MPs are questioning why the Liberal government took liquidity out of the refinance market, and Dan Albas is one of the most vocal.
In the House of Commons yesterday, the Conservative MP charged the Department of Finance with “Increasing interest costs on refinanced mortgages.” This of course is a result of the Finance Minister’s ban on default insuring refinances. The move has decimated competition in the refi space, which Albas says “hurts middle-class Canadians.”
“Will the Liberals reverse this punitive and damaging change?” he questioned on his Facebook page today. Albas asked the equivalent in Parliament yesterday, to which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance responded but, “didn’t answer the question at all!” Albas charges.
Here’s a video of that exchange…
This debate followed hours of testimony these past two weeks about the new mortgage rules. Those hearings were held by Parliament’s Finance Committee and included 38 expert witnesses.
In anopinion piecetoday that touched on the hearings, Albas said:
As the public servants involved in this area could not provide a coherent reason for this punitive [refinance] policy, a motion I put forward to have the Finance Minister appear directly before the Finance Committee was adopted thanks in part to some Liberal MPs voting in support.
It appears, however, the Finance Minister is sending others to talk for him (on Monday), namely:
Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance
Rob Stewart, Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Finance
Cynthia Leach, Chief, Housing Finance, Capital Markets Division, Financial Sector Policy Branch, Department of Finance
CMHC head Evan Siddall will also speak at the same meeting. Siddall has been quoted by Bloomberg as saying lenders have “no skin in the game” and “misaligned” incentives, which he later called a misstatement on his part. So the mortgage industry will be watching for any new bombs he might drop on Monday.