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Statement by the Deputy Prime Minister on the final report from the Canada-British Columbia Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability

Statement

June 17, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

Statement

Following the release of the final report of the Canada-British Columbia Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, today issued the following statement:

“The recent and rapid rise in housing prices has made finding an affordable place to call home increasingly difficult, in communities across the country. For many Canadians, the most important investment they will ever make is the purchase of a home. Increasingly, however, that dream is becoming unaffordable and unattainable. Middle class Canadians are feeling the squeeze and it is evident that in British Columbia existing concerns are being exacerbated.

 “Since 2015, our government has made historic investments to make housing more affordable and ensure all Canadians have a place to call home. Our $70 billion National Housing Strategy is helping build affordable housing supply, including rental housing, across Canada.

“In the federal government’s recent budget, we announced a plan to invest $2.5 billion and reallocate $1.3 billion in existing funding to speed up the construction, repair, or support of 35,000 affordable housing units. On January 1, 2022, we will also introduce Canada's first national tax on vacant or underused residential property owned by foreign non-residents.

“We thank this independent expert panel for its work since 2019 on issues that are so important to British Columbians, and indeed, all Canadians. We will examine this report released today - though our government has been clear that we are not considering a capital gains tax on principal residences.

 “A long-term plan for a faster-growing Canadian economy must include housing that is affordable for working Canadians, especially young families and those trying to buy their first home. In recent weeks I have spoken with provincial leaders, mayors and municipal leaders, experts, and advocates about housing affordability and supply in Canada. We will continue to coordinate across all orders of government to keep life affordable and ensure all Canadians have a place to call home.”

Canada