Tents and other structures are seen in an aerial view at a homeless encampment at Strathcona Park in April, 2021.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
While public libraries and faith-based organizations may not be able to solve the issue of social stigma, looking at how they provide spaces for homeless people is a good place to start.
The states are primarily responsible for providing infrastructure, but lack the budgets, especially since the pandemic hit revenues. Making up the shortfall depends very much on the Commonwealth.
Canada’s budgeting process needs to regard vaccination programs, to name just one example, the same way it regards investments in physical infrastructure like bridges and highways.
Canada needs to reform budgeting and reporting methods to recognize the true underlying nature and value of expenditures on social infrastructure.
Scott Morrison talked about first home buyers during the election campaign, but had little to say about social housing.
The Morrison government, having added a housing minister to its ranks, needs to recognise housing as having more than just economic value. Its impact on our ability to give and receive care is critical.
For suburbs like fast-growing Tarneit in the Wyndham area, ‘hard’ infrastructure gets priority, leaving ‘soft’ social infrastructure to catch up later.
Traditionally, new communities first get hard infrastructure – schools, hospitals, transport – and ‘soft’ social infrastructure comes later. Liveability and public health suffer as a result.