LAVAL, Que. – Measures in the recently tabled federal budget such as a tax-free savings account for first-time homebuyers will help Canadians weather the Bank of Canada’s new interest rate hike, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate by half a percentage point to one per cent – its highest rate hike in more than 20 years – which is expected to affect the cost of bank loans, including variable-rate mortgages.
“In the budget we put forward a plan to address the housing crisis that too many families are living through,” Trudeau told reporters in a suburb north of Montreal, responding to a question about the interest rake hike.
Other than the tax-free savings account, he said the budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year includes measures to double housing construction starts across the country and to “crack down” on speculation, including by limiting market access of foreign buyers.
“We know that there isn’t any one thing any government can do,” he said about the high cost of living in Canada. “Every family is a different situation, and the approach we take has to be multi-faceted.”
The prime minister also responded to accusations by federal Tory leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre, who has said municipalities across Canada are helping to keep housing prices high by causing construction delays and adding costs. Poilievre wants the federal government to pressure cities to reduce bureaucracy and lower the costs involved in building homes.
Big city gatekeepers—like Vancouver City Hall—are destroying the home ownership dreams of working class youth.
If they want more federal money, these big city politicians will need to approve more home building.
— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) April 11, 2022
Trudeau said his government is investing billions of dollars and partnering with cities to accelerate housing starts, “instead of talking about it, as some Conservatives are doing.”
“It’s good to see other parties agreeing with us that that’s the best path forward,” he added.
🧵 We are facing a housing crisis in Canada. We need URGENT action to fix this mess. It’s time for big cities to say YES in my backyard to more housing. Here’s what we’ll do together: #YIMBY pic.twitter.com/vbEtL94AYk
— Scott Aitchison (@ScottAAitchison) April 12, 2022
New from me at TVO, on why conservatives are coalescing around YIMBY-ism (broadly defined) as an answer to the housing crisis, and why progressives aren’t even on the playing field yet. https://t.co/S3R6lG2LSD
— John Michael McGrath (@jm_mcgrath) April 12, 2022
#vanre #cdnpoli #vanpoli @CBCLarsen @PierrePoilievre “Vancouver’s Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood,,,a run-down 1930s house that’s for sale for $4.888 million. ‘Why is it that Vancouver has the third most unaffordable housing market on the planet?'” https://t.co/xEAhEENS02
— Hutchyman (@Hutchyman) April 13, 2022
All the praise heaped on Poilievre’s video obfuscates the extent to which his ideas about how to deal with the housing crisis are appalling, dangerous bullshit. https://t.co/HY0FBY45Sj
— Emmett Macfarlane 🇺🇦 (@EmmMacfarlane) April 13, 2022
He doesn’t seem to understand zoning, as Brian points out. Which just means he’s dangerous and won’t move the needle. https://t.co/RnzxnXrJDH
— Alex Bozikovic (@alexbozikovic) April 11, 2022
It’s not a good thing if a pretty awful Federal leadership candidate like #Poilievre is allowed to seize the issue of housing supply & home prices, even if he’s got details & jurisdictions wrong.
Take the issue away from him.
EVERY candidate should want a lot more homes built.
— Brent Toderian (@BrentToderian) April 12, 2022
Could Pierre Poilievre’s messaging on housing help him eventually become Canada’s Prime Minister?@JohnPasalis and @SteveSaretsky share their take, answer your real estate questions, and more.https://t.co/JJLT57xuU8 pic.twitter.com/4ACP2a43xq
— Jessy Bains (@jessysbains) April 13, 2022
I don’t comment much on politics but I think Poilievre’s clear popularity particularly among young voter, is an issue for Trudeau and potentially a big deal for housing. His housing/inflation focus is resonating. Will force more action on the housing front by the libs https://t.co/A8ltADurUh
— Ben Rabidoux (@BenRabidoux) April 10, 2022
Poilievre is tapping into housing frustrations better than any other federal politician, and eating the Liberals’ lunch. If you look past the “printing money” distraction here, he’s channelling unacknowledged angst really effectively https://t.co/Tb2D01ZGWQ
— Robyn Urback (@RobynUrback) April 11, 2022
For months, Pierre Poilievre has supported protesters who threatened to overthrow a democratically elected gov. Now he’s attacking the legitimacy of the Bank of Canada. He is stoking the flames of populism. We cannot take this lightly. #cdnpoli
— Jean Charest (@JeanCharest_) April 9, 2022