moved for leave to introduce Bill C-582, An Act to amend the National Housing Act (payment to provinces).
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to introduce today a bill to amend the National Housing Act, the purpose of which is to transfer to Quebec and the provinces a portion of the undistributed profits of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation from its housing loan insurance activities.
The Bloc Québécois introduced a similar bill in the past. We therefore based our decision to introduce a new and improved bill today, with the same objectives, on the comments and criticisms voiced during those debates. We have therefore provided that CMHC will be required to comply with the guidelines issued by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions regarding the capitalization needed for its housing loan insurance activities. The effect of these measures will be that the surplus above the amounts provided for in the reserve fund and assets will be returned to Quebec and the provinces so they can invest the money, among other things to meet the increasingly glaring need for social and affordable housing.
The federal cutbacks in the 1990s have shown that Quebec and the provinces are in the best position to understand the needs of their own populations and in their own jurisdictions. This will mean that Quebec’s social and affordable housing strategy will be decided by Quebec, not by Saskatoon or Victoria, and vice versa. It is essential that the resources needed for planning how to combat poverty effectively be placed in the hands of the governments that have the necessary expertise and that are in touch with their own populations.
The bill introduced today would thus allow for a portion of CMHC’s surpluses to be transferred to Quebec and the provinces, which will then have the money they need to develop their own social and affordable housing strategies, strategies that, need I remind the House, are a central factor in combating poverty.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)