Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Government of Canada Announces
Additional Support for Canadian Credit Markets

Toronto, November 12, 2008

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced the Government will purchase up to an additional $50 billion of insured mortgage pools by the end of the fiscal year as part of its ongoing efforts to maintain the availability of longer-term credit in Canada.

This action will increase to $75 billion the maximum value of securities purchased through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) under this program.

"At a time of considerable uncertainty in global financial markets, this action will provide Canada’s financial institutions with significant and stable access to longer-term funding," said Minister Flaherty.

"This extension of the program to purchase insured mortgages will further support the availability of credit, which will benefit Canadian households, businesses and the economy. In addition, it will earn a modest rate of return for the Government with no additional risk to the taxpayer."

In addition:

  • The Government will reduce the base commercial pricing of the Canadian Lenders Assurance Facility by 25 basis points. It will also waive the 25 basis point across-the-board surcharge for insurance provided under the Facility until further notice. This will make the Facility more competitive with similar programs offered in other countries. The term sheet for the Facility will be posted on the Finance Canada web site ( shortly.
  • The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced yesterday an increase in the allowable limit of innovative and preferred shares in Tier 1 capital. This will provide Canadian financial institutions with more sources of funds to support lending in Canada. This will also ensure that similar decisions in other countries do not place Canadian institutions at a competitive disadvantage. Further technical information is available from OSFI at
  • As the Bank of Canada noted in its announcement on October 13, the Bank will continue to provide exceptional liquidity to the Canadian financial system as long as conditions warrant.

"The Government of Canada is prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that Canada’s strong financial system is not put at a competitive disadvantage by developments in other countries. The Government will not allow Canada’s financial system, which has been ranked as the soundest in the world, to be put at risk by global events," said Minister Flaherty.


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