The Finance Committee, of which I am the vice-Chair, has returned to work early before Parliament resumes on January 31. We are meeting to drill down into the current 30-year record-breaking inflation level, and in particular, the impact of housing prices and shelter costs for Canadians.
On January 17, we questioned Canada's Chief Statistician, Mr. Anil Arora, about how StatsCan accounts for shelter costs and how the escalating cost of buying a home fits into StatsCan's evaluation of the impact of inflation on Canadians.
I also wanted to know if StatsCan is taking account of two "trial balloons" being floated by a think tank (Generation Squeeze) which is funded by CMHC. Generation Squeeze first proposed that Canadians be taxed on the amount that their home had increased in value between buying and selling it, by designating the difference as a capital gain which would require it to be added to your ordinary income for that year and be taxed at your marginal (highest) rate. Generation Squeeze has now proposed a tax on the assessment of any home valued at more than $1 Million, at an escalating rate depending on value. This tax would be assessed annually and become payable at the time of the home sale. Neither proposal accounts for reasons the value of the home may have increased, such as a significant investment in a renovation or upgrade that made the home more valuable. Since these reports from Generation Squeeze are funded by Canada Mortgage and Housing, a government agency, it is likely that they are trial balloons as the Liberal government tries to determine how to collect more taxes from Canadians in order to pay for their mounting deficits and debt.
I was given three rounds of questioning of five minutes each. This is my third round of questions for Mr. Arora.