Housing, Housing Everywhere and Not a Place to Stay
There’s so much to catch up on with this BS made-up-by-developers issue.
Housing is abundant in Canada.
We don’t have a shortage of housing in Canada.
Sprawl, vacant space and empty parking lots fill every nook and cranny in our country and we have to stop obsessing with building 1.5 million more McMansions.
Let’s unpack this issue.
Doug Ford: Busted, Call the Cops
Last week, Ontario’s auditor general ripped Doug Ford’s ‘built it and they will come’ approach to housing and zeroed in on the corruption behind giving specific developers preferential access to protected lands and then removing those protections.
The major features of the auditor’s findings: well-connected developers given direct access to ministerial staff and the opportunity to re-write planning rules to suit their own interests; normal decision-making processes and planning rules bypassed; overwhelming evidence, in this case, indicating that there was no need to remove land from the Greenbelt to meet the region’s housing needs, ignored; and decisions made to provide billions in benefits to specific private interests, but which will do nothing to enhance housing affordability, all fit within a wider pattern of behaviour.
If that isn’t a shout-out about criminal behaviour, I don’t what is and I certainly don’t understand why the OPP haven’t started an investigation.
Oh right … money.
As an introduction to this issue, you have to be fully aware that there are extremely questionable activities and lobbyists lurking behind every policy decision.
This. Must. Stop.
Ford Doubles Down on Dictatorships
Instead of taking responsibility for questionable trades with developers, Doug Ford is doubling down on creating little mini dictatorships across the province. Being an elected dictator himself, he obviously doesn’t see any issue with smashing up municipal politics.
He’s basically launched a ‘Bulldozer Boondoggle’ fund for mayors stupid enough to forego their commitments to constituents.
It’s brilliant really because it takes the blame away from Ford and puts it on the shoulders of local politicians.
He’s also using taxpayer money to pay what developers once had to pay in order to copy/paste monstrosities all over the place.
Call. The. Cops.
Ottawa Considering a Cap on International Students
The university model in Canada is a failed model and has been fundamental to the meteoric rise in real estate prices and plummeting availability of affordable student housing across the country.
If you didn’t know, many universities have limits on the number of domestic (Canadian) students that they will accept. This pits a couple of million students in Canada every year against billions of folks from India, China and other densely populated countries.
Any available rental units are getting scooped by rich families outside Canada or are being bought by VRBO, AirBnB, Blackrock or Vanguard.
Welcome to Pottersville.
Of course, this will destroy the current university model and if actions like this are implemented (and they should be), expect most universities to stumble to governments with cap in hand begging for money from taxpayers.
I vote no.
Universities have to rethink how they offer programs to our kids.
Competition with billions of kids from around the world pumps up acceptance requirements to the 90-95% range, making it nearly impossible for most local students to enter university. Most high school counselors are blindly pushing the trades option for students they’ve just met, not knowing whether or not our kids have aspirations for graduate work.
Of course, we need millions of trades graduates because we must build millions of McMansions.
(Don’t get me wrong … I think trades like electrical, plumbing, HVAC and more are the way of our immediate future as AI replaces the arts, but we have to at least try to give these kids unique options as opposed to shutting the doors from day one).
The Wrong Tools for the Wrong Crisis: Greedflation
The Bank of Canada is implementing the worst level of punishment against Canadians by continuing to jack up interest rates.
There ultimately is no crisis.
No one has yet to provide irrifutable proof that immigrants are driving up the price of McMansions and that we need to bulldoze more Greenbelt lands to house them.
The real crisis is that input costs were allowed to accelerate during the pandemic and with the war in Ukraine that followed.
If we have a shortage of anything, we have a shortage of politicians willing to fight corporate greed and corruption.
It’s greed-flation that has pushed up prices, not demand-side economics.
Where’s the tax on ‘unexpected’ ballooning of profits with companies like Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys, the oil companies and others that scraped every penny they could from Canadians while we were shut in?
The Bank of Canada is using the wrong tool – higher interest rates – because we’re not living in a world of demand-side inflation.
We’re living in a world where the costs have been pumped up by greed.
Canadians everywhere are being punished by bad policy and crooked politicians that blame ‘brokeness’ and ‘wokeness’ instead of demanding actionable ideas that protect Canadians from corporate greed.
It’s the money launderers and investment class that we need to look at more closely than the net effect of a few immigrants.
It’s the tax avoiders that need to be taxed.
It’s vacant lots that need to be filled.
It’s the corrupt and crooked that need to be jailed.