More Than One North American Political Campaign Ignoring Housing and Transit
Matt Elliott reports from Canada, which is in the throes of a heated election to decide the next prime minister (or whether to elect the same prime minister to a second term).
Like the much maligned lack of focus on issues of urban issues on the debate stage in the Democratic primary, Elliott notes a conspicuous lack of discussion on subjects that dominate the concern in local governments: housing and transit.
In a recent federal leaders debate, the word housing was only spoken ten times, according to Elliott's count, and transit twice.
There’s good reason to want and demand more discussion of these issues in the federal campaign.
Yes, sure, they’re critically important to Toronto. The TTC is currently trying to scratch together a whopping $23.7 billion by 2033 just to keep existing infrastructure in working condition. Meanwhile, the median price of a home in Toronto is more than $900,000, and the city’s jam-packed shelters suggest a whole lot of people can’t come anywhere close to affording that.
But wanting more focus on these issues isn’t just a whiny centre-of-the-universe Toronto thing. Because affordable housing and transit policy are also critical to responding to an issue federal leaders have spent time talking about: climate change.
Elliott does credit the major parties for including policy proposals on the subjects of housing and transit in their platforms (the Democratic candidates for president have also spilled plenty of ink, if not debate time, to those issues), but laments that those ideas haven't been debated publicly.