Federal government puts up $6B for housing, but there’s a catch

Good to see you guys. The Prime Minister says the federal government is ready to open the checkbook. Canadians need help with housing. More than $6 billion is on the table. But in order to access the cash, provinces and municipalities need to play by Ottawa’s rules. We’re not just going to put this money on the table, wash our hands of the issue and walk away. We’re going to insist that our partners make certain kinds of changes that make it easier and faster to build homes in this country, tying new infrastructure dollars to housing density. Demanding a change to zoning rules to make way for more multi units. Including four plexes, townhouses and apartment buildings. The money should come to the provinces who are doing the work. Those who don’t meet Ottawa’s requirements will lose their share of the money to municipalities. It’s a bit unfortunate that it’s kind of a taker. Or kind of. Here’s here’s our option. So if you don’t agree, then too bad. Well, I think if they come with a checkbook, it’s fair, you know, they’re not asking us to do anything that we weren’t doing anyway. Municipalities will have their own set of federal rules to follow. Ottawa is demanding a cut to red tape to allow high density housing next to post secondary institutions and transit lines. This government is really going potentially in the weeds of governance issues in the provinces and in the municipalities, this academic says. It’s normal to see the government put restrictions on funding. But what is unusual is the environment in which Ottawa plans to enter negotiations. The relationships between the federal government and the provincial premiers are quite strained, Ontario’s premier has already said. He won’t force municipalities to build fourplexes. Part of the federal approach, provinces have until the end of this year to strike a deal, with the federal election expected next year. Olivia Stefanovic, CBC News, Ottawa.

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