Canada was shocked at the sudden passing of (not so) former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. He leaves behind a legacy as a world class finance minister, politician and steward of the Canadian economy.
Among his many achievements, including his personal interest in Toronto’s condominium (condo) market, Mr. Flaherty will be remembered for
- His efforts to pull the economy out of the recession with a massive $35 billion stimulus package in 2008. When the budget deficit ballooned as a result, he moved in disciplined fashion to eliminate it.
- Addressing the relentless increase in household debt. In conjunction with the Bank of Canada, Minister Flaherty recognized that increasing interest rates would have helped resolve the debt issue but was not optimal given the sub-par economic recovery and low inflation rate. In response, the Minister took on the bold decision to target debt risks by tightening qualifying rules for mortgage insurance on four occasions, resulting in cooler debt growth.
Like many Canadians, I extend my condolences to the family and friends of Jim Flaherty. Though the market had mixed reaction to Mr. Flaherty’s policies, the one that stands out most for me is the Finance Minister’s unprecedented intervention with individual banks’ policies on lending. The “wrath” of Mr. Flaherty’s office was faced by Manulife Bank and Bank of Montreal, the latter receiving the call from him personally.
Mr. Flaherty may have left us, his policies however will continue to impact the Canadian fiscal health for some time to come. RIP.
Formally educated as an Architect, Jagdeep Singh is Toronto REALTOR™ consulting on both resale real estate and new developments. Powerful Local Focus on Real Estate with a Global Perspective™. This post is for information purposes only. Though effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents, the reader is advised to verify the information independently. This post may contain contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. The reader is not allowed to reproduce it in any medium without the author’s prior written permission. Jagdeep Singh is a broker with Century 21 Heritage Group Ltd., brokerage (416) 798-7133 which is independently owned and operated. This message is not intended to solicit parties currently under contract.