Mayor Chow Urges Ottawa to Address Toronto’s Escalating Housing Crisis

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Emerging with buoyancy from a gathering with the federal government’s Toronto caucus, Mayor Olivia Chow voiced a newfound “consensus” on the pressing need to tackle Toronto’s escalating housing crisis. “They didn’t dismiss the proposition of collaboratively exploring a fresh agreement,” she shared with reporters assembled outside the West Block on Wednesday.

This comes in the wake of Chow’s dedicated campaign in the heart of nation. The urgency to find a resolution has been amplified following the admission from the provincial government acknowledging Toronto’s debilitating structural deficit, necessitating a fresh financial blueprint.

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Premier Doug Ford made assurances just last week about his conservative support. He pledged to dive into a collaborative examination of a long-term solution to Toronto’s monetary distress. Despite an early council vote in September approving new revenue tools, the city turns a wary eye towards the nearly $50 billion budget pressure looming over the next decade.

Both Chow and Ford have gone on to call the federal government into action, encouraging them to join in the crucial discussions. Ottawa, however, has been reserved in its commitment thus far.

On Wednesday, Mayor Chow sought to persuade the members of the Prime Minister’s Toronto caucus, engaging over a dozen representatives. This lobby constitutes all but one of the city’s federal ridings.

In addition, Chow had planned to communicate with Immigration Minister Marc Miller and Housing Minister Sean Fraser. She aims to seek an investment of $250 million in federal funds, to aid the refugees who arrive in the city only to be greeted by overcrowded shelters.

Supplementing her poignant appeal, Chow stated, “Tonight, over 250 homeless individuals, including half who are refugees, would be denied shelter. We are in the throes of a substantial housing crisis. Shelters are overflowing, churches are inundated, rents are soaring beyond reach, while an abundance of government funds lie unused.”

Mayor Chow’s meeting schedule includes Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on Friday. The working group has been appointed with the task of carving out an economic solution for Toronto, with an impending deadline set for November.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.