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Question Period - National Housing Strategy

Hon. Rosemary Moodie

Honourable senators, my question is for the Government Representative in the Senate.

Senator Gold, on May 18 and May 19, Canada underwent a review by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. During the review, Canada was asked about what it is doing to protect children from homelessness and housing insecurity. In response, our delegation spoke about the National Housing Strategy. However, stakeholders such as UNICEF and the Women’s National Housing & Homelessness Network have pointed to concerning gaps that exist within this program. Specifically, the National Housing Strategy has a target of 25% of its resources to be designated for women and children, a target that is perplexing as it is seen to be out of sync with the demonstrated data that we already have, data that has established that women, gender-diverse people and children make up a larger portion than 25%.

My question is this: What equity targets are embedded in the National Housing Strategy to ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to protect children experiencing eviction and homelessness in Canada? Can you share the details of how these targets are being monitored?

 

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) 

Thank you. It is an important question on an important issue. I don’t have the answer, but I will seek to get it and share it with the chamber as soon as I can.

This government, more than any other government, dare I say, is committed to addressing the gaps and the inequalities that we have come to recognize plague our country with regard to those — whether women, Indigenous communities, children and others — who find themselves in vulnerable positions. The government will continue to use its efforts to redress these inequalities in this area as in others.

 

Senator Moodie

I’m wondering, Senator Gold, does the government have a plan to review targets and measures for significant social policies as they move forward in making progress on revamping our data collection processes?

 

Senator Gold

Again, senator, I cannot give you the specific answer to your question. As this chamber will know, this government has taken major steps to disaggregate data and ensure that the impact of programs — we saw this in the context of the pandemic — that it goes beyond that and to understand the real-world and disparate impacts that will inevitably be the case to some degree in the implementation of social programs. Again, I will seek the answers to your question and endeavour to have an answer as quickly as I can.