According to a senior government source, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce that Ottawa is removing the GST on the construction of new rental apartment buildings.
The source said the change would reduce the cost of labour and materials for homebuilders, and is one of the components of an affordability announcement Trudeau would make.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, Housing Minister Sean Fraser and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne are expected to be present when Trudeau makes the announcement in London, where most of the 158 Liberal MPs have converged for a three-day retreat aimed at strategizing their plan for the return of Parliament next week. Trudeau has said his focus is on hearing what constituents are saying to MPs.
Halifax MP Andy Fillmore said the talks have greatly focused on affordability concerns and how the Liberals can communicate what they’ve done to help with the cost of living better.
He said climate change was a frequent topic in the recent meeting of MPs from every region, with two more meetings of the national caucus to take place soon.
Quebec MP Steve MacKinnon revealed the party was trying to stabilize the housing market after a drastic increase in costs and interest rates, but the provinces must help.
However, Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne did not welcome the idea that the Liberals are responding late to concerns about inflation.
He said: “It’s always a good time to fight.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly debunked reports that MPs came to London to blast Trudeau over unflattering polls.
She said: “There’s no dirty laundry.”
She argued that the COVID-19 pandemic was a much greater challenge for her government than unfavourable poll numbers.
She said: “We are used to going through crises. We are in solution mode, and we’ll earn the trust of Canadians.”
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