Madam Speaker, I do not want to downplay the crisis that exists in Vancouver and Toronto. It is serious. That is why this government is acting. However, the member opposite said that we were not spending the money fast enough and that was one of the things we could finance with the bill he has presented to us. I agree. That is why we put $1 billion into fighting tax evasion to bring those dollars back.
He also said that people in Vancouver did not welcome the national housing strategy, so I want to quote a few things that were said.
The B.C. minister of housing said that it was a good first step, and was glad to see the government had renewed it. The mayor of Vancouver said that it had been an embarrassment not to have a national housing strategy, and welcomed this investment. The B.C. Premier, also a New Democrat, said that it was a fantastic proposal, was glad the money would start to fund next year, and was worried that they were not sure yet what the per capita funding would be and how it would relate to Vancouver. Janice Abbott, a strong voice for housing equity, and the co-op sector in Vancouver all praised the national housing strategy because of the dollars being delivered now, the commitment over 10 years, the fact that we modelled the program on the advice they gave us, which was that it had to be long-term, that the program had to grow over 10 years, and therefore had to be back-end loaded so we could build a strong foundation and a growing program that would get bigger year after year.
People in Vancouver love this housing strategy. What they need is you to support us to make it happen faster.