A new Maru public opinion poll found that improving the cost of living and affordability is the top election issue on the minds of Canadians.
The New Democratic Party says it has a plan to tackle a big contributor, housing affordability.
”Every day, I hear from young people and their parents who worry they will never be able to afford to own a decent home,” said NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in a release.
“They can barely afford to pay rent, let alone compete against big money investors in the housing market. Justin Trudeau will keep protecting the interests of the ultra-rich, but I’m ready to make the dream of owning a home a reality for Canadian families.”
The party says it will go after what it calls “big money investors” with a 20 per cent foreign buyers tax for those who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. That’s a big jump from the one per cent levy the Liberals announced in their budget, which kicks in from January 2022.
The NDP says its plan also includes targeting money laundering by making it harder to hide behind nameless companies, and giving regulators more teeth. The party platform did not detail the measures it would use to achieve those aims.
The party also says it would build 500,000 affordable homes in 10 years.
“We need to kick out big money investors to make room for working families and young people,” said Singh.
“No one can win a bidding war against investors with deep pockets who are looking to turn a profit, not build a neighbourhood.”
The Conservative Party of Canada also says it will tackle money laundering, and build a million homes in the next three years.
It also says it plans to ban foreign ownership for anyone not living in or moving to Canada for a two-year period, which would then be reviewed. But the NDP says that leaves a massive loophole open.
“In other words, a foreign speculator can get around the ban by pretending they plan to move in Canada at some point in the future, without providing any details or timelines. O’Toole’s plan is unenforceable and won’t do anything to tackle foreign real estate speculation,” said the NDP in the release.
The NDP also called on the Liberals to re-introduce 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry-level homes for first-time home buyers.
Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.