Source: X

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was mocked for his announcement of a “housing design catalogue” when asked what his government was doing to fix Canada’s housing crisis. 

While exchanging barbs with Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre about broken promises regarding housing, Trudeau responded that among the things his government was doing to fix the shortage was launching a housing design catalogue. 

Poilievre made several attempts to get Trudeau to give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to whether he would keep his promise to build 550,000 homes by the end of 2024. Trudeau refused to give a straightforward answer, instead discussing previous housing crises, like after the Second World War.

Poilievre pressed on to get a one-word response, demanding a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to whether or not the Trudeau government would uphold its promise of completing 550,000 homes by the end of the year.

“We have a broad range of initiatives that are delivering on housing, like topping up the housing accelerator fund with $400 million dollars, a new six billion dollar Canada housing infrastructure fund to help communities build, we’re leveraging transit funding to build more homes, we’re launching a housing design catalogue and incentivizing more skilled trade workers.”

Poilievre wasted no time addressing Trudeau’s announcement.

“He’s announcing a catalogue everybody, yay. Give him a round of applause everybody,” Poilievre said, prompting laughter, cheering, and a standing ovation from the Conservative benches.

“You can’t afford a home, you might end up in a tent, your rent has doubled but hey, you’ve got a brand new catalogue.”

The exchange quickly went viral online with many Canadians frustrated by the out of touch solution. 

According to Statistics Canada, between 2015 and 2023, Canadian housing starts were anywhere from 195,535 to 271,198 per year, averaging 225,104 houses built per year. However, they fell by over 21,000 units between 2022 and 2023.

To accomplish Trudeau’s housing promise, Canada would have to find a way to build over 65.84 houses per hour or 1.096 houses per minute until 2031.  

The Conservatives’ proposed Build Homes Not Bureaucracy Act was voted down by the Liberals and NDP earlier this week. The potential legislation would have rewarded Canadian municipalities that vastly exceed their housing targets by granting them money reallocated from the federal government’s Housing Accelerator Fund. 

Major cities, such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa, would see their housing targets increased annually by 15% and be funded by money set aside for federal infrastructure with specific amounts allocated based on each city’s targets. 

Municipalities could have also become eligible to receive money from a $100 million  pot if they “greatly exceed housing targets,” stated the bill.

“These are common sense solutions that will address the housing crisis Justin Trudeau has created in this country,” the party said in a statement on Thursday. “But the Liberal-NDP coalition are no longer listening to Canadians. Only a common sense Conservative Government will bring homes that Canadians can afford.”

Trudeau came under fire last summer for saying that housing wasn’t a primary responsibility of the federal government.

“Housing isn’t a primary federal responsibility,” said Trudeau in response to critics at the time, arguing that it was up to both provincial and municipal governments to fix the issue.