In recognition of National Housing Day 2014

I rise on behalf of the Liberal Party to pay tribute to National Housing Day, which takes place on November 22 of each year.

The date was chosen to commemorate the 1998 declaration by the mayors of Canadian major cities to declare homelessness a national disaster and call on the federal and provincial governments to take action. Homelessness is as much a problem in the Yukon as it is in these major centres like Vancouver and Toronto.

Whitehorse has over 100 homeless people, many of whom rely on the Salvation Army for meals and for shelter. It is suspected that in Canada, as many as 300,000 Canadians are visibly homeless and as many as 900,000 are members of the hidden homeless community. Unfortunately, there are a number of causes that make it such a challenging problem for governments to tackle and, too often, homelessness is a result of mental illness.

I would like to take a moment to recognize the hard work of Habitat for Humanity Yukon in helping to provide a hand up to Yukon families. This week, they will be holding a dedication ceremony for their new families, and also celebrating their 10th anniversary in the Yukon.