Canada Proposed GST Removal from New Rentals and Competition Law

Canada’s Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, has introduced legislation for GST removal charges from newly developed rental properties and to modernize the country’s competition laws. This move aligns with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to address the ongoing housing crisis and affordability challenges in Canada.

During a recent news conference in New York City, Prime Minister Trudeau called on opposition parties to support this legislation, emphasizing the need for swift action. Experts have long advocated for removing GST charges from newly constructing purpose-built rentals to encourage their construction.

The Finance Department expects this measure to offer significant tax relief, amounting to $25,000 for a two-bedroom apartment valued at $500,000. Eligibility for the full rebate extends to new projects that commenced construction between September 14 and the end of 2030, with construction completion required by the end of 2035.

In addition to addressing housing concerns, the proposed legislation aims to strengthen the Competition Bureau, which is part of the federal government’s broader efforts to combat high prices driven by limited competition in various sectors. Under the proposed changes, the Competition Bureau would gain the authority to compel companies to provide information for market studies and to prevent collaborations that hinder competition and consumer choice.

Furthermore, the legislation seeks to eliminate the “efficiencies defense,” a provision that companies have used to secure approval for mergers despite potential anti-competitive effects, as long as the efficiencies generated offset the competitive harm. These changes to the Competition Act align with promises that the Liberal Party made to review and update competition laws.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, along with several other cabinet ministers, is scheduled to host a news conference later today to discuss the details and implications of this new legislation.

Sumann Senguptaa

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