QUEEN’S PARK — This morning, Mike Schreiner announced his new motion that will tackle urban sprawl and address both the climate and housing affordability crises at the same time.
“We are in a climate emergency,” Schreiner stated. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) is clear: unless huge cuts are made to carbon emissions now, we are walking straight into a climate catastrophe with unprecedented consequences.”
“At the same time, Ontario is neck-deep in a housing affordability crisis. But you wouldn’t know it listening to Monday’s throne speech,” Schreiner noted.
It currently takes a 63 hour work week for a minimum wage worker just to afford a one bedroom apartment in Barrie, and an estimated 16,000 people across the province do not have a permanent home. According to Canadian Real Estate Association data, home prices in some parts of Ontario are 35 to 55 per cent higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The housing affordability crisis is pushing Ontarians further and further away to find an affordable place to call home. That means longer commutes, more cars on the road, and more urban sprawl.
“Transportation is the biggest source of climate pollution in Ontario”, Schreiner said. “And a big portion of that comes from cars commuting back and forth pumping carbon into the air.
“That’s why I tabled a motion to tackle the housing affordability issues that are leading to more sprawl. This way we can greatly reduce pollution and tackle the housing and climate crises at the same time.”
Schreiner highlighted how both the Ontario government and the other opposition parties are failing to adequately address the issue of sprawl.
“The current government would rather supercharge sprawl with more highways.
I challenge all parties to jump on the bandwagon and embrace a plan to address the housing affordability and climate crisis by using all available tools to stop sprawl.”
Schreiner concluded by stressing the need to start looking at Ontario’s most pressing issues through the climate lens that is needed to address the impending catastrophe the IPCC is predicting.
“And a good way to start is by treating the housing affordability crisis as the climate emergency it is.”