Housing policy is ultimately a federal responsibility: academics

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“We want to keep inflation down so we can have interest rates start coming down again to help people be able to afford their own homes,” he said. “I’ll be blunt: Housing isn’t a primary federal responsibility.”

Federal government’s current housing policy is lacking

However, Trudeau’s viewpoint is “neither accurate nor politically smart,” according to Carolyn Whitzman, housing policy researcher and adjunct professor at University of Ottawa, and Alexandra Flynn, associate professor at University of British Columbia’s Peter A. Allard School of Law.

“While the word ‘housing’ isn’t mentioned in the 1867 Constitution Act or 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a federal, provincial or municipal responsibility, the rights to ‘life, liberty and security of the person’ as well as ‘equal protection’ in the Charter can’t be achieved without adequate housing,” the duo wrote in their analysis.

“The right to housing – which Canada has promised to enforce in numerous international covenants – was enshrined in Canadian law by the current government in 2019.”

Whitzman and Flynn argued that Trudeau’s recent statements betray the same “ambiguity, turf guarding, buck passing, and finger pointing” that the Liberal administration has accused other governments of doing.

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