Ottawa

Quebec social housing group kicks off 28-day walk in Ottawa

A social housing advocacy group kicked off their 28-day march from Ottawa Sunday, in an effort to put pressure on candidates in this year's Quebec election.

Walkers hope to put pressure on 2018 Quebec election candidates

Front d'action populaire en réaménagement urbain began their 28-day walk from Ottawa to Quebec City on Sept. 2, 2018. The group is trying to raise the profile of social housing issues ahead of this fall's Quebec election. (Radio-Canada)

A social housing advocacy group kicked off their 28-day march from Ottawa to Quebec City Sunday, in an effort to put pressure on candidates in this year's Quebec election.  

The walk was launched by Front d'action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU) to raise awareness about social housing issues and to get party leaders to show their commitment 

"We are talking about hundreds of [walkers] who will participate... including a core [team] of 27 people from different regions," organization spokesperson Veronique Laflamme told Radio-Canada in a French-language interview. 

Walkers take on 2 governments 

Laflamme said that in Quebec last year, there were only about 700 non-profit public housing units built — not enough to address the pressures facing "the 244,000 households with serious housing needs."

At a rally on Parliament Hill today, the organization called on the federal government to formally recognize the right to housing in the upcoming National Housing Strategy legislation, which is expected to be unveiled in the fall.

"We are asking for 50,000 new social housing units in five years," she said. "So we call on both governments to invest in these units."

Laflamme also said that walkers are prepared to ask provincial candidates housing-related questions to learn their aims and intentions on the issue.

After walking from Ottawa to Gatineau today, the participants will travel through the Outaouais region this week.

They will then head to the Laurentians, arrive in Laval and Montreal on Sept. 13, and then depart for Montérégie, Lanaudière and Mauricie.

The march will end on Sept. 29 in Quebec City with a major demonstration.

Quebec's election is set for Oct. 1.

With files from The Canadian Press and Radio-Canada