The National Union is encouraging all Canadians, especially those living in a Conservative riding to contact their MP to urge them to support this desperately needed housing strategy. UPDATED
Ottawa (12 Feb. 2013) – The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is asking its members, and all Canadians, to support Bill C-400, an Act to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians.
The Bill calls on the federal government to establish a national housing strategy designed to respect, protect, promote and fulfill the right to adequate housing as guaranteed under international human rights treaties ratified by Canada.
The bill, introduced at first reading by Marie-Claude Morin, NDP Member of Parliament for Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot, will be debated at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13 and the vote will be held on Wednesday, February 27.
It is estimated that each year 157,000 Canadians are homeless and 3.2 million Canadians live in poverty and would benefit from housing improvements and low-cost housing. Despite these alarming figures, Canada is the only G8 country without a national housing strategy.
The federal government has in fact been steadily cutting funding to its federal housing programs at a time when Canadians are dealing with the effects of the 2008 recession and growing income inequality.
Women and children are now the fastest growing group of homeless in Canada. In fact, in big Canadian cities up to 30 per cent of the homeless are women who are exposed daily to sexual harassment and violence.
This alarming statistic is one of the reasons the National Union is calling upon its Women 4 Change to take action and raise awareness of the importance of Bill C-400 and the housing strategy it calls for. Women 4 Change is an initiative of the All Together Now! campaign to defend public services, good jobs and tax fairness in Canada. Women 4 Change focus on moving the message forward that public policies must change and issues such as child care, elder care and housing must become a priority for all levels of government.
Bill C-400 is supported by all three opposition parties, but the Conservatives have not agreed to support it. If just 13 Conservatives vote for the Bill on February 27, the Bill will be sent to a House of Commons Committee, where it can be further debated. Without this Conservative support, the Bill will die.
The National Union is encouraging all Canadians to join with our Women 4 Change and raise awareness and support for this desperately needed housing strategy. Please visit http://alltogethernow.nupge.ca/bill-c-400 to find information about homelessness, a petition that you can download and acquire signatures and a sample letter to write to your MP.
If your MP is a Conservative it is especially crucial to contact them and encourage them to support the Bill. For contact information for your MP enter your postal code here.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE