Carson Jerema: Trudeau’s housing plan is incoherent and embarrassing

DM

Just like the Liberal party generally, Justin Trudeau’s housing plan is brimming with either recycled ideas that are already government policy or proposals blatantly plagiarized from the opposition. Much of it is at war with itself. It is at once a plan to stifle demand, while simultaneously boosting it. It promises to encourage development with the right hand and cripple it with the left. All the while the Liberals, much like the other parties, remain largely oblivious as to why housing prices have surged. Unsurprisingly, the Liberal plan is obsessed with “investment property,” constantly offended at the very thought that an owner of private property would want to determine how best to use that which they lawfully own. So they promise to “ban new foreign ownership,” tax existing “foreign-owned vacant land,” and bring in an “anti-flipping tax on residential properties.” They also vaguely promise to put an end to “excessive profits” generated by large investment companies that buy up rental housing. Whether or not any of these policies would be successful at lowering house prices, one might conclude that at least that is what the Liberals want, to force demand down.

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