Cost of housing continues to climb

The cost of housing

Since 2015, rent and the cost of owning a home have doubled, federal policies have poured fuel on the inflationary fire and taxes have increased, including the carbon tax, which makes the price of anything shipped go up. (Increasing) Interest rates are now adding to debt costs for families.

Canada's Food Price Report 2023 predicts a family of four will spend up to $1,065 more on food this year, and food bank use has already increased by more than 30% as families struggle to get by.

This year's federal budget will only add to inflation. It increase several taxes, has no plan to balance itself in the years to come and adds more than $60 billion in new spending, costing $4,200 per family.

Canadians cannot afford the government's inflationary deficits, as food and housing have all hit record highs. Moreover, the government plans to introduce a second carbon tax that will drive carbon taxes up to 61 cents per litre, further hiking the price of gas, heat and groceries.

Conservatives will use all the parliamentary tools available to bring common sense to the country's finances. That is why we introduced 904 amendments to this year's budget to do what we can to stand up for struggling families.

(Editor's note: On Wednesday, the budget bill was passed in the House of Commons, 177 to 146, with the support of Liberals and New Democrats. Conservatives and Bloc Québécois MPs voted against it.)

Canadians now spend 62% of their paycheque on their monthly housing payments, up from 39% in 2015. While it previously took five and a half years to save for the average downpayment on a home in parts of British Columbia, it now takes 30 years. This represents a staggering 500% increase in only eight years.

When I asked the housing minister recently in the House of Commons what he thought the average rent in Kelowna was, he said "it doesn't matter". It certainly does matter what rent costs. When I asked him about the increase in the time it takes to save for a downpayment home, he would not acknowledge it as an issue or take any accountability.

People are struggling to afford basic necessitates like food, housing and fuel, and homelessness is increasing in our community and across Canada. Despite the federal government claiming it is taking meaningful steps to provide solutions to address the issue, a non-partisan report from the Office of the Auditor General noted the federal government does not even know whether its billions of dollars spent on homelessness is making any difference.

Canada has the fewest homes per capita in comparison to other G7 nations. Government regulations and red tape stand in the way of construction. Conservatives believe federal infrastructure funding should be tied to the number of homes built. This is common sense.


On another note, with Canada Day celebrations just around the corner, I wanted to highlight that my office is once again offering complimentary Canadian flag sets to residents of Kelowna-Lake Country.

This is our fourth annual Canada flag set community initiative. The sets include a 3 x 5 Canada flag, a hand flag and a pin.

Our flag symbolizes hope, prosperity and peace. Let's reflect on the symbolism of our national flag to bring us together and to give strength to others.

If you would like to request a complimentary Canada flag set, please contact our constituency office via phone or email with your full name, phone number, address, and email in order to reserve one. Flag sets are available on a first-come basis and my staff will coordinate with those who reserved sets to either pick them up at my constituency office over the next couple of weeks or pick up them up on Canada Day, either in Kelowna or Lake Country at my community booth.

I hope to see you on Canada Day and if you're heading out of town, travel safe.

If you need any assistance with programs, have any thoughts to share, or would like to reserve a Canada flag set, feel free to reach out, at 250-470-5075 or at [email protected].

Tracy Gray is the Conservative MP for Kelowna-Lake Country.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Tracy Gray, Conservative MP for Kelowna-Lake Country, is her party's critic for Employment, Future Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

She is a member of the national caucus committee’s credit union caucus, wine caucus, and aviation caucus.

Gray, who has won the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award, worked for 27 years in the B.C. beverage industry.

She founded and owned Discover Wines VQA Wine Stores, which included the No. 1 wine store in B.C. for 13 years. She has been involved in small businesses in different sectors — financing, importing, oil and gas services and a technology start-up — and is among the “100 New Woman Pioneers in B.C."

Gray was a Kelowna city councillor for the 2014 term, sat on the Passenger Transportation Board from 2010-2012 and was elected to the board of Prospera Credit Union for 10 years.

In addition, she served on the boards of the Okanagan Film Commission, Clubhouse Childcare Society, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Okanagan Regional Library and was chairwoman of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

She volunteers extensively in the community and welcomes connecting with residents.

She can be reached at 250-470-5075, and [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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