Mr. Speaker, in 2010, Vancouver will host the Olympics with much fanfare but, unless immediate action is taken, the number of homeless people on the street will triple, according to a report by Pivot.
Low income residents are being evicted at an alarming rate in the downtown east side, with over 800 single rooms lost in three years. Abysmal poverty welfare rates mean people are destined to stay homeless, destitute or without support.
It is astounding that VANOC offered $500,000 to clear the streets for two weeks during the Olympics. I guess it does not care about the before and after.
Why has the Conservative government ignored the critical need to fund a national, sustainable social housing program? The bottom line must be for the three levels of government to make affordable housing a priority. Income splitting will not help those on the streets. Tax cuts will not build housing.
The Olympics is Canada's showcase to the world. Will it also be the shame of a wealthy country that denies the basic necessities of life to its poorest citizens?