Government of Canada responds to coronavirus fallout with new aggressive measures

In addition to other efforts to support the economy, such as the announcement that the government would be pumping $10 billion into credit for small and medium sized Canadian businesses, and another interest rate cut from the Bank of Canada, on Monday, the federal government also announced that it would be gearing up to buy up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The move would not open up any risk to taxpayers as insured mortgage pools in Canada already carry Government of Canada backing. The idea is that it would provide funding to the country’s big banks and mortgage lenders and liquidity flexibility that would allow them to continue to extend credit to individuals and businesses. The insured mortgage pools will also earn a rate of return for the government that exceeds the cost of borrowing. Similar measures were put in place during the 2008 crisis and were found to be very effective. Details are expected to roll out to lenders later this week.