ONPHA talks housing and community building with Min. Glenn Murray
ONPHA Board President Keith Hambly and MPP Glenn Murray
Glenn Murray was one of the first provincial cabinet ministers to meet with ONPHA after the 2014 provincial election. Given his background in provincial and municipal politics, Murray is familiar with ONPHA and the challenges faced by the nonprofit housing sector. After a recent cabinet shuffle, Murray (Liberal, Toronto Centre) serves as the Minister of the Environment, under Kathleen Wynne.
On June 27, ONPHA’s President, Keith Hambly, and Executive Director, Sharad Kerur, had a chance to meet with MPP Glenn Murray in his constituency office to discuss ONPHA, issues in the housing sector, and housing’s role as a key investment in the development of community building plans.
“Mr. Murray is very a ground-up, solutions system thinker,” said Keith Hambly. “His former experiences both municipally and provincially make him a wellrounded, outcomes oriented individual.”
Before becoming an MPP, Murray served as Mayor of Winnipeg from 1998 to 2004 before winning his riding’s seat in February 2010. Since then he has held several cabinet positions including Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities; Minister of Transportation; and Minister of Infrastructure.
“What I liked about our conversation was that it was very much focused on housing as an investment and on how solutions need to be configured around meeting the unique needs of the community – a key point ONPHA has made in its publication ‘Big Problems Need Bold Solutions’,” said Sharad Kerur.
Murray said that governments may not have enough money to do everything that needs to be done but creative long-term planning against an analysis of the assets communities already have can help change something that costs money into something that is both profitable and sustainable. In particular he agreed with ONPHA’s views that better coordination and integration of areas such as health and housing can lead not only to desired outcomes in each of those areas but will save the public money in the long term.
We couldn’t agree with him more.