The Harper government had plenty to celebrate this Canada Day. The Conservatives have been busy in recent months, remaking Canada into the nation they’ve always dreamed of: one with a permanent underclass to provide an endless supply of cheap labour for the corporate elite.
First the Conservatives began dismantling Canada’s Old Age Security program, stripping away any hopes for an early retirement from the working class. The government then set to work on Employment Insurance, bringing forward a proposal that would see any worker with the audacity to lose their job forced to take any work that comes along.
But the most devastating blow might be delivered by the changes to Canada’s mortgage rules coming on July 9. Home buyers will now need to put at least 20 per cent down, with the amortization period reduced to 25 years.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the new rules are designed to reduce the risk of bank foreclosures. It’s hard to argue with that, as it’s hard to foreclose on something you don’t own. And that’s the one certainty these new rules will bring about: an end to the dream of home ownership for thousands of Canadians.
The vast majority of first-time buyers will not qualify for a mortgage under the new rules. And with so many buyers now out of the market, housing prices are bound to take a hit.
For the vast majority of Canadians, their home represents their largest single investment. That investment is now about to be significantly devalued, if not out of reach altogether. Not to worry, just tack a couple more years of minimum-wage work onto your golden years.
But all is not lost. Parliament has now passed legislation making it easier to transport wine across provincial borders. And God knows Canadian workers have ample reason to want to drown their sorrows.