Minister Morneau Meets with Ontario Finance Minister and Toronto Mayor on GTA Housing Issues

April 18, 2017 – Toronto, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

Ensuring a sound and stable housing market and the long-term financial security of Canadians is at the heart of the Government of Canada's plan to help the middle class and those working hard to join it. The Government is working collaboratively with its municipal and provincial partners to address the concerns of middle class families facing high levels of debt and concerns over housing affordability, and is actively engaged in monitoring and addressing the overall health and stability of the housing market and financial system in Canada.

To this end, Finance Minister Bill Morneau today convened a productive meeting with Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Toronto Mayor John Tory to discuss their shared concern of housing affordability in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

This marks the first of an agreed quarterly meeting on GTA housing issues and signals increased collaboration among the three levels of government including, on an immediate basis, taking collaborative action to address data gaps and support the proper functioning of the housing market.

Short term, Ministers Morneau and Sousa, and Mayor Tory agreed today to refrain from introducing new measures for buyers which would impact housing prices in the GTA by boosting demand. Minister Morneau also agreed to share the federal government's analysis and relevant data on housing markets to facilitate better collaboration among officials and help all levels of government assess whether new measures may be needed to bolster housing affordability and market stability.

In addition, the Canada Revenue Agency will dedicate resources to ensuring compliance of the real estate sector in the GTA with tax laws, and will work with the Province of Ontario to obtain enhanced land registry data to help support tax compliance activities in the GTA. Through the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), the Government is also working to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering rules.

Quote

"Our meeting today is an important step forward in addressing Torontonians' concern about growing household debt, rapidly rising house prices and their ability to afford a home of their own. Our Government has already taken action to deal with pockets of risk, but we remain concerned with the housing price increases in the GTA, the implications for the market, and the impact on middle class families. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Minister Sousa and Mayor Tory to coordinate our actions to address this ongoing challenge."

Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

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