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Area MP weighs in on the affordability debate

Affordability has been a topic of discussion in the House of Commons since MPs arrived in Ottawa in September.

The NDP Member of Parliament for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing believes there isn’t enough being done to help.

Carol Hughes says there are a few things that could be done to help Canadians pay their bills.

“We need to build more affordable houses and make more investments in cooperative housing,” she says. “That would put a roof over someone’s head. We also need to remove the GST from all home heating. That would go a long way to help Canadians and is something we have been pushing for, for quite some time.”

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She adds the food industry also needs to pay their fair share and they need to look at how they do business to get prices reduced.

“How is it you can have a sale on something only if you buy two or three of them? Someone who is on a fixed income can’t afford that and they may not need two or three,” she adds.

Hughes says partisan politics has gotten worse recently.

“It was polarizing under the previous (Harper) government,” she says. ”I’ve been here for 15 years and that had cooled down somewhat and now we are seeing it probably at its worst. It’s obvious we have an opposition party looking to form a government and is doing all it can to try to get the electorate to see it their way.”

Hughes adds as a result it is very challenging to get work done for those wanting to help taxpayers and there are many examples of governments working together with opposition parties. “That’s how we ended up getting employment insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, and Old Age Security. Let’s not forget public health care. Those are all deals that have been brokered to get things done for Canadians.”

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