Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We are on page 283 of the bill, which concerns the part to enact the National Housing Strategy Act. These amendments were inspired by the testimony we have heard. Many witnesses provided very convincing testimony before the committee. They highlighted the importance of recognizing housing as a fundament right. They argued that the proposed legislation, the National Housing Strategy Act, does not create a legislative framework that makes it possible to recognize housing as a right.
The Liberal government says that it wants to recognize housing as a right, but it is clear, as our witnesses have pointed out, that this is not what the legislation proposed in Bill C-97 does. The declaration simply states that the legislation recognizes the importance of housing to the inherent dignity and well-being of the person, that we must develop and maintain a national housing strategy to support improved housing outcomes, and that we must further the progressive realization of the right to housing.
Those are very vague terms that do not recognize that housing is a right in Canada. I'm here talking about law in Canada, but it should be pointed out that this right is recognized in international law in a number of conventions.
That is why I am proposing today the following amendment to subsection (a) of section 4 of the declaration:
(a) recognize that housing is a fundamental human right that is essential to the inherent dignity and well-being of the person and to the development of sustainable and inclusive communities;
These terms are inspired by the recommendations made by witnesses. I also propose the addition of subsection (d), following subsections (a), (b) and (c) of the same section, which reads as follows:
(d) identify the particular needs and rights of Indigenous Peoples and the barriers that prevent them from meeting those needs and exercising those rights and, consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, co-develop strategies with Indigenous organizations to address those barriers and to enable Indigenous peoples to meet their needs and exercise their rights.
It is a matter of enshrining United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the proposed legislation on housing. Those rights must be recognized and protected as often as possible. So this is about integrating that aspect, which was omitted by the government.
My other proposal concerns the content of the strategy, which is covered on the next page of the bill. The amendment reads as follows:
(a) implement the housing policy, taking a human rights-based approach;
That follows up on what I was saying earlier—that we must recognize housing as a right and implement policies based on the fact that it is a right. To ensure the monitoring of results, I propose that lines 8 to 10 on page 284 be replaced with the following passage:
tives, timelines and desired outcomes consistent with the housing policy;
A bit further on, I also propose that subsection (e) be added to the content of the strategy:
(e) provide public education resources and support for community initiatives designed to advance the right to housing;
I also propose adding subsection (f):
(f) support the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with regard to housing.
These are my preliminary amendments, if you will, that affect the content of the strategy. Their goal is to recognize, in the bill's declaration, that housing is a right, to include rights related to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to strengthen the mandate, the content of the strategy.