“A traveling circus.” This was how Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre described the recent efforts of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Housing Minister Sean Fraser on the housing front in the last few weeks.
“Sean Fraser and Justin Trudeau have been paying off mayors to give federal liberals credit for housing that was already going to be built,” he claimed, speaking to reporters on Monday in Vancouver.
Citing no sources, Poilievre claimed that Trudeau and Fraser “basically call up the mayor and say, ‘Listen, we’ve doubled housing costs, people are angry, we’d like to do a photo op, we’ll give you $25 million if you let us come take credit for housing that you were gonna build anyway.’”
The mayors of course say yes, he added, and alleged that since Fraser became minister housing starts have dropped, and added that the housing accelerator fund, two years in, has yet to complete a “single, solitary house.”
These allegations come as Fraser, who was appointed housing minister in late July this year, announced that the federal government will be unlocking $4 billion in loans to help build about 12,000 new apartments right across Canada.
A recent report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) shows that, contrary to Poilievre’s statement, there was an uptick in housing starts for September, with the trend showing 254,006 units, a 3.9% increase from 244,511 units in August.
The Conservative Party leader also called Fraser out for the growing number of homeless encampments in his own home province of Halifax. Fraser responded with a reminder that Poilievre voted against programs that would have helped address homelessness, but Poilevre was quick to snap back with the carbon tax issue.
The Carbon Tax Break
Poilievre and the Conservative Party have pushed for carbon tax breaks on all home heating after the Trudeau government caved to pressure and basically admitted that the carbon tax was adding to the inflation struggle when Trudeau announced a three-year suspension of the federal surcharge on heating oil.
The initial effort, while supported by the New Democrats, was thwarted by the Liberals and Bloc Québécois in Parliament early this month. Undeterred, Poilievre on Monday announced a campaign to pass Common Sense Conservative bill C-234 to take the carbon tax off farmers and food.
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