Justin Trudeau will meet Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson to discuss housing issues

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      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Vancouver this morning doing a series of media interviews.

      That will be followed by a meeting at 9:30 a.m. with Mayor Gregor Robertson at the federal cabinet ministers' regional office in the office tower at Library Square.

      On CBC Radio One's Early Edition program, Trudeau acknowledged that he'll discuss housing issues with Robertson.

      In the interview with host Gloria Macarenko, Trudeau also expressed regret for comments made in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine about his 2012 boxing match with Conservative senator Patrick Brazeau.

      "I wanted someone who would be a good foil, and we stumbled upon the scrappy tough-guy senator from an indigenous community," Trudeau told the U.S. magazine. "He fit the bill, and it was a very nice counterpoint. I saw it as the right kind of narrative, the right story to tell.”

      Trudeau was later criticized for having a colonialist attitude.

      On CBC this morning, Trudeau acknowledged that his statement did not advance reconciliation, which is a key objective of his government.

      Trudeau also told CBC that he has an excellent working relationship with B.C. NDP premier John Horgan.

      In the meantime, Robertson has been trying to convince Vancouverites that he's taking action on the housing crisis in the lead-up to an October by-election to fill a council seat vacated by Geoff Meggs.

      Last week, council approved rezoning projects on the Pearson Dogwood lands on the First Baptist Church site to provide 601 social-housing units.

      "The City has set an ambitious goal to deliver 12,500 homes for low-income residents, as part of our Housing Vancouver plan to provide 72,000 new affordable homes for people who live and work in Vancouverm" Robertson said in a news release last week. "This new mixed housing at Pearson Dogwood and the First Baptist Church is an important part of Vancouver's housing mix that will allow us to deliver affordable homes for all Vancouverites by having the higher income housing help pay for and provide lower income housing in those neighbourhoods."

      Robertson's Vision Vancouver party will face an unexpected challenger in the by-election: Judy Graves, the city's former official advocate for the homeless.

      In 2014, the Vision-controlled council bestowed the city's highest honour, Freedom of the City, on Graves for her efforts to find homes for people living in the streets over her 33-year career. Now, Graves says Vancouver has become a developer-run city and she wants to advance policies that will stop people from feeling they have to move away.

      Graves will run with OneCity, which was cofounded by former Vancouver-Kensington NDP MLA David Chudnovsky.

      Another high-profile housing activist and advocate for the poor, Jean Swanson, is also expected today to announce her candidacy for council.

      Swanson ran as the COPE candidate for mayor in 1988, losing to the NPA's Gordon Campbell.