Trudeau reannounced federal budget measures to help homebuyers in Maple Ridge, where tensions around a homeless encampment known as Anita Place have risen in recent weeks with destructive fires and eviction notices creating a back and forth between residents, the city and the province.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the federal budget last week, which included $1.25 billion in spending over three years on a shared-equity mortgage program for first-time home buyers. There was also a rise in RRSP withdrawal limits for first-time buyers from $25,000 to $35,000.
As for the crisis in Maple Ridge, Trudeau said, "It's not for the federal government to determine what is best for a particular neighbourhood or community," but to support and partner with local governments in their decisions instead.
Later Monday, the prime minister will be in Nanaimo for an appearance with byelection candidate Michelle Corfield, who is hoping to be elected May 6.
The Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding was formerly held by NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson. She resigned in January to run in a provincial byelection in the Nanaimo riding — a vote she won.
The appearance will cap the prime minister's visit to B.C. before he flies to Winnipeg for a fundraising event Monday night.
On Sunday, he was in Vancouver at a nomination event for former TV anchor Tamara Taggart, who is running in the Vancouver Kingsway riding.
The B.C. visit comes at a time when support for the Liberals has taken a hit amid allegations that the Prime Minister's Office pressured the former attorney general over a prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. The allegations, combined with resignations of two high-profile cabinet ministers, have tested the prime minister's popularity as he heads into an election this fall.
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MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau touted efforts by the Liberal government to help first-time homebuyers put more down on their mortgages during a visit to a region of the country today that is facing a housing squeeze.
In its budget last week, the government introduced measures that would allow Ottawa to pick up a portion of new homebuyers mortgage costs and it increased the amount they can borrow from their retirement savings for a down payment.
Housing has emerged as a major issue for many Canadians, especially young people who are trying to get into the real-estate market at a time when prices are soaring in some major cities.
During a visit today to Maple Ridge, B.C., Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers by allowing them to withdraw $35,000 from their RRSPs, up from $25,000, to help lower their borrowing costs.
It also brings in a means-tested incentive that would see the government pick up part of the costs of the mortgages of those eligible for the program to lower their monthly payments.
Trudeau said housing is also a concern for parents who are worried their adult children wont be able to live in the neighbourhoods where they grew up.
Trudeau will be in #MapleRidge for a housing announcement this morning. Its happening at this townhouse development and relates to last weeks federal budget. @CTVVancouver @CTVMorningLive pic.twitter.com/NAhhKbA46y
Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden didnt hold back Monday morning when asked by reporters about the provinces plan to house some of the citys homeless in a 51-unit supportive housing complex in the city. 1