Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 06, 2009 15:18 ET

Economic Action Plan: Minister Cannon Highlights Benefits to Canadians From Homeowners Stimulus

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 6, 2009) - New figures released by the Government of Canada prove that the Economic Action Plan is achieving impressive results to stimulate Canada's housing sector. The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister responsible for Outaouais region and M.P. for Pontiac, today highlighted that more Canadians are investing in home renovations, thereby directly creating jobs and improving the economy.

Since the beginning of April, an average of more than 21,000 homeowners a month have had pre-retrofit energy evaluations completed in Canada - an increase of more than 75 percent compared to April 2008 - securing jobs for thousands of Canadians. In Quebec, an average of more than 4,000 Quebec homeowners have had pre-retrofit energy evaluations completed - an increase of more than 10 percent compared to April 2008.

"Under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, our Government is delivering results for our economy today and benefits for homeowners and our environment for years to come," said Minister Cannon. "Quebeckers are accessing these programs that were introduced in our Economic Action Plan and are creating jobs in communities when they are needed most."

The Conservative Government also implemented the Home Renovation Tax Credit as part of the Economic Action Plan. This non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,350 applies to a wide range of work performed or goods purchased for home improvements, from kitchen renovations to landscaping.

"The increase of the RRSP withdrawal limit under the Home Buyers' Plan, the new $750 First Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit and the new temporary $1,350 Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) will help Canadian homeowners to reduce the cost of investing in their homes," stated the Minister Cannon. "The proposals announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan will not just help first-time home buyers in the purchase of their first home; they will also help stimulate the housing sector through increased demand for labour, building materials and other goods."

For more information on all of these programs please visit: www.actionplan.gc.ca.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

New figures released today by the Government of Canada prove that the Economic Action Plan is achieving impressive results to stimulate Canada's housing sector. Since the beginning of April, an average of more than 4,013 Quebec homeowners have had pre-retrofit energy evaluations completed - an increase of more than 10 percent compared to April 2008.

For questions on ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes, the general public may contact:



Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT
Telephone: 1-800-OCANADA
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)
Web site: ecoaction.gc.ca/homes


For questions on the Home Renovation Tax Credit, the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit and the increase to the RRSP withdrawal limits under the Home Buyers' Plan, visit the Canada Revenue Agency's Web site at www.cra-arc.gc.ca or call:



Mon-Fri, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (local time)
Telephone 1-800-959-8281 (for French 1-800-959-7383)
TTY: 1-800-665-0354
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)


The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:

Canadians Benefitting from Stimulus for Homeowners in Harper Government's Economic Action Plan


BACKGROUNDER

Canadians Benefitting from Stimulus for Homeowners in Harper Government's Economic Action Plan

Real Action. Real Results

The economic stimulus for Canadian homeowners will create jobs and help Canada's economy stay on track. The Government of Canada has delivered unprecedented action to stimulate the Canadian economy by introducing numerous measures to assist Canadians and their families.

In early 2009, Minister Raitt launched national consultations with provincial and territorial governments aimed at improving investments for Canadian families. Since these consultations, the Conservative Government has delivered its Economic Action Plan, which accelerates and expands unprecedented investments in funding for home retrofits and renovations, tax credits for new homebuyers and personal income tax relief for all Canadians. These are some of the measures designed to create jobs and stimulate the economy in the short term, as well as build the legacy of Canadian communities for years to come.

Progress to Date

- The average grant paid to homeowners since April 1, 2009, has increased by almost $300 to more than $1,400.

- Homeowners who have completed energy-efficiency retrofits have reduced their annual home energy costs by an average of $500.

- More than 100,000 homeowners have received over $112 million in grants since the ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program began.

- The average number of pre-retrofit evaluations per month has increased by more than 75 percent (from fewer than 12,000 to more than 21,000 for the same period last year).

- The Home Renovation Tax Credit, worth up to $1,350, is available to homeowners who undertake to make improvements to their home or property between now and February 1, 2010.

- The First-Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit, worth up to $750, assists first-time homebuyers with the costs associated with the purchase of a home.

- The Economic Action Plan also increases the amount Canadians are allowed to withdraw from their RRSPs under the Home Buyers' Plan, increasing the limits from $20,000 to $25,000. This $5,000 increase is the first time the limit has been raised since 1992 and means that a couple will be able to withdraw up to $50,000 from their RRSP funds toward the purchase of their first home.

In addition to the dramatic increase in pre-retrofit energy evaluations in the first months of the expanded ecoENERGY Retrofit program, a new survey suggests Canadians are also ready to take advantage of other Economic Action Plan measures to buy their first home or renovate their existing home.

The survey, conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), found that 1.9 million Canadians in five major centres across the country intend to carry out home renovations this year, compared to 1.6 million in 2008, an increase of more than 15 per cent from last year. It also found that of Canadians in 10 major centres who plan to buy a home this year, almost half are first-time buyers - up substantially from last year, when 36 percent of Canadians who bought homes were first-time buyers.

Encouraging more Canadians to buy a first home and to renovate and increase the energy efficiency of their existing homes will help create and secure jobs for thousands of Canadians and generate new economic activity across the country.

It is important to note that for the ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes Program, unlike the Home Renovation Tax Credit, homeowners must first have a home energy evaluation before any renovations are begun to be eligible for the ecoENERGY grant. The evaluation helps homeowners determine the best energy upgrades for their particular situation.

Next Steps

Under the Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada is providing significant measures that will deliver immediate economic stimulus by encouraging Canadians to renovate and buy homes.

For example, for every dollar the Government of Canada invests in the expanded ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes initiative, it is expected that Canadian homeowners will invest approximately $10 in products and services to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Consequently, this Economic Action Plan investment will generate $2.4 billion in economic activity across Canada.

To learn more about the ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program, the Home Renovation Tax Credit, the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit and Increasing RRSP Withdrawal Limits under the Home Buyers' Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

Additional financial incentives for energy efficiency retrofits may be offered by your province or territory; for these opportunities, visit the Office of Energy Efficiency Web site (http://www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/retrofit-homes/provincial-municipal.cfm?attr=0).

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media

Contact Information

  • Natural Resources Canada
    Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Jocelyne Turner
    613-996-2007
    or
    Natural Resources Canada
    Ottawa
    Media Relations
    613-992-4447
    or
    Office of the Minister of National Revenue
    Director of Communications (Acting)
    Natalie Boileau
    613-995-2960
    or
    Canada Revenue
    Media Relations
    Noel Carisse
    613-952-9184
    or
    Office of the Minister of Foreign Affair
    Director of Communications
    Catherine Loubier