US & Canada

Canada in the news: Can Toronto's housing market cool off?

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Can anything cool off Canada's housing market?

Toronto and Vancouver have some of the hottest real-estate markets in the world. So how do you make housing more affordable?

On Thursday, Ontario announced 16 measures aimed at cooling off the market, especially in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). They're expanding rent control and introducing a 15% tax on foreign buyers. The new tax applies to non-Canadian citizens, non-permanent residents, and corporations buying residential properties containing up to six units.

Vancouver introduced similar legislation last August, and it appears to have worked, with the average price of a detached home dropping 7% between July 2016, before the legislation was passed, and January 2017.

Detached home prices in the GTA grew 12% over the same period.

North Korea gets testier

Over the weekend, North Korea tried and failed to test a nuclear missile. In response, US VP Mike Pence said America's "era of strategic patience" with North Korea was over.

That didn't go over too well with Pyongyang. A senior official told the BBC that they'll continue to conduct missile tests on a "weekly, monthly and yearly basis" and said they would retaliate with a nuclear strike if provoked.

Does North Korea actually have the capabilities to launch nuclear weapons? Defence expert Melissa Hanham explains:

Oh snap

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a general election on 8 June - three years earlier than scheduled.

Why so soon? Ms May, who became prime minister through her party's leadership race after David Cameron resigned, says the government needs a firm mandate to proceed with Brexit negotiations.

The average of five opinion polls published in April puts the Conservatives on a little under 43%, compared to a little over 25% for Labour. The Liberal Democrats were on 10%, UKIP 11% and the Greens on 4%.

Canadians who live in the UK may be eligible to vote, as may British citizens who have lived abroad for less than 15 years. To find out more, head to the UK's electoral commission website.

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