• Bluesky Team

Fixer Uppers - Sept 26

Good morning,

Time to start thinking about hitting the Fall home shows and creating your home renovation wish list. The reason being is that the Liberals and Conservatives are hoping the latest planks in their election platforms, that focus on home renovations, encourage you to vote for them on October 21st.

It should be mentioned, that NDP made a similar announcement but earlier in the campaign. The Green Party addresses housing on pages 10 and 26 of their platform, which was fully costed by the Parliamentary Budget Officer and presented yesterday.

Speaking of costing, despite the home renovation announcement, Trudeau still refused to say how much this promise and the others in the Liberal Party platform would cost, only saying it will come soon.

Until then, let’s find out what is…

Source: CBCnews.ca

Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May on This Hour Has 22 Minutes https://bit.ly/2navHMf

Andrew Scheer and Elizabeth May on Toute le Monde en Parle this weekend

Green candidate compares Temporary Foreign Worker program with modern slavery https://bit.ly/2lLwoLM

Trudeau refuses to do sit down interview with Radio-Canada https://bit.ly/2lc9XPD

New Liberal ad promoting gender equality...only in French

PPC candidate says Bernier is fulfilling ancient biblical prophecy https://bit.ly/2mLN4Tk

PPC candidate in Essex caught for racist social media posts https://bit.ly/2lEAR2W

Where you will find the leaders today.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer will be in Montreal to make an announcement at 9 a.m. ET and then he will campaign with candidates in Mount Royal and Saint-Léonard, QC.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May will also be in Montreal tomorrow for an announcement at 2 p.m. ET on the party’s plans for Quebec’s role in the transition to renewable energy.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau will make a policy announcement at 9 a.m. ET in Sudbury, ON. He will then head to Parry Sound and Barrie, ON to campaign with candidates. Trudeau will end the day with a campaign rally in Peterborough, ON. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. ET.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh remains in British Columbia and will make an announcement at noon eastern in Campbell River about his party's plan to make housing more affordable for Canadians. Following the announcement, Singh will hold a roundtable on health care and a town hall on housing in Courtenay at 5:15 p.m. ET. Singh will also stop into Parksville for a visit to Morningstar Farm.

The Bluesky observers with their thoughts on the home renovation announcements - what plank will resonate better with voters and why?

From the desk of Susan Smith, Principal

Red House or Blue House = greener homes for Canadians? In a week where the climate discussion and Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg are top of mind at kitchen tables, Team Trudeau and Team Scheer were both targeting homeowners with green retrofits in their latest policy announcements.

In the continuing pattern of “what’s old becomes new again” category, Scheer announced a two-year revival of the expired 20% Harper-era refundable tax credits (up to $3800 a year) for green improvements to homes that cost between $1000 and $20,000. This assumes of course, that homeowners already have access to the capital to trigger the retrofits or installation of energy-conserving furnaces, door and windows, and solar panels. Points to Team Blue for addressing the reduction of emissions from buildings; no points for originality or a fresh approach.

Team Red started the day with its second climate announcement this week, with Trudeau announcing new policy – a $40,000 interest-free loan for homeowners and landlords to pay for emissions-reducing retrofits like windows and furnaces. This would create a $5000 Net Zero Homes Grant for new home builds, as well as investments in skills training to ensure that there are enough qualified workers to meet the demands of energy audits, retro-fits and net-zero home construction. The Liberals also announced measures to help people in flood-prone zones, from a new low-cost national flood insurance program, to a relocation action plan and an EI Disaster Assistance Benefit. Points to Team Red for thinking bigger picture by putting home reno funding within everyone’s reach and recognizing the peril facing families impacted by flooding caused by climate change.

Both policies are aimed at environmentally conscious homeowners and people looking to reduce their energy consumption bills. Both will inject some oxygen into the home reno industry, though the Liberal plan looks to create a bigger kickstart in the economy with the funding available up front and skills training for new jobs.

Bottom line - call your contractor or your window supplier and get on a list. Looks like 2020 could be a good year to fix those drafty windows and make your home or rental property a little greener.

From the desk of Neil Brodie, Vice-President

The home renovation tax credit was one of the most popular policies during the economic crisis of 2008/9. It generated $4.3 billion of economic activity, shuttered the underground economy and helped Canadians update their houses.

Mr. Scheer has promised a green version of this, offering taxpayers to claim up to $20,000 of renovations including: insulation, high-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners, efficient doors and windows and solar panels. This is a real, tangible benefit Canadians understand. And it has been costed by the PBO.

Mr. Trudeau has promised what appears to be a $60-billion dollar program, managed by the government, to loan Canadians money for renovations. That’s up to $40,000 of new debt for every home owner who uses the program.

I know which one I’d choose.

From the desk of Cameron Holmstrom, Consultant

With climate change and affordability both being big issues in this campaign, policy proposals that can speak to both concerns have the potential to be a big winner, not just for the parties looking for votes, but for everyday Canadians. Both the Liberals and Conservatives made announcements yesterday that touch in that vein, joining the New Democrats who made their own similar announcement earlier in the campaign. The Conservatives have pledged to bring back the old Harper-era Eco-Energy Retrofit program, one of the few recycled Conservative policies from that era that really got results. The program gave Canadians tax credits for doing home renovations that made their homes more energy efficient. This helped to reduce emissions, lowered energy bills, and employed thousands of trades people in communities across Canada. It was so successful that the NDP even adopted a similar version of this program for their 2015 and 2019 platforms, although theirs’ is more generous than the Conservative offering.

With their proposal, the Liberals have gone even further, offering up to $40,000 interest free loans to retrofit homes. Not only is the dollar figure attached to this policy larger than both the Conservatives and NDP, the funding method proposed makes this proposal very substantial. By offering interest-free loans from the government, all home owners should be able to get access to funds to make necessary improvements to their homes. This is more accessible than using tax credits, as you need to have the money up front to do the renovation before getting funding back. The Liberal approach should allow for lower income Canadians, cash poor younger home owners and seniors who own their homes a chance to make these renovations and reap all the benefits that come from it. The only question that remains with the Liberal proposal is “will they actually follow through on it?”, which is a legitimate question to ask. It’s one thing to promise the moon, but it’s something quite different to deliver it. So, while the Liberals are offering more than the Conservatives and NDP, which proposal is most likely to ever happen? Time will tell, but I take it as a positive step that all three major parties have embraced this issue and are coming up with productive policy approaches to tackle it.

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