Invisible Housing Minister

The rapid increase in homelessness is finally making headlines. Thanks to the well-founded anger of Quebec’s mayors, the Legault and Trudeau governments will find it very difficult to escape.

More than 10,000 people are homeless in Quebec alone. Out of which 3000 are women. never seen A 44% increase in five years.

The first reason, but not the only reason, is the housing crisis, which has been ignored for years by all three levels of government.

Not even the housing minister, France-Alain Durance, was present at the municipal homelessness summit in Quebec on Friday. Unheard of right? Only his colleague Lionel Garmant was present.

What is even more strange is that the daily agenda of the Ministers issued by the Prime Minister’s Office Mme Duranceau, that day, had only one activity: a “speak” before a CPE in his district.

Above all, his absence from the summit indicates that people would have been afraid to allow the Minister to go to the forum where he could be politically undermined, in the office of the Prime Minister himself.

Especially since it tends to err on the side of the housing crisis, it doesn’t understand its scale, complexity, real causes or possible solutions.

How can we forget the surreal call to “invest in real estate” that, if his Bill 31 is passed, cannot be converted to leases. A little more, she was criticized for not being as rich as them.

Legal or Commercial?

But is it really a mistake? Or not the spontaneous reaction of a minister who paid his own investment in real estate? In short, for whom a home is not a right, but a commodity.

Herein lies the problem. If in the Council of Ministers, Mme Duranso is incompetent to protect the violated interests of housing crisis victims, who?

Even beyond the minister, what mattered was the “order” that François Legault would or would not send to his troops. Will he demand concerted action from his ministers to tackle the housing and homelessness crises? Or will it favor the free market as much as possible and send “targeted” but insufficient checks to certain groups?

Is he willing to work with cities and the Trudeau government? And vice versa. How else to explain that a $900 million federal housing fund is still sitting idle awaiting an agreement between the two governments in Ottawa?

The answers to these important questions can either improve or worsen the situation.

Many faces

Because all three levels have ignored it for so long, the housing crisis has not only spread, it has become more complex. Conclusion: It has many faces now. Homelessness is highly visible, but far from the only one. Most are invisible. Forced to choose between feeding yourself and paying your rent. Forced to stay in unsanitary or poor condition housing.

They are forced to languish on endless waiting lists for social or affordable housing that has yet to be delivered. or expelled for wrong reasons. Or taken by the throat because we’re on social assistance or low wages. etc

Three levels of government can work on all these fronts. Ditto for the homeless crisis. Due to the passivity of decision makers, its faces are manifold today. I’ll be back tomorrow.

However, other countries, including Finland, have succeeded in drastically reducing homelessness. It shows that when faced with a humanitarian crisis, everything is a question of political will, heart and intelligence. point.

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