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Trudeau pressed for budget bill changes to beef up proposed ‘right to housing’

 

OTTAWA — Housing advocates want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to tweak his government’s omnibus budget bill to give greater teeth to the bodies overseeing a new right to housing.

Characterizing housing as a human right is meant to provide a legal remedy — usually through a tribunal — for anyone wrongfully denied a home for reasons including ethnicity, religion, or gender identity.

The budget bill sets into law rules for the Liberals’ 10-year national housing strategy and creates two new oversight bodies meant to make sure the spending reduces homelessness.

In an open letter to Trudeau this morning, almost a dozen organizations ask for amendments to give the proposed advocate and advisory council greater powers to investigate and hold hearings on systemic issues in the housing system.

There is a also a push for changes to the budget bill that would require future governments to consider and respond to any recommendations the advocate or council make about the new housing right.

They also want the government to add wording into the bill for the requirement on future governments to have individual housing strategies for Inuit, Metis and First Nations.

The Canadian Press

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