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Finance Minister Sees Cooling as a “Good Thing”

Ever since Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened mortgage rules once again last summer, many Canadians have been waiting for the day when he sees his glaring error and comes asking the public for their forgiveness. As of yesterday, those critics will be disheartened, as Mr. Flaherty does have some very emphatic thoughts on the housing market – but he’s not sorry one bit about the actions he took. In fact, he sees them as a “good thing” that stopped our country from the collapse we saw in so many others around the world during the crisis.

“When I look at the housing market, I’m looking for the ‘doom and gloom,’” Flaherty said at an event yesterday where he was introducing a tax credit for charitable giving.

“I don’t see the doom and gloom,” he continued. “I see some moderation in demand. This is a good thing.”

He pointed once again towards markets such as Vancouver and Toronto – the two that were so ┬áhot at this time last year they ran the risk of boiling over onto themselves. He also said that while he does see the cooling effect happening in those areas, that’s the exact result his latest round of mortgage changes was supposed to inflict.

And as for his somewhat constant meddling in the mortgage market that he’s been so highly criticized for? He makes no apologies there either.

“Some countries in the world failed to act, and the consequences have been very unpleasant for those populations,” he said. “We’ve acted cooperatively with the other Canadian government institutions that have some jurisdiction with respect to housing.”

During the event Mr. Flaherty was also asked about his thoughts on U.S. investors that see Canada’s market as a risky one that’s heading for a hard lending, and so have decided to pull out of it for the time-being.

All Mr. Flaherty had to say to those players?

“I wish them bad luck.”

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