For sometime now, non-profit groups, activists and marginalized folks have been screaming for more affordable housing in Canada, and finally, the issue is gaining mainstream traction. A big reason for that is when these aforementioned people started raising the flag two decades ago, neoliberal machinations were only starting to eff over the middle class.
Yes, here we are in 2016, and what a shocker? Uncontrolled and largely untaxed flows of international capital, haven’t flowed into Canada and left us all with spacious and affordable cribs. Where the neoliberal shit’s really hitting the fan is in Vancouver and Toronto, as house prices are absurd, and most people have abandoned the idea of ever owning a home. As I alluded to before, the first waves of neoliberal austerity helped foster pockets of poverty and social ills so severe (Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside), the UN tossed a WTF? Canada’s way. Earlier this year, the body did so again.
Of course, indie outlets like the Tyee and Rabble.ca, among others, have been reporting and commenting on the affordability crisis for years. But, now that housing affordability is impacting the lives of many more Canadians, and not just, you know, folks looking for a free lunch… even the corporate media’s chucking out daily stories.
The issue has become a big part of the British Columbia NDP’s platform (thumbs up to Mr. John Horgan). PM Justin Trudeau recently attended meetings about the crisis. How about dem’ Christy Clark led Liberals? BC’s ruling folks? They’re leading the charge on this right? Ah, not so much…
So, while we have yet to see any meaningful action yet, thankfully, and finally, more and more people are questioning how did this happen? Why are people who have contributed and bettered their communities, both financially and socially, being priced out of them? Why aren’t our ‘leaders’ doing something to remedy this? And if they won’t, who will?
Yes, as we’ve seen in Canada, the U.S. and Europe in recent years, the masses are realizing that they’ve been given the royal shaft by neoliberal economics. Bright, progressive lights, like the Layton, Sanders and Corbyn campaigns have risen as a result. But we’ve also seen frightening manifestations of this anger on the far right. The winds of change are indeed a blowing, and it’s up to us sensible folks to make sure those winds lead to equitable and sustainable change.