MPs call for Minister participation in future meeting

MPs call for Minister participation in future meeting

MPs call for Minister participation in future meeting Finance Minister Bill Morneau will be invited to the next Standing Committee on Finance meeting to discuss the Canadian Residential Real Estate Market, following a suggestion that he should answer questions directly about the most recent mortgage rule changes.

“After talking to my colleagues today, we also figured, due to the many concerns that were raised and the fact that so many of the officials from different government agencies weren’t able to speak from a holistic sense,” Dan Albas, Conservative MP for Central Okanagan, Similkameen, Nicola, BC, said during last week’s Committee meeting. “Perhaps we might want to have the Minister of Finance and his officials come in so that they can basically answer many of the questions that many parliamentarians I think from many different parties have about the mortgage changes.”

Albas made the suggestion during the four hour Committee meeting that focused solely on discussion around the housing industry and the impact of the recent mortgage rule changes. The meeting drew representatives from Mortgage Professionals Canada, the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association, as well as broker networks.

Committee Chair Wayne Easter told Albas a motion was required to request an invite to Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

Francesco Sorbara, Liberal MP for Vaughan, Woodbrige, Ontario, argued hearing from CMHC and the Department of Finance was sufficient.

“Having the minister here is just not necessary,” he said.

However, Ron Liepert, Conservative, Calgary Signal Hill, AB, countered that a comprehensive review of the mortgage rule changes – and the impact they will have on Canadians -- requires the Minister’s participation

“I respect the members of the government trying to protect their minister but with all due respect we had no answer by the officials the first day as to how this policy was developed.”

The motion was put forth and MPs voted in favour.

With the motion carried, the Finance Minister will be extended an invite to the next meeting. Whether or not he accepts the invite remains to be seen.