Kitchener Centre MP Morrice creates petition to tackle housing problem

By Josh Goeree

Green MP Mike Morrice of Kitchener Centre has called for the Canadian government to declare homelessness and housing un-affordability as twin national crises in an online petition.

The online petition, created in May, includes a call to action for the federal government to redefine what affordable housing means. Other calls to action include closing tax evasion and money laundering loopholes, creating a tax on residential property owners who leave units vacant and to create regulations to “control excessive profiteering from corporations and real estate investment trusts (REITs).”

As of early Friday afternoon, it had 1,900 digital signatures.

“We have to recognize that this crisis isn't by accident,” said Morrice on the Mike Farwell Show on Thursday. He added that the housing crisis is “out of control” and one of the root causes is coming from big corporations buying up billions of dollars in housing and then re-selling them for profits.

“[If] you want to make a bunch of money, go trade in the stock market. Don't commodify the housing market on the backs of low income and other folks in our community.”

One of the ways the federal government can work with municipal and provincial governments, said Morrice, is by investing in non-profit and cooperative housing. He also said the federal government should tax corporations and REITs “more fairly and appropriately” to discourage them from buying.

Morrice said he can take the petition and raise it in the House of Commons once it closes. He is hoping it will go from a promise to legislation in a few months.

“It's one way to demonstrate that Canadians across the country and neighbours of ours in Kitchener Centre and Waterloo Region are concerned about this issue,” said Morrice.

The petition will close for signatures on Sept 17 at 2:10 p.m.

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