November 9th, 2023

Fall session wraps with little improvement on housing, cost of living

HALIFAX – Nova Scotians aren’t better off after four weeks of the fall sitting of the Nova Scotia legislature. While Tim Houston had the opportunity to strengthen protections for renters, create an income benefit for seniors, announce a universal school lunch program, and ban child care waitlist fees, the session will end today with little improvement for everyday Nova Scotians.

“Over the last month, we’ve brought the attention of the legislature to the serious challenges facing too many Nova Scotians. Unfortunately, Tim Houston hasn’t done what’s needed to help everyday families better afford housing, food, or other necessities,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “In fact, one of the first things we heard this sitting was that fewer people would be able to access the Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP) when the cost of everything has only gotten worse in the last year, not better.”

Nova Scotia New Democrats tabled 22 bills this sitting including bills to create a Seniors’ Income Benefit, prevent tip theft, cut the tax on all grocery food, and allow a vacant land tax to encourage housing development.

“As the weather gets colder, the housing crisis becomes even more urgent,” said Chender. “This session we forced the Houston government to reveal their housing strategy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t ensure truly affordable housing will be built or explain how they plan to build the 70,000 homes we need. This is not a small issue and Nova Scotians deserve a government that’s ready to stand with them and take action to make real change.”