Merry Christmas and happy holidays, Centennial!

I enjoyed seeing many of you at holiday events in the neighbourhood as our community celebrates the festive season. I especially want to thank the volunteers and organizations behind this year’s charity and food drives – your kindness and spirit make the holiday season in Scarborough–Rouge Park truly special.

From my family to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a warm holiday season filled with peace, joy and optimism.

Fall Economic Statement 2023

Each year, the Fall Economic Statement provides an update on our economic plan while also building upon it. With food prices still high and mortgage renewals looming, this year’s focus is on improving affordability, mortgage relief, and rapidly accelerating the construction of new  affordable homes.

The inflation rate, which peaked at 8.1% in June 2022, has declined to 3.8% in September. Continuing this downward trend is critical to restoring low interest rates, which is why only 30% of the new spending outlined in the economic statement is planned before 2025. Affordability will also be bolstered by cracking down on junk fees, revising the Competition Act, and pushing Canada’s five largest grocery chains, which represent 76% of the market, to stabilize food prices.

Private sector economists have notably revised their 2023 forecasts and now predict Canada will avoid a recession and instead see subdued growth. The economy is expected to return to robust growth in 2024.

Canadian Mortgage Charter

Canadians work hard to be able to afford their homes, and we are committed to helping homeowners navigate the temporary financial burden caused by higher interest rates through the new Canadian Mortgage Charter:

  • Temporary extensions to the amortization period for at-risk mortgage holders.
  • Waiving fees and costs that would have otherwise been incurred for relief measures.
  • Giving at-risk homeowners the ability to make lump sum payments to avoid negative amortization or sell their principal residence without prepayment penalties.
  • Contact homeowners at least four to six months before mortgage renewals to discuss renewal options.

The Government of Canada will continue to closely monitor financial institutions’ implementation of and compliance with these measures.

Getting more Affordable Housing Built

For too many Canadians, home ownership feels out of reach, and rising rent is making it hard to find affordable housing. There are no easy or quick solutions; addressing the housing crisis requires cooperation by all three levels of government – and Canadians deserve nothing less.

That’s why we are fundamentally changing how cities build homes and how builders finance projects to get more affordable and rental units built. Our efforts are working. In October, the federal government committed $1.2 billion in low-interest loans to build 2,644 rental homes in seven projects in Toronto. We also expect to reach an agreement with the city on the Housing Accelerator Fund, which has already unlocked the construction of over 175,000 homes nationwide.

The Fall Economic Statement builds on this by cracking down on non-compliant short-term rental operators and new housing investments beginning in 2024 and 2025:

  • $309 million in new funding for the Co-operative Housing Development Program for early 2024.
  • $15 billion in additional low-cost loan funding for the construction of rental apartments starting in 2025.
  • $1 billion to support non-profit, co-op and public housing over three years. Starting in 2025, it is set to support the development of more than 7,000 new homes by 2028.