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Source: article by Betty Ann Adam, published in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix October 8, 2015

Female candidates for the Green Party, the NDP and the Liberals promised affordable housing, safe shelter for women escaping violence and help to pay for childcare.

The differences in how each party would achieve the goals were laid out at a candidates’ forum hosted by YWCA Saskatoon on Wednesday.

The Conservative Party did not participate in the event.

Green Party candidate Val Harvey, a lawyer, said alleviating the housing crisis would address many of the problems that hinder people who live in poverty. The Greens support providing social housing money to the provinces and territories through CMHC.

The huge gap between the incomes of men and women can be seen in childcare jobs, which are mostly done by women, Harvey said.

“It’s really been a way to ghettoize another section of women,” she said.

The Green Party is committed the bringing the wages of women closer to that of men, Harvey said.

Former broadcaster Cynthia Block said the Liberals would commit $20 billion over 10 years to a national housing strategy, including $6 billion in the first four years. The money would come immediately to communities, which would decide how to use the dollars, she said.

If the government doesn’t level the playing field by meeting indigenous people “nation to nation” it won’t be able to get past many of the socio-economic issues they’ve been trying to address for generations, Block said.

NDP candidate Claire Card, a veterinarian, said the NDP would restore $40 million to an existing federal shelter fund that has been cut back and which helped women fleeing violence.

The NDP’s bigger plan would pass legislation to secure affordable, accessible housing, she said, noting the minister would have to meet with provincial and territorial governments, indigenous groups and other housing providers to ensure there is enough for those who need it. It would follow the housing first model and commit to getting people off the street, she said.

The NDP plan would create 2,100 more emergency shelter spaces and almost 350 transitional housing spaces across Canada, Card said.

The current government’s two per cent funding cap to First Nations funding is “unconscionable,” especially when their populations are growing at five per cent or more per year, she said.

Read the full article by Betty Ann Adam here: