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Strengthening the middle class and building a strong future

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We are focused on supporting the middle class and building an economy that works for everyone. Across the country, Canadians are feeling the rising cost of living and struggling to find a place to call home, at a price they can afford. The Government of Canada has been working to provide concrete support to Canadians, put more money back in their pockets, and build the housing we need, faster – and there’s more to do.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and members of Cabinet today concluded their retreat in Montréal, Quebec, where they discussed the progress already made and the work still ahead to continue strengthening the middle class.

Cabinet addressed the importance of continuing to build more homes, faster. Through the Housing Accelerator Fund, we have worked relentlessly with partners across the country to cut red-tape and increase Canada’s housing supply. To date, we have signed 29 Housing Accelerator Fund agreements to help fast-track the construction of almost half a million new homes across Canada over the next decade. The Housing Accelerator Fund is changing the way cities build homes. By reducing the need for lengthy city council approvals, we are speeding up development, building more housing near public transit, and creating greater housing options in cities, including more student housing, rentals, and affordable housing. We are also helping cities modernize infrastructure by digitizing permitting systems, overhauling bylaw approvals, and using city-owned land for new housing.

The Prime Minister and Cabinet discussed ways to further strengthen tools to combat organized crime and keep our communities safe, in response to the rise in auto theft across the country. Auto theft impacts many Canadians and can be a source of revenue for organized crime groups. At the Cabinet retreat, we announced that a National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft will take place in Ottawa on February 8, 2024. Bringing together federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments as well as industry partners, the Summit will help ensure a coordinated, comprehensive response to auto theft – from prevention, to enforcement, to prosecution.

International students are vital to Canada and are an integral part of our communities. Too many students, however, are currently vulnerable to abusive practices – limiting their success and threatening the integrity of our International Student Program. That is why, at the Cabinet retreat, we announced a two-year cap on new study permit applications to stabilize the number of international students in Canada. This is an important step to protect the trust and integrity of our immigration system. It will help us grow the economy and support sustainable population growth, while ensuring those who come to Canada to study can realize their full potential.

Cabinet also discussed ways to strengthen Canada’s relationship with the United States ahead of this fall’s presidential election. The Prime Minister today announced that the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François Philippe-Champagne, and the Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, Mary Ng, will co-lead, along with Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, a renewed Team Canada engagement strategy to promote and defend Canada’s interests in and with the United States. The strategy will bring together experts and leaders in business, labour, and academia, along with provincial and territorial partners, to deepen Canada’s relationship with our closest ally. Modelled off of the successful strategy we led just a few years ago, it will help advance opportunities for Canadian workers, businesses, entrepreneurs, and communities across the country.

We are squarely focused on delivering for the middle class. Since 2015, we have been working hard to put more money back in the pockets of Canadian families through the Canada Child Benefit, tax cuts for the middle class, and $10-a-day regulated child care right across the country. To date, over half of provinces and territories are delivering regulated child care for an average of $10-a-day or less, and fees have been reduced by at least 50 per cent on average in all other jurisdictions. Through the Grocery Rebate, we delivered targeted inflation relief to 11 million Canadians last year. And through the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, we are putting home ownership back in reach, and 500,000 Canadians have already signed up. We will continue to relentlessly fight for Canadians – taking concrete action to grow the middle class and make life better for everyone.

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“Our government’s focus – first, last, and always – is to grow a strong middle class and make life better for Canadians. We’ve delivered action to build more homes, make communities safer, and help Canadians get ahead, but there is more to do. We’ll continue working for Canadians to create good jobs, a strong middle class, and a better, more prosperous future for everyone.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts

  • The Housing Accelerator Fund is a $4 billion initiative from the Government of Canada that will run until 2026-27. It is designed to help cities, towns, and Indigenous governments unlock new housing supply through innovative approaches and fast-track at least 100,000 permitted new homes over the first three years.
  • As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada is making a transformative investment of more than $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with provinces and territories. Combined with other investments, including in Indigenous early learning and child care, up to $30 billion over five years will be provided in support of early learning and child care.
  • As part of the Canada-wide early learning and child care system, the Government of Canada aims to create approximately 250,000 new child care spaces across the country by March 2026 to give families increased access to affordable child care options across the country.

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