On Tuesday, November 23, her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, delivered her first Speech from the Throne, titled Building a resilient economy: a cleaner & healthier future for our kids. While this speech marked the official opening of the 44th Parliament of Canada, it also set out the government’s agenda for the upcoming session.
The Speech from the Throne is typically delivered by the Governor General but drafted by the Prime Minister’s Office. As we learned, the government’s priorities for this session are:
- COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines;
- economic recovery and rebuilding;
- action on climate change;
- public safety;
- diversity and inclusion;
- reconciliation; and
- international diplomacy.
The Governor General stated to grow a more resilient economy, “the government’s plan includes two major priorities: housing and childcare. Whether it is building more units per year, increasing affordable housing, or ending chronic homelessness, the government is committed to working with its partners to get real results. For example, the Housing Accelerator Fund will help municipalities build more and better, faster.”
The government also confirmed their intention to help families buy their first home sooner with a more flexible First-Time Home Buyer’s Incentive, a new Rent-to-Own program, and by reducing the closing costs for first-time buyers.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and REALTORS® have advocated for increasing supply, partnering with other orders of government and unlocking homeownership. These ideas will be key to rebuilding a more resilient economy for Canada and its communities. The Speech from the Throne shows the government has been listening.
Housing has been given an important emphasis and a dedicated Minister within cabinet to oversee it, as we are at an important crossroads as a country. Across the entire housing continuum, supply is at record lows while concern remains high. While federal leadership and funding are essential, delivering solutions will require working in concert with stakeholders as well as provinces/territories and municipalities with whom levers and jurisdictions fall. CREA looks forward to working with the government to ensure real estate transactions are conducted in a manner striking an appropriate balance between the interests of buyers and sellers.
CREA will continue to monitor for details surrounding the new initiatives proposed in the speech and for any new and existing policy on housing.
The Speech from the Throne can be debated for up to six days, after which a vote on the main motion is held.
The full text of the speech can be found here.