Affordable housing, national defence top priorities for Cambridge MP Bryan May

Cambridge Liberal MP Bryan May says tackling homelessness and boosting housing affordability remains top of mind for his government ahead of the fall sitting of the House of Commons. 

MP sits down with CBC's The Morning Edition in summer check-in series

Bryan May is the Liberal MP for Cambridge. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Cambridge, Ont., Liberal MP Bryan May says tackling homelessness and boosting housing affordability remain top of mind for his government ahead of the fall sitting of the House of Commons. 

May sat down with CBC Kitchener-Waterloo's Craig Norris, host of The Morning Edition, for a wide-ranging interview as part of a series of summer interviews planned with local Members of Parliament.

LISTEN | Hear the full interview with Cambridge MP Bryan May.

Over the course of the summer, CBC K-W will be checking in with local MPs to get a sense of the work they’ve been doing since last September, and what local issues they’re bringing attention to in Ottawa. This week, we're checking in with Cambridge Liberal MP Bryan May.

"We need to build and we have been," May said, pointing to several local projects the federal government has invested in.

He said recently, the government contributed $15 million to help build 55 new affordable housing units in Cambridge and millions of dollars to help expand Ayr's Kirkwood Apartments for seniors.

"We know there's a problem. We know that the need is there. It's just a question of how quickly we can develop these projects," he said.

When asked to react to advocates demanding more be done, May said he agreed the work is not enough. He said the federal government has been pushing forward it's 10-year national housing strategy, but needs more help from the Ontario government to keep moving it forward

"One of the biggest challenges we have right now is we have a province that has decided the federal government is going to take over affordable housing," he said. "That is not the intention of the national housing strategy. It was to come in and enhance and, you know, bring up the stock of affordable housing."

Opioid crisis

During the interview, May also touched on fighting the opioid crisis through harm reduction strategies. 

"Whether that is safe consumption for somebody who's at that stage or somebody or treatment for somebody who is ready to accept treatment," he said, noting many communities, including Cambridge are moving toward treatment models.

The city is in the process of launching a Consumption and Treatment Site.

Cambridge MP on national housing strategy

10 months ago
Duration 3:10
Over the course of this summer, CBC Kitchener-Waterloo is doing some check-in interviews with local MPs. Bryan May is the Liberal MP for Cambridge. He was asked what his government is doing to boost affordable housing.

National defence secretary 

May, who is also the parliamentary secretary for national defence, said he has been busy in that capacity following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

"This has been not just a historic opportunity for Canada to step up and do what it has done. But for me, personally and professionally, it's really been an honour to be in this role," he said. 

May said the government is also working to improve the culture within the Canadian Armed Forces, following investigations looking into sexual misconduct in the military. 

"We are laser focused on on on getting to where we need to be from a culture perspective when it comes to violence and harassment within the Canadian Armed Forces," he said.

With files from Hala Ghonaim and The Morning Edition's Craig Norris