Last fall, Bill Morneau did a rare thing in modern politics. Instead of running away from responsibility, he embraced it. “Let me be clear,” Morneau told the Toronto Board of Trade. “At the end of the day, I am ultimately responsible for supporting financial security, and the stability of the financial system.”
The remarks didn’t receive much attention, but they should have. What Morneau did that day was confirm that he would be the decider of what would be done—or not done—to deflate Canada’s various housing bubbles. He had taken some steps to curb demand during his first year in office, such as raising the minimum downpayment for homes priced higher than $500,000. The public was supposed to be reassured that what happened in the U.S. a decade earlier wouldn’t happen in Canada.
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