McLeod not surprised by finance minister's call to Manulife
It's not surprising to Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Conservative MP Cathy McLeod that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has approached lending institutions about their mortgage rates.
Despite headlines generated recently when one such conversation led to Manulife Financial agreeing to drop its discounted five-year rate, which it was offering for 2.89 per cent, Flaherty has pressed the same point to all in the industry, McLeod said.
Manulife complied, but mortgages are still available in parts of the country for as low as 2.3 per cent, a rate being offered by True North Mortgage, which has offices in Calgary, Halifax and Toronto.
"He and Mr. Carney [Bank of Canada head Mark Carney] are concerned about debt," McLeod said.
"And this was just a discussion. It was not legislation. But, they are concerned about what happens if — no, when — those debts come due."
Flaherty has been under fire from several fronts, including from two members of his own party, for discussions he has had with lending institutes.
Small Business Minister Maxime Bernier, for example, called it interfering in what businesses do and how the market reacts to business decisions.
Edmonton-St. Albert Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber said there are other ways government can have an impact on mortgages and debt, other than trying to sway business decisions.