Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister on new action to build more than 5,000 affordable homes and strengthen competition to lower prices for Canadians


In a moment, I will speak about the Canadian economy today and about how our economic plan is making life more affordable for Canadians.

Minister Fraser will then outline specific actions our government is taking to address Canada’s housing challenge in a new and innovative way.

Finally, we will pass it over to Minister Champagne, who will speak about our government’s work to enhance competition and provide Canadians with the information they need to make informed choices when they buy groceries.

We know there’s a lot of work ahead, but we also know that our economic plan is on the right track.

We learned last week that inflation in Canada fell to 2.9 per cent in January. That’s down from 3.4 per cent the month before and down from its peak of 8.1 per cent.

This is making a real difference in the lives of Canadians. This is real progress.

At 2.9 per cent in January, inflation was back in the Bank of Canada’s target range.

Thanks to the hard work of Canadians and Canadian businesses, we also learned that we gained 37,000 new jobs last month. That was double expectations.

And today, 1.1 million more Canadians are working compared to before the pandemic.

A strong labour market really matters for affordability. Wage growth has outpaced inflation for the past 12 months as of January. Real wages—wages after accounting for inflation—are now higher than they were just before the pandemic, meaning paycheques are worth more.

This is progress. But we all know that many Canadians are still struggling to make ends meet, struggling to juggle all of their bills at the end of the month, and to feel confident about their future.

So, we really do know that we have a lot more work to do to unlock a brighter future for everyone in our amazing country.

That’s why one of the main objectives of our economic plan is to build more homes, faster. Our government has already taken significant action over the past few months to unlock billions of dollars in new financing to build hundreds of thousands of new homes across Canada.

We are continuously looking for new ways to further increase housing supply. In a moment, Minister Fraser will outline an interesting plan to scale-up new housing construction technologies and drive innovation in the housing sector.

Another major part of our plan is improving competition across the economy, particularly in the critical grocery sector.

As Minister Champagne will explain in a minute, more competition means lower prices and more choice—and by increasing competition and cracking down on unfair and anti-competitive practices, we will help Canadians when they check out at the grocery store.

And later this week, we will have more to share about a new plan to bring down costs for Canadians.

And let me announce that this week, we are issuing our second Canadian-dollar-denominated green bond. This follows the successful issuance of Canada’s first 7.5-year, $5 billion green bond in March 2022.

This issuance will be the first under Canada’s updated Green Bond Framework, and, as we announced in the Fall Economic Statement, the framework will now include certain nuclear expenditures. This makes Canada the first country to include nuclear expenditures in a green bond. It shows our commitment to build on our strengths, and to be a global nuclear leader.

Green bonds unlock private financing to speed up projects, like green infrastructure. And these projects will create jobs and drive economic growth, while fighting climate change.

This is our economic plan in action.

Thank you very much. 

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