Benjamin Tal opens CFAA Conference

Recently, Benjamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist for CIBC World Markets, gave an insightful presentation to kick off the 2021 CFAA Virtual Rental Housing Conference. (A recording of that talk is available for purchase here)

Benjamin eased some of the concern that the federal government may raise taxes to pay off its debt. He pointed out that governments do not pay off their debt. They roll it over, until it becomes minimized by inflation. On-going deficits need to be reined in, but one-time deficits can be carried in the debt without much harm. Raising taxes would tend to reduce economic output and are politically unpopular.

A new interest deductibility limit

In Budget 2021, the government announced a new interest deductibility limit for most businesses of 30% of revenue. A company which pays more interest than that would not be able to deduct the excess interest from its gross income, with the result that the company would have to pay income tax on income it doesn’t have.

Many other governments around the world have introduced a similar limitation to prevent corporations from shifting their income to low-tax jurisdictions, like the Bahamas or Luxemburg. The Budget did state that there would be a consultation on the application of the new interest deductibility limit, both before and after legislation is introduced.

Before COVID-19 struck, CFAA had explained to the federal government that there needs to be a carve out for rental housing, because rental housing is very capital intensive. We thought the government understood the message, and we are exploring whether they already intend such a carve out. CFAA will pursue that issue.

At his talk, Benjamin Tal stated that he does not believe the interest deductibility limitation to be good policy. It will not raise significant revenue, and (if applied to rental housing) it will decrease the supply of rental units. “It is a step in the wrong direction.” CFAA agrees with Benjamin, and is opposing the application of the limitation to rental housing.

CFAA Rental Housing Awards Presentation and Tradeshow

On May 4, 5, and 6, CFAA will be holding its annual Awards Presentations, along with a Tradeshow and Networking. Attendees will be able to network using Remo’s unique “table set up”, visit exhibitors’ virtual booths throughout the events, and speak to exhibitors in real time (after each Awards segment on May 4, 5 and 6).

The event will run from 3:00 to 5:00 pm EDT (12:00 to 2:00 pm PDT, 1:00 to 3:00 pm MDT/CST, 2:00 to 4:00 pm CDT, 4:00 to 6:00 pm ADT). Each day will begin with an Awards presentation, followed by networking.

  • May 4: Rental Housing Provider of the Year and Supplier awards.
  • May 5: Employee awards and Association Achievement of the Year.
  • May 6: Marketing and Renovation awards, as well as Rental Development of the Year.

See a sample Tradeshow booth for yourself here. The Awards and Tradeshow are free for rental housing providers to attend, but you must register in advance.

Up-coming CFAA Education Panels

  • Operations Roundtable on Thursday, May 13
  • Property Management Software – front line and back office on Thursday, May 27
  • Utility Metering for ESG on Thursday, June 10
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Rental Housing on Thursday, June 17

Operations Roundtable


  • Ruth Buckle, Senior Vice President, Property Management, Killam Apartment REIT
  • Trish MacPherson, Partner, Alignvest Student Housing REIT
  • Brandi McIlvenny, Director, Residential Rentals, Sifton Properties
  • Dean Holmes, Senior Vice President, Residential Operations, Quadreal

The panel will discuss topics such as:

  • Rental demand, rents and collections in different markets
  • Student rental demand
  • Changes we are likely to see after COVID-19
  • Dealing with increasing insurance rates
  • Gender equity issues

CFAA hopes to see you at the Awards/Tradeshow and at the Education panels.