My answers are indented:
“The Province of Ontario downloaded hundreds of dilapidated units of public housing onto the City of Toronto in 2001, with no capital funding to fix them. As a result, Toronto Community Housing now has a $300 million dollars shortfall in capital funding and cannot deal with the growing backlog of repairs. That means tenants in public housing are often forced to live in sometimes unhealthy and unsafe homes with crumbling walls, rotting countertops, leaking roofs, defective elevators and broken heating systems.
“Q1: Do you believe that tenants should have to live in conditions like this or that everyone in Ontario deserves a decent home?”
A: Public housing tenants can live in dilapidated homes
Everyone in Ontario deserves a decent home
I should say “most people” instead of “everyone” and “deserves” is not the right word. It shouldn’t be necessary for the elderly, poor and disabled to have to live in homes that are so terribly maintained. I think that taxes and restrictions on peoples’ economic lives are responsible for so much of this. The City of Toronto through Toronto Community Housing is obviously incapable of providing decent housing, and the downloading was probably a mistake.
Instead of that, taxes should be reduced by the city or province and voluntary non-governmental independent agencies should be established and people who want to should be encouraged to fund out of their own free will an agency (or competing agencies) that provide housing for the poor. As a libertarian I believe that taxation is wrong, that we should convert services to voluntary fees and that governments do not provide good welfare services for the poor and disabled, although I really appreciate the efforts of those individuals who work in the system to help the disabled as it has affected my own family.
Our society should be organized on a voluntary basis. I need to emphasize that it is not possible to provide decent housing as long as there are rent controls. Rent controls such as the recent tiny 2008 1.4 % guideline set by the provincial government – see http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page4907.aspx – based on the CPI (an alleged measure of inflation) – are utterly destructive to any landlord’s ability to maintain their property in good condition. Note that the press release mentions that the first “rent increase guideline” (i.e. price control) was announced in 1975 – by the Tories – and what a disaster we have to live with today!!
If the government would stop transferring wealth involuntarily from the middle and working class to other interests – to bureaucratic and political class, to corporations and to other special interests – and if it would stop interfering in our economic lives and choices, we could have some chance of a true free market where everyone can benefit from the massive wealth that would result.
This is the problem with our society. It’s based on compulsion and is fundamentally unjust. I mentioned rent controls and Henry Hazlitt argues very forcefully against rent controls in: http://www.mises.org/books/onelesson.pdf You can read more of my positions here and here.
“Toronto Community Housing and the City of Toronto have invested almost $500 million in capital projects since 2002, but it isn’t enough. The backlog keeps growing and the City does not have the funding to address the crisis with current municipal funding.
“Q2: Do you believe that tenants be expected to continue to live in these conditions while the City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing work through their current funding problems, or should this problem be addressed right away?”
A: Tenants should be expected to live in poor conditions while the City’s financial crisis is sorted out
Tenants deserve decent homes and this issue should be addressed right away
I think it is necessary to address the problem right away, but in a principled way that respects individual rights. Please see my answer above to Q1. The way to do this is to no longer expect the provincial or municipal governments to bungle housing for the poor, but to permit people to keep their taxes that go to these failing services and voluntarily direct that money to the housing agency of their choice to help the elderly poor and disabled. Also rent controls should be immediately abolished. Yes, take action right away. Please. Let’s have a free and prosperous society immediately.
“The capital funding shortfall began when the province downloaded already crumbling public housing to the City without the capital funds to repair it. Now the City is struggling to cope with the needs.
“Q3: Do you believe that the Province of Ontario should play a role in resolving this funding issue, or should they wash their hands of it now that housing has been downloaded to the City? ”
A: The Ontario Government should NOT play a role in resolving this issue
The Ontario Government should play a role in resolving this issue
I mention more details in my answer to Q1. Yes, the Ontario Government should immediately abolish rent controls which will allow more freedom for landlords to maintain their properties and make it easier to open up new properties for rent and build lower-income housing instead of just luxury housing which is how the current system works. And the municipal and provincial governments should transfer this responsibility to the judgment of each citizen and let them decide which housing agency they wish to contribute to voluntarily.
“Q4: Do you believe your party should include funding to repair public housing as part of its platform in this election and as a priority for action in the next government, or should it be on the back burner?”
A: This issue should be on the back burner rather than in the party platform
This is a priority issue and should be a commitment for the next government
Yes. This is an important issue that needs to be dealt with immediately through giving people back their money and letting people fund the housing agency of their choice – people do care about other people but they are taxed and oppressed – and also the government should abolish rent controls to free up more possibilities for housing – not to restrict the choices and budgets of builders. See my other answers for more details. Our Party policy on poverty is mentioned here:
“Because Libertarians oppose government operated health care, education and other state services, many people conclude we have no sympathy for the underprivileged. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“The hidden assumption is that the present system does help the poor. In fact, it is the current system that creates the poor! When our government schools turn out illiterates, they go on welfare. When the Milk Marketing Board refuses to provide enough milk and a cheese factory closes, its employees go on welfare. When government monetary policies cause inflation that wipes out savings intended for retirement, the elderly go on welfare. When licensing laws and minimum wage laws destroy jobs, the jobless go on welfare. When the tax and regulatory structure stifles economic growth and dries up risk capital that might have built new businesses, the jobless stay on welfare. And when a poor family looks at its options, the best one the government offers is for the father to walk away from his family so the mother and children can go on welfare.
“Clearly, the poor fare the worst as government power increases. Governments have always served those with the most power and taken advantage of those with the least. Only in a free society do the underprivileged have the opportunity to improve their lives.
“Out of compassion for the enormous human suffering brought about by these government-created problems, Libertarians are working to reverse the trend towards authoritarian government – in the full knowledge that GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM and only human rights and liberty can be the solution “
“Q5: Will you make it a priority to advocate for $300 million in provincial funding to eliminate the backlog of capital projects in the housing the Province downloaded to the City?”
A: Yes No
See answers above for more details. It’s an absolute priority for me to advocate for the tax burden to be removed from citizens, to let the people of Ontario decide which public housing agency they wish to fund in order to help the elderly poor and disabled, and it’s an immediate priority for me that the government stop interfering in our economic lives. Their price controls (rent and wage controls), their zoning (allowing municipalities to zone areas to exclude economic activity, also “smart growth” plans), their licensing burdens, tax burdens and institutional professional monopolies reduce opportunities and keep the more vulnerable people in our society and new immigrants excluded from economic life – from good housing, from employment and from business. Thank you very much for the opportunity to answer these questions.
September 25th, 2007
4 comments to Responses to “Save our Structures”
Don’t you realize that Save Our Structures is the brainchild of Sean Meagher, the former executive assistance to NDP city councillor Pam MacConnell?
He is also the person behind the Scarborough Civic Action Network, Strong Foundations and PublicInterest.ca
People like them usually send out questionaires so that if you aren’t already in their inner circle, you will be damned no matter how you answer.
You should check this out that supports what you say Derek.
What is really going on in South Ossetia
Today good day
The interesting name of a site – canadianliberty.com
I yesterday 7 hours
looked in a network So I have found your site
The interesting site but does not suffice several sections!
However this section is very necessary!
I have added you in elected!
Forgive I is drunk )