Despite the Green Party of Canada undergoing some financial struggles, the Ontario provincial wing appears to be in good fiscal shape.
In a news conference at Dolime Quarry on July 16th, Ontario Green leader, Mike Schreiner explained that the party is ahead of their fundraising targets for the year.
The federal Green Party has experienced cash imbalances stemming for decisions made in 2019 and 2020 that could impact the upcoming election. At a federal council meeting on June 29th, members tabled a motion to withhold 250,000 dollars that was previously saved for leader Annamie Paul’s campaign in Toronto Centre.
Despite the challenges facing the federal party, at the news conference, Schreiner advised Green Party members to come together and support Annamie Paul.
“The Green Party of Ontario is in great shape, so I would just say to the federal party, to reconcile your differences and get behind Annamie Paul, because I think she is a strong leader for the GPC and I think is a needed voice within Parliament Hill.”
Collaborative affordable housing plan
Last month, the Ontario Green Party joined forces with the federal Green Party to collaborate on affordable housing initiatives. On June 16th, Schriener unveiled a ten year, 23.5 billion dollar plan to build thousands of affordable homes, and retrofit existing buildings to reduce their carbon emissions.
In an interview with iPolitics, Schreiner expressed his optimism for the initiative.
“We see this as an ambitious, comprehensive, but very doable plan, with components that can be immediately implemented, and with pieces we know we’ll have to implement over the next 10 years,”– Mike Schriener
The plan would not only create affordable and sustainable homes, it would also make it easier for Canadians to buy their first home. By building thousands of supportive housing units, the program aims to target chronic homelessness in Ontario.
Should the plan be adopted, Ontario will spend 11.5 billion dollars over ten years to build 100,000 affordable rental homes, restore 260,000 community housing units, and provide seed funds for co-ops to build nearly 1,000 homes. The plan will also create a “portable” housing benefit for 311,000 people, which would support families even if they move.
The province would also spend 6.5 billion dollars on building more permanent supportive-housing units and providing funding for women’s shelters and transitional homes for families in crisis. The plan works to shift the financial burden of shelters and affordable housing from municipalities to the province.
Schreiner also explained to iPolitics that he wants all levels of government to create regulations to limit speculation in the housing market. As such, the Green Party of Ontario proposed introducing a vacancy tax.
“We’re starting to see … reports about the large number of homes in places like Toronto, Mississauga, and Peel Region that are simply vacant; not only condos, but also single-family homes,” Schreiner said.
Amidst a turbulent year for the Green Party, this collaboration between the federal and provincial wing offers a glimmer of hope for party members.