ISSUE

Housing has become out of reach for many Canadians, in particular for young families living in big cities. Vancouver and Toronto have become two of the most unaffordable large cities in the world.

Over the past decades, the federal government has spent billions of dollars and created various bureaucratic programs to presumably make housing more affordable, with no results. Among other things, it has manipulated the financial criteria to qualify for mortgages and mortgage insurance, provided tax breaks to first buyers, and funded social housing.

The fundamental problem however is the mismatch between supply of and demand for housing, that Ottawa, the provinces and municipalities are making worse with other policies, in particular mass immigration and zoning restrictions.

FACTS

About 40% of immigrants to Canada end up settling in only two cities, Toronto and Vancouver, where the housing shortage is most acute. The Trudeau government has increased immigration targets from 250,000 per year under the Harper government, to 500,000 in 2025. In addition to regular immigration, Canada has also been welcoming in recent years more temporary foreign workers and foreign students, large numbers of illegal immigrants, and plans to accept hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees under a special program. This skyrocketing number of newcomers is one of the main reasons for the constantly high level of demand for housing and the exorbitant prices in Canadian cities. Even if a lot more houses were to be built, supply cannot keep up with this level of demand.

Overall inflation has become a major problem in every sector of the economy and is a consequence of inflationary monetary policy – that is, the Bank of Canada having printed too much money in order to fund the Trudeau government’s gigantic deficits. This inflationary policy adds to the already overheated conditions in the housing market.

OUR PLAN

Housing is primarily a provincial or local responsibility. Ottawa’s involvement over the years has only resulted in distorting the housing market. There is nothing the federal government can do to change provincial or municipal zoning laws, but it can stop contributing to the overheating of the housing market in different ways.

A People’s Party government will:

  • Substantially reduce immigration quotas, from about 500k planned by the Liberal government for 2025, down to 100k-150k per year (see Immigration policy). This will help reduce demand for housing and cool down these markets, especially in the large cities where most immigrants settle.
  • Modify the Bank of Canada’s inflation target, from 2% to 0%. This will cool down inflation in all sectors, including housing.
  • Respect local and provincial governments’ responsibility for housing policies. They must be accountable to their citizens and not be subject to federal pressure to “densify” neighbourhoods of single-family homes in order to accommodate mass immigration policies.
  • Privatize or dismantle the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a mammoth government agency that fuels the housing crisis instead of helping to cool it down. All it has ever done is encourage Canadians to buy houses they can’t afford, and accumulate massive amounts of debt that the federal government, and ultimately Canadian taxpayers, will be responsible for.
  • Work with provinces to curb speculation and money laundering by foreign non-resident buyers in Canada’s land and housing markets.

(Updated January 2023)

..

Do you support this cause?