Two Vancouver city councillors are calling on their colleagues to declare a homelessness emergency in order to build a substantial amount of new housing.

In a motion set for council on Tuesday, councillors Jean Swanson and Pete Fry call on the rest of council to create an emergency plan with the provincial and federal governments, along with regional partners and other B.C. municipalities.

That plan should include finding and building housing for at least 80 per cent of the homeless people in Vancouver and other cities within three years, the motion says.

Food policy expert Valerie Tarasuk doesn’t mince words when it comes to how Newfoundland and Labrador has slipped in terms of people going hungry.

“It’s really quite disturbing,” she says.

Food insecurity is the struggle to afford food or have access to food.

Tarasuk, a professor at the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto, said the province once held bragging rights, of sorts, when it came to the issue.

“Newfoundland and Labrador was the poster child for managing food insecurity,” she said.

New data from Statistics Canada shows that 57 per cent of people living in Nunavut are food insecure.

That’s the highest rate of food insecurity in the country and more than four times the national average of 12.7 per cent.

StatCan released the study on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Its data, from 2017-18, breaks down food security into four categories: food secure, marginally food insecure, moderately food insecure and severely food insecure.

In Nunavut, 23.7 per cent of homes are severely food insecure, according to StatCan.

That number more than doubles to 52.3 per cent for single-mother households with children under 18.

Better late than never: Victoria modular housing finally clicking into place

Giant modular containers stacked like lego pieces were finally assembled on Thursday, over a year later than expected.

The building on Blanchard Street will be the new home for 22 Indigenous women.

The B.C. Housing project was originally supposed to be finished in January 2019, but delays pushed back construction until November.

Now just a few months later, they are almost complete.

The Affordable Housing and Homelessness Working Group, of which I am part, and which also involves stakeholders including Public Health, Mental Health and Addictions, the Cape Breton Regional Police Service, Cape Breton Community Housing Association and New Dawn, among others, has worked hard to understand affordable housing and homelessness in the municipality and to develop an affordable housing plan based on this community-engaged research as well as community consultation.

To reduce the number of households experiencing core housing need and homelessness, the working group has put forward the following action items …

Feeding her three children is something Dara Squires loses sleep over.

“There’s definitely probably hours a day that, you know, you’re sitting at work and you’re like, ‘OK, got to get home, feed the kids. What am I going to make for them? Do I have the ingredients I need? If I don’t have the ingredients, do I have enough money to go buy them? Do I need to come up with something else?'” she said.

“I spend a lot of hours in the evening kind of trying to come up with ways to make more money … so that we’re a little more comfortable. So it’s difficult to balance those needs a lot of the time.”

A basic living wage, reforms of provincial programs and universal pharma and dental care are among reforms the County is recommending the province consider in its Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Council Tuesday night, gave its approval to fine-tune a letter from Mayor Steve Ferguson responding to the provincial government’s call for input on the strategy, and responses to the ministry’s online survey. The letter is to be sent to Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith, Provincial Minister of Children, Communitiy and Social Services.

The letter reminds Smith the County is highly attractive to affluent visitors and newcomers, but struggles with the second highest food insecurity rate in Ontario at 10 per cent of the population, and lower than provincial median household income, among other worrying statistics.