I would like to come back to a few things that have been mentioned, including by Mr. Liepert, and also to discuss demography.
The measures announced and taken by the Department of Finance generally affect demand. We are trying to decrease demand, and the growth in demand is caused by factors x, y, and z. It is often independent of what we or the federal government want.
The problem is that by affecting the demand, we also affect supply. The number of housing starts was mentioned. In Quebec, they feel that there will be a drop of about 10% next year, largely due to measures taken by the federal government. And there is the demographic aspect, as well. A growing number of houses are being put on the market and, therefore, new house starts aren't needed.
How can the federal government have a real effect, if any, on demand, especially when the situation is different from province to province?
This leads me to a second question, which I'll ask at the same time. As MPs, we like to give power to the federal government. However, wouldn't it be possible to give more power to the provincial governments, since the reality of the provinces, or at least of the regions, is different?
The measures taken by the federal government can be positive for some sectors and extremely negative for others. Why couldn't the federal government encourage the provinces and even help them deal with their specific realities?
The question is for anyone who wants to respond, but it is specifically for the representatives from the Bank of Canada and CMHC.
In fact, the first question is whether there is a way to change demand without altering supply, otherwise the two measures are likely to cancel each other out. The second question is whether it would be desirable for the federal government, instead of acting directly in the marketplace, to assist the provinces so they can act in their respective markets.