Mr. Speaker, I often say that it is always a good day, or a good night, when we can discuss housing in this House, because there is no issue more important to me and more important to the residents I represent, and in fact more important to this government, than making sure we get the housing system we need for this country.
That is why today we passed historic legislation on the right to housing, the progressive realization in a systemic way of making sure that every Canadian has a place to call home that is safe, secure and affordable.
However, building housing alone does not work. As the member opposite has accurately identified, housing with supports is as critical a part of the process as repairing housing, as delivering emergency responses to housing needs, and as building long-term, sustainable solutions.
Our government has invested close to $7 billion already, above and beyond what was forecast from the previous government, into new housing starts right across the country. It has put together what is now a $55-billion 10-year program to turn this country's housing situation around and make sure that Canadians from coast to coast to coast, most importantly indigenous Canadians and certainly Canadians of indigenous heritage in urban settings, get the housing they require.
British Columbia is much like the province I come from, in that the major city has had an explosion of housing starts, but at the same time the market just has not provided for people with disabilities, the elderly, people on fixed incomes, as well as new Canadians who have not quite gotten their feet underneath them as they make their way in this country. There are significant challenges all the way around. People with disabilities, of course, are also on that list, as are people being discharged from hospital or from prison who get discharged into homelessness, which is part of the institutional gapping that happens in this country, and part of what this country has to address systematically to make sure it puts an end to the flow into homelessness as we try to deplete what is a horrible cohort of people, in terms of the circumstances they live in, that has to be addressed by ending homelessness.
I have been to British Columbia. In fact, in its first three and a half years, our government has invested in 99 specific projects that run the full range of housing needs that need to be met in British Columbia. In Campbell River, we broke ground on a housing project to deal with people with developmental disabilities.
The project in Nanaimo, which I have discussed with my colleague opposite, is one of the most beautiful and most energy-efficient passive housing programs in the country, run by a friendship centre, which has shown us and the rest of the country not only how to deliver good, strong, affordable community housing for youth coming out of care, for elders in the community as well as for families, but how to do it in such a way that it would actually come in under budget and produce remarkable results in terms of greenhouse gas reductions.
Our investments in Victoria are going to bring Victoria to functional zero in terms of homelessness within two years. In Vancouver, the modular housing we have invested in is dealing with people from tent cities and getting them into good, strong, supportive housing programs that put an end to their homelessness.
This government is committed with its program. The money is being spent now, as we speak. It is a 10-year program, so the math tells us that some of it comes after the next election. A lot of it comes after the next election, because not only are we building new housing and repairing new housing, but we are also subsidizing the housing to make it affordable. Adding 1,000 units in Nanaimo this year and 1,000 next year and the year after that means that the subsidy has to grow from 1,000 units to 2,000 to 3,000. Any party that says, and the NDP does it quite often, that we should not back-end load housing programs has never run a housing system.
We are proud of the national housing strategy. We are proud of the rights-based framework that we put into legislation to make sure that no future government can ever back out of the housing program, and we are very proud of our results in British Columbia, working with a good, strong provincial government that also understands how critical this is. We hope the parties in this House can support our investments, because they are good, they are strong and they are making a difference.