Harper unveils big-budget campaign promise: $1.5B home renovation tax credit

Stephen Harper has delivered the first big-budget promise of the Conservative election campaign: a permanent home-renovation tax credit that will cost taxpayers $1.5 billion a year once implemented.

TORONTO — Stephen Harper has delivered the first big-budget promise of the Conservative election campaign: a permanent home-renovation tax credit that will cost taxpayers $1.5 billion a year once implemented.

However, Harper says the credit — a more modest version of a temporary credit the government first introduced in 2009 — won’t be introduced until economic circumstances permit, perhaps the middle of a Tory mandate.

While the original credit applied to renovation costs of up to $10,000, the ceiling for the permanent credit has been lowered to $5,000.

Speaking at a campaign event in Toronto, Harper says the credit, which would apply to renovation work done on houses, cottages and condominiums owned for personal use, would also help to create jobs in the construction sector.

He says it would also pump billions of dollars back into the Canadian economy.

Some three million Canadians have taken advantage of the opportunity to make renovations in the last six years.

“Young parents renovated rooms as nurseries, empty-nesters converted rooms for other uses, older Canadians made changes to remain independent in their own homes,” Harper said.

“The renovation tax credit helps every homeowner, regardless of income. I know Justin Trudeau doesn’t think every family deserves help, but we do.”

Interestingly, Harper’s propensity for referring to Trudeau by his first name only seemed to be a dominant theme on the campaign trail Tuesday.

Asked about it, the prime minister said it’s something he does occasionally, but only because that’s the way the Liberals have chosen to brand their own leader.

Trudeau himself, who unveiled the Liberal campaign bus at an early rally in Mississauga, Ont., shrugged it off as a distraction from the fact that the Conservatives have allowed the economy to slide into a recession.

“His distraction is working because I just got two questions on that rather than on how to build a stronger economy for the future of this country,” Trudeau said.

“The fact is, I am staying focused on Canadians and what they need.”

Harper’s plan is not working and the “real risk is sticking with the status quo,” he added.

Trudeau also set his sights on the NDP’s Tom Mulcair, denouncing his promise to raise the minimum wage as a “mirage” that wouldn’t apply to 99 per cent of minimum-wage workers in Canada whose pay rates are set by the provinces.

Mulcair, who has been absent from the campaign cut-and-thrust since making a public appearance Sunday, was scheduled to attend an event later Tuesday in Montreal.

Just Posted

President Joe Biden delivers remarks about COVID vaccinations in the South Court Auditorium at the White House, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Biden team moves swiftly to tackle pipeline political peril

Executive order issued to improve cybersecurity

Street racers gather the evening of Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in the parking lot of the Goodwill on Northeast Marine Drive and 122nd Avenue in Portland, Ore. Across America, police are confronting illegal drag racing whose popularity has surged since the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns began. Drivers have blocked off roads to race and to etch donut patterns on pavement with the tires of their souped-up cars. From Portland, Oregon; to Albuquerque, New Mexico; from Nashville, Tennessee; to New York City, officials are reporting a dangerous, and sometimes deadly, uptick in street racing. (Anna Spoerre /The Oregonian via AP)
US cities see surge in deadly street racing amid pandemic

Shutdowns associated with the pandemic cleared normally clogged highways

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh listens to a question as he speaks with reporters on Parliament Hill, Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Dozens have died after Palestinian militants launched rockets and Israel unleashed new air strikes

Monarch butterflies have declined more that 80 per cent over the last two decades and scientists are trying to find out why. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Study suggests neonic pesticides harming monarch butterfly eggs

Research published in the Journal of Animal Ecology

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore, center, celebrates after scoring a goal against the Columbus Crew with teammates from left, forward Tsubasa Endoh, defender Omar Gonzalez and forward Patrick Mullins during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Bradley, Altidore scores in Toronto FC’s 2-0 win over Crew

ORLANDO, Fla (AP) — Michael Bradley had a goal and an assist,… Continue reading

A football with the CFL logo sits on a chair during a press conference in Winnipeg, Friday, November 27, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Former defensive lineman Klassen tackling retirement as he did opposing quarterbacks

Klassen spent seven CFL seasons with Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa

FILE - Contestant Lauren Spencer-Smith on an episode of ABC’s American Idol. (American Idol/ABC photo)
‘American Idol’ contestant exits show amid video controversy

A 16-year-old “American Idol” contestant has dropped out of the singing competition… Continue reading

FILE - Ellen DeGeneres appears during a taping of the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” in Burbank, Calif. on May 24, 2016. DeGeneres, who has seen ratings hit after allegations of running a toxic workplace, has decided her upcoming season next year will be the last. It coincides with the end of her contract. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
Ellen DeGeneres to end long-running TV talk show next year

Viewership dropped by 1.1 million people this season

Ottawa Senators centre Josh Norris, right, celebrates his game-winning overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with left wing Brady Tkachuk Wednesday May 12, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Norris scored winner, Senators beat Maple Leafs 4-3 in Andersen’s return from injury

Norris scored winner, Senators beat Maple Leafs 4-3 in Andersen’s return from injury

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, holds up the trophy after beating Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, in the final at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, in Montreal on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Tennis Canada could move top tournaments to US if Toronto, Montreal plan not approved

Tennis Canada could move top tournaments to US if Toronto, Montreal plan not approved

Philadelphia Flyers' Travis Sanheim (6) and Brian Elliott (37) celebrate with teammates after the Flyers won an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Monday, May 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

FILE - John Davidson, left, president of the New York Rangers, and Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton pose at a news conference in New York, in this Wednesday, May 22, 2019, file photo. The New York Rangers abruptly fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 with three games left in the season. Chris Drury was named president and GM. He previously served as associate GM under Davidson and Gorton. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

Most Read