Posted on September 2, 2021
With federal elections are a few days out, an issue that all parties are claiming they will address, if elected, is affordable housing! ACORN Canada held actions coast to coast on September 1st calling on all political parties to do more to build and protect affordable housing!
Read ACORN’s housing platform here.
Here’s a quick account of the actions across cities.
Burnaby: In BC, ACORN member Jackie Cameron gave a powerful testimony. Reporter from Burnaby Beacon came and spoke to the members. Check out this video of BC ACORN members in action:
Calgary: Alberta ACORN, one of the newest offices had 15 members out at the office of Conservative candidate Jasraj Hallan. Members braved some very cold winds to let Mr. Hallan and his team know that they don't consider $1786 per month for a residential unit to be any way affordable. Members had a great time interacting with passersby, discussing the housing crisis, and getting them involved in the action. We even brought a new full member on board!
We spoke to Mr. Hallan's campaign manager who claimed that affordable housing was on the candidate's platform (nah it ain't) and handed him ACORN's platform, reminding him that an organized community of hardworking renters expects much more from someone who hopes to represent them!
Halifax: Great showing in Nova Scotia - had 13 people down at BANC Group HQ/Liberal Candidate, former Provincial housing minister, and current slumlord Lena Diab's office. BANC group was one of the developers who were given money from the CMHC to build affordable housing, but their 76/324 affordable units are between $1400-1800 a year! Longtime member but new leader from Spryfield Janet Niyonkuru spoke, as well as a few old leaders. CBC and CTV covered the action.
Hamilton: Stoney Creek members came out to deliver and demonstrate outside the offices of the Hamilton East - Stoney Creek MP office today, the Liberal Party’s Bob Bratina, and the current Liberal candidate Chad Collins, who has just taken leave from his position on City Council! The action was led by Liz and Venetta, with Liz calling Bratina’s office and demanding affordable housing! Bob Bratina’s office was closed, so members taped the letter and ACORN’s housing platform to the front door and left voicemails for his office demanding he create and build affordable housing here in Stoney Creek! Members then went to Chad Collins campaign office and spoke with a campaigner there, stating our demands and giving them the letter and platform. Venetta told the campaigner at Chad Collins office that she would be back the next day to speak to him in person as he wasn’t there at the time. Venetta is planning on demanding he do more for City Housing, as her building on 5 Maple Ave has asbestos that is coming out of cracks in the ceiling and giving her breathing problems.
Members are planning on doing more visits to other candidate offices in future!
London: 18 London ACORN members gathered outside a CAPREIT building and then marched in the Kipps Lane neighbourhood mostly occupied by Medallion, Metcap and CAPREIT. The action was led by Nawton, Jodee, Sarah and Betty. Jodee went through ACORN's housing platform. Sarah spoke specifically about the Starlight Investment building she has been living in for the last 8 years which is heavily infested with cockroaches and bedbugs. Dirka Prout, the NDP Candidate for London North Centre; Shawna Lewkowitz, the NDP Candidate for London West and current MPP for London North centre - Terence Kernaghan showed up and spoke about how the NDP platform responds to the issues ACORN is raising.
Peel: Peel members hit the office of the Cooksville candidate Peter Fonseca and rallied in the area with signs, flags, and petitions. Members delivered the ACORN Housing Platform to the office and taped it at the door. To make sure Fonseca got our message, members called the office and left messages saying that if he and his party want the vote of low-income people and renters, they must support building and protecting affordable housing! Peel ACORN leaders Tanya and Nabeela were both interviewed about housing and general election issues, and we can expect their quotes and stories in more than one upcoming election story from The Pointer.
Toronto: Toronto ACORN members from all over the city joined for a rally at the Weston Rd and Lawrence Ave West intersection! (over 30 people at the action). Action was led by some old and some new leaders which was exciting! ACORN members announced our Federal Housing Platform and our demands. Members were also joined by MPP Faisal Hassan and federal candidate Hawa Mire. Members marched to MP Ahmed Hussen’s office to deliver him our Federal platform demands and then marched to 2346 Weston Rd, leading with chants! This development got $35 million dollars of funding from the Federal Government to build affordable housing for Seniors! $1500 is not affordable for any fixed income senior. ACORN members were there to demand real affordable housing to let people know that this is not acceptable!
CBC came out to cover the action and spoke with Bob Murphy and Ryan Murdock!
Ottawa: 32 ACORN members rallied at LeBreton Flats which is federally owned land that COULD be used for deeply affordable housing. But the NCC still has no clear definition of affordable housing (one parcel of land is 80% of average market rent - booo!!) and says any affordable units will only be affordable for 10-25 years! Members were joined by NDP Candidate for Ottawa-Centre Angella MacEwen who shared her support for our federal platform. Liberal candidate for the riding Yasir Naqvi showed up unexpectedly.
CBC/Radio Canada, the Ottawa Citizen and Centretown Buzz all covered the action.
ACORN will continue to push the parties to commit to doing more to build and protect affordable housing this election and beyond!
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