The Legault government is concerned about the collateral damage caused by the new federal law banning non-Canadians from buying housing from immigrants who choose Quebec. Minister Christine Fréchette does not want to stand by and do nothing.
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“It’s a stick in the works of the people who want to live and work here,” said his spokesman Alexandre Lahaie.
The federal law, which goes into effect on January 1, aims to combat real estate speculation by foreign investors, which is driving house prices up. But it penalizes already established immigrants in its wake who want to buy a house to live in.
This is the case of Anne Boyan and her small family, who arrived from France last April and saw their dream of becoming an owner shattered. Despite a pledge to buy signed before the holidays, the hospital nurse won’t be able to buy the coveted semi-detached house just a few steps from her children’s school.
And she’s not the only one. At Desjardins alone, a hundred buyers are affected by this new law.
“These are people who speak French and want to live in Quebec in French,” stresses the Quebec Minister’s Office.
Christine Fréchette will be meeting with her federal colleague Sean Fraser shortly. The topic will be on the agenda. “We find that worrying. We will update him of our concerns about this situation.
In Ottawa, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP have already urged Justin Trudeau’s government to go back to the drawing board. In her opinion, the new law falls short of its target and requires rapid regulatory adjustments in order to only target foreign real estate speculators.
“This law should target speculators, not families and individuals who aim to make a living in Quebec and contribute to our society,” argued Bloc Québécois MP Gabriel Ste-Marie.