On Sunday, August 15, 2021 after months of speculation, national campaign-like tours, and numerous infrastructure and housing announcements, the writ was finally dropped. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the 44th election just two weeks after making a historic appointment in Canada’s first Indigenous Governor General, Mary Simon.
While the Liberal government holds out hope for a majority Parliament this time around—something early polls suggest could be a possibility, the stakes are high as issues of housing unaffordability, climate change and economic recovery are pushed to the fore. Already, all the major party leaders—Justin Trudeau, Erin O’Toole, Jagmeet Singh, Yves-François Blanchet and Annamie Paul have hosted donor events, announced party promises and made several Canada-wide trips. So far, we know that 29 MPs on the 2019 election ballot will not be returning this year—including MP Adam Vaughan, Toronto MP and Parliamentary Housing Secretary.
On the other hand, what has continued to be out of reach, is the goal of homeownership for many Canadians–particularly millennials and new Canadians. Despite the financial and non‑financial benefits of homeownership, soaring housing prices, competitive markets and, most importantly, a lack of housing supply to meet or exceed current demands, have made housing affordability top of mind for every political party as Canadians head to the polls on September 20, 2021.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is using this election as an opportunity recommend policy solutions that will work to help more Canadians obtain their home. Our list of recommendations and what parties have committed to in their platforms can be found on our election 2021 website, REALideas.ca. Please find highlights below:
- Recommendation 1: Increase the supply of new homes for Canadians across the housing spectrum by adding housing clauses in Infrastructure Bilateral Agreements between Infrastructure Canada and provincial and territorial partners. This should include providing incentives and building capacity of local authorities as well as redeveloping existing assets.
- Recommendation 2: Solving Canada’s housing challenge needs to be tackled as the national priority that it is. The federal government should establish a permanent National Housing Roundtable bringing together federal, provincial, and municipal authorities along with builders, real estate professionals and civil society organizations to help understand the scale of the housing supply challenge, document the multiple challenges to increasing supply and identify solutions to these obstacles.
- Recommendation 3: Make homes more affordable for Canadians by providing first-time homeowners with increased incentives and ability to borrow to fund home purchases. This would include improving the Home Buyer’s Plan by increasing tax-free RRSP withdrawal limits and helping debt reduction by reintroducing the 30-Year amortization.
When candidates show up on doorsteps seeking support at the ballot box, it’s up to REALTORS® across the country to drive home the importance of standing up for policies that benefit homeowners and those striving to achieve that goal. This initial engagement is the first step toward influencing government decisions that will take place once the votes have been tallied and the seating chart in the House of Commons has been drawn up. This is where the groundwork is laid to affect decisions that will impact your clients and your business over the next four years.
Regardless of personal political preferences, Election 2021 puts the REALTOR® community in a great position to demonstrate our passion, professionalism, and organizational abilities. As one of Canada’s largest industry associations, we are more than 140,000 members strong and a very powerful voice for real estate priorities.
Getting engaged by standing up for the interests of your clients in this election can be done in numerous ways, and every small act goes a long way toward bringing focus to our issues in the political discourse. Here are some of the ways REALTORS® can contribute:
- Visit REALideas.ca, where you can learn more about the REALTOR®recommendations and what parties have committed to in their platforms.
- Take to social media and spread the word about housing supply and affordability via the social shareables available on REALideas.ca.
- Ask candidates about our issues when they come knocking on your door, or when you see them at in-person or virtual community events. If you already know a local candidate, make sure you discuss our issues and share our REALTOR® recommendations with them.
- Participate in all-candidates events—a strong presence can convey the vast reach of the REALTOR® network to future Parliamentarians.
Read more about the benefits of homeownership:
- Health and Happiness: The Societal Benefits of Homeownership
- The Value of Homeownership Extends Beyond Your Four Walls
- How Homeownership Can Reduce Inequality
Please be aware there are stringent regulations that govern fundraising by political parties. These significantly limit political contributions by individuals, and forbid contributions from companies and associations. Please refer to the Political Financing section of our Election Toolkit 2021.
Individuals and organizations also need to be careful about engaging in election advertising or partisan activities during the regulated period from August 15, 2021 – September 20, 2021. Please refer to the Third-Party Advertising Rules outlined in our Election Toolkit 2021.
CREA staff are available during the election to assist with organizing events and helping with media relations. Contact Dil Puar, CREA’s Director of Government Relations, by email (email@example.com) or by phone at (613) 237-7111.