Ahmed Hussen, appointed to the position after last year's election, says Canada has no choice if it wants to continue to grow its economy and attract skilled immigrants: "The issue of housing supply is critical to our future success as a country," said Hussen in Bloomberg interview.
Avery Shenfield, chief economist at CIBC World Markets, doubts the plan's feasibility given the labor shortage: supply increase to allow more Canadians to own their own home,” he wrote on Thursday.
Hussen said he is aware of such skepticism but says his government has already shown that it can implement ambitious programs. The largest new housing measure in the budget is the $4 billion Housing Acceleration Fund, which municipal governments can use to take action to increase housing supply.
Regarding labor shortages, Hussen believes that investing in vocational training and immigration can help: “Immigration is one of the tools to solve the lack of housing supply, because many skilled immigrants come to the country due to our reasonable immigration policy, to help us build, literally help us build our country,” he said.
The budget also promised other measures to increase supply, such as an additional $1.5 billion in a fund for affordable housing projects.