Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

DAN ALBAS -- All of these increased taxes and fees take a bigger bite, out of your household net income, at a time when payroll deductions are doing the same


It was on June 1st of 2021 that the Liberal Government last increased the “stress test” for home buyers taking on a mortgage, which encompasses the vast majority of home buyers.

For those unaware, a stress test requires that a home buyer must qualify at a higher rate of interest compared to current lower interest rates to ensure they can still make their mortgage payments if interest rates rise.

In essence a stress test is intended to ensure that a home buyer has some excess fiscal capacity at their level of income to afford an increase on their mortgage payment if interest rates should increase.

While some may argue that the stress test protects people from potentially higher interest rates, in my experience many who are fortunate enough to pass the stress test and buy a home don't stop there.

They proceed to borrow to make additional purchases, like home improvement, furniture or car loans.

Why do I raise this now?

As many will know this week it was widely expected that the Bank of Canada (BOC) would raise the key interest rate however this did not occur.

Instead, the current rate was maintained although the BOC did warn that:

“Interest rates will need to increase to control inflation. Canadians should expect a rising path for interest rates,”

This means for those with a variable rate mortgage. their monthly payments will be increasing in the near future.

For those with a fixed rate mortgage, when their current rate expires, they may also face higher rates upon renewal.

While stress tests are important public policy tools, there are also other challenges that remain.

Based on feedback I am hearing from many households here in our region, there are new fiscal challenges emerging putting pressures on household finances.

Obviously with the highest in 30-year inflation, many citizens are now forced into paying more for goods, groceries and in some cases services and yet receive less value in return.

Gasoline and diesel prices have increased, likewise the cost of gas to heat your home has also increased, as have some of the taxes on your home heating.

At the same time many citizens have also noticed, because of higher premiums for payroll deductions like the Canada Pension Plan, that their net take home pay is less from what it was last year.

In addition, despite Liberal Government promises to reduce your monthly cell phone bills by “25%” this has not occurred.

While the Liberal Government also promised not to tax online streaming services such as Netflix, as many now know, online streaming services are now taxed.

All of these increased taxes and fees take a bigger bite out of your household net income at a time when payroll deductions are doing the same.

Depending on how much the Bank of Canada raises the interest rate, I have heard from various citizens who indicate their monthly mortgage payment could increase as much as $400 to $800 a month, which is a significant hit to their net income.

Some have suggested increased interest rates combined with higher inflation, fees and tax increases is creating a situation they cannot afford.

More so as ever increasing CPP and Employment Insurance premiums (which the freeze on premiums ends this year) further erodes their net discretionary income.

My question this week:

Are you concerned about your own household affordability?

I can be reached at or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.


Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

AARON GUNN -- He is, at his core, an ideologue, meaning the facts of any particular issue don’t actually matter

Ben Isitt - City Councillor and Regional Director Victoria City Council and its resident-genius Ben Isitt is back with another dumb idea. Introducing a motion to ban the horse-drawn carriages that have coloured Victoria’s downtown streets for decades, calling them “an outdated mode of transportation”. Are you serious?   No one is actually commuting by horse and carriage. They are here for tourists and residents alike to interact with world-class animals and discover the magic and history of our provincial capital. It’s part of what gives Victoria its charm. And the truth is these horses are treated better than anywhere else in the world. They probably live better lives than many British Columbians.   And talk to anyone who works with these horses and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: this is what the horses love to do. This is what they were bred for and trained for. This is what gives their lives purpose and meaning. But maybe we shouldn’t be su


Show more