Canada’s Federal Budget Describes a Deteriorating Fiscal Outlook and Slowing Economy.

General Mark Goode 31 Mar



As promised, there would be nothing much in this year’s budget for fear of stimulating inflation. The federal government faces a challenging fiscal environment and a weakening economy. Ottawa promised it would err on the side of restraint. Instead, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced a $43 billion increase in net new government spending over six years. The new expenditures focus on bolstering the rickety healthcare system, keeping up with the US on new clean-technology incentives, and helping low-income Canadians to deal with rising prices and a slower economy.

Tax revenues are expected to slow with the weaker economy. The result is a much higher deficit each year through 2028 and no prospect of a balanced budget over the five-year horizon.

The budget outlines significant increases to healthcare spending, including more cash for provincial governments announced earlier this year and a $13-billion dental-care plan that Trudeau’s Liberals promised in exchange for support in parliament from the New Democratic Party.

Freeland is also announcing substantial new green incentive programs to compete with the Inflation Reduction Act signed into US law last year by President Joe Biden. The most significant new subsidy in the budget is an investment tax credit for clean electricity producers. Still, it also includes credits for carbon capture systems, hydrogen production, and clean-energy manufacturing.

The budget promises $31.3 billion in new healthcare spending and $20.9 billion in new green incentive spending by 2028. On top of that is $4.5 billion in affordability measures, half of which is for an extension of a sales tax credit for low-income Canadians.

The spending is partially offset by tax increases on financial institutions and wealthy Canadians and a pledge to reduce government spending on travel and outside consultants. Freeland is planning to raise billions of dollars from banks and insurance companies by changing the tax rules for dividends they get from Canadian firms. The new tax will apply to shares held as mark-to-market assets, not dividends paid from one subsidiary to another.

Wealthy Canadians pay the alternative minimum or regular tax, whichever is higher. The government announced in the budget that it is increasing the alternative minimum rate to 20.5 percent from 15 percent starting in 2024. Ottawa is also imposing new limits on many exemptions, deductions and credits that apply under the system beginning in 2024.

“We’re making sure the very wealthy and our biggest corporations pay their fair share of taxes, so we can afford to keep taxes low for middle-class families,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in the prepared text of her remarks.

Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio will worsen next year, despite the government’s reliance on this measure as a fiscal anchor. Debt-to-GDP will rise from 42.4% to 43.5% next year and is projected to decline very slowly over the next five years.

Not Much for Affordable Housing

The budget included a laundry list of measures the federal government has taken to make housing more affordable for Canadians.

Budget 2023 announces the government’s intention to support the reallocation of funding from the National Housing Co-Investment Fund’s repair stream to its new construction stream, as needed, to boost the construction of new affordable homes for the Canadians who need them most.

But there was one initiative tucked away in a Backgrounder entitled “An Affordable Place to Call Home.” I am quoting this directly from the budget:

A code of conduct to protect Canadians with existing mortgages

“Elevated interest rates have made it harder for some Canadians to make their mortgage payments, particularly for those with variable rate mortgages.

That is why the federal government, through the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, is publishing a guideline to protect Canadians with mortgages who are facing exceptional circumstances. Specifically, the government is taking steps to ensure that federally regulated financial institutions provide Canadians with fair and equitable access to relief measures that are appropriate for the circumstances they are facing, including by extending amortizations, adjusting payment schedules, or authorizing lump-sum payments. Existing mortgage regulations may also allow lenders to provide a temporary mortgage amortization extension—even past 25 years.

This guideline will ensure that Canadians are treated fairly and have equitable access to relief, without facing unnecessary penalties, internal bank fees, or interest charges, which will help more Canadians afford the impact of elevated interest rates.”

We will see what OSFI has to say about this, as the details are always of paramount importance. OSFI is scheduled to announce potential changes to banking regulation to reduce bank risk. We’ve heard a lot about banking risks in recent weeks.

The budget also reduced the legal limit on interest rates. The government intends to lower the criminal rate of interest from 47% (annual percentage rate) to 35%. According to the law firm Cassels, “’Interest’ is defined broadly under the Code and includes all charges and expenses in any form, including fees, fines, penalties, and commissions.”

Bottom Line

While this was not one of the more exciting budgets, it is important that our debt-to-GDP ratio is low in comparison to other G-7 countries. It is good news that Ottawa recognizes the financial burdens facing homeowners with VRMs. If the banks can extend remaining amortizations when borrowers renew, the pressure on their pocketbooks will be markedly lower.

Please Note: The source of this article is from

Canada’s Headline Inflation Cools in February

General Mark Goode 24 Mar

Further decline in inflation in February will keep the bank of Canada on hold in April.

All eyes will be on the Federal Reserve tomorrow when they decide whether to hold rates steady because of the banking crisis or raise the overnight rate by 25 basis points (bps). Before the run on Silicon Valley Bank, markets were betting the Fed would go a full 50 bps tomorrow, as Chairman Powell intimated to the House and Senate.

Since then, three bank failures in the US as well as the UBS absorption of troubled Credit Suisse, have caused interest rates to plummet, bank stocks to plunge, and credit conditions to tighten. Many worry that rate increases will exacerbate a volatile situation, but others believe the Fed should continue the inflation fight and use Fed lending to provide liquidity to financial institutions.

Relative calm has been restored thanks to the provision of huge sums of emergency cash by lenders of last resort–the central banks–and some of the US industry’s strongest players.

While Canadian bank stocks have also been hit, the banks themselves are in far better shape than the weaker institutions in the US. Our banks are more tightly regulated, have much more plentiful Tier 1 capital, and their outstanding loans and depositors are far more diversified.

This morning, Statistics Canada released the February Consumer Price Index (CPI). Headline inflation fell more than expected to 5.2% from 5.9% in January. This was the largest deceleration in the headline CPI since the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020.

The year-over-year deceleration in February 2023 was due to a base-year effect for the second consecutive month, which is attributable to a steep monthly increase in prices in February 2022 (+1.0%).

Excluding food and energy, prices were up 4.8% year over year in February 2023, following a 4.9% gain in January, while the all-items excluding mortgage interest cost rose 4.7% after increasing 5.4% in January.

On a monthly basis, the CPI was up 0.4% in February, following a 0.5% gain in January. Compared with January, Canadians paid more in mortgage interest costs in February, partially offset by a decline in energy prices. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.1%.

While inflation has slowed in recent months, having increased by 1.2% compared with 6 months ago, prices remain elevated. Compared with 18 months ago, for example, inflation has increased by 8.3%.

Food prices continued to rise sharply–up 10.6% y/y, marking the seventh consecutive month of double-digit increases. Supply constraints amid unfavourable weather in growing regions and higher input costs such as animal feed, energy and packaging materials continue to put upward pressure on grocery prices.
Price growth for some food items such as cereal products (+14.8%), sugar and confectionary (+6.0%) and fish, seafood and other marine products (+7.4%) accelerated on a year-over-year basis in February. Prices for fruit juices were up 15.7% year over year in February, following a 5.2% gain in January. The increase was led by higher prices for orange juice, as the supply of oranges has been impacted by citrus greening disease and climate-related events, such as Hurricane Ian.

In February, energy prices fell 0.6% year over year, following a 5.4% increase in January. Gasoline prices (-4.7%) led the drop, the first yearly decline since January 2021. The year-over-year decrease in gasoline prices is partly the result of a base-year effect, as prices began to rise rapidly in the early months of 2022 during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Shelter costs rose at a slower pace year-over-year for the third consecutive month, rising 6.1% in February after an increase of 6.6% in January. The homeowners’ replacement cost index, related to the price of new homes, slowed on a year-over-year basis in February (+3.3%) compared with January (+4.3%). Other owned accommodation expenses (+0.2%), which include commissions on the sale of real estate, also decelerated in February. These movements reflect a general cooling of the housing market.

Conversely, the mortgage interest cost index increased at a faster rate year over year in February (+23.9%) compared with January (+21.2%), the fastest pace since July 1982. The increase occurred amid a higher interest rate environment.

Bottom Line

The Bank of Canada is no doubt delighted that inflation continues to cool. Canada’s inflation rate is low compared to the US at 6.0% last month, the UK at 10.1%, the Euro Area at 8.5%, and Australia at 7.2%.

The Bank was already in pause mode and will likely stay there when they meet again in April.

Please Note: The source of this article is from


These are the Ontario communities that are expected to see the biggest home price declines

General Mark Goode 15 Mar

While Toronto has seen a significant dip in home prices as borrowing costs have gone up over the past year, other places in Ontario are seeing an even more dramatic drop according to a new report released Monday.

The report, from economists at financial services company Desjardins, examined the Ontario housing market in the context of recent developments, such as interest rate hikes and supply. It found that Ontario is projected to see the biggest correction compared to other provinces in Canada, an anticipated 25 per cent drop by the end of 2023 from the market’s peak. However within Ontario, the GTA is not the location where prices are projected to fall the most.

“Given nearly half of existing home sales take place in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), that market tends to garner the most attention,” the report notes.  “But during the pandemic, it was surrounding communities that grabbed more of the headlines. Home prices rose significantly in the GTA, but not nearly as much as they did in smaller Ontario communities or nationally for that matter. And these places are expected to continue seeing the biggest correction.”

Places like Windsor, Oshawa, Sudbury and London saw skyrocketing home prices from Dec. 2019 to the market’s peak during the pandemic, rising between 75 per cent to close to 100 per cent in a short period.  But that means there’s a long way to fall from those peaks now that the real estate market has cooled off.

Bancroft is expected to see the steepest decline in home prices by the end of the year, with a projected 50 per cent drop. That’s followed by Northumberland Hills (-42 per cent), Woodstock-Ingersoll (-40 per cent), Grey Bruce Owen Sound (-39 per cent) and Muskoka & Haliburton (-39 per cent).

Areas where the price is expected to fall roughly 30-38 per cent by the end of the year include Durham, London, Windsor, Guelph, Peterborough, Barrie, Orilia, Kitchener, Niagara Falls and other areas.

While prices in the GTA are still projected to fall by the end of 2023, the drop is anticipated to be softer, more like 20 per cent from peak.

Mississauga (-23 per cent), York Region (-19 per cent), Ottawa (-20 per cent), Timmins (-20 per cent) and Thunder Bay are also projected to see drops of less than 25 per cent.

“While analysts and the media follow Toronto and all‑Ontario real estate data closely, there is significant variability across communities within Canada’s largest province. Supported by buyers’ desire for more space when working and educating children from home, homebuying activity surged most significantly in smaller Ontario centres during the pandemic,” the report’s authors write. “While we expect home sales and values to find a bottom in the second half of 2023, these smaller cities should continue to experience some of the most pronounced corrections in Ontario.”

The report says the “erosion of affordability has made life challenging for households across Ontario” and calls for the provincial government to be mindful of smaller communities when proceeding with its housing plan.

“As policymakers move forward on ambitious plans to increase the housing supply to improve affordability, considering local market needs will be of paramount importance,” the report states.


Bancroft -50%

Northumberland Hills -42%

Woodstock-Ingersoll -40%

Grey Bruce Owen Sound -39%

Muskoka & Haliburton -39%

Chatham Kent -38%

Welland -38%

Windsor-Essex -37%

Peterborough & the Kawarthas -37%

St Catharines -37%

Niagara Falls-Fort Erie -36%

Parry Sound -36%

London and St Thomas -36%

Guelph -35%

Tillsonburg -34%

Quinte -34%

Huron Perth -34%

Brantford -34%

Kawartha Lakes -33%

Durham Region -33%

Cambridge -32%

Simcoe -32%

Kitchener-Waterloo -32%

Barrie -31%

Orillia -30%

Hamilton-Burlington -30%

Rideau-St Lawrence -30%

North Bay -30%

Cornwall -30%

Orangeville -29%

Southern Georgian Bay West -29%

Sudbury -28%

Sault Ste Marie -28%

Southern Georgian Bay East -28%

Renfrew -27%

Sarnia-Lambton -27%

Oakville-Milton -24%

Kingston -24%

Mississauga -23%

Greater Toronto -20%

Ottawa -20%

Timmins -20%

York Region -19%

Source: CP24


Simcoe Spring Home and Cottage Show returning after three years!

General Mark Goode 10 Mar



After 26 years of being the spring event that kicked off the prime season for many businesses in our area, the local home and cottage show is returning this April.

Mandates and lockdowns prevented the annual Simcoe Spring Home and Cottage Show from being held for the last three years. After this hiatus, the spring show is returning to the Barnfield Point Recreation Centre in Orillia on April 22 and 23.

“The show has become a destination event for many in our community,” says show organizer Glenn Wagner. “Those considering a home renovation or addition, or looking for various home- and cottage-related services, have found a wealth of information at the show. It gives people a fantastic opportunity to talk face to face to the various businesses — and it gives the businesses an excellent two days of talking to their prime prospects. It’s a win-win all under one roof.”

While only January, over half of the booth space for the spring event has been sold. Wagner expects the remainder of the vendor space to go quickly now that the new year is upon us.

“We sell out every year and usually have a waiting list of firms wanting to exhibit. It will be interesting to see if this holds true in 2023. After several years with no event, I expect we will see a good deal of participation from businesses — and I expect attendance to be better than ever.”

Wagner also expressed excitement for the businesses that rely on the show being held.

“It has been a tough time for show organizers with no revenue stream for several years, but also those that rely on the show for income. The drapery and carpet rental firms; the sign companies that supply signage to those exhibiting; the facility owners that receive rent; the restaurants at the facilities — all have been really hurt by the lockdowns and mandates. I’m thrilled we can get this event going again for all concerned.”

The Simcoe Spring Home and Cottage Show will be on at Barnfield Point Recreation Centre Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23 in Orillia.

Interested exhibitors can contact Glenn Wagner at 705-323-0124 or email

Local mortgage broker wins two prestigious awards

General Mark Goode 3 Mar

Mark Goode, Mortgage Man – Dominion Lending Centres (DLC) has been recognized for his hard work in 2022 as well as over the last two decades.

DLC has awarded him with a 2022 Masters award for exceeding $500,000 in gross revenue and funding over 150 files. He has also been added to the prestigious Hero Hall of Fame. This award recognizes individuals that have been with the company for over 10 years, have achieved at least $6 million in gross revenue, and funded at least 1,650 files.

Mark, who is the broker and President of Mortgage Man DLC, says, “We are very thankful to win these awards. This accomplishment is not only for me but for my team. Everyone on the team is a big part of our success and I couldn’t have won these awards without my team.”


Offering a Variety of Services

The team at Mortgage Man DLC offers a wide range of services. Including mortgage pre-approval, refinancing, mortgage life insurance, self-employed solutions, commercial/leasing options, and CHIP reverse mortgages.

“We take pride in our dedication to meeting our clients’ needs. Our customer service is a priority and we make our clients feel comfortable during the mortgage process, which we know can be a stressful,” explains Mark.

Serving the Community for Decades

Mark and his team have been serving the community for over 20 years. They are passionate about helping families achieve their home ownership goals and they love the community. As local residents, they are very involved in the local area including sponsoring the Orillia Cornhole Club.

“Winning these awards is great, but helping people get into their homes is the best feeling and why we are in this industry,” says Mark.


Source Orillia Matters: