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Letter to the editor: Government failing people on housing, taxes

Working hard to build the middle class is feeling more like a race to the bottom.
Rents rise 4.5 pct. in October, slowdown surfaces as housing costs exceed wage growth
Associated Press photo

The federal government could and should do more to ease Canadian struggles to maintain or improve its citizens’ lives.

The Liberals should understand the challenges and importance to be “pro-active” and not use tried and failed methods of reacting using short-term solutions. Didn’t COVID teach them anything? Instead we hear the podium rhetoric of building the middle class, working hard for Canadians while most Canadians wake up to the same old and growing problems. 

Housing affordability is a decades-old problem; rental affordability is decades in the making while government ignores conglomerates making billions for shareholders while this human right teeters on the edge for many working-class, retirees, and low-income Canadians.  The only answer from them is “we are making it easier for people to purchase their first home” while many are left behind. One in six homes in Canada is owned as an investment property, corporations are getting rich off the backs of working families and our most vulnerable. Unless government regulates ownership or change tax laws, the rich get richer.

Homes should not be a commodity for investors, especially when politicians preach this as a human right. Corporations are using rental properties as a means to grow profits for shareholders while government promise to address housing by forcing the problem onto municipalities. Placing a moratorium on foreign ownership is only one piece of the solution. Target reno-evictions where rents double or quadruple for some paint and discounted appliances.

Government is using democratic freedom to renege on regulating or taking real action that works for everyone or at the very least treats everyone fairly or equitably.  Not only do we have hidden taxes, we have massive wealthy tax evaders.   

Stop subsidizing gas and oil, provide consumers immediate relief at the pumps and stop the 21 per cent tax at the pump.  What is the difference between people returning to work, when their social welfare ceases immediately yet oil companies can report record profits and still get billions in corporate welfare? The Liberals even gave Hockey Canada $14 million in COVID relief, but are demanding pensioners or fixed income citizens who automatically received relief to pay it back or lose benefits?

Stop taxing already taxed income. How many times should a vehicle be taxed? How many times is a tax collected on used good and taxes on tips when it was taxed after earnings? Canadians are sick to death of paying for taxes while government turns its head when their own contracted services go unchecked and unregulated until disaster hits.  We see it with road infrastructure, transportation, hospitals, care homes, and the list goes on.  When the Bank of Canada does a rate hike, banks increase interest within 24 hours but take months to do an increase on savings for customers.  Who regulates this – the banks?

It's hypocritical for the prime minister to brag about Canada on a world stage, when he can’t solve basic human rights at home. How can Canada possibly welcome 470,000 new citizens over the next five years with such a dismal record?  Working hard to build the middle class is feeling more like a race to the bottom. Or is the mantra “even when Canada is bad, it’s good EH!” 

Jo-Anne Berezanski

Victoria