Frank Klees

Press Release

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MPP: Proposed Tax Increases Will Kill Jobs and

Shut the Door on Home Ownership

 (Queen’s Park)  Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees today called on the Premier to ensure that any changes to tax policy in the upcoming budget will protect new home buyers and jobs.  

Klees referred to reports that the McGuinty government's upcoming budget will include harmonization of the federal GST and the provincial PST.  

Quoting a study released today by Canada's largest independent real estate consulting and advisory firm, Altus Group, he told the Legislature that harmonization will increase the cost of homes in Toronto by more than $46,000 and in York Region by more than $27,000.

 "Stephen Dupuis, the President of the GTA's Building Industry and Land Development Association is warning the government that without protection of homebuyers and the building industry, harmonization will not only make homeownership impossible for many Ontarians, it will have a devastating effect on the building industry," said Klees. "The last thing Ontario needs at a time when the economy is already in turmoil, is for the government to discourage home sales and kill off thousands of jobs.”                                                                      



Frank Klees MPP


416 509 8999

Building and Land Development Association BILD

press release:


Hansard attached


March 11, 2009


Mr. Frank Klees: My question is to the Premier. One of the measures that the Minister of Finance is considering for his upcoming budget is the harmonization of the federal GST and the provincial PST. In a report released today by Canada’s largest independent real estate consulting and advisory firm, Altus Group, they estimate that the cost to homebuyers will be up to $17,000 of new increased taxes in Ottawa; $25,000 of new increased tax on homes in Mississauga; and up to $46,000 of new taxes for new homes in Toronto. Surely, the Premier and the Minister of Finance will agree that Ontario’s home buyers and our economy cannot withstand that kind of tax increase. Will the Premier undertake today, will he give us assurances, that any changes to tax policy in this province will exclude this harmful effect on homebuyers? 

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: We’re all awaiting eagerly the presentation of the budget inside this chamber, shortly, and we’ve had a number of representations made from a number of different business communities. There are a number who advocate harmonization. But in particular, I want to make reference to my colleague’s federal cousins who in their recent federal budget said the following, “A single sales tax is the single most important step that provinces with retail sales taxes could take to stimulate new business investment, create jobs and improve Canada’s overall tax competitiveness. I would be pleased to hear from the honourable member opposite as to his party’s position—are they in favour of, or against harmonization, because I think it would be helpful to us and to Ontarians. 

Mr. Frank Klees: I’m pleased to respond to the Premier. We are advocating for consumers and we are advocating for an industry. What we’re saying is if in fact the government chooses to proceed with harmonization, there should be the appropriate exclusions for home buyers for the building industry of homes in this province to ensure that $2.4 billion of new taxes are not imposed on Ontario consumers. That is our advice to the Premier and to the Minister of Finance. Now we look forward as to whether the Premier will take our advice. 

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I’m not really sure what that advice is. I thought they were a little bit more precise in their dissenting opinion for the 2009 pre-budget consultations filed on behalf of the official opposition. They said, “The official opposition calls on this government to heed the call of the federal government and take immediate action to fix Ontario’s uncompetitive tax structure.” So we’ve got a federal government that’s advocating harmonization. They’re telling us they endorse the federal government’s position. So, I take it that they’re in favour of harmonization. I’ll be sure to pass that along to the Minister of Finance so he takes that advice into account in the preparation of his budget.