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The federal government unveiled its highly anticipated budget today, which didn’t include any substantive measures aimed at cooling the much talked about the heated housing market, as some had anticipated.

First Federal Budget in two years

The $354-billion budget was the first budget document delivered in two years. It included the announcement of a new national child-care program, new money to encourage energy-efficient home retrofits, new public transportation funding and more.

Notably absent

Notably absent were any measures aimed directly at cooling Canada’s heated housing market, including no change to the primary residence capital gains exemption, to the relief of many homeowners.

New Vacant Property Tax

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland did announce a new 1% vacant property tax aimed at foreign ownership. The tax pales in comparison to B.C.’s and Ontario’s foreign buyer taxes. This vacant property tax will take effect starting Jan. 1, 2022, and the government expects it will generate $700 million in revenue over four years starting 2022-23.

“The idea here is that homes are for Canadians to live in,” Freeland told reporters. “They are not assets for parking offshore money.”

Affordable housing boost

Additionally, the budget earmarks $3.8 billion to accelerate the building, repairing and support of 35,000 affordable housing units. $2.5 billion of that is specifically earmarked for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Wonderful roasted pepper salad, or a full meal.
Char peppers of several colours and put in a paper bag to cool. Peel and seed and cut into bite-sized pieces. Finely slice a small red onion or several shallots. Make a vinaigrette with olive oil, red wine vinegar, grated garlic and a good bit of hot paprika. Add salt and pepper and mix with the peppers and shallots. Let sit at least 30 minutes. Mix in a good handful of chopped mint and severed topped with crushed nuts. For a full meal, top with squid tentacles, squid rounds or shrimp.