Reality Check: Saskatchewan needs a deal for renters, not more Sask. Party inaction

When Social Services Minister Paul Merriman meets with Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Housing Adam Vaughan today, the Canada Housing Benefit should be at the top of the agenda.

Last month, the Government of Ontario signed onto a bilateral agreement worth $1.4 billion to implement the federal government’s Canada Housing Benefit.

Jason Kenney’s UCP government has balked at the federal plan over the requirement for provincial cost matching.

The Sask. Party cut the Rental Housing Supplement back in 2018, saying a federal plan was on the way and that rents were going down anyway. Nearly two years later, we’re still waiting on a federal plan, and rents have continued to climb. In Saskatoon, rents rose 3 percent from already high levels between fall 2017 and fall 2018, from an average of $1,082 to $1,110. In Regina, rents rose 1.3 percent over the same time period, from $1,116 to $1,130. 

Sask. Party cuts and inaction have left Saskatchewan people out in the cold and without needed rental supports.

The Sask. Party left federal dollars on the table for rural bussing, and they shouldn’t repeat the mistake with federal housing supports. It’s time for this government to stop letting people down, restore the Rental Housing Supplement, and sign onto the federal plan for the Canada Housing Benefit.