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Flaherty in Closing

Since 2008 Finance MinisterJim Flaherty has dealt the mortgage business plenty of pain for promised long-term gain. So when news broke Tuesday that he quit, a wave of relief spread throughout the industry.


That relief was quickly replaced by concern about what his replacement Joe Oliver might have planned. (Our guess: probably not too much at this point.)

Speculation aside, this week’s Globe column reviews some of Flaherty’s impact on Canada’s mortgage landscape.

Virtually every housing-related professional has an opinion on Flaherty’s policies. Most who we heard from (who weren’t worried about being politically correct) had a tone not unlike this:

“Personally I say good riddance to Flaherty. He had a full understanding of how CMHC earned its income,” Geoff Willis of Origin Home Financial Partners told us. “[He] used his influence to create consumer concerns because of the government’s concern about backstopping…mortgages…”

One political analyst that we saw comment suggested that new mortgage policies, if any, would probably come from the Prime Minister’s office, given the election next year. Moreover, Minister Oliver would need time to get up to speed, so near-term changes are unlikely.

Jim Murphy, President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, says, “CAAMP will be communicating our positions and concerns directly to the new Minister.”

“We do not expect any immediate changes. OSFI B21 is still the policy to watch, which we will.”

More: Seven ways Jim Flaherty changed the Canadian mortgage market