Apr 07, 2022

By Bob Komsic

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Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s second pandemic budget is turning the fiscal focus on making the lives of Canadians more affordable.

It features tens of billions of dollars in new spending over the next five years, aimed at ”targeted” initiatives to build the economy, while continue to whittle away at the deficit.
Freeland’s plans proposes $10.2-billion to tackle the housing crisis.
To reduce speculation, the government proposes a two-year ban on foreign home buying, as well as higher taxes for those who sell within a year, although both measures include exceptions.

There are also measures to help Canadians trying to get into the market, including a new savings account, and changes to the first-time home buyers tax credit.

With the security threat posed by Russia’s aggression in Europe … Finance Minister Freeland is responding with up to $1 billion more in new loans for Ukraine, and more than $8 billion in new defence spending.

While this will be welcome, most of the money is not earmarked to be spent until later, and the budget does not say what the majority will go toward.

Nor does it say how the new funds will affect defence spending as a share of Gross Domestic Product, though a senior Finance official says Canada will eventually hit the 1.5 per cent mark.

Canada’s been under pressure to follow other NATO countries and spend more in the wake of Russia’s invasion.
The military alliance target is 2% of GDP to go toward defence.
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