Secondary Suites Dilemma

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THE SECONDARY SUITES DILEMMA
A research paper examining the benefits and issues of illegal basement suites in Calgary and Vancouver.

By Mark Germiquet
ANTH 379 Tues/Thurs
Professor: Dr. Alan Smart
Due: December 4th, 2012

1. Examine a policy issue in the light of at least one, preferably more, relevant ethnographic study. Does the ethnographic perspective raise questions about the assumptions in positions proposed on that policy issue? 2. Are there reasons deriving from the ethnographic material, for example, to expect that the policy will fail or have negative unintended consequences? 3. Or what alternative possibilities are omitted from the debate that might be brought in through knowledge about the everyday life of the target population?

In 1965, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson gave a speech to the Ontario Housing Authorities , which specified that the objective of his topic was “the necessity for everybody to have a decent dwelling; not to make all homes mansions, but to ensure that none of them will be hovels.”
With respect to this quote and the many issues surrounding illegal housing, everyone deserves a respectable place to call home. However, there are pros and cons to this philosophy and it’s inherent policies.
This paper will examine the benefits and consequences of this issue, as they affect a city’s citizens (i.e. students, aging families, lower income classes, elderly), and a variety of other candidates in Calgary and Vancouver.
Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi introduced a proposal recognizing that this proposed bylaw is both an intelligent and important decision for the future of Calgary. However, three immediately significant problems or concerns present themselves with the adoption of this bylaw in Calgary: 1) lower property value/less available housing, 2) traffic/parking congestion, and 3) the altering of the character and quality of life of the neighbourhood.
Mayor Nenshi wants to ensure Calgary that the first



References: Hulchanski, J. David. Homelessness in Canada: Past, Present, Future. (Calgary, AB. 2009) Orfield, Myron.The City Reader: Fiscal Equality Haughey, Richard M. et al. Higher-Density Development: Myth and Fact (Washington: ULI-the Urban Land Institute, 2005), 11-16. Knox P., Pinch S., Urban Social Geography: An Introduction. (Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2010), 48. Mayor Nenshi, Draft - Toward a new by-law for secondary suites in all residential neighbourhoods: FAQ, (Calgary, AB. 2012). CMHC, The Newcomer’s Guide to Canadian Housing. (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 2007). [ 2 ]. Mayor Nenshi, Draft - Toward a new by-law for secondary suites in all residential neighbourhoods: FAQ, Calgary, AB. 2012 [ 3 ] [ 6 ]. Myron Orfield, The City Reader: Fiscal Equality. (London and NY: Routledge, 2007), 293. [ 7 ]. Paul Knox, Steven Pinch. Urban Social Geography: An Introduction. (Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2010), 48. [ 8 ]. CMHC, The Newcomer’s Guide to Canadian Housing. (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 2007).

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