Friday, September 25, 2020

Speech From The Throne - September 23, 2020

The Speech from the Throne opens every new session of Parliament. The Speech introduces the government’s direction and goals, and outlines how it will work to achieve them.

On September 23, 2020, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the second session of the 43rd Parliament and outline the government’s agenda.

Full Text of the throne speech - A Stronger And More Resilient Canada

Canada's Premiers Reiterate Priorities After Federal Throne Speech

Council of the Federation / Government of Alberta

Canada’s Premiers held their annual meeting by teleconference* to discuss their consensus priorities and the federal Throne Speech, along with their responses to COVID-19 and actions to support economic recovery in every province and territory.

Premiers expressed disappointment at the absence of their top priority in the federal Throne Speech: a sustainable health funding partnership through a significant increase to the Canada Health Transfer (CHT). Instead of putting forward a firm commitment to addressing the long-term sustainability of Canada’s public healthcare systems, the federal government signaled investments in new time-limited initiatives; many in areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction, such as health, early learning and childcare, skills training, and housing. READ MORE...

Weekly Economic Review-  September 25, 2020

Weekly newsletter containing economic commentary, analysis and statistics examining Alberta’s economy, labour market, price indices, household sector and business sector.
Weekly Economic Review - September 25, 2020
Alberta Economy - Indicators at a Glance - September 25, 2020

Housing Data

The following table provides a snapshot of Alberta’s starts, inventory and sales. More information of the individual centres is available in the local reports.
Lethbridge Housing Market Report - August 2020

Highlights of today's speech from the throne

CBC News

The Liberal government laid out its plan to guide the country through the rest of the COVID-19 pandemic in its throne speech today. Here are some of the highlights of the throne speech delivered by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette:

  • Jobs - extension of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to summer 2021
  • Women, the economy and child care - Canada wide early learning and childcare system
  • Criminal Code changes for seniors - national standards in long term care
  • Canadian Disability Benefit - modelled on GIS for seniors
  • Climate change - exceed goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030
  • Systemic racism - enhance civilian oversight for the RCMP and address standards on the use of force
  • New airline routes - support regional routes for airlines

Chief Economist Pedro Antunes offers the following economic insights

Conference Board of Canada

The Speech highlighted a number of programs, targets and measures that address many important issues and challenges facing Canada and Canadians. However, implementing and funding many of these programs will be an immense challenge.

Read the Economic Quick Take for more details.

Home prices to drop, new report predicts — and even Toronto and Vancouver won't be immune

Financial Post

In the Speech from the Throne, the Liberal government said it will continue the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through to next summer, and will “work with businesses and labour to ensure the program meets the needs of the health and economic situation as it evolves.” The CEWS, which pays employers a set percentage of an employee’s wages, is designed to keep workers from being forced on to Employment Insurance or other income-support programs. In July, the government extended the program through to the end of the year and substantially revised it again, with qualifying criteria relaxed and payments increased for the hardest-hit companies. Despite the changes, total payments under the program are lagging... As of Sept. 20, those payments reached $37.44-billion – less than half the $82.3-billion cost forecast in the … fiscal update... The government did not respond by deadline to a question on whether it intends to amend subsidy levels through to the end of this year. READ MORE...

Commentary: Given these unprecedented times, the future is certainly unclear, but very pessimistic projections like this one, and that of CMHC, seem to be relying on models that not surprisingly do not take into account the complexities of the pandemic situation. Still, it will be important that industry and policy-makers monitor the situation closely, and as the government made explicit in yesterday’s speech, it will be important that it “support Canadians through this crisis as long as it lasts.” While CHBA does not share the pessimistic view of CMHC or Moody’s, CHBA will continue to advocate for prudent and responsible measures to sustain the housing market activity and demand through this period of uncertainty, maximizing the potential of the sector in recovery, and charting a path to a more vibrant and dynamic housing and mortgage system, including robust support for homeownership.

Alberta program to encourage green construction innovation

Journal of Commerce

A new initiative out of Alberta aims to spur innovation in construction by helping to fund a series of projects that test new technology or methods to reduce greenhouses gases.

The initiative, which is being run by an Alberta-based not-for-profit organization called the Smart Sustainable Resilient Infrastructure Association (SSRIA), was recently given $3 million in federal funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada. Officials stated that the goal is to help small and medium-sized businesses adopt new products and technologies that improve the energy efficiency of buildings. The new investment brings the total project funding to more than $6.3 million. READ MORE...


Calgary's housing inventory reaches near historic levels as younger demographic shrinks

CBC Calgary

CMHC sees evidence of overbuilding in Calgary as number of unsold homes nears 19-year high. 

A decline in the number of younger adults in Calgary is having a dampening effect on housing demand, helping to push the number of unsold homes to near historic levels, according to a report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The state of the housing market in Calgary contrasts sharply with most other cities in Canada, with the price of new homes nationwide last month jumping by the biggest amount in more than three years, Statistics Canada says. READ MORE...

Commentary: As mentioned in the article, this is in contrast to what other markets are experiencing. In Lethbridge the total housing inventory is well below the 10 year average. This is a reflection of activity in sales but more so the decline in housing starts. For more information on the latest Lethbridge Housing Report click here
DYK that... as a three tiered organization BILD Lethbridge Region has a representative that sits on the Board of Directors for BILD Alberta. BILD Lethbridge Director - Trent Purvis, WSP Canada, represented us in this position for the last 2 years and 5 years before that as a UDI member. In September his term ended and BILD Lethbridge Director Dave Kunst, Select Recruiting, was appointed. We know he will do a great job for us.

Thank you Trent!

"On behalf of the Board of Directors and the membership of BILD Lethbridge Region, thank you Trent for your many years of dedication and excellence in representing Lethbridge and region's interests at the provincial level, and your vast contributions to the betterment of the industry as a whole."
Perry Neufeld, President BILD Lethbridge

"We have a accomplished a lot of great things, and set the stage for more and better things to come.  And thanks in large part to yourself and others that have put the time, effort, and commitment into our land development and residential building industries."
Patrick Shaver, Chair BILD Alberta
COVID-19 Resource List
The BILD Lethbridge website has a dedicated page that contains links to the provincial, federal and municipal programs and updates for your easy reference. You can find it HERE .
Other helpful main links:
City of Lethbridge Permit Report
Alberta Economy - Indicators at a Glance (September 25)
CMHC Housing Market Information Portal
CREA Housing Market Statistics National Price Map

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P: 403-328-2288  |

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