Aug 25, 2021

Canada PM Justin Trudeau Will Ban Foreign Home Buyers for 2 Years if Re-Elected: Press Conference Transcript

Canada PM Justin Trudeau Will Ban Foreign Home Buyers for 2 Years if Re-Elected: Press Conference Transcript
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a press conference on August 25, 2021. He addressed the housing issue and his proposed plans. Read the transcript of the full briefing here.

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Prime Minister Trudeau: (00:00)
[inaudible 00:00:00] Hello, everyone. [foreign language 00:00:04] It is such a treat to be back in BC for a second week in a row. As you know, this province has been a second home to me for so long. I’m happy to be here to share our plan, to keep moving forward for British Columbians and for everyone.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (00:18)
It’s great to be joined today by Gordie Hogg, someone who never stopped standing up for his community. Look no further than Gordie’s many, many years of experiences. Mayor of White Rock as MLA and of course, as an MP and our liberal team. Gordie, I cannot wait to have your voice and your leadership back with us in Ottawa as our next liberal MP for South Surrey–White Rock.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (00:43)
My friends when this pandemic hit, no one knew what to expect but as Canadians, well, you knew what to do. You put on a mask, kept your distance and got your vaccine. In other words, you did your part. [foreign language 00:00:59] Earlier this morning, I met with Pam and Mike here in Surrey and their three kids. Talked about something I hear a lot from folks across BC and around the country, the price of a new home. Like any parent, they want what’s best for their children. But with the housing market the way it is, Pam and Mike are worried their kids won’t ever be able to buy a home and more specifically, a home in the community in which they grew up.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (02:21)
And they’re not alone. For far too many people, owning a place just isn’t within reach. And my friends, we have a plan to change that. To begin with, we’ll help you buy your first home sooner, and we’ll do this by getting you to a payment faster, with a plan worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (02:43)
We’ll also launch a new rent to own program. At the same time, we’ll crack down on predatory speculators, competing with families, trying to buy their first home. That means no more foreign wealth being parked in homes that people should be living in. We’ll also make the process of buying a home more transparent, so no more blind bidding. And to top it off, we’ll work with municipalities to get more homes built and renovated.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (03:14)
Unlike other parties, we have a plan on housing that will actually help you. And today, I want to tell you about one of the ways we’re going to make that a reality. This pandemic has been really hard on so many Canadians, on so many small businesses. But the truth of it is that for some businesses it’s been really good. Look no further than the financial institutions. Big banks and insurance companies have been doing very well over these past many months.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (03:49)
This week, Canada’s biggest banks are posting their latest massive profits of billions of dollars. Of course, one of the reasons banks have been doing so well is that the economy is doing well. And the economy is doing well because we invested in Canadians. We invested in small businesses and above all, we invested in you. And for your part, you worked really hard. You tighten your belt. Because you did that because you sacrificed, because you saved, big banks got a windfall.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (04:32)
So as we rebuild, we’re going to ask big financial institutions to pay a little back, to pay a little more so that we can do more for you. And in particular, so that we can help you own your home, and so own your future. We will raise the corporate income tax rate for Canada’s largest and most profitable banks and insurance companies by three percentage points on all earnings over a billion dollars.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (05:03)
We’ll also establish the Canada recovery dividend, so these institutions contribute more over the next four years of Canada’s recovering. [foreign language 00:05:15]

Prime Minister Trudeau: (05:14)
My friends were focused on you and your family, and frankly, not everyone else’s. The first thing we did when we formed government was to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1%, so we could lower them for the middle class. The NDP voted against that. And the Conservative Party, well they have the same plan they always have, giving the biggest breaks to the wealthiest few.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (06:28)
And not just on housing. Erin O’Toole wants to rip up our plan on $10 a day childcare, right along with our commitment on vaccines. If Erin O’Toole wants to be the leader of this country, I have to say it’s not a good sign that he can’t even convince his own candidates to get vaccinated. Thankfully, here in BC, you know that getting vaccinated is what’s going to get us through this pandemic.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (06:53)
I’m happy to see Premier Horgan leading on this. And I’m happy that organizations like UBC and the Canucks are doing their part and supporting the Premier’s measures. Now friends, you get it. Why doesn’t Erin O’Toole? Now is not the time for a Conservative government that would take Canada back. Now is the time to move forward, and that’s what’s at stake.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (07:20)
Leadership is about making choices. Over the past 17 months, Canadians chose to have each other’s backs, to be there for each other, to listen to science and public health, to keep everyone safe. In the face of a crisis, we stayed true to our values. And at this critical moment in Canada’s history, we need to keep making the right choices and beat this pandemic for good while building a brighter future for everyone.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (07:52)
Unlike the Conservative Party, I don’t believe in trickle down economics where you help the wealthy few and hope it works out for everyone else. That’s never worked before, so why would it now. If the-

Prime Minister Trudeau: (08:02)
That’s never worked before so why would it now. If there’s anything these past months have shown it’s that when we choose to believe in you, in Canadians, our economy does well, our recovery is stronger and everyone benefits. So let’s keep going. Let’s keep moving forward. My friends I’m energized about what we can accomplish together. Housing for everyone, $10 a day childcare, stronger middle-class with good jobs, a clean environment. That’s what we can achieve together. So get your vaccine, if you haven’t already and together let’s rebuild and even stronger Canada for everyone.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (08:44)
[foreign language 00:08:44]

Prime Minister Trudeau: (08:44)
Whether you mail in your ballot or head to the polls in person, make your voice heard, have your say. You can go to to find out how you can vote now and together let’s move forward for everyone. [foreign language 00:09:22]

Speaker 1: (09:22)
Thank you leader. We’ll start to 20 minute question period with Jordan Press from the Canadian Press.

Jordan Press: (09:29)
Good morning. Prime Minister or good afternoon, wherever we are. I wanted to ask you about today’s announcement, you’re talking about taxing banks. A number of pension plans are invested in banks and insurance companies and you’re talking about taking money away from them and potentially taking those profits away from Canadians and retirees who rely on them. What do you have to say to those retirees who are banking on those profits?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (09:52)
During this pandemic Canadians all tightened their belts, Canadians made tremendous sacrifices, and that includes many, many small businesses who had a really tough go of it, but who held on and made it through and are looking forward for a strong recovery. That wasn’t the case for everyone, our financial institutions and our biggest banks did very well during this pandemic, partially because Canadians pulled together, did the right things and got the support they needed from their governments to get through. So given that our banks have posted extraordinary, large profits have continued to be incredibly successful, including through a pandemic where everyone else had to tighten their belts, we’re going to ask them to do a little bit more.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (10:36)
Our banks will continue to be strong and profitable, but we will ensure that they’re also doing their part so we can support Canadians who sacrificed so much during this pandemic and build back stronger for everyone.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (10:59)
[foreign language 00:10:59].

Speaker 1: (10:59)
Following up.

Jordan Press: (11:56)
Prime Minister, yesterday as part of the housing announcement you promised, again, an urban indigenous housing strategy. You promised this in 2019 as the missing piece in the national housing strategy, you had a chance to do it in your April budget, why did you not?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (12:07)
We have been working consistently with indigenous partners, with urban indigenous leaders and indeed with indigenous leaders across the country on responding to their needs and their concerns. We know that reconciliation doesn’t happen with policies dictated from Ottawa, things need to be co-developed in partnership and empowering indigenous communities and leaders themselves. And that is more difficult because of the nature of urban indigenous populations but it’s also more important to do it right with urban indigenous populations. Which is why it is taking longer, but it takes longer to get something right, we will be there to partner to invest in urban indigenous housing and ensure that we’re moving forward for everyone.

Speaker 1: (12:58)
Next question.

Speaker 2: (13:00)
Mr. Trudeau, good morning. [inaudible 00:13:01] CBC News. The United Kingdom says it has hours to get people out of Kabul and end its flights. A source hostel CBC, Canada has 24 to 48 hours. How many flights are left and when is the last day Canada is allowed on the tarmac?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (13:17)
I know the ministers had a press conference earlier today to share a lot of details around this but the bottom line for Canadians is this. We are going to continue to do absolutely everything we can to get as many people out of Afghanistan in the coming days as we possibly can. But once this evacuation phase is done, we’re not stopping our work. We’re going to continue with the international community to put pressure on the Taliban to ensure that people can leave the country. We will continue to work with neighbors and partners in the region to get more and more people to safety. We’ve committed to welcoming over 20,000 Afghan refugees to Canada and we will work very closely on an ongoing fashion to do that. Yes, in the coming days this phase will end, but there’s a lot more work to do that we will continue to do to keep helping the Afghan people.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (15:03)
[foreign language 00:15:03].

Speaker 1: (15:06)
Following up.

Speaker 2: (15:07)
Yesterday you talked about the Taliban’s needs to get recognition, you mentioned food security a way to rebuild society and stability. How is that different than saying you will negotiate with the Taliban government?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (15:19)
First of all, let’s be very clear. The Taliban are a recognized terrorist entity under Canadian law and we have no plans to recognize them. We are however, working closely with the international community to ensure that we are putting pressure on them to let people flee to safety if they want to leave Afghanistan and we will continue to work with the international community on exactly that.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (15:59)
[foreign language 00:15:59]

Prime Minister Trudeau: (16:00)
… [French 00:16:00].

Speaker 3: (16:11)
[French 00:16:11].

Kristy Kirkup: (16:12)
Hello, Kristy Kirkup with The Globe and Mail. Videos are now circulating of Afghans outside the airport in Afghanistan, who are displaying Canadian exit documents, and they are apparently being told to wear red to try and signal to Canadian soldiers that they need help. Why are they being denied help?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (16:32)
I know that Minister Sajjan addressed this this morning in the press conference with more details on the situation in Afghanistan, but what Canadians need to know and will know, is that we are there doing everything we can to help get as many people out as possible. We will continue to work with partners on the ground, we will continue to work with our allies, we will continue to make sure we’re getting everyone out that we can in the coming days, and continue to engage into the coming months, as we help get Afghans to safety in Canada.

Speaker 3: (17:08)
Following up.

Kristy Kirkup: (17:09)
And just on another matter, why is a federal Crown corporation going to be sailing a new passenger ferry made by a Chinese state-owned shipbuilder, when the Canadian shipbuilding industry says that it could have built the vessel, and Canadians remain detained in China? Are you going to cancel this contract?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (17:26)
We are concerned with this situation. When the Harper conservatives launched the National Shipbuilding Strategy, they didn’t make any provisions for Crown corporations to be part of that national shipbuilding strategy, and that’s something we’re going to look at. We’ve made many improvements over the years to strengthen the National Shipbuilding Strategy, including with the addition of a third yard, but we will continue to make sure that our procurement in this country aligns with our values.

Speaker 3: (17:58)
Next question.

Louis Blouin: (17:59)
[French 00:17:59].

Prime Minister Trudeau: (18:08)
[French 00:18:08].

Speaker 4: (18:28)
In English, please, [inaudible 00:18:30].

Prime Minister Trudeau: (18:33)
We have been very, very clear the Taliban are terrorists, and we have no plans to recognize them. We will continue to work with the international community to get as many Afghans to safety, not just in the coming days with the current operation, but into the coming months, as we look to welcome more and more Afghans into Canada.

Speaker 3: (18:53)
[French 00:18:53].

Louis Blouin: (18:53)
[foreign language 00:18:53].

Prime Minister Trudeau: (18:56)
The minister addressed her comment… [French 00:18:59].

Speaker 5: (19:05)
[French 00:19:05].

Speaker 3: (19:05)
In English on the minister, please.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (19:23)
Okay. The minister has expressed her views and explained herself. We will continue to recognize that the Taliban represent a terrorist organization, and continue to push on them so people can get out to safety.

Speaker 3: (19:38)
Next question.

Abigail Bimman: (19:39)
Abigail Bimman, Global News. Since the election has been called, there’ve been no in-person pandemic briefings from public health. We’ve asked them for an update. Are you concerned that during a fourth wave not having these regular in-person briefings could put Canadian lives at risk?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (19:54)
We know how important it is to end this pandemic once and for all. That’s why every day, I’m using the opportunity to speak to Canadians, to remind them to get vaccinated. That is how we get through it, and if you haven’t gotten vaccinated, please do, and if you have gotten vaccinated, speak to your friends who haven’t yet got vaccinated, to make sure that they decide to get vaccinated too. That’s how we get through this. At the same time, we’ve seen public health officials across this country in various provinces are taking further measures to minimize the impacts of this wave of the unvaccinated we’re seeing right now. But the bottom line is, the way to get through this is to make sure everyone gets vaccinated. That starts for me, of course, with all of our Liberal candidates. It’s a shame that Mr. O’Toole, who wants to become leader of this country, can’t even convince his own candidates to get vaccinated.

Speaker 3: (20:50)
Following up.

Abigail Bimman: (20:51)
Are you suggesting that your comments along the campaign trail about vaccination are equivalent to briefings coming from Dr. Tam and Dr. Njoo, and as well, have you or anyone in the prime minister’s office directed [inaudible 00:21:03] to hold off on these briefings during the election?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (21:06)
During a democratic event like an election, our government and our officials continue to work every single day to keep Canadians safe. Public Health Canada continues its excellent work, and partners across the provinces are doing things to make sure that Canadians stay safe and will continue to.

Speaker 3: (21:24)
Next question.

Jordan Press: (21:26)
Glen McGregor, CTV News. Mr. Trudeau, as you continue to travel across the country seeking votes, at what point do you think that’s not appropriate with the situation getting worse and worse in Afghanistan? Would you consider suspending your campaign even for a few days, go back to Ottawa to deal with?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (21:41)
Every single day I’m getting briefings on Afghanistan, and our ministers are working very, very closely to ensure that Canadians and Canada is doing absolutely everything we can to help the people of Afghanistan. I was pleased to be able to be on a G7 video conference call yesterday with our fellow leaders to talk about the situation in Afghanistan, and how we can continue to work together to save as many people as possible, yes, in the coming days, but also into the coming months, as we continue our efforts to build a better future for the Afghan people.

Speaker 3: (22:18)
Following up.

Jordan Press: (22:19)
Just to follow on my colleague’s question, we’ve had provincial elections, and provincial medical health officers have continued to give in-person briefings because they think that’s a better way to deliver the message about vaccination. Wouldn’t it be better for Canadians to hear that message from Dr. Njoo, Dr. Tam, instead of getting these essentially press releases?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (22:39)
The Public Health Agency of Canada makes its decisions about how to best communicate in various situations with Canadians, and they will continue to make sure that Canadians are getting the information they need to stay safe, and the top line for everything is if you haven’t yet gotten vaccinated, you need to. That’s how we get through this pandemic. That’s how we protect vulnerable Canadians, who for medical reasons, can’t yet get vaccinated. That’s how we protect our kids under 12, who can’t get vaccinated yet either. That’s how we get through. We need people to get vaccinated.

Speaker 3: (23:14)
[foreign language 00:23:14].

Catherine Lévesque: (23:16)
[foreign language 00:23:16].

Prime Minister Trudeau: (23:17)
[foreign language 00:23:17].

Speaker 3: (23:17)
[foreign language 00:23:17].

Prime Minister Trudeau: (23:17)
Okay. We have been…

Prime Minister Trudeau: (24:03)
Okay. We have been a government there to invest in infrastructure across the country, particularly around public transit. We haven’t made any final decisions on the Massey Tunnel or on the third link in Quebec city. We’re continuing to work with partners and look at the projects. We will continue to make the kinds of historic investments in infrastructure we’ve had across the country, but we have not made any final decisions.

Speaker 6: (24:29)
[French 00:24:29].

Prime Minister Trudeau: (24:43)
[French 00:24:43]

Speaker 6: (25:03)
Next question.

Kristy Kirkup: (25:05)
Corrine Rahman CBC News. You often engage with people who show up to protest at your announcements, including those who don’t believe in vaccinations. Yesterday evening, there were indigenous women protesting old growth logging and your efforts at reconciliation at the hotel where we were staying and you avoided them. Why?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (25:26)
We continue to engage with all Canadians during this important election. This is a time of choice for people. People get to choose on how we’re going to move forward as a country, both through this pandemic and how we build a better future for everyone. A reelected liberal government will invest over $50 million in protecting old growth forests, specifically in BC. We’ll continue to work to make sure we’re protecting record amounts of our land and oceans, as we’ve committed to do by protecting biodiversity. 25% of our lands and oceans by 2025, 30% by 2030. That’s a commitment that this government has made and we’re holding to.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (26:08)
At the same time, we recognize there is a real issue here locally around old growth forests and decisions made by the BCNDP government. It’d be interesting to ask Jagmeet Singh, a BC member of parliament and an NDP leader, what his perspective is on old growth forest and the decisions that the Horgan government have made.

Speaker 6: (26:31)
Following up.

Kristy Kirkup: (26:31)
Speaking of Jagmeet Singh, the NDP have been calling for going after the banks for quite some time in terms of their profits and now today you’re making this announcement. Why wait for an election to come up with this scheme?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (26:45)
I think people understand that an election is an important moment to make choices about how we move forward. We made a commitment in 2015 to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1% so we could lower them for the middle class, and the NDP voted against that when we actually move forward with it in government. We have been very, very clear that everyone must do their part to help get through this pandemic. Canadians, small businesses have sacrificed a tremendous amount over the past year and a half, even as banks have been doing very, very well with massive profits. We think they should be putting some of those profits towards helping Canadians own a home, helping Canada move forward and recover, and that’s why we’re going to ask them to contribute a bit more than they have been.

Speaker 6: (27:31)
We’ll take one last question.

Speaker 7: (27:33)
Hi, this is [inaudible 00:27:34] from Red FM. Good to see you again.

Speaker 7: (27:36)
Mr. Trudeau, my question is regarding the housing affordability, not in the BC, but in the whole of Canada. As we have seen the housing price, the property prices have been increasing tremendously in the last two years, especially, whereas the income has not. What are your plans to fill this gap anytime soon?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (27:52)
What we’ve been seeing over the past years in Canada is an increase in speculative growth as people are increasingly flipping houses, as people, as foreign buyers are coming into the market, as various predatory practices are getting more and more current around the country. We need to put a stop to that. Ours is the only plan that will do that.

Prime Minister Trudeau: (28:17)
We’re going to put forward a housing bill of rights to ensure that people are protected, that they have rights as they’re making this incredibly difficult and important decision of buying a new home. I was speaking with Mike and Pam about how much of an issue it is obviously for everyone to buy a home, to think about changing homes, to think about your kids opportunities for getting a home. That’s why we’re going to bring in stricter rules to protect people from things like blind bidding and bidding wars that go on, not just once or twice, but 10, 20 times for many families seeking to buy their first home. We need to make things fair. We need to put an end to speculative growth and get back to steady growth that both allows people to increase the equity in their homes and save for their retirement through their homes, but also allows people to save more and get into the housing market so that they can build a future for themselves. That’s the plan we’re putting forward for Canadians

Speaker 6: (29:16)
Following up.

Speaker 7: (29:17)
Will there be any intervention from the government side to burst this real estate bubble?

Prime Minister Trudeau: (29:22)
I think we all know that the housing crisis that we are facing is multifaceted. People are facing many different challenges and there are variations of challenges right across the country and from one family to the next. That’s why there’s no one simple solution, unlike what some others, other parties might say, but only a number of different approaches to both increase supply, to help people save and to better protect people’s rights. Those are the three things that this plan does. That’s why we are confident that we’re going to be able to continue to build on the success of our national housing strategy in getting hundreds of thousands of people into new homes to now help over a million people own their new home, own their homes in the coming years.

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