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Foreign buyers ban won’t fix housing market – could make it worse, experts say


For most Canadians, News Year’s Day was heralded by crackling fireworks and clinking champagne flutes. For Parliament, it marked the beginning of a two-year ban on non-Canadians purchasing homes.


The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act was passed on June 23, 2022, in an effort to tackle Canada’s ballooning affordable housing crisis.


Under the ban, non-citizens, non-permanent residents, and foreign commercial enterprises are blocked from purchasing Canadian homes — with some exceptions for international students and temporary residents. Those who violate the ban will face a $10,000 fine and may have to sell the offending property.


“Homes should not be commodities,” Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen declared in a press release when regulations for the prohibition were finally released on Dec. 21, less than two weeks before the measure came into effect.


“Through this legislation, we’re taking action to ensure that housing is owned by Canadians, for the benefit of everyone who lives in this country. We will continue to do whatever we can to ensure that all residents of this country have a home that is affordable and that meets their needs,” he said.


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