October 13th, 2023

FOIPOP shows flagship MOST program is failing while labour shortages persist

HALIFAX – According to information released through Freedom of Information, the Houston government’s flagship program for skilled workers has been a disappointment. When the government announced the More Opportunity for Skilled Trades (MOST) program, it was budgeted to cost $21 million dollars, however, FOIPOP documents show that only $4.5 million has been paid out.

“We know that attracting skilled labour is a vital piece of addressing the housing crisis,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “When 33,000 affordable homes are needed in the next six years, we need to expedite entry to the skilled trades, and this doesn’t do it. We in the NDP believe that providing free tuition, expanded capacity at NSCC and promoting more direct entry and training opportunities for skilled workers is the best way to ensure we have the workers we need to build these much-needed homes.”

The Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation has reported that Nova Scotia needs an additional 70,000 homes by 2030, and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has said over 33,000 of those need to be new affordable units.

“This is a government that loves to make announcements and say they have the solution but time and time again when the facts come in not much has been accomplished,” said NDP Finance Spokesperson Lisa Lachance. “When MOST was announced it was supposed to help thousands of workers but less than a quarter of the projected 7,600 workers are actually benefiting and we still have a massive labour shortage.”

Across Nova Scotia, the cost of rents and mortgages are up significantly. And just this week the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia noted over 1,000 people are actively homeless in HRM.