Advocacy - Saskatoon & Region Home Builders' Association

Update on Government Action Impacting Your Business

Last modified: March 16, 2020 @ 3:00pm

The situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve very rapidly as new announcements from municipal, provincial, and federal governments are changing the landscape for the residential construction industry almost daily. Here are some of the major developments to date, the last update being March 16 2020:

Stress Test

All changes to the stress test announced by the Bank of Canada on insured mortgages have been suspended and will no longer come into effect on April 6th. OSFI has also announced that consultations with industry to implement a similar change to uninsured mortgages are also suspended.

Interest Rates

The Bank of Canada has announced two rate cuts in as many weeks in an effort to limit the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and tumbling oil prices. The overnight lending rate was reduced by 0.5% on March 4th, and again on March 13th by another 0.5% in its first emergency rate cut since 2009, bringing the rate to 0.75%.

Provincial Budget 2020

There is currently no plan to delay the provincial budget on March 18th, however, all in-person events have been cancelled and Association CEO Chris Guérette will not be traveling to Regina for budget day. However, we will still be communicating as information becomes available, particularly when it comes to any changes relating to the PST.

Building Permit and Inspections

As of today, the City of Saskatoon Building Standards branch is operating as normal which means builders and renovators can continue to use the normal channels to apply for and receive building permits as well as book inspections.

The Association recommends certified builders and renovators look into the use of the various online tools that the city has set up to submit building permits and book inspections if they haven’t already done so. Click here and use the links on the right hand side of the page “Book an Inspection” and “Submit a Residential Building & Development Permit Application”.

The Association will be reaching out to the other municipalities in the Saskatoon Region to get updates on how their operations will be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.