Statement on Housing News Release

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ms. Chartier: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, for a 50th anniversary we give gold, for a 15th we give crystal. But the traditional gift for a first anniversary, Mr. Speaker, is paper. So it’s fitting that the Minister of Social Services marked the first anniversary of her Headstart on a Home announcement by faxing out the same piece of paper she issued one year ago. It was a gesture that sums up nicely what this government has done for affordable housing in this province over the last four years — precious little.

To gloss over their inaction, Mr. Speaker, they’ve just spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on a sleek brochure sent to homes across Saskatchewan with misleading claims about the budget. The brochure claims the budget will build as many as 650 rental units, while the budget itself says only 300 in 2011-2012. To paper over the contradictions, Mr. Speaker, the minister hastily threw together a cut-and-paste job of recycled news releases and program promises with no firm dollar figures attached, and called it a five-point plan.

If people in Saskatchewan are doubting this news release will create any more affordable housing than the previous ones, they have good reason. This government’s promises on housing aren’t worth the paper they’re reprinted on.
A home, Mr. Speaker, is made of four walls and a roof, not two news releases and a brochure. As we mark an anniversary of inaction by the government, we see more than ever that this province needs a real housing strategy, not something the minister scratched down in a hurry on the back of an envelope. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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