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Ottawa, March 19, 2007 –The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) is supportive of the federal government’s approach to a number of strategic elements in the 2007 budget.

“While the Association is disappointed that the budget did not change the GST rebate thresholds for new homebuyers, the budget did take progressive action in several areas,” said Richard Lind, President of the Canadian Home Builder’s association.

2007 Budget: A Step Forward

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Ottawa, March 19, 2007 –The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) is supportive of the federal government’s approach to a number of strategic elements in the 2007 budget.

“While the Association is disappointed that the budget did not change the GST rebate thresholds for new homebuyers, the budget did take progressive action in several areas,” said Richard Lind, President of the Canadian Home Builder’s association.

On Labour Market Development, the CHBA welcomes the government’s commitment to a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to training and skills development. By working with provincial and territorial governments andengaging the private sector, the federal government will begin to address theserious inadequacies of the current system. The housing industry has a critical shortage of skilled people and looks forward to working within this new framework to address this issue.

"Housing affects every person in Canada. There are areas where the government has promised to provide leadership and we will be holding them tothat. One of the places is skills development. Our need for skilled tradespeople is immediate and growing. The construction labour market is aging, people areretiring, the industry is strong and there will be a continued need for skilled people,” said Mr. Lind.

On Infrastructure Investment, the Association is pleased that the federalgovernment has committed to increasing its support for municipal infrastructureinvestment, particularly in the areas of clean water, wastewater treatment and
transportation systems. The CHBA welcomes the federal government’s
commitment to building a public-private partnership approach to infrastructure
financing and development.

"Properly targeted infrastructure development and new approaches to investmentwill help tremendously to create needed infrastructure and reduce the necessity for municipalities to pass along these costs to new homebuyers,” said Mr. Lind.

On Environmental Performance, the CHBA is pleased to see the federal government’s focus on energy efficiency, especially in the existing housing stock.The greatest gains to be had in energy efficiency rest in improving the efficiency of older homes.

“By far the greatest share of household energy usage is in homes built prior to 1980. Improving the energy efficiency of these homes will yield a substantial return on the government’s investment in energy efficient housing.

”On Smarter Government Spending and Regulation, the CHBA congratulates the government in continuing its efforts to streamline bureaucratic processes and reduce the paper burden for small businesses. The Association also is pleased that the government is moving ahead with a performance-based regulatory system which has a commitment to efficiency and cost effectiveness. “Our members welcome the commitment on the part of the government to smarter government spending, transparency and accountability,” said Mr. Lind.

On Tax Changes, the federal government has taken a positive step by reducing the general corporate income tax rate from 21 to 18.5 per cent over five years. “This will benefit a large number of businesses across the country,” said Mr. Lind.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) is the voice of the residential construction industry in Canada, representing more than 7,500 member firms across the country. Membership comprises new home builders, renovators, developers, trade contractors building material manufacturers and suppliers, lenders and other professionals in the housing sector.

Further information:

John Kenward
(613) 230-3060

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