Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced to Canada's mayors his government's plan to roll out a new long-term, housing-based infrastructure plan this fall.
Speaking on Friday to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Big City Mayors Conference, Trudeau said that federal infrastructure funding "will have very direct links to housing."
"As we chart a course for the future of infrastructure in Canada, we're committed to remaining a steady partner, but we need to work together to make sure we're building well for the next generation," Trudeau said.
As Canadians all across the country struggle to afford their homes, the Prime Minister said that he'd "like to come back on the housing crisis," noting that it's been fuelled by "a generation of under-investment."
"Many millennials think they'll never be able to buy a house where they can raise their families -- something which was much easier for their parents and grandparents," Trudeau said during his address. "That is what we must think of when we think of long term investment. We must think of the responsibility that each generation has to build for the next generation."
Trudeau likened the pending infrastructure plan to the federal government's approach to public transportation projects, where funding is contingent on bringing forward housing development plans.
"Access to full funding will rely on you coming to the table with concrete and ambitious commitments on how you're going to build more housing to go with more transit," Trudeau told the mayors. "That means that just like the Housing Accelerator Fund, the more ambitious your housing targets, the more generous we'll be able to be in partnering with you."
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also spoke at the conference on Friday, emphasizing the need to build infrastructure alongside housing, including more transit and new water, waste, and electrical infrastructure. Singh, however, said it's the government itself that should spearhead these tasks.
"That is an area where the federal government's got to step up and provide support," Singh said. "We want to see direct public investment, and take it seriously, not just hope for an investor to come in, but we build publicly, we own it publicly, and we deliver the services that communities need."
In a release issued Friday, Singh took aim at for-profit housing providers carrying out renovictions and raising rent prices by hundreds of dollars per month.
"No one should be afraid to be renovicted or see their rent doubled because a housing profiteer bought their building to increase profits," Singh said.
He proposed the creation of an affordable housing acquisition fund that will allow not-for-profit housing providers to buy affordable units and "keep them out of the hands of for-profit corporate landlords trying to increase their profits on the backs of Canadians."