Affordable Housing and Groceries Act receives Royal Assent to build more rental homes and help stabilize grocery prices

News release

December 15, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

Today, Bill C-56, the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, received Royal Assent.

Building on the federal government’s economic plan, the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act will:

  • Remove the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from new rental housing to incentivize the construction of more apartment buildings, student housing, and seniors’ residences built for long-term rental accommodation. For a two-bedroom rental unit valued at $500,000, the removal of the GST will lower the cost of construction by $25,000.
  • Amend the Competition Act to enhance competition and help stabilize prices for Canadians, particularly in the grocery sector, by:
    • Giving more power to the Competition Bureau to crack down on unfair practices by large, dominant companies which drive up prices;
    • Removing the efficiencies defence, in order to end anti-competitive mergers that raise prices and limit choices for Canadian consumers; and,
    • Empowering the Competition Bureau to block collaborations that stifle competition and consumer choice, particularly in situations where large grocers prevent smaller competitors from establishing operations nearby.

The Royal Assent of Bill C-56, which was the first piece of government legislation introduced in the fall parliamentary sitting, delivers the latest measures in the government’s economic plan. Other legislation that the government has recently introduced, including the Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2023, will also help to build more homes, faster, and make life more affordable for Canadians.



“Our economic plan is building more homes, faster, and making life more affordable for Canadians. The Affordable Housing and Groceries Act is an important part of our plan, and it will help to make housing more affordable and stabilize prices for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”

- The Honourable Chrystia Freeland,
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“More competition, less consolidation, and better prices: that’s what Canadian consumers can expect with the passage of this bill. With these amendments to the Competition Act, we are helping stabilize prices in the grocery sector by making our economy more dynamic. Our government will keep fighting to make life more affordable for Canadians.”

-  The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne,
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“The Affordable Housing and Groceries Act is going to bring down the cost of building by removing the GST from the construction of new apartments. This is going to help get shovels in the ground on apartment projects across the country.”

- The Honourable Sean Fraser,
Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

Quick facts

  • To encourage the construction of more rental housing, the removal of GST will apply to new purpose-built rentals, such as apartment buildings, student housing, and seniors’ residences built specifically for long-term rental accommodation.

    • The GST relief will apply to rental housing projects that begin construction on or after September 14, 2023, and on or before December 31, 2030, and complete construction by December 31, 2035.
  • In the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, the federal government also proposed to remove the GST from long-term co-operative rental housing, provided the other conditions have been met.

  • To protect Canadian renters from renovictions, the removal of GST will not apply to substantial renovations of existing residential complexes. This measure is intended to stimulate new supply, not take supply off the market.

  • The Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2023 introduced further amendments to the Competition Act and the Competition Tribunal Act to modernize competition in Canada to help stabilize prices for Canadians. Those measures would:

    • Support Canadians’ right to repair by preventing manufacturers from refusing to provide the means of repair of devices and products in an anti-competitive manner;
    • Further modernize merger reviews;
    • Enhance protections for consumers, workers, and the environment, including improving the focus on worker impacts in competition analysis;
    • Empower the Commissioner of Competition to review and crack down on a wide selection of anti-competitive collaborations; and,
    • Broaden the reach of the law by enabling more private parties to bring cases before the Competition Tribunal and receive payment if they are successful.

Associated links


Media may contact:

Katherine Cuplinskas
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

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Phone: 1-833-712-2292

TTY: 613-369-3230


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