UN housing watchdog concerned Ottawa may not recognize Canadians’ right to housing in fall legislation

UN housing watchdog concerned Ottawa may not recognize Canadians' right to housing in fall legislation


United Nations housing watchdog Leilani Farha is worried the federal Liberals may not recognize the right to housing in expected legislation this fall. Photo courtesy Youtube.

The federal government is under pressure from a United Nations housing watchdog to acknowledge the right to housing in legislation expected in the fall.

Leilani Farha wrote a scathing letter aimed at the Justin Trudeau government, saying Ottawa can’t create a rights-based housing strategy if they don’t legally recognize the right to housing.

Farha’s concerns come after the government seemed to back away from the stance of recognizing housing rights in Parliament last week.

Commons was told the government didn’t want to declare a right that creates a belief that people can “prosecute their way into housing”.

A spokesperson for Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the Liberals do plan to recognize every Canadian’s right to access adequate housing in the legislation.

Farha called the government’s position “discriminatory and patronizing” in her letter and is worried it will renege a promise to enshrine the right as part of a 10-year, $40 billion program.

The legislation would create a federal organization to track progress in the housing system and identify systemic issues.

With files from the Canadian Press.


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