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LETTER: No comment not good enough

Charlottetown City Hall
Charlottetown City Hall

When the NDP held a press conference outside of City Hall on Friday, Aug. 25, it was to address the shortage of housing in Charlottetown and across Prince Edward Island, but specifically in the City of Charlottetown.

What we want to see is all levels of government: federal, provincial and municipal representatives at the table with chequebooks in hand and a commitment to address housing.

Mayor Clifford Lee’s “No comment” response is simply not good enough, and I will tell you why.

In 2013 the mayor hosted a housing summit at the Homburg Hotel, produced a $10,000 report on housing that has collected nothing but dust. In 2014, the mayor campaigned on the promise to address affordable, social and accessible housing. He spoke on housing once again on Aug. 5, 2015, again in Dec. 18, 2015, again on April 6, 2017, and once again on June 5, 2017.

So the obvious unanswered question is Mr. Mayor, how much money have you committed to housing?

The simple answer is absolutely nothing.

Yes, while the mayor seemingly has no money for housing he can spend over $30 million on ditch infilling (a cosmetic exercise of environmental degradation), $275,000 on a band shell at Victoria Park, $1.5 million on planting flowers, but he has no money for social programs and in this case housing.

The stark reality is Mr. Mayor, social, affordable and accessible housing is all of our collective responsibility; to look after one another and provide the basic human rights of all people. Along with this is having the right to food, housing, medical care, and clothing, to name a few.

If your plan is to do nothing to address the issue, then I would suggest you stop pointing the finger at other levels of government and take a look in the mirror. Your platitudes and finger pointing are nothing more than soapbox photo-ops.  

We are measured as a society on how we treat our most vulnerable.

Time to come to the table with your chequebook and solutions Mr. Mayor.

 

Mike Redmond

Leader of the NDP Prince Edward Island

Valleyfield, P.E.I.

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