July 2012 Parliamentary Report
This month I made a difficult decision with regards to my Motion 312 due to a family issue by deferring debate as well as the vote on Motion 312 to September 2012. I encourage you to check my website www.stephenwoodworth.ca for updates and further information.
STRENGTHENING CANADA’S HOUSING MARKET
Investing in a home is the dream that mortgage insurance was intended to support. The government recently took new measures to support those dreams by proposing four measures for new insured mortgages, effective July 9, 2012:
1) Reduce the maximum amortization period to 25 from 30 years. This reduces the total interest Canadian families pay on their mortgages, helping them build up home equity more quickly and pay off mortgages sooner. The maximum amortization period was set at 35 years in 2008 and further reduced to 30 years in 2011. As just one example, reductions to the maximum amortization period since 2008 save a typical Canadian family with a $350,000 mortgage about $150,000 in borrowing costs over the life of that mortgage.
2) Lower the maximum amount Canadians can borrow when refinancing to 80 per cent from 85 per cent of home value. This promotes saving through home ownership and encourages homeowners to prudently manage borrowings.
3) Fix the maximum gross debt service ratio at 39 per cent and the maximum total debt service ratio at 44 per cent.
These debt service ratios measure the share of a household’s income that is required to cover payments associated with servicing debt. Both measures are already used by lenders and mortgage insurers to assess a borrower’s ability to pay. Setting a GDS limit and reducing the TDS limit will help prevent Canadian households from getting overextended and reduce the number of households vulnerable to economic shocks or an increase in interest rates.
4) Limit the availability of government-backed insured mortgages to homes with a purchase price of less than $1 million.
IN THE RIDING
On June 16, 2012 I attended the World Refugee Day forum to celebrate our pride in the generosity and compassion of refugee programs here in Canada.
Also on June 16, 2012, I had the pleasure of attending the 32nd Annual Greek Festival to enjoy fantastic food and take in the Greek culture of dance and music. Our community is blessed with rich adversity.
FOCUSED ON THE ECONOMY
After dozens of votes over the last two weeks resulting in many late nights, the government was finally able to pass Budget 2012. This bill received the longest House debate and Committee consideration of any budget bill in over two decades. By implementing Economic Action Plan 2012, Canada can finally focus on what matters: jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.
As a result of the Parliamentary adjournment I will be working in the Riding until approximately the third week of September. Please contact my office if you would like me to attend any events or meetings.
Have a great summer!