Hon. Roy MacLaren (Minister of State (Finance)):
Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member opposite has expressed a concern that any of us would share if we saw evidence of a major increase in interest rates in Canada. We do not see that evidence. Indeed, if the Member were to consider yesterday's developments, he would recall that the bank rate declined yesterday. While fluctuations will occur, the bank rate is today
May 18, 1984
at 11.63 per cent, whereas it was 11.72 per cent last week. That will bring benefits in terms of mortgage and other interest rates in the Canadian economy.
The Eton. Member also fails to recall that it is the Government s intention, as outlined in the February Budget, to introduce a mortgage rate protection plan. We intend to introduce the legislation shortly to implement that plan and, as I have indicated to the House on several occasions, it will be effective as of last March 1. The rates that will be insured will be those at which a mortgage was either taken out or renewed from March 1 forward.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, the Member opposite will probably be aware that it is the Government's intention to introduce a mortgage backed security plan which can, in our view, do a significant amount to reintroduce longer term mortgages into the Canadian mortgage market. We anticipate the mortgage backed security plan will enhance the possibilities of ten-year mortgages in Canada in the future.