The cost of living in Canada is out of control. The cost of buying a house in Canada has doubled since 2015 and market prices are still going up. How are Canadians who want to buy their first home supposed to do so unless they come from a family who has money?
The average house in Canada is priced at $816,720, the smallest down payment for a mortgage would be $40,836 (5%). The average income of a Canadian is $55,700 (the median market income of Canadian families and unattached individuals), even if you earned this amount (double minimum wage for a full-time employee in Ontario) it would take several years to save that amount. Some Canadians are lucky, and they live in areas where the average price of a home is considered affordable.
Unfortunately, many of these areas have cheaper housing because they lack sufficient employment options or service infrastructure (transit, internet, etc.). If you want to live where the jobs are you are going to pay more – a lot more.
Canada needs to suspend all non-essential immigration and foreign ownership. A high demand for housing creates higher costs. We need several years to catch up on the backlogs we have created. This is achieved through the expedited approval of quality affordable home construction including the development of multi-family dwellings (row housing and apartment buildings). This increased construction effort will allow those who are already in Canada to, hopefully, find an affordable place to live.
By significantly reducing the immigration numbers to only economic immigrants (plus their immediate family, spouse and children under 18) we can lessen the current unsupported demand for housing. The proactive blocking of foreign ownership of Canadian property, for example the purchase of a seasonal vacation home, will further reduce the demand on housing. Expedited quality residential construction approval and a sensible reduction in immigration will ensure that development and construction companies are able to keep up with demand. A reduction in the housing shortage will ease the pressure felt by homebuyers and renters to pay exorbitant costs for housing and a cooling of market prices, to reasonable numbers, should occur.
The environment is crucial to the survival of the planet and the species living on it, including humans. While there is always room for improvement, Canadians have done a decent job at keeping our neighbourhoods clean with extensive recycling and waste management programs. We need to do our best to identify polluters, be they residential, commercial, or industrial, and through due process stop and fine them and ensure that clean-up efforts are regulated.
Incidents of major pollution frequently come from lesser developed areas mainly located in China, India, and Africa. In several communities within those locations photographers have captured scenes of rivers that are overflowing with trash. This trash ultimately flows downstream into lakes or the world’s oceans. When you see pictures of tons of plastics and other contaminants in the water, or the clean-up efforts of these areas, nearly all those photos were not taken in Canada.
The banning of plastic (drinking) straws and plastic (grocery) bags is non-sensical virtue signaling. Plastic bags can and are reused and both plastic bags and straws can be recycled into other products (ranging from reusable shopping bags to home construction materials). Grocery stores who have taken it upon themselves to virtue signal to the public are now creating a waste stream of re-usable cloth and plastic bags that, upon completing their cycle of use, will go directly to the landfill.
Instead of banning plastic bags and plastic straws, only to substitute them with products that will create future problems, they should be improving on the existing item. Plastic (grocery) bags can be made with 100% biodegradable (and in some cases edible) materials and vegetable ink (or no printing on the bag at all). To reduce the use of plastic straws, have restaurants servers wait until the consumer asks for a straw instead of just including one with their drink.
When it comes to paper straws, we must think about both the health of the person and where the paper materials come from. Paper straws disintegrate at a minute level and that means that people will be ingesting fragments of those straws. It would be better, as a healthy society, not to find out five years from now the negative effects those straw fragments end up having on the people who use straws on a frequent basis.
We have the technology to improve on existing products, the solution to every problem cannot be to simply ban it or throw money at it and hope it goes away.
In September 2021, I campaigned as an Independent candidate in Canada's 44th Federal Election for the riding of Huron-Bruce. I placed 5th with a total of 509 votes (0.9%). It is my intention to run as an Independent candidate in Canada's 45th Federal Election in 2025.