Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister on Making Housing More Affordable
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Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you very much to Felicia and Peter and little Pete for hosting us in your beautiful home.
As you just heard from the Prime Minister, a centrepiece of the Budget that we tabled yesterday is investing in people—investing in Canadians.
And the evidence shows that when we invest in Canadians, the results are terrific.
Just this morning, we learned that as of last month, the Canadian economy has recovered 115 per cent of the jobs lost since the depths of the pandemic.
That compares to the US, where only 93 per cent of lost jobs have recovered.
And think about that for a minute: when COVID hit, three million Canadians lost their jobs. That was three million tragedies. Three million families really, really worried about their future. We’ve recovered all of those lost jobs and more. In fact, the unemployment rate in Canada is now just 5.3 per cent—that is the lowest level since when we first began collecting comparable statistics in 1976.
So thank you, Canadians. Extraordinary work getting through and climbing out of the COVID recession.
But what we also know is: it’s not enough. Having a job is a really, really important part of making life affordable.
It’s an important part of paying the bills, but we know that people are struggling to afford housing in Canada.
Canada has a problem: we just don’t have enough homes. We have a growing population, which is great. Canada has the fastest-growing population in the G7, but housing supply just has not kept pace. So we need to build more homes for our growing country and we need to do it quickly.
The Budget that we presented yesterday has a plan to address exactly that problem by doubling the number of new homes that Canada will build over the next ten years.
And we also know that we need to make it easier for families, like Ala and Ahmed’s, to get those first keys of their own.
Here’s how we plan to do that.
We will help Canadians save up for and buy their first home by doubling the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit and creating a new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account.
We are going to stop foreign investors from buying up properties, and we are going to ensure houses are used as homes for Canadian families and do not become a speculative financial asset class.
And we are going to support rent-to-own-projects and move forward on a Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights to make the market fairer for Canadians.
We need housing that is affordable for everyone, and that means we have to keep on investing to ensure an entire generation of Canadians are not priced out of owning a home.
As Canada grows—and as our growing country becomes more and more prosperous—we are going to need to continue to invest, year after year after year, in building more homes for a growing country. That is what we set out to do in the Budget we tabled yesterday.
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