CMHC’s 2023 Report, And Housing Options Depleting Over Demographic Shifts

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released their annual report in January, and the results aren’t all that surprising.

Growth in demand outpaced strong growth in supply, pushing the vacancy rate for purpose-built rental apartments down from 3.1% to 1.9%. This was the vacancy rate’s lowest level since 2001. Rent growth, for its part, reached a new high.
Rental demand surged across the country. This was a reflection of higher net migration and the return of students to on-campus learning. Another factor was higher mortgage rates, which drove up already-elevated costs of homeownership.
Despite higher overall supply, the share of rental units that are affordable for the lowest-income renters is, in most markets, in the low single digits or too low to report. This is especially true in Ontario and British Columbia (B.C.).
New data: Average rent growth for 2-bedroom units that turned over to a new tenant was well above average rent growth for units without turnover (18.2% vs. 2.8%). This increased affordability challenges

The report was critiqued by RBC a few days ago, and CTV News.

The CMHC report quite openly states that higher immigration rates — which are only expected to climb — are contributing greatly to the increase in pricing, and the decline in availability.

Page 20 had an interesting statistic from Victoria, BC: “As an example, a turnover 2-bedroom apartment was rented at a 33% higher rent, on average, than an occupied unit in the same building”. Given B.C.’s strict rent control laws, the only way to get a significant increase was for existing tenants to leave.

Page 36 addressed low income renters in the Calgary area. Less than 5% of the rental housing in the area would be considered affordable for people making less than $36,000 per year. These would be limited primarily to bachelors and 1 bedroom apartments.

Regina wasn’t much — if any — better than Calgary in terms of affordability. It’s estimated (page 46), that less than 8% of housing would be available to households making under $32,000 annually. That was quite the surprise, as Saskatchewan is commonly thought to have a lower cost of living.

Winnipeg attributed a fair portion of its drop in vacancies to the return of in-person schooling, a sentiment that is echoed elsewhere.

The CMHC report covers data on many major and medium sized cities in Canada. Though the numbers differ, the patterns are the same: rapidly increasing population is driving up prices, and reducing options for people looking to rent or own.

The report also talked about the high levels of office vacancies over the last few years, as more businesses were pushed to go remote, or semi-remote. And that has had an interesting effect.

During the last election campaign, the Liberal Party included a promise to accelerate efforts to convert office and retail space into housing. This had been going on for a while. The CBC has also promoted this concept recently.

A cynic may wonder if the various shut downs starting in 2020 were designed — at least in part — to “free up” commercial property that could then be converted into residential.

Another possibility is that this might make the “15 minute cities” more of a reality. If residential and commercial areas became blended, there’d be less need to leave.

An alternative way to slow down a housing shortage would be to restrict the number of people coming in. But that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. This is despite even StatsCan admitting that over 1 million people came to Canada in 2022. The official numbers rarely reflect all the categories.

The result of all this is a population boom where more housing would be necessary in order to function. Problem. Reaction. Solution.

Of course, more undeveloped land will need to be converted as well. But the environmental activists are usually silent about this.


Private Member’s Bill C-312: Development Of A National Renewable Energy Strategy

Bill C-312 is about developing of a national renewable energy strategy, or so it’s claimed.

This Bill (supposedly) was written by New Democrat Member of Parliament Don Davies. However, he seems to be writing the United Nations’ dictates and trying to implement them into Canadian law. Remember how all these international agreements were supposed to be “non-binding”?

To add the usual disclaimer: Private Bills often don’t become law on their own. That being said, the contents can later be slipped into other, larger pieces and get passed with little to no debate.

The text of the Bill says “develop and implement” a national strategy. It’s doesn’t simply want a plan drawn up. The logical conclusion one could draw from this is that it will force closure of industries and businesses that don’t go along with the plan.

Whereas the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been clear that averting catastrophic climate change requires global net human-caused greenhouse gas emissions to fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050;
Whereas, on a national scale, jobs in the clean energy sector are projected to grow nearly four times faster than the average in other sectors between 2020 and 2030, and the sector’s contribution to gross domestic product is set to increase at more than double the average over the same period;
And whereas Canada must accelerate its transition to a clean energy future to meet the federal government’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030;

Development of national strategy
3 The Minister must, in consultation with the provincial government representatives responsible for energy matters and with Indigenous governing bodies, develop and implement a national strategy to provide that, by December 31, 2030, 100% of electricity generated in Canada must be from renewable energy sources.

Objectives of national strategy
4 The national strategy must include measures designed to achieve the following objectives:
(a) the initiation in each calendar year of twice as many renewable energy production projects as non-renewable energy production projects;
(b) an increase in investment in the research and development of renewable energy technologies;
(c) cooperation between the federal government and provincial governments in the establishment of new large-scale public electric utilities; and
(d) the creation of a renewable energy economy and renewable energy jobs.

5 (1) Within one year after the day on which this Act comes into force, the Minister, together with the Minister of Finance, must design and implement incentives to encourage the development of, and investment in, renewable energy projects related to solar, wind, tidal or biomass electricity generation and to encourage homeowners and businesses to retrofit their properties with new or more efficient renewable energy technologies to increase the proportion of electricity used by these properties that is derived from renewable energy sources.

This Bill, if implemented, will kill of the oil & gas industry in Canada. And it appears designed to do so.

There is a quota system, where there would be at least twice as many “renewable” energy projects started as non-renewables. They would also be subsidized, making them appear artificially cheaper.

This is essentially the “Green New Deal” that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushed back in 2019. Of course, she wasn’t the original author of that plan, and was simply advancing a scheme developed over a decade earlier.

Isn’t it interesting how so much Canadian legislation can actually be traced back to foreign actors with their own agendas?


Private Member Bills In Current Session:
(A) Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing
(B) Bill C-219: Creating Environmental Bill Of Rights
(C) Bill C-226: Creating A Strategy For Environmental Racism/Justice
(D) Bill C-229: Banning Symbols Of Hate, Without Defining Them
(E) Bill C-235: Building Of A Green Economy In The Prairies
(F) Bill C-250: Imposing Prison Time For Holocaust Denial
(G) Bill C-261: Red Flag Laws For “Hate Speech”
(H) Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of Int’l Pandemic Treaty
(I) Bill S-243: Climate Related Finance Act, Banking Acts
(J) Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Euthanasia
(K) Bill S-257: Protecting Political Belief Or Activity As Human Rights

Private Member’s Bill C-235: Building Of A Green Economy In The Prairies

Bill C-235 has received Royal Assent, which is to be the building of a green economy on the Prairies. As the name implies, this legislation ties development in the West to the climate change agenda.

It was brought in by Liberal Jim Carr, who died of cancer in December 2022. He was the Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre. Nonetheless, this Bill did eventually go through.

(3) The framework must include measures that promote economic sustainability and growth and employment in the Prairie provinces by
(a) addressing the limited or non-existent transportation options in small cities and communities, and advancing innovative solutions for public transportation services in those cities and communities;
(b) fostering job creation and skills transfer, as evidenced by increased employment, in Prairie regions that rely on traditional energy industries to enable them to build a net-zero emissions green economy and mitigate their impact on climate change;
(c) prioritizing projects that generate natural infrastructure and a clean environment, such as tree-planting initiatives, solar energy projects and environmental management of the boreal forest, and that make use of all sources of energy, including nuclear energy;
(d) supporting the continued development of clean energy in fields such as agriculture, forestry, transportation, manufacturing and tourism;
(e) establishing programs and projects that stimulate a green economy, in a way that takes into account local circumstances, and the participation of local businesses, governments and civil society organizations; and
(f) preparing infrastructure projects that facilitate adaptation to climate change and mitigation of its adverse effects.

On the surface, all of this sounds fine. However, the details of how this would be implemented are pretty sparse. Would industries that are deemed inconsistent be shut down? Would they be starved financially?

Hearings in the House of Commons took place from September to November 2022, and it involved calling 17 witnesses.

  • Thursday, September 22, 2022
  • Thursday, October 6, 2022
  • Monday, October 17, 2022
  • Thursday, October 20, 2022
  • Thursday, November 17, 2022

The Senate also briefly considered the Bill in Committee on December 14, 2022.

So, what happens now that it’s passed? Guess we’ll have to see in the coming months and years. Potentially, it could lead to the further crippling of industries such as oil and gas.


Private Member Bills In Current Session:
(A) Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing
(B) Bill C-219: Creating Environmental Bill Of Rights
(C) Bill C-250: Imposing Prison Time For Holocaust Denial
(D) Bill C-261: Red Flag Laws For “Hate Speech”
(E) Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of Int’l Pandemic Treaty
(F) Bill S-243: Climate Related Finance Act, Banking Acts
(G) Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Euthanasia
(H) Bill S-257: Protecting Political Belief Or Activity As Human Rights

Private Member’s Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of International Pandemic Treaty

Remember the hype in 2022 about a a proposed Global Pandemic Treaty? This was supposed to be an agreement that would give the World Health Organization binding legal authority over elected Governments. That seems to have stalled, at least to the casual observer.

Of course, the W.H.O. already has binding legal authority over Member States, which includes Canada. Anyone who’s ever read their Constitution would know that. That said, it doesn’t stop politicians from slipping in their rules in domestic legislation.

Private Member’s Bill C-293 was sponsored by Liberal M.P. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches—East York). The content of which is interesting, to say the least.

Most Private Bills don’t become law. However, their content may become embedded into other legislation, and rammed through without proper debate and consideration.

Erskine-Smith isn’t a big player in Canadian politics. So, it’s strange that he would introduce something like this. Have to wonder if he wrote any of it.

Whereas the costs of prevention and preparedness measures are insignificant in comparison to the human and economic costs of a pandemic;

Whereas Parliament is committed to making efforts to prevent the risk of and prepare for future pandemics and to promote transparency and accountability in relation to those efforts;

Whereas it is critical to build on the lessons learned from previous outbreaks of serious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Ebola virus disease (EVD), Zika virus disease, tuberculosis, H1N1 flu and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19);

Whereas a One Health approach — a multisectoral and multidisciplinary collaborative approach that focuses on the human, animal, plant and ecosystem health and welfare interface — is central to preventing the risk of future pandemics;

And whereas this approach requires sustained collaboration among various ministers, all levels of government and Indigenous communities;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

There is something of a bait-and-switch here. While the Bill is presented as cooperation between various Governments in Canada, it’s clear that it also involves supra-national control.

Plan — contents
(2) The pandemic prevention and preparedness plan must

(a) set out a summary of mitigation strategies that the Minister of Health intends to implement in order to prevent the risk of and prepare for disease outbreaks that could lead to pandemics, as well as a projected timeline for their implementation;

Should we just state the obvious? They aren’t preparing for future outbreaks. Instead, this is laying the groundwork to erase more of people’s rights under the pretext of an outbreak.

(iv) the surge capacity of human resources required for the testing and contact tracing of persons exposed to infectious diseases, and

Contact tracing is just a means to implement mass surveillance.

(i) the manufacturing capacity in Canada with respect to any product relevant to pandemic preparedness, including vaccines, testing equipment and personal protective equipment, and the measures that the Minister of Industry intends to take to address any supply chain gaps identified, and

Expect more taxpayer money to be pumped into “building up reserves”, regardless of whether such items would ever be used. Think of the millions of vaccines that are going to waste.

(ii) the communications capacity and infrastructure for electronic platforms and tools, including electronic applications that enable contact tracing of persons exposed to infectious diseases that could lead to pandemics;

Building the infrastructure for electronic monitoring of “infected” people?! Canada already has a system in place to track people on parole and probation. Why would such an expansion be necessary, unless they were anticipating a massive influx?

(ii) regulate commercial activities that can contribute to pandemic risk, including industrial animal agriculture,

(iii) promote commercial activities that can help reduce pandemic risk, including the production of alternative proteins, and

Going back to the 2017 Federal Budget, millions were pumped into the “alternative protein” industry. Considering that this Bill also talks about reducing natural agriculture, a cynic may wonder if this is done to force citizens to take these alternative “foods”.

(iv) phase out commercial activities that disproportionately contribute to pandemic risk, including activities that involve high-risk species;

The suggestion has been made many times before, that this can be used as an excuse to attack the food supply. As such, the public would be forced to starve, or seek other alternative foods.

(m) include the following information, to be provided by the Minister of the Environment:
(i) after consultation with relevant provincial ministers, a summary of changes in land use in Canada, including in relation to disturbed habitats, that could contribute to pandemic risk, such as deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats and urbanization and that were made, in the case of the first plan, since the last report on changes in land use published under the Federal Sustainable Development Act or, in the case of the updated plans, during the reporting period for the updated plan,

This is essentially merging the U.N. Sustainable Development Agenda with the W.H.O.’s goals. Sorts of sounds like the GREAT RESET, which was just a conspiracy theory.

(ii) a summary of the measures the Minister of the Environment intends to take to reduce the risk that the commercial wildlife trade in Canada and abroad will lead to a pandemic, including measures to regulate or phase out live animal markets, and

Phase out live animal markets? Is this a way to help manufacture a food shortage? Could this be done by claiming that entire farms are “at risk”, and then culling them to protect the public?

(n) include a summary, to be provided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, of the measures that that minister intends to take to support global health equity, including measures to increase public health capacity around the world and to ensure equitable access to vaccines, testing equipment and treatment;

(o) set out, in consultation with relevant ministers, a summary of key cooperative measures or agreements on disease outbreak prevention and preparedness between the Government of Canada, other foreign governments and key international organizations, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; and

Here’s where it hits home. This will not simply be a Canadian system. Instead, it will be done in collaboration with:

  • Foreign Governments
  • World Health Organization
  • United Nations Environment Programme
  • U.N. Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization

Read the entire Bill to make sure that nothing is being taken out of context. But this looks like a way to slip even more draconian measures onto the public.

And again, there has been — to my knowledge — any debate or reporting on this Bill. Why exactly is that? Isn’t this in the public interest?

1908: International Public Health Office to be created
1926: International Sanitary Convention was ratified in Paris.
1946: WHO’s Constitution was signed, and it’s something we’ll get into in more detail.
1951: International Sanitary Regulations adopted by Member States.
1969: International Health Regulations (1st Edition) replaced ISR. These are legally binding on all Member States.
2005: International Health Regulations 3rd Edition of IHR were ratified.

Without regurgitating the whole thing, the W.H.O. Constitution has been covered before, including the fact that it’s legally binding on Member States.

As has been outlined here before, the 2005 Quarantine Act, Bill C-12, was really just domestic implementation of the 3rd Edition of the International Health Regulations.

We’ve also gone heavily into the creation of PHAC, which is essentially just a branch of the World Health Organization. It was created at WHO’s instigation. It takes over (to a large degree) what Health Canada had been doing. The timeline is laid out, and worth a read.

Why does an unknown like Nathaniel Erskine-Smith introduce such a Bill? According to his Wikipedia page, he’s actually brought forward several pieces. This included (in the last Parliament) Bill C-235 to delete the drug possession offence from the Criminal Code. He also brought Bill C-236, to expand diversion alternatives for criminal cases involving drugs.

Whether or not this “Pandemic Treaty” ever goes ahead, this legislation seems designed to carry out the goals it was intended for. Perhaps this should be put to a public debate.

Again, why is this being done quietly in a Private Member’s Bill?

(2) WHO Constitution, Full Document

Private Member’s Bill C-219: Introducing “Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights”

Private Member’s Bill C-219 has a number of interesting parts, which should make people wary about the intent and purpose of it. It was introduce by N.D.P. M.P. Richard Cannings. As always, it can’t be assured that this won’t become law, or be embedded into other legislation at some point.

This Bill is to enact the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights. Sounds harmless enough, doesn’t it? Let’s see what it says.

Paramountcy of Principles of Environmental Law
Environmental law principles
5 Every enactment must be interpreted consistently with existing and emerging principles of environmental law, including

(a) the precautionary principle according to which where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to the environment, lack of full scientific certainty must not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation;

(b) the polluter-pays principle according to which polluters must bear the cost of measures to reduce pollution according to the extent of either the damage done to society or the exceeding of an acceptable level of pollution;

(c) the principle of sustainable development according to which development must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs;

(d) the principle of intergenerational equity according to which present generations of Canadians hold the environment in trust for future generations and have an obligation to use its resources in a way that leaves that environment in the same, or better, condition for future generations; and

(e) the principle of environmental justice according to which there should be a just distribution of environmental benefits and burdens among Canadians, without discrimination on the basis of any ground prohibited by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

To be blunt, this sounds somewhat Communistic. It gives the Government the right to act, even if there isn’t really a scientific or informed basis for doing so. Taken to its logical outcome, property could be seized, or businesses could be shut down in the name of protecting environmental rights.

The “polluter pays” is a reiteration of the climate change/Carbon tax initiatives that are ongoing, and is just wealth redistribution. If Carbon Dioxide is considered pollution, then almost anything can be.

All of this talk about equity and environmental justice also sounds like redistribution, but with language designed to conceal what’s really going on.

Things get interesting when you realize that anyone (at least in theory) can bring a Court challenge to protect their “environmental rights”.

Right of access to courts
9 (1) Every person residing in Canada has the right to bring a matter regarding the protection of the environment before a court or tribunal regardless of whether or not they are directly affected by the matter.

No challenge to standing
(2) The Government of Canada must not challenge the standing of a person residing in Canada to bring a matter regarding the protection of the environment before a court or tribunal on the sole ground that the person is not directly affected by the matter.

Right to request review
10 Every person residing in Canada has the right to request the Auditor General to review, in accordance with section 22 of the Auditor General Act, any Act of Parliament respecting the environment, any instrument made under the authority of such an Act or any environmental policy of the Government of Canada to determine whether, in order to ensure respect for the rights conferred under this Act, it should be amended, repealed or revoked.

Anyone familiar with the Court system knows that you need “standing” to bring a challenge. This means private interest standing (impacts you directly), or public interest standing (impacts society). This Bill would imply that public interest is automatic, so there’d be no need to prove a direct impact.

Also worth noting is that it says anyone “residing in Canada”. It doesn’t specify Canadian citizens. It also doesn’t say that people bringing such challenges have to be in country legally.

It would also amend the Canadian Bill of Rights by adding this section:

Canadian Bill of Rights
37 Paragraph 1(a) of the Canadian Bill of Rights is replaced by the following:
(a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person, including to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment as defined in section 2 of the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law;

But here’s where that may get tricky: yes, the Bill of Rights mentions property rights. However, when anyone has public interest standing to bring a legal challenge, how secure are your property rights? How would we realistically decide which rights prevail?

And what happens if the Government decides to appropriate your property in some way on the grounds that it violates other people’s rights to a healthy environment?

The Bill’s sponsor, Richard Cannings, is listed 375 times in the Lobby Registry of Federal officials. In fairness though, many of these have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

Cannings’ recent meetings include representatives from:

  • Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment Foundation
  • Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
  • Climate Action Network Canada
  • Ecojustice Canada
  • Environmental Defence Canada
  • Greenpeace Canada
  • Nature Canada
  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • World Wildlife Fund Canada

There’s considerable overlap with Rosa Galvez’s Bill S-243.

It’s fair to ask who wrote Bills C-219 and S-243.

As we’ve seen with the 2005 Quarantine Act, and various Provincial Public Health Acts, harmless sounding legislation can be used as a basis to trample rights. While this environmental “Bill of Rights” seems great at first glance, how would things actually work?


Private Member’s Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing

It’s always interesting to at least check out the Private Members’ Bills that are introduced in Parliament. Although most fail to pass, there’s always the chance that they will be incorporated into some other legislation.

Here, we have Bill C-207, introduced by N.D.P. M.P. Rachel Blaney. This Bill, if passed, would amend the Bill of Rights to include affordable housing as a right.

Canadian Bill of Rights
1 Section 1 of the Canadian Bill of Rights is amended by adding the following after paragraph (b):
(b.‍1) the right of the individual to proper housing at a reasonable cost and free of unreasonable barriers;

Coming into Force
First anniversary
2 This Act comes into force on the first anniversary of the day on which it receives royal assent.

Of course, some logistical questions have to be asked:

If there simply isn’t enough affordable housing available, will the Government be able to expropriate others’ private property in order to make some room? In theory, decisions could simply be made that there are better uses of someone’s property without the input or consent of the owners.

If there is a shortage of housing, shouldn’t there be a moratorium on immigration, or at least a serious reduction, until this problem is alleviated? The laws of supply and demand would seem to dictate that closing the borders would be beneficial.

Will previously protected lands — like the Green Belt in Ontario — have to be torn up in order to make space for new housing?

Considering the Bill of Rights applies Federally, what would happen in the event of issues that arise at the Provincial or Municipal levels?

While this may sound well meaning on the surface, it has the potential to create all kinds of headaches and strife. How would these new “rights” be paid for? While this is just a Private Member’s Bill — for now — it could always be stuffed into an omnibus Bill at some later point. True, it hasn’t gone past the initial stages, but it might one day.