Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday April 21, 2017
Speculation Swirls Around Kathleen Wynne
Premier Kathleen Wynne is slapping a 15 per cent “non-resident speculation” tax on foreign investors to help cool down southern Ontario’s scorching real estate market, the Star has learned.
Wynne will join Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Housing Minister Chris Ballard on Thursday against a backdrop of condo towers in booming Liberty Village to launch a massive plan to improve housing affordability.
A key plank in that would be the 15 per cent surcharge on offshore speculators, who are estimated to make up just 5 per cent of the current market.
Modelled on British Columbia’s “foreign buyers’ tax” in Vancouver, the levy would apply to home purchasers in the so-called Greater Golden Horseshoe who are not citizens or permanent residents.
It would affect sales in and around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Niagara, Kitchener-Waterloo, and encompass everywhere north to Barrie and Orillia and east to Peterborough. (Source: Toronto Star)
Meanwhile, Speculation about whether Premier Kathleen Wynne can continue to lead the governing Liberals is at a fever pitch.
Party stalwarts are hoping next week’s balanced budget from Finance Minister Charles Sousa will tip the scal
es for Wynne’s teetering political fortunes.
But with public and private polling showing the Liberals languishing in third place well behind the Progressive Conservatives and the New Democrats — even after Wynne’s 25 per cent cut in residential electricity rates — there is mounting uncertainty she will remain at the helm.
The Ontario Liberal Party’s chief fundraiser, Zak Bailey, has quietly resigned just seven months into a job made even more challenging by campaign finance reforms triggered by a Star series last year.
“You’d have to ask the party what their plans are,” Bailey said Monday, declining further comment. (Source: Toronto Star)