Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has just announced that he will release the next Federal budget on Febraury 11th. Will he include measures to prevent and end homelessness in Canada?
The actions across Canada in November of 2013 called on the Federal government to prevent the loss of housing subsidies for thousands of people in Canada, and to increase the funding for construction of new social housing and programs to address homelessness.
You can repeat this call by downloading this sample Federal Budget letter 2014 You can add your own concerns and then send it to Minister Flaherty: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday, November 27th FRAPRU held a massive demonstration in Ottawa, calling on the Federal government to protect social housing. There are still a few more events before the week is over. Check out this article in Ottawa’s Metro paper below, and see the rest of the coverage here
Events are taking place across the country this week, calling on the federal government to take action for housing. You can support this important advocacy initiative in many ways:
1. You can attend one of the many events and rallies taking place this week, from Vacouver to St. Johns. The list of events is here. You can also organize your own event! (let us know if you do!)
2. You can print this petition and getting your friends and neighbours to sign it, then send it to Minister of State for Social Development, Candice Bergen.
3. You can use social media! Tweet @CandiceBergenMP and @pmharper and tell them to #act4housing
4. You can download this sample letter and add your own comments, then email it to Minister Bergen and your local MP.
5. You can write a letter to the editor, or phone into a radio show, and let the media know that people in your community support more federal resources put towards social housing and ending homelessness.
However you can, wherever you are, this week you can join with people across Canada to take action for housing!
Call to Action!
Pan-Canadian Week of Action for Housing: November 22 – 29
Beginning on National Housing Day, Friday, November 22nd thousands of people across Canada will raise their voices in support of Housing as a Human Right! We all have a part to play in ending homelessness – we are working in our communities everyday to support human rights and the creation of social housing but more action is needed by the federal government as well as provincial, territorial and municipal governments. Every year, 200,000 people are absolutely homeless in Canada, and millions more are inadequately housed. Aboriginal people, women, people with disabilities, racialized community members, seniors, youth, newcomers and others face high rates of homelessness and housing inadequacy.
To end this crisis, on November 22nd we demand that immediate action be taken:
- In the next budget, the federal government must protect existing social housing. 600,000 people and their families could be forced to move to inadequate housing or be made homeless by rent increases they cannot afford if Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation fails to restore the annual operating grants investment of $1.7 billion annually in social housing subsidies.
- In the next budget, federal funding for social housing construction and programs and services for the homeless must be increased and made permanent. Funding for flexible local, regional and provincial approaches must be provided every year.This includes the Investment in Affordable Housing which funds construction of new housing units and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy which provides funding for programs & services for people who are homeless.
- The federal government must coordinate a pan-Canadian housing strategy that respects provincial jurisdiction, based on human rights. Housing is a human right. It’s time that the federal government convene a meeting together with all levels of government, in consultation with civil society and Aboriginal groups, to establish a Canadian housing strategy that respects provincial jurisdiction, which is designed to respect, promote and fulfill the right to safe, adequate and affordable housing.
For the week of November 22nd – November 29th, here are some ways you can support Housing for All:
- Organize a rally or demonstration in your community.
- Hold a townhall meeting and invite your MP, provincial or territorial and municipal elected officials to hear from people affected by homelessness and poverty.
- Collect signatures on thepetition and deliver it as a group to your MP, or send them to Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development). CC copies to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
November 22 – 29th join us in standing up for human rights and for housing!