By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 0 Comments
Following the CMHC’s decision last week to publish analysis of an NDP MP’s private member’s bill, I asked about the corporation’s history of analyzing and costing legislation: specifically, how often has the CMHC published such analysis? So far, I’ve yet to receive a response.
On Friday morning, the NDP pursued the matter during Question Period. Kellie Leitch, parliamentary secretary to Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, offered the following explanation.
Mr. Speaker, with respect to CMHC and this issue with regard to website postings, it is entirely appropriate for a crown corporation to post its costing of a legislative item before the House of Commons. We see that regularly here. In fact, opposition members often ask for these items in order to make sure they know what is occurring. That is exactly what CMHC is doing.
I emailed Ms. Finley’s office to inquire about those other examples. I’ve yet to receive a response. I have also emailed the question directly to Ms. Leitch’s office and will post any response I receive.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 10:21 AM - 0 Comments
The Conservative issued a bulletin on Wednesday morning to warn that Bill C-400, an NDP MP’s bill calling for a national housing strategy, would cost a minimum of $5.5 billion per year.
C-400, as a private member’s bill, can’t include “financial provisions” unless the government consents. According to the summary of the bill, its purpose is ”to require the Minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to consult with the provincial ministers of the Crown responsible for municipal affairs and housing and with representatives of municipalities, Aboriginal communities, non-profit and private sector housing providers and civil society organizations in order to establish a national housing strategy.” (With the Conservatives voting against, the bill was defeated Wednesday evening.)
So how does the Conservative party conclude that the cost is $5.5 billion per year? The party’s release cites “Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.” I enquired with the office of Human Resources Minister Diane Finley. Ms. Finley’s office directed me to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. CMHC did, in fact, publish a “backgrounder” on C-400. That backgrounder states “the proposed bill C-400 would cost Canadians over $5.5 billion per year in rental subsidies alone.” The backgrounder goes on for another 684 words, none of which explain that estimate.
So I asked the CMHC: How had this estimate been calculated? To what in the bill did it refer? And how often did the CMHC provide analysis of legislation and private members’ bills?
Wednesday night, the CMHC sent along the following. Continue…