Affordability and climate are compounding, overlapping crises — and people are struggling through them both at the same time. Individuals across Canada are tired of making trade-offs because, when it comes to life’s necessities — housing, food, transportation and a sustainable climate — there should be none.

Solutions that ignore the full picture are no longer acceptable. What’s needed now is a fundamentally different approach to policymaking, one that considers all basic needs because they are all interdependent. The Affordability Action Council (AAC), a collaboration of diverse policy and community leaders, has broken down silos to table a package of “all-in” solutions to help meet Canadians’ basic needs in an integrated way.

On Thursday, February 1, we held a panel discussion featuring three AAC members who explored the group’s main areas of focus — food, transportation and housing — and explained how a holistic approach to policymaking can lead to solutions that lower cost, reduce vulnerability and give people greater control over their lives. The event took place at the Impact Hub in Ottawa and was also live streamed. This podcast is the audio from that discussion.

Do you have something to say about the article you just read? Be part of the Policy Options discussion, and send in your own submission, or a letter to the editor. 
Jennifer Ditchburn
Jennifer Ditchburn is the President and CEO of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. From 2016 to 2021, she was the Editor-in-Chief of the IRPP’s influential digital magazine, Policy Options. Prior to joining the IRPP, Jennifer spent two decades covering national and parliamentary affairs for The Canadian Press and for CBC Television. She is the co-editor with Graham Fox of The Harper Factor: Assessing a Prime Minister’s Policy Legacy (McGill-Queen’s).
Yasmin Abraham
Yasmin Abraham is president and co-founder of the Kambo Energy Group, a social enterprise that reduces energy poverty and improves housing in communities that have been historically underprioritized.
Lisa Rae
Lisa Rae is the director of system change at Prosper Canada and is responsible for advancing policy and advocacy efforts. Lisa has worked in public policy, advocacy, stakeholder engagement and communications for 15 years. She has held roles in membership organizations, the post-secondary education and health sectors, and in government.
Nate Wallace
Nate Wallace is the clean transportation program manager at Environmental Defence. He works on decarbonizing the transportation sector with a focus on electrifying light-duty vehicles, expanding public and active transportation options and building more sustainable and inclusive cities. He is a member of Transport Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Council and co-chair of the Affordability Working Group.