scroll to top arrow or icon

{{ subpage.title }}

The Supreme Court tackles homeless right to sleep outside
The Supreme Court tackles homeless right to sleep outside | GZERO World

The Supreme Court tackles homeless right to sleep outside

Is sleeping like breathing? Do Americans have a Constitutional right to sleep? In April, Supreme Court justices heard a case involving homeless encampments and whether cities that don’t provide shelter space can arrest or fine people for sleeping outside. At oral arguments, they asked philosophical questions about the idea of sleeping and whether or not providing space to sleep qualifies as “cruel and unusual” punishment under the 8th Amendment of the Constitution.

Legal expert Emily Bazelon joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to unpack some of the biggest cases before the Supreme Court this year. Former President Trump’s legal woes are front and center in the news, but many other major issues are at stake during this court term, including homelessness, gun rights, free speech on social media, and the power of federal agencies to interpret laws.

Read moreShow less

Houses are seen under construction in a neighbourhood of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

REUTERS/Lars Hagberg

Betting big on housing

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is going all-in on housing. The government has been rolling out announcements ahead of the official budget drop on April 16, a departure from the tradition of politicos trying to keep a tight lid on plans.

This week, as the country grapples with a housing affordability crisis, the government announced CA$6 billion in funding for home building and municipal infrastructure. But a few provinces, including Alberta and Ontario, pushed back, complaining about the strings attached to some of the cash, which would require provincial governments to permit builders to put up fourplexes without needing special approval.

Read moreShow less

FILE PHOTO: People walk on the grounds of the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada September 9, 2020. Picture taken September 9, 2020.

REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

Ottawa caps visas for foreign students

The Trudeau government is shutting the door to hundreds of thousands of foreign students. This week, Ottawa moved to reduce the number of undergraduate international student visas for 2025 to just 360,000, a 35% cut, in an effort to tackle the housing crisis and rein in diploma mills that are profiting off the system.

Read moreShow less

New university graduates line-up in a hall before convocation in Ontario, Canada.


Foreign students get caught up in Canada’s housing crisis

As Canada’s housing crisis continues – with the average selling price up 6% in six months, to CA$668,754, and the average 1 bedroom rental price at CA$2,078 – policymakers are looking at the effect of international students on prices. Last year, Canada saw over 800,000 international students arrive in a country of roughly 40 million people, over half of whom ended up in Ontario. In 2022, nearly 1 in 48 people in Canada were international students on a study permit.

Read moreShow less
Art by Annie Gugliotta

Broken housing markets could shape US and Canadian elections

The United States and Canada share hundreds of billions in annual trade, a deep defense relationship, the world’s longest undefended land border, and an affordability crisis that threatens to upend political fortunes. At the heart of that problem is housing. As both countries grapple with inflation and rising interest rates, the cost of shelter and the risk of foreclosures are rising.

The causes of unaffordable housing include a complex mix of under-supply (itself caused by several things), urbanization, marketization and speculation, immigration, population growth, temporary foreign workers, international students, and natural barriers. But whatever the cause, the US and Canada are both millions short on needed housing stock.

For President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, unaffordable shelter presents both a policy challenge and a political liability, especially as each faces looming elections. Biden is up for reelection in late-2024, and Trudeau must face voters by the fall of 2025.

Read moreShow less

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily