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Know more before you vote on Monday, October 21st

There is no argument that this Canadian Federal Election is one of the most contentious in recent history. With arguably two key parties vying for control, the key issues that Canadians care about most are often left unsaid, opting to attack character rather than discuss policy.

We are here to help you look at each parties’ housing platform before you go into the voting booth on Monday. Here’s what the party leaders have released with regards to the Canadian housing market:

Liberal Platform

With a platform based on helping the middle class retain more of their money and climate change, the Liberal Platform, led by Justin Trudeau, has a combination of tax breaks and energy efficient bonuses for Canadian families. They pledge to:

  • Provide tax cuts that will save the average person another $292 / year
  • Expand the first-time home buyer incentive for people in Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto, expanding the value of a qualifying home from $500,000 to nearly $800,000
  • Increase first-time home buyers’ access to RRSPs for down payments up to $35,000
  • Crack down on property speculation with a consistent national tax on foreign-owned vacant properties, and a joint effort with provinces to combat financial crimes in real estate
  • Build 100,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years
  • Retrofit 1.5 million homes with energy efficient upgrades
  • Make Energy Star certification mandatory for all new home appliances, as of 2022
  • Give interested homeowners and landlords a free energy audit
  • Create a low-cost national flood insurance program
  • Offer interest free loans of up to $40,000 for Canadians looking to implement weather-based upgrades

    Conservative Platform

  • A little harder to pin down as they have not released their full platform, but this is what we know that Andrew Scheer is saying will benefit Canadian home buyers and home owners, specifically younger Canadians:
  • Remove federal GST from home heating fuels
  • Increase mortgage amortization from 25 years to 30 years for first time home buyers
  • Review the Liberal-introduced Stress Test and remove for renewals altogether
  • Combat money laundering in Real Estate
  • Implement 20% “Green-Homes” tax credit for up to $20,000 over two years for energy-saving home upgrades
  • Make federal real estate available for housing developments

    NDP Platform

    A party for the people, Jagmeet Singh has been vocal about advancing the needs of middle and lower-class families. In housing, they would look to:

  • Create 500,000 affordable housing units over 10 years and
  • Introduce 30-year amortization period for first-time home-buyers
  • Double the Home Buyer’s tax credit to $1,500 for first time buyers
  • Waive the federal portion of the GST/HST on new affordable rental units
  • Implement a national 15-per-cent tax on home purchases by those who aren’t citizens or permanent residents
  • Support communities to increase the building of co-ops, social and non-profit housing; amount not specified
  • Invest $40 million in the Shelter Enhancement Program over the four-year term

    Green Party Platform

    With a strong position on climate change and Canada’s role, the Green Party, led by Elizabeth May, is campaigning on a vision of Canada where homes are powered by renewable energy by 2030. Similar to the NDP, their families-first approach

  • Legislate housing as a legally protected fundamental right
  • Eliminate the recently introduced first-time home-buyer grant with a possible replacement
  • Restore tax incentive for the building rental housing
  • Build 25,000 affordable units and renovate 15,000 more every year
  • Create a dedicated federal housing minister position to tailor long-term affordable housing solutions within each province

    My Thoughts:

    There is a clear delineation between the left and the right when it comes to building affordable housing, green energy rebates/incentives, and the regulation or de-regulation of the mortgage/banking system. Depending on where you stand on these issues should help you determine which party to support. All sides seem to agree on wanting to make it a little easier for first-time home buyers to enter the market (likely after witnessing the results of the stress test), which I think is positive. However, what politicians say and what they do is any one’s guess. Don’t forget to VOTE!
    *Sources: BNN Bloomberg, CBC, Globe and Mail, Macleans.ca
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