Mr. Speaker, this week the metro Vancouver 2008 homeless count was released. It is no surprise that the numbers are up yet again. The number of those living on the street was up 37% over 2005, and up 131% overall since 2002. It is likely even higher given the difficulty of actually taking the count.
Continued homelessness is just plain wrong. Homelessness in a wealthy country like ours with huge government surpluses is an outrage. The fact that this national crisis does not dominate our politics is the real scandal of the day.
Existing housing programs must be renewed for the long term. The Conservatives must immediately finance a multi-year national housing program with set targets that actually builds homes. Use the surplus. Cancel tax cuts for profitable corporations. Take action now.
Every Saturday groups of citizens in the Vancouver area stand on street corners in silent witness to the need for urgent action. Every Saturday more people join these stands. Citizens know what is needed. When will the government join them and build housing?