Bill C-56 aims to incentivize the construction of more apartment buildings, student housing, and senior residences
Through Bill C-56, the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, the federal government said that it has taken the next step in its plans to accelerate the development of new housing supply and stabilize grocery prices.
Chrystia Freeland, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, said that Bill C-56 will remove the GST on new rental housing construction across the country. The aim would be to incentivize the construction of more apartment buildings, student housing, and senior residences.
“This enhancement increases the GST Rental Rebate from 36% to 100% and removes the existing GST Rental Rebate phase-out thresholds, for new rental housing projects,” the federal government said. “For a two-bedroom rental unit valued at $500,000, the enhanced GST Rental Rebate would deliver $25,000 in tax relief.”
“Our priority since 2015 has been to build a strong middle class so everyone can succeed,” Freeland said. “With provinces like Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador following our lead by eliminating provincial taxes on new rentals, we’ll get more rental housing built faster, and encourage new builds to break ground.”
Members of Parliament return to the House of Commons with the governing Liberals unveiling new housing and cost-of-living initiatives as they struggle in the polls.— Canadian Mortgage Professional Magazine (@CMPmagazine) September 18, 2023
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Freeland added that the legislation, which was the first federal bill introduced in the fall parliamentary sitting, would spur increased competition in the grocery sector – mainly by giving more power to the Competition Bureau “to investigate when industries are behaving unfairly, for example where price fixing or price gouging is occurring, and take enforcement action.”
The bill will take aim at anti-competitive mergers that raise prices and limit choices for Canadian consumers, as well as empowering the Competition Bureau “to block collaborations that stifle competition and consumer choice, particularly in situations where large grocers prevent smaller competitors from establishing operations nearby.”