42e législature, 1re session



Wednesday 24 February 2021 Mercredi 24 février 2021

Private Members’ Public Business

Housing is a Human Right Act, 2021 / Loi de 2021 sur le logement en tant que droit de la personne













Report continued from volume A.


Private Members’ Public Business

Housing is a Human Right Act, 2021 / Loi de 2021 sur le logement en tant que droit de la personne

Mr. Hassan moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill 252, An Act to recognize housing as a human right / Projet de loi 252, Loi visant à reconnaître le logement en tant que droit de la personne.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): Pursuant to standing order 101, the member has 12 minutes for his presentation. At the end of the 12-minute opening remarks, the debate will proceed with members of the various parties speaking in rotation.

I now turn it over to Mr. Hassan.

Mr. Faisal Hassan: It is my pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to private member’s Bill 252, entitled Housing is a Human Right Act, 2021. I want to acknowledge and thank my co-sponsor of the bill, my fantastic colleague from Brampton Centre.

Housing in Ontario is in a serious state of crisis, and the pandemic has only deepened that crisis, as we have found people unable to afford rent, many facing evictions and a housing landscape where the playing field is very much skewed against them through structural and institutionalized disparities and inequities.

In Toronto, renters spend at least 30% of their income on housing, and the housing crisis has deep racial and socio-economic divides. The housing conditions that exist also show a sharp divide along racial lines. In my community of York South–Weston and elsewhere in Toronto, some families are forced to live in cramped conditions, unable to afford a home that can accommodate their growing or multi-generational families. The overcrowding that exists was found to be nearly three times higher for visible minority renters. Clearly, during a pandemic, that overcrowding and being inadequately housed has led to cases of COVID being much higher along racial and economic lines.

I have stood in the House on too many occasions speaking of the greater risk of COVID that my community has, and the lack of attention and priority given to addressing those inequities by this government. It was only on September 28 that we finally received a local COVID testing facility.

This bill looks to view housing as a human right, and all government decisions should be with that lens. Everyone deserves a good stable place to call home, a place they can afford in a community that makes them feel safe and welcome. The NDP believes that housing is a human right. The housing crisis is not only a public health concern, but also one of racial and economic injustice for Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQ+ and disabled people, as well as people surviving in the cycle of poverty. There are extra roadblocks, including discrimination and systemic barriers, that make it harder to get into a safe, stable and affordable home.

This bill looks to address those inequities and disparities that exist in access to housing. The Housing is a Human Right Act calls for government interventions in housing to focus on the rising inequities and disparities that exist with respect to housing, and to adapt policies and programs that address spatial and social exclusion and segregation through inequitable access to housing.

We are calling, in this bill, for the establishment of the office of the independent housing commissioner. This commissioner will collect data relating to inequities and disparities that exist in Ontario with respect to housing and will conduct research into strategies to prevent evictions. The independent housing commissioner will report their findings to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

A housing inequities and disparities working group will also be established, drawing from experts and lived experience in the economic and social challenges many face with respect to access to proper housing in Ontario.

Government after government has turned their backs on people who need to get their family into safe, affordable and stable housing. For decades, Conservative and Liberal governments have created loopholes and rules that benefit developers and big property owners and have made it increasingly harder for everyday folks to afford a place of their own. We feel it is time to fix the disparities in housing and to recognize housing as a human right. This bill sets out to do just that, Mr. Speaker.

There was a housing report published this past November by Social Planning Toronto which very much influenced this bill. The report is based on a five-year study, the first of its kind, that maps out the way racialized individuals, specific racialized population groups, newcomers and refugees are disproportionately affected by the Toronto housing crisis. The report is entitled Spaces and Places of Exclusion: Mapping Rental Housing Disparities for Toronto’s Racialized and Immigrant Communities. The report’s co-authors are Naomi Lightman from the University of Calgary and Luann Good Gingrich of York University.

As member for provincial Parliament for York South–Weston and through my role as a member of the Black caucus and critic for youth opportunities, I can affirm that the statistics and evidence of disparities that exist along racial, social and spatial lines is all too familiar to me, Mr. Speaker.

This bill will seek to fix the disparities that exist in housing. The creation of an independent housing commissioner will give the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing recommendations, solutions and plans of action so that we can address the injustice and help more people get into a safe, affordable, stable home they can afford.

Housing disparities and inequities will be addressed and studied through the establishment of a working group. The working group will be guided by a variety of research parameters that will help us to better understand the housing divide. Some of those directions you will see in the bill include:

—reviewing the impact of residential evictions and how they affect racialized Ontarians and those of lower socio-economic status;

—barriers that exist to affordable home ownership for both young and older Ontarians; and

—potential interventions that would help mitigate income inequality and wealth inequality and that will help ensure an effective and just economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Speaker, those are a few of the areas the working group will look at. It is our hope that this bill will provide the thorough review needed to study and make recommendations so very much needed to ensure that housing is a human right and no one is left behind due to inequities and disparities that are prevalent in our society.

I had the pleasure, along with my co-sponsor colleague from Brampton Centre, of meeting virtually and discussing this bill with a variety of community stakeholders with direct experience in housing and social issues. Toronto ACORN was very helpful through this process, and East York ACORN chair Alejandra Ruiz Vargas had this to say:

“Housing is a human right and the government needs to make sure to protect people by removing barriers people face like unfair evictions in a pandemic. And for example the government needs to create a rent relief program for the 10% of tenants in Ontario who are facing arrears according to CMHC. The government also needs to support non-profit housing, co-op housing to create a housing system that is based on people’s rights and not one that prioritizes the right for investors and big landlords to maximize profits.”

I want to thank Naomi Lightman and Luann Good Gingrich from the University of Calgary and the University of Toronto. Luann Good Gingrich, from York University and a co-author of the Social Planning Toronto report, suggests, “The Housing is a Human Right Act lays the foundation for a powerful evidence-based policy intervention, as it defines a universal goal while promoting targeted and local strategies to address the precise inequities produced by a steeply uneven labour and housing market.”

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Good Gingrich continues with, “Our research shows housing disparities across Toronto’s 25 wards, revealing the need for precise analysis and customized interventions. For example, in terms of overcrowding, our data show that the problem is twofold: Areas of the inner suburbs, where there is more racial diversity, have the highest rates of overcrowding; and lower rates of overcrowding in the core reflect a different kind of exclusion, as the higher cost of smaller units makes downtown rental housing inaccessible to families or larger households. This dynamic contributes to intensifying racial segregation and spatial divides in Toronto—a reality laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Lastly, I would like to add another community voice with Alyssa Brierley, who is the executive director of the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, which is Canada’s oldest charity looking to advance the right to housing for all. She had this to say about this bill:

“This bill is so important, because at CERA we hear from and work with thousands of Ontarians every year who experience violations of their right to housing. We hear from low-income and increasingly middle-income Ontarians who are not able to find housing that they can afford. We hear from individuals with disabilities who aren’t able to find adequate housing that accommodates their needs. We hear from Black, Indigenous, and other Ontarians of colour who experience blatant and rampant discrimination when trying to find and stay in their housing.”

Mr. Speaker, the voices of community leaders such as these, and the voices of those struggling with disparities and inequities that exist in housing, need to be heard. This bill, the Housing is a Human Right Act, will hear those voices, research, gather and study data and make better-informed decisions when it comes to housing for all in Ontario.

The federal government and the city of Toronto have recognized housing as a human right, and it is time we do as well. Passing this bill will be a significant step forward in collecting the data we need and acting upon recommendations that result in concrete actions to ensure we have a housing system that is for the benefit of every Ontarian and does not leave people behind.

In their report, Social Planning Toronto highlighted that there is a need for more data, as it showed that certain groups like Black, Latin American and South Asian tenants were reporting especially high rates of core housing need.

Mr. Speaker, I’m looking forward to hearing my colleagues, to hear their comments in support of this bill.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): Further debate?

Mr. Jim McDonell: It is a pleasure to rise in the House to discuss the member opposite’s private member’s bill.

Our government believes that everyone deserves a place to call home. We are actively putting more affordable home ownership and rentals within the reach of Ontario families, while ensuring people can live closer to where they work. That is why we introduced More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan to address Ontario’s housing crisis and to help build more affordable homes in our province after a decade of neglect by the previous Liberal government.

Speaker, Premier Ford promised action, and we are proud of the significant progress we have made on this front. Let me start off by highlighting some of the important housing statistics since our More Homes, More Choice housing supply action plan was first introduced. Construction of purpose-built rental housing in the GTA is the highest since 1992, and overall housing starts last year were up 15% compared to the previous year, even during the pandemic. This plan is putting the needs of Ontarians first by building the right type of homes to make housing more affordable and help taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned dollars. Last year, Toronto had more cranes in the sky than anywhere else in North America. Speaker, our plan to increase the supply and mix of housing is working, and we’re proud of it.

Affordable housing investments: We also recognize, and COVID-19 has highlighted, how important it is for every Ontarian to have a place to call home. It has shed light on the pressures felt in our community housing system and underscored the urgent need for affordable housing. But, Mr. Speaker, these issues are not new. Years of inaction on the housing file by the Steven Del Duca Liberal Party has put pressure on our community housing, affordable housing and market housing. That’s why housing was a priority when we first formed government, and it will continue to be a top priority for years to come.

I am proud that our government is tackling housing pressures head-on by investing directly into more affordable housing, reducing the upfront cost pressures on our partners working to build affordable housing, and accelerating the construction of affordable housing units across Ontario. In fact, in 2021 alone, we are investing more than $1.5 billion into the community housing sector, more than any previous year.

The social services relief fund: COVID-19 has also had a significant impact on the most vulnerable people in our communities, including those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. That is why, in response to the pandemic, we have provided $510 million to municipalities and Indigenous program partners through our social services relief fund. This funding is flexible so municipalities can use it to best respond to their local needs. This funding is being used to create long-term housing solutions, expand shelters, increase rent banks, build modular housing and purchase new shelter spaces for our most vulnerable.

In fact, earlier this month, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing joined the Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues to announce the purchase of a new facility in Orillia using funds from the social services relief fund. The $6.2-million investment with Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services is providing safe and affordable homes for Indigenous people in Orillia today so that they aren’t forced into precarious or unsafe housing situations.

Our government is also extremely proud to have been the first province to sign up to the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit under the National Housing Strategy. It is making $1.4 billion available for a portable housing benefit that goes directly to the people who need it most to help them pay their rent. To date, 7,200 Ontarians have already received direct rent assistance through this program, and that number is expected to grow each year. Recipients are able to rent a unit of their choice instead of waiting for traditional rent-geared-to-income assistance in social housing.

However, under the National Housing Strategy, Ontario currently receives $490 million less than its fair share when compared to households in core housing need. I know the minister has already raised the issue with his federal counterpart. We hope that we can continue to work with all levels of government to create and sustain much-needed affordable housing units, but Ontario needs its fair share of national housing funding.

I know that the NDP and the Liberal Party are against the use of ministerial zoning orders, but let me give you two examples of the difference they are making. The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing issued two MZOs in Toronto earlier this year for two modular supportive housing projects. Speaker, the minister made these MZOs less than 12 months ago, and today there are vulnerable Ontarians living in these completed modular housing units. This is only possible because the minister utilized the MZOs to cut through red tape and accelerate these critical projects that are keeping people safe today.

And, of course, the minister has issued multiple MZOs in Toronto’s West Don Lands as part of the government’s goal to bring nearly 1,000 affordable units to surplus provincial property. This plan will also bring nearly 17,000 new square feet of community space to the area and bring new housing closer to transit.

All MZOs are in response to formal municipal requests. It’s a shame to see the members from the NDP protesting these new affordable units, and in fact, lending their support to projects that would see fewer affordable units created while we continue to face this housing crisis.

Last month, in response to the concerning rise in cases of COVID-19, our government declared a state of emergency and put in place a stay-at-home order. Under this provincial stay-at-home order, we once again paused the enforcement of residential evictions so that no one was forced to leave their home during this provincial order. Speaker, this was the second time in less than a year that we put a pause on residential evictions. I want to remind the members opposite that this is not something that the only NDP government in Canada has done. The BC NDP paused residential evictions once, and today it is business as usual, despite the ongoing second wave of COVID-19.

In addition, our government froze rent for 2021, ensuring that the vast majority of Ontarians do not see a rent increase in 2021. Speaker, this is an unprecedented move in unprecedented times. And again, I remind this House that the only NDP government in Canada has not taken this measure.


Housing is a human right: Speaker, I would like to now spend some time discussing the bill that is in front of us today. The act provides that while interpreting all acts, regulations and policies, the government shall be guided by the principle that housing is a human right. However, in 2018, the NDP member for Toronto Centre put forth a motion asking the government of Ontario to affirm its commitment that housing is a human right. Mr. Speaker, we supported that motion. More importantly, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing also supported that motion. That’s because our government believes that everyone deserves a place to call home.

The bill in front of us today is now duplicating these efforts from two years ago. Since then, we have built on that commitment and have made historic investments in housing. We have also outlined—this year alone, in response to COVID-19, we have created a $510-million social services relief fund to keep Ontarians safe and housed. The minister has heard from municipalities and Indigenous partners that this funding has saved lives, and we’re proud of that. We will put forth our $510 million in COVID housing and homelessness funding up against any other jurisdiction in Canada.

While this bill is well intentioned, it duplicates our government support from 2018 that housing is a human right. Today, our government recommits to working closely with all our partners to ensure that people can access the affordable housing and supports they need today and in the years to come.

Everyone has a role to play in fixing Ontario’s housing crisis, and we continue to invite the members of this House, municipalities, not-for-profits and private industry to work with us and join us in encouraging innovative ways to build different kinds of housing and to make sure that everyone can have a place to call home.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): Further debate?

Ms. Sara Singh: Good evening. It’s a pleasure to rise today and contribute to the debate. I want to thank my colleague from York South–Weston for bringing forward this important piece of legislation to help declare and recognize housing as a human right here in the province of Ontario, and I’m proud to be the co-sponsor on this bill.

I just want to address some of the comments from the member from Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry, who suggests that this is a duplication of efforts from our previous member’s bill which declares housing as a human right. Actually, this goes one step further: This bill seeks to establish a working group and a housing commissioner. So it isn’t just about declaring housing as a human right; it’s actually about making sure that there are tangible measures put in place to ensure that those rights are realized for people in the province of Ontario.

Speaker, in Peel, we see wait-lists growing for affordable housing. At the moment, we hear that over 4,000 households in the Peel region are experiencing some form of homelessness. The reality is that previous Liberal governments and Conservative governments did not invest in housing in this province, and we see the crisis unfolding. Throughout the pandemic, we saw that shelters were at capacity, encampments were growing, and yet nothing was being done to meaningfully address those underlying problems. Youth, young people, are experiencing hidden homelessness in our communities, and yet we don’t hear conversations from the members opposite about addressing those real, critical problems in our communities.

As we’ve heard time and time again, housing is tied to ensuring that people have access to a safe and affordable place to call home but that they’re also tied to the social determinants of health. Because housing is not just about having a roof over your head; it’s actually about all of these other factors that contribute to our health outcomes, whether that’s poverty, whether that’s access to that shelter, whether that’s access to a good-paying job. All of these are connected, and that’s exactly what this bill seeks to do. By recognizing housing as a human right and as a guiding principle here in Ontario, this will ensure that an equity strategy is put in place that seeks to ensure that people who need housing have access to it.

A working group, as this bill calls for, seeks to address inequities in housing, and I’m proud to support that. Having a commissioner here in the province of Ontario ensures that vulnerable Ontarians have a voice and an advocate here to ensure that housing is realized and that right is realized for them.

I’m proud to support this. I know my time is limited. As the former housing critic, I’m happy to be a part of this bill, and as the member from Brampton Centre, I’m happy to be co-sponsoring it. Great work. Thank you.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): Further debate?

Ms. Rima Berns-McGown: It’s a great honour to speak to Bill 252. Homelessness was at crisis levels in Ontario before the pandemic began. The government’s refusal to put in place a moratorium on evictions, despite the fact that it is the communities hardest-hit by COVID that are also most in danger of losing their housing during the pandemic, means that we’re about to see a whole new wave of thousands of hard-working families who will lose their housing, into homelessness, through no fault of their own.

The intersections that connect race, poverty and homelessness are clear. People who are without housing, who are precariously housed or who are among the hidden homeless are disproportionately Black and Indigenous. That’s because of the structural inequities that BIPOC communities experience, in all levels of society, in housing, but also in education, employment and health care, as well as in policing and the criminal justice system.

A working group and housing commissioner that can pinpoint those connections and create strategies for preventing evictions and keeping people housed would go a long way towards solving the problem, one that is expensive for the province and that takes an enormous human toll.

International human rights law recognizes everyone’s right to adequate housing. It has been part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 1948, but still, Ontarians and First Nations are spending the winter in tents; still, parks across the province are overflowing with encampments; and still, shelters are bursting at the seams with the unhoused. Almost incomprehensibly, Canada is failing in its obligations to so many of its citizens in this basic way. There are no excuses. We must pass Bill 252, recognize housing as a human right and take the steps to ensure that every Ontarian has access to safe, dignified housing. We’re in a pandemic, and it’s urgent.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): Further debate?

Mr. Mike Schreiner: I’m pleased to rise to speak on Bill 252, to declare housing as a human right, and I want to thank the member from York South–Weston for bringing this bill forward.

Housing should be a human right, Speaker. Everyone deserves an affordable place to call home, and I believe the COVID pandemic has highlighted that fact more than ever. Sadly, for far too long, we collectively as a society have allowed the housing crisis to grow year over year. Between 1990 and 2017, only 9% of the housing units built in this province were rental units. As a result, over 170,000 people are now on a waiting list for affordable housing.

And for far too many Ontarians, even if there is a rental unit available, it’s still not affordable. Zero per cent of the rental housing in cities such as Barrie, my own riding of Guelph, Hamilton, Kitchener, Peterborough, Ottawa and Thunder Bay is affordable for a full-time minimum wage worker. It takes the average Ontarian 21 years to save for a down payment to be able to buy a house, and it is clear the racialized component of unsuitable housing disproportionately affects visible minorities and Black and Indigenous people of colour.

Speaker, in my limited time, I want to say that I hope all members of this House can support this private member’s bill, because housing should be a human right and we need to establish a working group to advise and direct the ministry, to make sure the decisions that are made happen through a lens of housing as a human right.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): Further debate?


Mr. Tom Rakocevic: Again, I want to thank the members from York South–Weston and Brampton Centre for putting forth this very important motion.

Everyone deserves to feel safe and have a place to call home. When we think of our basic needs, we can all agree that this includes food, water, shelter and safety. Housing encompasses all these things. Not having adequate housing results in barriers to other human rights, such as privacy, access to health care, the right to vote or finding a job. Without a sense of stability, it is incredibly challenging to cope with mental health issues, employment, education and so much more.

Not having access to affordable housing has forced many families to live in packed, multi-generational homes. During a pandemic, this quickly becomes a public health issue, as it increases the risk of infection for everyone. It is impossible for those living in such homes to self-isolate and keep their loved ones safe.

But the housing crisis is not only a public health concern, it’s also one of economic inequity and injustice. Black, Indigenous and other racially marginalized people experience discrimination and systemic barriers that make it so difficult to end the cycles of poverty and gain access to affordable housing. Young people are also finding it near impossible to find affordable housing. The average price of a house in Toronto is almost $1 million, and the average cost of rent for a one-bedroom is nearly $2,000 a month. Far too many young people cannot afford a home, and it is time that we take action to address an issue that is impacting so many.

This bill introduces the action needed to address the current housing crisis, which includes access to safe, affordable homes. It’s about time that we start recognizing housing as a human right. I’m proud to support it.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): Further debate?

Mr. Stephen Blais: There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that housing is a fundamental human right. Nobody should go without a roof over their head and a warm place to keep them safe.

Unfortunately, over the last year, thousands of Ontarians have been forced to make difficult choices during the pandemic. Out of work, through no fault of their own, many have been forced to choose between buying groceries and paying the rent. In the absence of a provincially guaranteed sick-leave program, too many of them have had to face this dilemma. And now, in the heart of winter, the Ford government has restarted evictions.

What’s worse is that racialized communities in our province are disproportionately impacted, both by the housing crisis and during COVID-19. As an example, the unemployment rate in some cultural communities has jumped dramatically this month. Unemployment for South Asians is up 7.6%, and amongst Black Canadians, it’s jumped 5.5%. When we compare that to a 0.6% increase amongst the general population, it’s no surprise that so many fear that these inequalities will persist once the pandemic is over.

Early on in the crisis, Liberal leader Steven Del Duca called on the Premier to protect tenants with an emergency rent program, and our Liberal caucus has been vocal since the beginning of the pandemic to put concrete supports in place for both tenants and landlords to protect the continuity of the rental supply chain. The result? Radio silence from the Premier.

Our caucus will continue to push for these supports and call on the government to do better. The government must make housing a priority immediately and make these decisions through the lens of housing as a basic human right. There’s no time to waste. The time is now. The government must act.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): Further debate?

Ms. Marit Stiles: I’m very pleased to rise in support of this motion 252, presented by my colleague from York South–Weston.

Look, we know that everyone—everyone—deserves a good, stable place to call home, a place they can afford, in a community that makes them feel safe and welcome. We in the NDP believe that housing is indeed a human right. In fact, the housing crisis in this province is not only a public health concern, although it is one, but also one of racial and economic justice for Black, Indigenous, racialized, gay, trans, disabled people, as well as people surviving in the cycle of poverty. There are roadblocks, discrimination, systemic barriers, and we know that this pandemic has made housing problems in Ontario even more dangerous.

In Davenport, families in my community are forced to live in cramped conditions, unable to afford a home that can accommodate their growing families. Renters are trapped in precarious conditions. People are living in fear of a landlord raising their rent, renovicting them to make a profit, or using loopholes that this government and the governments before them, Conservative and Liberal, put in place over and over again that have put our renters, folks in our communities, at great risk.

It’s time for that to stop. I urge the members opposite to support this legislation.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): Further debate?

Mrs. Lisa Gretzky: It’s my pleasure to rise to speak to the motion before us, Housing is a Human Right Act, that was brought forward by my colleague from York South–Weston and my colleague from Brampton Centre.

Speaker, the reality is, in my riding, we have the two largest shelters, the Downtown Mission and the Salvation Army, that are facing huge COVID outbreaks, because the number of guests that they are servicing because of this pandemic has gone up. There is a 25-year wait-list for supportive housing for individuals with developmental disabilities, and many of those individuals are being housed in psychiatric intensive care units in hospitals. We know that people on ODSP and OW, Ontario Works, are living on below-poverty-level income rates, and housing is not affordable for them. They are put in a very precarious position.

When you ensure that housing is a human right, when you ensure that people have safe, stable, affordable housing, you see that there is a reduced cost to our health care system; fewer of those people are accessing the health care system. You see less of a stress on the education system because our school boards are not having to feed those children or worry about where they’re housed. You see relief to our justice system. You see, when you address the social determinants of health, that the entire social safety network does better.

So, Speaker, I’m thrilled that my colleagues would bring this forward together to collect the data necessary, because until you recognize the problem, you cannot fix the problem. We need that data in order to deal with all those social determinants.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): Further debate?

Mme France Gélinas: Ça me fait plaisir de faire quelques commentaires face au projet de loi que mes collègues de York-Sud–Weston et Brampton-Centre ont amené. Ça fait longtemps que les Nations Unies reconnaissent le logement comme un droit humain, et on a plusieurs pays et plusieurs villes qui ont reconnu ce droit. Je crois que c’est le temps pour l’Ontario de faire la même chose, de reconnaître le logement comme un droit humain.

Le projet que mes collègues ont mis de l’avant aurait un commissaire au logement, pour s’assurer qu’on regarde ce qui fonctionne et ce qui ne fonctionne pas autant pour aider les sans-abri. Moi qui vient du nord de l’Ontario, je peux vous dire que dans toutes les Premières Nations du nord de l’Ontario, on a des problèmes de logement. C’est le temps de regarder ce qui se passe pour essayer de le changer.

La crise du logement est une crise de santé publique—en temps de pandémie, c’est évident—mais aussi ça met de l’avant les barrières systémiques de discrimination qu’on voit. Ce sont les personnes de race noire, les Premières Nations, les personnes de couleur qui sont surtout affectées. On doit faire mieux, monsieur le Président, et ça, ça veut dire de passer la proposition qui a été mise de l’avant, pour s’assurer qu’en Ontario, on reconnaît que le logement est un droit humain et que tout le monde y a droit.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): Further debate? Further debate? The member from York South–Weston now has two minutes for his final comments.

Mr. Faisal Hassan: Thank you to my colleagues for the insightful and supportive comments about the bill. I want to thank the members from Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry, Brampton Centre—my co-sponsor—and also Beaches–East York, Humber River, Guelph, Orléans, Davenport, Windsor and Nickel Belt. The bill also is co-sponsored by my colleague from Brampton Centre, entitled Bill 252, Housing is a Human Right Act, 2021.

We have heard many stories about crises of housing in Ontario and the pain and hardship that comes with inadequate access to housing. We could have used all of this time, and more, speaking to the gross injustices in First Nations communities, such as in Eabametoong, where members are living in tents and makeshift shelters in minus-40-degree weather because they have nowhere else to go. This is unacceptable and inhumane.

This government needs to act immediately for Indigenous housing. Housing is a human right, and it needs to be a right for Indigenous communities, racialized communities and all Ontarians who have been left neglected by systemic inequities, disparities and discrimination.

This bill will ensure that data collection and targeted research into housing along socio-economic and racial lines continues helps inform government decisions. The establishment of an independent housing commission, along with a housing inequities and disparities working group that studies housing with a view to it being a basic human right, is a big leap forward for this province and one that is long overdue.

I invite my colleagues from both sides of the House to pass this bill and move to a more equitable housing reality for all Ontarians. Thank you to all of you who have spoken to this bill this evening.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): The time for private members’ public business has expired.

Mr. Hassan has moved second reading of Bill 252, An Act to recognize housing as a human right. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? I heard a no.

All those in favour of the motion will please say “aye.”

All those opposed to the motion will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the nays have it.

Pursuant to standing order 101(d), the recorded division on this item of private members’ public business will be deferred to the proceeding deferred votes.

Second reading vote deferred.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Rick Nicholls): All matters relating to private members’ public business having been completed, this House now stands adjourned until 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.

The House adjourned at 1812.