Canada’s Housing Crisis: Twenty-Two Solutions


This essay was updated in June 2017. The new version is here:

6 thoughts on “Canada’s Housing Crisis: Twenty-Two Solutions

  1. You have many good ideas especially regarding the passive homes.
    One comment about Tofino and people in the woods. I grew up on Vancouver Island and during the Vietnam War, we had a migration of young Americans – many of whom were draft dodgers on Vancouver Island. They lived outdoors, on the streets
    in downtown Victoria, and slept in trees in parks. Beacon Hill & Dallas Road waterfront, Island View Beach, Robert’s Beach and China Beach were all favourite places to pitch a tent or build a driftwood lean-to. It was relatively harmless, and the numbers were less than now but it aggravated many people. Most of these drifters went back to the U.S. after the war was over, anyway. Then the street people began to arrive – they like the warmer winters, however now it seems to rain all winter and they do require shelters. Everyone deserves a home.


  2. Solution #23:
    More transparency around multiple bids

    Prohibit the practice of blind offers in which interested home buyers are required to submit their best and final offer upfront without ever knowing the price, conditions, or existence of any other bids. The process is nothing more than a blind guessing game which unnecessarily drives up prices.

    Bids are kept secret in Canada and no would-be buyer knows what the others have offered. In Australia, the process is transparent.
    Over about a four-week period leading up to the auction, interested house-hunters can schedule visits and inspections on the home in order to prepare their bids. Then on bidding day, interested buyers gather on the sidewalk outside the home and place their bids out in the open, in an auction led by the seller’s agent. Buyers can see exactly what the competitors are doing, and they can decide whether they want to keep going or not. Since all bids are public, no one bidder has an advantage.


  3. Dare I say I am living in Edmonton, Alberta? I was without a place to live after a serious PTSD attack. It resulted in just under 6 years living on the streets and in the back of my old Blazer. We had a mayor in the 80s who made it an obligation for developers to build low-income apartments. In Alberta we call the “walk ups” )basement suites with two stories above). The apartments were built without cheap materials and cost 10-20% below high rise ones. That idea was scrapped by the city of Edmonton in the late 1990s allowing the owners to sell each suite as a condo. 20-30 year old apartments went on sale at market value by 2000-2006.

    The crisis faced today is due to the city Mayor in denial about poverty in Edmonton. Everyone in the low-income bracket, under $22,000.00 per year, were effected. I do not use the “low income cutoff” as a dollar figure. Instead I use the US number in their definition of poverty. Stats Canada stats, the LICO should not be used to measure poverty, even though too many organization do so.

    After a long search, door to door, I found a suite priced at $825.00 per month. After a short discussion with the very big developer they reduced my rent and have not increased it for 3 years. It’s an older building with the basics and close to a major transit line. Rent, mandatory insurance and electricity costs are 54% of my income.

    My point is why are so many of the groups who assist people unwilling to make deals with the developers? Many of them have smaller walk-up style apartments scattered throughout the city. I am semi-retired and in reasonable health with the ability to take care of my place without assistance. (PTSD can become manageable). They city now has plans to develop homes and apartments exclusively for low-income persons. It will nicely segregate people on lower incomes to a specific area where “those people” can live. I am simply adding another possibility to your list. Thank you for your many possible solutions. In fact you could turn it into a proposal for every Canadian premier since many are honestly seeking input.


  4. Hello Guy!
    I saw you today on the Shaw channel and was amazed at the non-replies you got from the Liberal candidate.
    I also feel as you do regarding climate change apethy that is currently rampant.
    I am going to look for your book.
    It’s nice to see someone with vision and forethought involved with the government.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.