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Part of the Missing Middle Summit Series On May 23, professionals who work in the industry to develop missing middle housing, as well as those interested in building them, gathered at the Toronto Reference Library for a one-day conference. The Missing Middle podcast team spoke to the presenters and will be sharing those interviews with you each wee…
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The number of temporary foreign workers in Canada has been increasing, and that has led to all sorts of concerns. There’s low youth employment levels, stagnant wages, and industries that rely entirely on low-wage temporary workers to keep prices low. In this discussion, economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk about the different types…
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If you get deep enough into the conversation about the housing crisis, you're inevitably going to hear the words "single egress". A lot of people, especially in Canada, think that the country is too strict with its stairwell rules, which require multiple exits for almost every multi-storey apartment building. Conrad Speckert, intern architect at LG…
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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern discuss return-to-office plans and the role of politicians in helping local business districts survive. It explores the controversy surrounding the mayor of Toronto's push to get workers back to the office and the potential negative impacts on workers, t…
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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern discuss the idea of a tax break for landlords in the UK who sell their homes to their tenants. They explore the potential impact of this policy and whether it could be applicable in Canada. They also discuss the broader housing crisis and the importance …
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In this discussion, Mike and Cara talk to Stephen Smith, executive director of the non-profit Center for Building in North America about how elevators and building codes have contributed to the housing crisis. Stephen describes how elevators in North America are much more expensive than in Europe due to size requirements, technical codes and standa…
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Here at the Missing Middle, we get a lot of great listener questions. In this episode, we answer one about whether landlords' expectations play a role in unaffordable rental prices. The conversation discusses the challenges faced by millennials and younger generations in Canada when it comes to homeownership and starting a family. It explores the i…
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Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented that home prices couldn't drop because so many people rely on their home's value for their retirement. But could a prime minister stop a housing crash if he wanted to? In this discussion, Mike and Cara discuss the idea of how much control the federal government has over home prices. They examine the…
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In this conversation Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to certified financial planner and founder of the New School of Finance Shannon Lee Simmons, about saving for retirement. Canada’s National Institute for Aging recently did a survey of 6,000 older Canadians to find out how they feel about the prosp…
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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern read a viewer email from Atanas Georgiev of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, who is wondering about potential negative side effects of a deflationary housing market if there is a drastic increase in housing supply. They explore the definition of affordabili…
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Housing starts in Canada are falling, particularly in Ontario, and the situation is even worse than predicted. The non-condo ownership market has seen a massive decline over the last 20 years, with high land prices and development charges making it unaffordable for buyers. Yet prices aren’t coming down. Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern discuss this chal…
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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern are joined by tax lawyer Bhuvana Rai with Mors Tribute and estate lawyer Birute Luksenaite with Portfolio Estate Law. They talk about the increase to the capital gains tax introduced by the government in the federal budget on April 16, 2024. They explain…
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The federal government of Canada is exploring ways to help renters, such as through the introduction of a Renter’s Bill of Rights. This conversation examines the government’s promises, and covers what impact they might have on renters and rental prices. It explores how price transparency affects the rental market and whether the government is doing…
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In this discussion, Mike and Cara are joined by the executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness Katrina Miller to discuss the benefits of automatic tax filing and how it can save people money. The conversation explores the concept of automatic tax filing, the groups that would benefit from it, the current status of its implementation in Canada…
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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern discuss the federal budget and its impact on housing. They cover new initiatives, such as opening up federal land for development and the deductibility of interest for tax reasons. They also discuss the government's commitment to building 2 million homes…
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Guest: Alex Beheshti, Senior Consultant with Altus Group Economic Consulting specializing in urban planning policy analysis, municipal fee reviews, and fiscal impacts of development. In this conversation, Cara, Mike, and Alex discuss the latest housing bill from the Ontario PC government. They grade the bill and discuss its impact on housing supply…
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In this conversation, economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern discuss the federal government's new plan to help first-time homebuyers by extending amortization periods on new homes. The conversation explores the reasons behind this decision and the potential impact on housing starts and prices, as well as why this is similar to a policy Mi…
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In this discussion, economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern about the great housing paradox: everyone wants landlords but no one wants landlords. Cara and Mike also discuss the different perspectives on who should own rental properties, including small-time landlords, big corporations, and government housing. The conversation also touches …
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In this discussion, Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern discuss how heritage designation negatively impacts housing supply in Toronto. During this wide ranging conversation with Globe and Mail's architecture critic, Alex Bozikovic, they touch on the history of urban planning and how it intersects with heritage planning and urban design in unexpected ways. …
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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern discuss the recent revelation by Ontario Premier Doug Ford that he will be caving to NIMBY objections, and won’t be forcing municipalities to legalize fourplexes across the province. Hosted by Mike Moffatt & Cara Stern Produced by Meredith Martin This po…
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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, Marc Miller. Included in this wide ranging conversation is the recent announcement of new targets for temporary immigration, the need for a decrease in temporary residents, the reas…
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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to Pollster David Coletto about the shifting priorities of millennials and the generational divides in financial stability and housing. He explains that younger Canadians are less likely to prioritize climate change compared to older Canadians. The …
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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern discuss why parking minimums often require developers to allocate a fixed amount of land for parking, regardless of the actual demand for parking in a particular area. This can result in inefficient land use, with valuable urban space being underutilized…
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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to Cherise Burda, Director of City Building Research and Innovation at Toronto Metropolitan University and a co-author with Mike of the Blueprint for More and Better Housing: How Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments can Ensure We Build 5.8 …
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In this 22-minute discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to Scott Cameron, an economist formerly with the Parliamentary Budget Officer in Ottawa and now working in government in the Channel Islands. This conversation explores economic forecasting models and the Bank of Canada's transition to a n…
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In this conversation, Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern discuss inflation and the Bank of Canada's approach to managing it. They explore the factors that contribute to inflation, such as supply-side disruptions and demand-side spending. They also discuss the challenges of predicting and controlling inflation, as well as the potential impact of inflation …
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Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to transit expert Reece Martin about the challenges and issues surrounding transit development in Canada. He highlights the decline in the ability to deliver transit projects effectively, the high costs of building subways in Toronto and the impact of NIMBYism on trans…
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Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to Armine Yalnizyan, economist and Atkinson Fellow On The Future Of Workers, about what role the Bank of Canada has played in the housing crisis. In this wide-ranging discussion, they discuss how wages have lagged significantly behind housing prices and how the Canadia…
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Because it’s a short week, instead of a full episode, we've got a short extra segment from our conversation with economist Armine Yalnizyan on whether GDP per capita is a good indicator of individual well-being. Hosted by Mike Moffatt & Cara Stern Produced by Meredith Martin This podcast is funded by the Neptis Foundation and brought to you by the …
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In this episode of The Missing Middle Podcast journalist Cara Stern welcomes Shaista, a long-time Toronto and 905 real estate observer who provides wonderful insights on everything from the state of Ontario’s tribunal system to the plight of international students. In this wide ranging conversation, Cara Stern and Shaishta - better known by her twi…
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A lot of people have been challenging the notion that GDP is a good measure of the economy. Instead, they suggest, we should look at GDP per capita to determine whether life is getting better for individuals, rather than the country as a whole. But is GDP per capita an economic triumph or a "garbage metric"? In this 23-minute discussion, Smart Pros…
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Last week the federal government introduced a cap on international student visas. Going forward they will be distributed to the provinces on a per-capita basis. That got us thinking about Canada’s immigration policies in general. Canada’s openness to immigrants has always been one of Canada's great strengths. Our temporary immigration programs have…
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The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released its annual Rental Market Report last week. With the national vacancy rate hitting a historic low and rent prices on a relentless climb, renters across the nation are feeling the squeeze. In bustling urban centers like Toronto and Vancouver, the role of condominiums as makeshift rental unit…
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The Canadian federal government announced a 2-year cap on international student permits making for some big headlines last week. This will severely limit the number of international students attending campuses in Ontario and British Columbia where the number of international students have been climbing in recent years. The existence of Public Priva…
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Sabrina Maddeaux is a journalist and political commentator who announced that she’s seeking the Conservative nomination for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill. In this 22-minute discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to Maddeaux about the housing and affordability crisis and what role that played i…
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Politicians, policy makers, and journalists all talk about the middle class and how well they are doing economically speaking. Middle-class voters make up the bulk of the voting population so it makes political sense to court them. But what exactly does middle class mean today? Who is considered middle class and what makes them middle class? In thi…
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The city of Toronto is currently contemplating a significant property tax hike as part of its proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The move is generating widespread discussion and debate among residents, businesses, and policymakers. In this 23-minute discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern d…
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Canada’s place in the global world order is shifting and according to the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) Canada will be the worst-performing advanced economy over the next decade John Rapley is a political economist specializing in global development, the world economy, and economic history. He was born and raised in O…
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Yesterday was the first time Mike or Cara ever heard Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalling that his government would work to cap the number of international students allowed in the country, tying the numbers to available housing. Mike and Cara discuss what this development means and how it could even work. Hosted by Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern. …
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In a throwback to the post-war era, Trudeau's federal government is looking into creating a catalogue of pre-approved home designs that they hope will speed up housing development. But why do they even matter, and where can they go wrong? Hosted by Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern, and produced by Meredith Martin. Thank you to the PLACE Centre. This pod…
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Canadian bond yields have been fairly volatile in recent weeks...but what does that even mean, and why does it matter to anyone outside of the finance world? Mike gives a primer on what bond yields are, and why the middle class should understand and care about them. Hosted by Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern, and produced by Meredith Martin. Thank you t…
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British Columbia's Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon joins Mike and Cara to talk about the big plans his government has to make it easier for developers to build homes. We cover everything from zoning, to immigration, and building with timber. Hosted by Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern, and produced by Meredith Martin. Thank you to the PLACE Centre. This pod…
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Justin Trudeau's government released its Fall Economic Statement this week, introducing what Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland called meaty measures...and what Mike Moffatt grades at a C-. He explains why, and what they could have offered instead. Hosted by Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern, and produced by Meredith Martin. Thank you to the PLACE Centre…
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Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner joined Mike and Cara to talk about his two private member's bills that aim to increase housing supply, as well as how he hopes to represent young people who have been priced out of the market. Hosted by Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern, and produced by Meredith Martin. Thank you to the PLACE Centre. This podcast…
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The provincial government has set the target of 1.5 million homes in the province over a 10-year period. That involves major increases in the rate of construction, beyond anything we've seen in decades. To incentivize municipalities, the federal and provincial governments are tying infrastructure funding to these targets. But are these goals realis…
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The Ontario NDP and Olivia Chow both recently released their housing plans. They're both big budget projects, but with wildly different calculations in how much it costs to build a home. Alex Beheshti is an urban planner and land economist with the Altus Group, and he joins Mike and Cara to evaluate the feasibility of these plans. Hosted by Mike Mo…
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A lot of politicians say that development charges are paid for out of the pockets of big developers, and save taxpayers from footing the bill for infrastructure. The question we have is: Is that really true? Hosted by Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern, and produced by Meredith Martin. Thank you to the PLACE Centre. This podcast is funded by the Neptis Fo…
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When the Ontario government put together a Housing Affordability Task Force to advise them on housing policy, they got the advice to up-zone the whole province to a minimum of four units on any lot. The government decided against forcing municipalities to do that, but have advised municipalities that they should voluntarily do so. Recently, Guelph …
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Since Mike Moffatt has advised Justin Trudeau, and Sean Speer has advised Stephen Harper, we thought it would be fun to get them in a (virtual) room together to discuss how both sides of the political spectrum have changed their approaches on economics in recent years. Hosted by Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern, and produced by Meredith Martin. Thank yo…
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Mike's been talking for years about how Canada isn't considering international students in our immigration numbers. They all need places to live, so this oversight really messes with the housing market. Finally, politicians are starting to pay attention! He unpacks the story of how we got here and what needs to change. Hosted by Mike Moffatt and Ca…
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