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Freeland tables Fall Economic Statement

By Tim Davidson Nov 21, 2023 | 6:29 PM

The federal Fall Economic Statement is focusing on increasing the housing supply.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says there are number of new initiatives announced that will improve the situation.

“I am today announcing new measures through our economic plan to build thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of new homes across the country,” Freeland told Parliament during the speech.

Freeland adds that in addition to creating more housing opportunities, they are ensuring more housing units are going to people who need them.

“We’ll be cracking down on short term rentals listed on sites like Airbnb and VRBO, which are keeping far too many homes off the market in communities and cities.”

Following her speech, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre said his party would issue a vote of no confidence.

“With this $20 billion of costly new spending this update can be summed up very simply:  prices up…rent up…debt up…taxes up…times up!”

Meanwhile, the Federal NDP Finance Critic said a housing crisis was decades in the making and Canadians need a place to live now, and that two more years, is too far away.

“What did we hear about their ‘trumpeted’ new investment in housing? That it ain’t coming ’til 2025! So how is it that Canada can be in the best fiscal position in the G7, and cannot afford to begin investing right now,” Blaikie asked.

Blaikie noted even a 1-point increase in the corporate tax rate would generate billions of dollars a year. He said they should also expand eligibility for low interest loans for Universities, Colleges and those building homes for seniors.

Elizabeth May, the Leader of the Green Party was also disappointed.

She told the Speaker of the House that when it comes to the climate crisis, the federal government lost the opportunity to reflect the urgency of the climate, while they continue to give billions to fossil fuels.

May referred to the $31 billion on the Transmountain Pipeline as a key example and rights of Indigenous peoples.

May got emotional when addressing the house.

“I’m always torn, Mr. Speaker, between anger and grief,” May said holding back tears. “How do I… how do I talk to my kids about this anymore…? How many of our kids don’t want to have kids because of what they see in this world.”

May noted that one of the reasons food prices have gone up is because of climate crisis around the world.

Overall, the federal government deficit is forecast at $40 billion this year, about the same as the government predicted in the spring.

With files from Caitlin Snow