The following letter was sent to the Government of Ontario on November 23, 2022
Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy
Ministry of Finance
7 Queen’s Park Cres. Frost Building South, 7th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1Y7
Dear Minister Bethlenfalvy:
NON-RESIDENT SPECULATION TAX
I am writing to express our concerns regarding the Non-Resident Speculation Tax which applies on the purchase or acquisition of an interest in residential property located anywhere in Ontario by individuals who are foreign nationals (individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada) or by foreign corporations or taxable trustees. This tax was expanded to apply across the Province at a rate of 20 percent in March 2022 and was recently increased to 25 percent in October 2022.
We acknowledge that the Non-Resident Speculation Tax has been set up to discourage foreign speculation, however, we are concerned about the unintended consequences that this tax may have on efforts by Thunder Bay employers to attract skilled foreign workers.
Currently, participants in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, refugees and spouses of Canadian citizens can apply for an exemption to this additional tax, yet there is no exemption offered to skilled foreign workers arriving through the Federal Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP). RNIP is delivered in Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins, allowing eligible employers to make full-time permanent job offers to skilled foreign workers who can help fill identified labour shortages in the community. To date, Thunder Bay has successfully recruited more than 400 skilled workers plus their family members through the RNIP program.
To address these concerns, we urge the Provincial Government to ensure that the Non-Resident Speculation Tax exemption is immediately expanded to include participants in the Rural Northern Immigration Pilot as well as those awaiting permanent resident status (eg: Afghan Initiative and Ukrainian Initiative arrivals) and post-graduation work permit holders living in our communities. Thank you for your attention and consideration.