Our Benefits Program, One Year In - Q&A with Erin

Gen Squeeze aims to be a national voice for squeezed Canadians in their 20s, 30s and 40s, in the world of politics AND in the marketplace. On the latter front, in 2016 we began to build up a Benefits program to ease your squeeze. It's all about pooling our influence in the marketplace to save you time and money, and help you live more sustainably.

And what a year it’s been! It's hard to believe Erin joined Gen Squeeze only 12 months ago. We sat down with her to learn what it’s been like to build out our program from scratch.

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Inside the search from hell Canadian millennials must undergo for affordable housing

This piece is by Nadine Bachan and was originally published in THIS magazine. 

It’s my house-cleaning and laundry day. I’m in flip-flops and a housedress with a fraying hole at the waist. I haven’t combed my hair. As I round the corner of the house, after depositing my garbage and recycling in the bins and bags in the back lane, I’m surprised by the sudden presence of four strangers congregating by the doorway of my apartment, their eyes shifting from scrutinizing the property to my dishevelled presence. The most well-dressed of them, a middle-aged man with an easy smile, steps forward to identify himself and the three others to me. He’s the real-estate agent. The woman is his associate. The two other men are workers who will tend to the property, haul furniture and junk, keep things tidy, etc. The process has begun.

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New study breaks down platform numbers to encourage young voter turnout

Elections BC data show that 40 per cent of 25-34 year olds voted in the 2013 BC election. So too did 49 per cent of 35-44 year olds. Turnout among younger British Columbians was well below that of residents over age 55 who cast a ballot in the last election at rates above 67 per cent.

One of the reasons young people offer to explain why they vote less often is that politicians don’t speak to their priorities or concerns. Others find it’s hard to make meaning of political promises. As a result, for some, the differences between parties is as clear as the mud you find in a swamp.

Generation Squeeze publishes “Swamplight: Making sense of the 2017 B.C. election platforms for voters under age 45” with one week left in the election campaign to address both of these concerns: http://bit.ly/GS_SwamplightBC17

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Victoria City Council Votes NO to a Foreign Buyers Tax

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On April 27th, Victoria city council voted NO to extending the 15% foreign buyers tax to Greater Victoria. The motion to extend the tax failed in a 4-4 tie.

What this means is that with two of the other hottest markets in the country -- Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver -- now covered by the tax, Greater Victoria risks attracting even more demand from non-resident speculators.  

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Ontario Budget 2017: Progress for younger generations with more work ahead

Premier Wynne’s budget record shows she tackles intergenerational problems more urgently than most premiers, and with national influence.

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Garden suite SUCCESS for the Garden City!

“Build it and they will come. Well we have a reverse problem: they have come, but we haven’t built it.”

- Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, April 13

Victoria B.C. can feel pretty -- well, Victorian. Some say it’s too old fashioned, moves too slow and shuts down too early, while others find it to be a beacon of west coast life, culture and progress (I happen to think it’s all of those things).

At a public hearing last week in Victoria, city council voted unanimously to permit garden suites in municipal zoning. This has the potential to pave the way for more diverse and secure rental options in the city.

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We did it! Victory on housing affordability!

On Friday Gen Squeeze participated in a roundtable discussion about the Fair Housing Plan announcement with Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa. Photo by Peter Maragos.

Generation Squeeze congratulates the Government of Ontario for its new Fair Housing Plan. It shows that the government is addressing the #CodeRed concerns of younger generations who know that the economy fails us so long as skyrocketing home prices leave our earnings behind. Guided by our “Homes First, Investments Second” principle, we called for new policy measures to level the playing field between renters and owners, tax housing wealth fairly, and encourage density to increase supply, especially purpose-built rental. (For more info, see http://bit.ly/GS_ON2ndworstecon). Premier Wynne's team has boldly started down this path. 

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The kind of long-time homeowners we need on our side

I’ve known Heather MacAndrew and David Springbett since 2010. All through my roller coaster communications career spanning government, politics and all kinds of civic engagement, they’ve been two of my favourite people to talk shop with. I’ve fist-pumped for Heather’s Letters to the Editor more times than I can count. David can fix, hack or build most anything that crosses his path. They’re just fun people to explore ideas with and learn from.

They’re also Oak Bay homeowners who’ve totally won out in the housing lottery in one of Victoria's most affluent neighbourhoods, but can still see the bigger picture and have a fascinating perspective on the affordability crisis. They’re exactly the kind of long-time homeowner we need on our side.

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How Ontario Can Tackle the Housing Crisis

On March 11th Gen Squeeze held our first Code Red community meeting in Toronto. We listened to local community leaders and brainstormed ideas for action, and this meeting as well as our Building Housing Common Ground work informed the policy recommendations below. 


 

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Ontario is the second worst economy in Canada for younger generations

The next provincial election in Ontario is a year away.  Since many citizens will cast their ballot for the party they believe will best steward the provincial economy, Generation Squeeze has prepared this study to showcase the performance of the Ontario economy relative to other provinces and over time. 

The results are clear and concerning.  They show that Ontario is now the worst performing economy in Canada for younger generations east of the Rockies.   

Read the full study here 

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“Yes, Canadian governments need to make younger people a priority. I want a Canada that works for all generations."

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