C-325: An Act to amend the Canadian Bill of Rights (right to housing)
There are a number of reasons: first, the Canadian Bill of Rights is not the optimal mechanism for protecting a right to adequate housing in Canada. Our upcoming National Housing Strategy combined with our investments in Budgets 2016 and 2017 re-establish the Government of Canada’s leadership in housing. Our strategy will include open and transparent reporting mechanisms based in a stringent accountability framework. This will ensure that the Government of Canada continues to play a leadership role in housing for generations to come. Our strategy will prioritize support for vulnerable citizens, including seniors, survivors of domestic violence, persons with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addiction issues, and veterans. Further, Bill C-325 differs markedly from Canada’s obligation to ensure the right to adequate housing as framed in international law. The UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) recognizes a right to adequate housing as a component of an adequate standard of living. Canada is implementing this right through a wide range of federal, provincial, territorial and municipal laws, policies and programs, including the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the Investment in Affordable Housing, among others.