Federal Throne Speech Includes Housing in Economic Recovery Plan

Sep 24, 2020

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Posted by
Matt Mayers
Policy Analyst

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On September 23, Governor General Julie Payette presented the Speech From the Throne, providing an overview of many programs the government has enacted in the last six months as well as providing an outline of the government’s upcoming agenda. Several of the announcements will impact real estate in BC.

On market housing, the government promised to move forward with previously promised enhancements to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. To understand the impacts these changes could have in BC, read BCREA’s Market Intelligence Report, “Potential Uptake of the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.”

We were pleased to hear the throne speech commit to taking more action on climate change by creating thousands of jobs to retrofit homes and buildings. The speech also called to reduce the impact of climate-related disasters, like floods and wildfires.

Several previously-announced COVID-19 programs will be extended or expanded. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be extended through to next summer. In addition,

  • the Canada Emergency Business Account will be expanded,
  • the Business Credit Availability Program will be improved,
  • the Employment Insurance (EI) system will become the sole delivery mechanism for employment benefits, including for Canadians who did not qualify for EI before the pandemic. This includes the self-employed and those in the gig economy, and
  • targeted financial support will be provided to businesses that must close because of local public health directives.

Other significant economic announcements include:

  • introducing further support for industries that have been hardest hit, including travel and tourism, hospitality, regional airline routes and cultural industries like the performing arts,
  • making a significant, long-term investment to create a Canada-wide early learning and childcare system, and
  • in the short term, the government will do “whatever it takes, using whatever fiscal firepower is needed” to address economic recovery. In the longer term, the government will identify additional ways to tax extreme inequality, including limiting the stock option deductions for wealthy individuals at large and established corporations, as well as addressing corporate tax avoidance by digital giants.

Beginning September 24, the parliament will sit to debate the throne speech. If the Throne Speech does not have support from at least one of the official parties, the government will fall and a federal election will be held. The Conservative Party has already said they would not support the Throne Speech, while the NDP and Bloc Québécois have laid out further policies they would like to see in order to provide support.

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