Energy Retrofits: Instead of the Conservative plan to renovate million dollar homes, we could make old homes more affordable

Prime Minister Harper recently made an election promise to establish a home renovation tax credit. It has been rightly criticized for spending lots of money on people who are already well housed without government help. People who own million dollar homes would qualify for this credit.

The real problem with housing is affordability for those of modest means. One contributor to expensive housing: old energy-inefficient buildings.

The Conservative government inherited an energy retrofit for homes program from the previous Liberal government, a program that reduced energy waste, cut green house gas emissions, saved money on energy costs, and created green jobs. During the last ten years, the Eco-Energy Retrofit for Homes program was cancelled, restarted, and then distributed $242 million less in grants than what was budgeted, before finally being axed in 2012.

Read more about the sorry history of the Eco-Energy Retrofit for Homes program.

Stephen Harper’s general tax credit for home renovations is not a good strategy for managing Canada’s economy and protecting Canadians. If you are going to spend money on home renovations, let’s help those who need it most while protecting the environment, creating green jobs, cutting waste, and saving money in the long run.

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