“Alberta’s government has deep concerns about the federal government’s April 2 housing announcement. To date, the Government of Canada has not provided adequate or appropriate funding to Alberta for housing and are once again bypassing provincial jurisdiction by not consulting or even notifying provinces about the new program. This is another example of the federal government’s long history of ignoring the province’s jurisdiction and playing politics with important issues like housing.

“The announcement will only make it harder and more expensive to build homes and will also heavily limit the kinds of homes that can be built. It is a continuation of the Government of Canada’s punitive green agenda by attempting to ban natural gas by 2030 and nationalize housing. Unlike the federal government, we know that at a time in which construction of homes and purpose-built rentals is at an all-time high, imposing roadblocks on building will shut people out of the rental and housing market and discourage new construction, making the problem worse.

“Additionally, the federal government has not been clear about how they plan to distribute this funding. No information has been provided about whether funding will be provided per capita, to ensure it is not used for political gain. They have also not been clear about whether they are finally willing to meet their obligations when it comes to housing on-reserve, as to date the federal government has not upheld its responsibilities for housing in Indigenous communities.

“Alberta is already on the right track, with new statistics released by BILD Alberta showing our government’s plan to focus on increasing supply in the market is working. The Calgary region saw 1,674 total housing starts in February, which is 57 per cent higher than the 20-year average for February, and the second-most starts in a February in Calgary’s history. In Edmonton we have seen1,642 total housing starts, making this the second-busiest February on record. Further, with 2,325 housing starts in January and February, Edmonton has begun the year with the second-highest number of housing starts in its history. Together with our partners, we are supporting $9 billion in housing investments to provide affordable housing for 25,000 more families by 2031.

“We are leading the country by having the fewest regulations and fastest permit approval times to enable housing construction and increase the supply of homes. That is why we reject the idea that the provinces and territories should not be involved in this decision, as we are best positioned to understand the local housing needs and concerns of our communities. If the federal government wants to actually remove red tape and make housing more affordable as they claim, they will instead listen to our calls to remove the carbon tax so that building costs are lowered, and shovels can get in the ground faster.”