Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation
The three years since Evan Siddall was named president and CEO of CMHC have been tumultuous to say the least. Taking the reins of CMHC at a time when its purpose and effectiveness were constantly being debated, Siddall moved quickly to make the organization more relevant and agile: hundreds of employees, many of them middle management, were laid off; its technology underwent a complete overhaul; and a flood of new employees with backgrounds in risk management were brought in to produce a constant flow of critical, publicly available data.
But Siddall’s attempts to increase CMHC’s credibility, not to mention his willingness to speak bluntly about the issues facing the Canadian housing market, have led to controversy. Many in the mortgage industry have questioned CMHC’s recent changes to lending rules, some deigning to call them “decrees”, and more than one Canadian politician has referred to Siddall as “arrogant” for professing his views. He has publicly questioned the racial bias at the heart of the Vancouver foreign ownership tax and has made no secret of his worries around a potential debt-fuelled financial crisis – for which Siddall and CMHC have encountered an avalanche of criticism.