NDP leader Jagmeet Singh says affordable housing high priority during stop in Penticton

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NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Singh said his government would make sure Canadians paid less for housing

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said affordable housing is high on the list of priorities for Canadians at a stop in Penticton with South Okanagan – West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings on Thursday morning.

“We want to build half a million new homes. We want to give people affordable housing and we want to invest in cooperative housing and non-market places where people can have the confidence to live there as long as they need and save and maintain the dream of owning a living home, “Singh told reporters before leaving for the annual final tour of Cannings Ride the Riding.

If the prime minister is elected in the upcoming federal election this fall, Singh says his government will look at policies that ensure Canadians do not spend more than 25 to 30 percent of their income on housing.

“That must be something that you can afford to pay and still have money left over to pay for other needs in life,” he said.

Health care costs, such as medicine, raise the cost of living, Singh added.

“Especially for an aging population, we hear concerns about the costs of treatment and that is why our plan is to include universal access to treatment,” he said.

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“If you need treatment in this country, you must use your health services, not credit cards. That’s what we want to bring and we truly believe we can finish it in one year. ”

Regarding problems with criminal penalties for drug possession and dealing with the opioid crisis in Canada, Singh said the federal government needs to take a different approach to this issue because the current “does not work.”

“We need to respond to mental health problems, addictions and poverty with health service responses. We really need to take care of these people and make sure they really get the support they need for rehabilitation so they are not in this position. ”

He said if the federal government wanted to help save lives, it was necessary to look at the root causes of addiction.

“If someone has banned substances in a personal amount, they might be addicted and struggle with something. We need to overcome the root causes and we will have a better society and we will save lives. ”

At Penticton, families have expressed frustration with the high cost of childcare.

Singh said if elected, his government would commit to a national childcare strategy that would target $ 10 childcare. He said the federal NDP will develop universal and affordable childcare in Canada so that it does not become a barrier for women who want to enter the workplace.

Cannings said the current climate crisis is the number one problem he hears from people who drive.

“People are very, very concerned about the climate crisis. People feel the government, both Liberal and Conservative, is not doing enough. Liberals (federal) have said the right things and have done nothing, very little to get us through this climate crisis, “he said.

“Canada must do its part, it is too late to become a leader, but we must be behind other countries in the world that do their part. China does even more than us. We must double it. ”

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