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Canada’s mayors call on federal parties to make housing a campaign issue

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Toronto Mayor John Tory

Frank Gunn/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The mayors of some of Canada's largest cities have called on federal parties to make commitments to affordable housing.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says the country is facing a housing crisis and wants the leaders of the federal political parties to make housing an election issue.

He says the federal government has done a good job investing in transit, but housing has largely been ignored.

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The comments came Thursday at a meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Big City Mayor's Caucus in downtown Toronto.

Toronto Mayor John Tory says in many cities, it is becoming impossible to find affordable housing that is anywhere close to their jobs.

The mayors also urged the federal parties to commit money to help with repair bills their cities have to fix existing affordable housing buildings.

The Greens have promised to create a national housing strategy and offer more funding for co-operative housing, while the NDP say they would pay for more affordable housing through measures including raising the corporate income tax rate.

The Liberals have committed to eliminating the GST on all new rental builds while giving up to $125-million a year to landlords to renovate aging rental units.

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