021, there has been no Federal funding assistance for municipalities, even though even though ridership has not returned to pre-pandemic levels and operating shortfalls endure. The longer operating shortfalls linger, hindering service, the more we delay a true on-the-ground recovery for Canadians, workers, and local businesses. Fixing what the pandemic created will ensure an inclusive recovery for all Calgarians and all Canadians.

Question:  Will your party commit to providing operating support for public transit, an essential public service, in 2021 as municipal transit services cope with pandemic-related financial losses?

Answer from the Conservative Party

Thank you for your survey request. As you can imagine, we receive plenty of correspondence, surveys and questionnaires. While we intend to respond to all of them, we are dealing with a short window in which to do so. In the meantime, I encourage you to view and share our platform with your members which is a comprehensive plan for all Canadians and speaks to issues related to Calgarians.

Learn more at https://www.conservative.ca/

Answer from the Green Party

Answer from the Liberal Party

We are committed to better public transit in Calgary. As an example, a re-elected Liberal government would remain committed to Calgary’s Green Line. We have already announced an investment of up to $1.53 billion in the largest infrastructure project in the city’s history. We know that the Green Line will reduce congestion and create up to 20,000 jobs. We will work to get the job done.

Since 2015, our Liberal government has already invested over $13 billion in more than 1,300 public transit projects across Canada, building more than 240 km of new public transit subway and light rail line. We also established permanent public transit funding of $3 billion per year for Canadian communities. This track record shows that a re-elected Liberal government can be trusted to partner with cities, like Calgary, who are prioritizing investments in public infrastructure.

Learn more at https://liberal.ca/our-platform/.

Answer from the Maverick Party

Answer from the New Democratic Party (NDP)

Public transit is an essential public service, helping Canadians to move around their community at low cost while cutting carbon emissions and reducing gridlock. We recognize that the pandemic has been hard on public transit, and that more needs to be done to support public transit through this difficult period and to expand public transit options as we tackle the climate change emergency. That’s why New Democrats will invest in public transit, putting in place a permanent, direct, allocation-based funding mechanism for modern public transit. We will help municipalities that want to build towards fare-free transit, as well as prioritizing crucial investments that help to green our public transit systems, transitioning to electric bus fleets, and expanding affordable rail options.

Learn more at https://www.ndp.ca/commitments.

Answer from the People's Party

Mental health and addictions


We all need help and support at various times throughout our lives. Issues related to mental health and addiction are complex and finding the right support at the right time can be a time-consuming and often overwhelming challenge for individuals and their families. While one in five Calgarians both young and old alike will experience a mental health issue or prolonged illness in their lifetime, the COVID-19 pandemic has created stresses and conditions adversely affecting many of our friends and neighbours. Our citizens and our communities must be kept safe and supported during these challenging times. All orders of government must continue to work together, along with community members and local agencies, to address these complex issues facing at-risk Calgarians. 

Question: What is your party’s plan to address the mental health and the addiction crises? 

Answer from the Conservative Party

Thank you for your survey request. As you can imagine, we receive plenty of correspondence, surveys and questionnaires. While we intend to respond to all of them, we are dealing with a short window in which to do so. In the meantime, I encourage you to view and share our platform with your members which is a comprehensive plan for all Canadians and speaks to issues related to Calgarians.

Learn more at https://www.conservative.ca/

Answer from the Green Party

Answer from the Liberal Party

Since 2015, we’ve made major investment in mental health care. But we know there is more work to do. That is why a re-elected Liberal Government will:

  • Establish a new federal transfer to provinces and territories - the Canada Mental Health Transfer - to assist jurisdictions to expand the delivery of high quality, accessible, and free mental health services. Building on the principles of universality and accessibility in the Canada Health Act, this transfer will help establish standards in each province and territory, so that Canadians are able to expect services that are timely, universal, and culturally competent. This will help each jurisdiction focus on and solve critical backlogs in service and provide help to those who need it, according to the unique needs in each region.
  • Commit to permanent, ongoing funding for mental health services under the Canada Mental Health Transfer, with an initial investment of $4.5 billion over 5 years. Including the existing bilateral agreement on mental health services signed in 2017, this would bring federal support for mental health services to $2.5 billion per year by 2025-26. This is in addition to further investments we will make to support First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities with better access to trauma and mental health services.
  • Introduce a new fund for student well-being to improve wait times and increase access to mental health care at colleges and universities. The fund will support the hiring of up to 1200 new mental health care counsellors, including those who can support the needs of BIPOC students, at post secondary institutions across Canada. We will invest $500 million over four years and dedicate 10% annually to support Indigenous-governed and operated postsecondary institutions.
  • Undertake a comprehensive review of access to the Disability Tax Credit, CPP-Disability and other federal benefits and programs to ensure they are available to people experiencing mental health challenges.
  • Include mental health as a specific element of occupational health and safety under the Canada Labour Code and require federally regulated employers to take preventative steps to address workplace stress and injury.
  • Fully fund a national, three-digit mental health crisis and suicide prevention hotline.
  • Work with partners to ensure timely access to perinatal mental health services.

Learn more at https://liberal.ca/our-platform/.

Answer from the Maverick Party

Answer from the New Democratic Party (NDP)

Mental health care is so important, especially in times of crisis like a pandemic, but far too many Canadians don’t have access to it. The Liberals have been promising to expand access to mental health care since they were elected in 2015, but they have failed to act. New Democrats believe that mental health care should be available at no cost for everyone who needs it. As a first step, an NDP government will move quickly to bring in mental health care for uninsured Canadians. This will ensure that no one goes without mental health care while we work with the provinces and territories to put in place a comprehensive approach to mental health care. Our comprehensive pharmacare plan will also mean that prescription medication for mental health care will be available at no cost.

New Democrats will declare a national public health emergency over the opioid crisis to bolster federal funding for Calgary and other municipalities. We will also prioritize federal efforts to end the criminalization of opioid and drug addictions. 

Learn more at https://www.ndp.ca/commitments.

Answer from the People's Party

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