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Canada Announces New Measures To Tackle Housing Crisis

Canada Announces New Measures To Tackle Housing Crisis & Rising Grocery Prices

Last Updated On 15 September 2023, 8:38 AM EDT (Toronto Time)

On September 14, 2023, the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, announced a comprehensive set of new initiatives aimed at tackling the housing crisis and containing rising grocery prices.

This encompasses initiatives aimed at increasing the supply of rental accommodation, offering assistance to small company proprietors, and reducing grocery prices.

Housing Crisis In Canada

To continue taking immediate action to reduce housing costs across the country, including for renters, the federal government:

  • will encourage the construction of much-needed rental dwellings by presenting legislation to repeal the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on new apartment buildings for renters.
  • is encouraging provinces that already impose provincial sales taxes or the provincial share of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) to match the federal government’s refund for new rental homes.

In order for their Housing Accelerator Fund applications to be granted, local governments should abolish exclusionary zoning and stimulate the construction of flats near public transportation.

Initiative to Support of Small Business Owners

The Prime Minister also announced today that the government will support small company owners and their employees by:

  • making adjustments to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program by giving a 1-year extension for the term loan repayment, which was initially introduced during the pandemic to help small businesses stay afloat.

For Rising Grocery Prices

To combat the rising cost of groceries, the Prime Minister said that the government has called the heads of Canada’s top grocery chains for an immediate meeting in Ottawa to begin discussions toward this goal.

Furthermore, they are urging these big grocery store chains to keep grocery costs stable in the short term.

The Feds are also considering all available tools, including tax measures, in order to restore the grocery price stability that Canadians expect.

Additionally, the Canadian government is also looking forward to taking urgent actions to boost competition across the Canadian economy, with a focus on the grocery sector, lowering costs for middle-class Canadians.

The government intends to introduce a first set of legislative amendments to the Competition Act to:

  • give the Competition Bureau the authority to require the submission of material in order to undertake effective and comprehensive market analyses
  • abolish the efficiencies defence, which currently allows anti-competitive mergers to survive challenges if corporate efficiencies offset the harm to competition, even when Canadian consumers would pay higher prices and have fewer choices; and
  • empower the Bureau to take action against alliances that impede competition and customer choice, particularly when giant grocers block smaller competitors from setting up shop nearby.

Source: PM Official News Release


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Canada Announces New Measures To Tackle Housing Crisis