Making life more affordable for Canadians
Thank you Jenn, for your intro, but also for your incredibly hard work here in Pickering. I want to thank as well Ryan Turnbull and Mark Holland, local MPs, for being here. Thank you, Ali and the extraordinary team you have here, for welcoming us today. And thank you all for being out here. It’s great to be back in Pickering.
I want to begin by taking a moment to offer my deepest condolences to the loved ones of the two South Simcoe police officers killed in the line of duty. I know the families of people who serve are always worried for their loved ones as they step forward to serve their communities to keep the rest of us safe, and I can’t imagine what those families are going through. Please know that we stand with you as families. We stand with all those who step up to serve and protect us all. And we will continue to be there to support those families and their colleagues and the entire community of Innisfil as they mourn this loss.
I would like to convey my sincerest and deepest condolences to the families of the officers killed in Innisfil. This is a terrible tragedy for the families and for the community. We will be there to support them in these very difficult times.
Also, before I begin, I would like to take a moment to talk about Ukraine and the escalation of Vladimir Putin’s illegal and unjustifiable attacks. Over the weekend, people were horrified to see strikes against civilians. Canada continues to condemn this brutal and reprehensible behaviour, and we continue to support Ukraine’s defence against the Russian invaders.
This morning, Minister Anand announced an additional $47 million in military aid to Ukraine, including artillery ammunition, winter clothing, and drone cameras. Canada continues to stand up for human rights and the rule of law around the world, alongside our allies, because we know that without it, we risk squandering the decades of peace that led to the prosperity so many have benefited from. It was a key subject of conversation yesterday when I gathered virtually with the six other leaders of the G7 to talk about the worsening attacks by Russia and how, as a world, we can continue to push back, not just in defence of Ukraine, not just in defence of the democratic principles that underpin all of our countries, but also in support for the millions upon millions of citizens around the world who are being impacted by indirect ways by Vladimir Putin’s illegal and unjustifiable actions.
That’s a part of what brings me today to Pickering here in the GTA, where people are feeling the effects of Putin’s war first-hand as food and energy prices go up. Adding to the global inflation crisis. The rising cost of living has been hitting families hard. My colleagues and I have been hearing it directly from Canadians. I had a chance to talk to Tracy and her two kids earlier. Talked about the fact that it’s getting harder and harder to buy fresh fruits and groceries at the prices are going up for just about everything. We know.
Families across Canada are working hard to get through this pandemic. And let’s be clear, Canadian families did the right thing during these past years. They stayed home when they had to. They looked after each other. We got vaccinated as Canadians to some of the highest levels of anywhere in the world, which is a good reminder with cold and flu season coming up and the return of possible next waves of the pandemic. It’s important that people get up to date in their boosters. We have new updated vaccines that will give us that extra shot to keep us protected through the winter and make sure that we’re continuing to do the things we love through this winter. Even as the pandemic continues. But it’s been a hard couple of years, and I know people are tired. And now, like Tracy, I know a lot of people are worried about making ends meet. Our government is here to help people who need it the most. Folks in the middle class and people working hard to join it. That’s why the very first thing we did in Parliament this fall was to put forward the Cost of Living Relief Act bill to help make life more affordable.
This relief would double the GST credit for six months, delivering up to an additional $467 to a family with two kids this fall. It’s going to help put 11 million families across the country, more money in their pockets. Just as a time as people are looking at this winter with worry that the bills are going to be heavy.
Also, families with kids under 12 who don’t have dental coverage could get up to $1,300 per child over the next two years to help make sure that they can stay healthy and go to the dentist. And 1.8 million renters, low-income renters across the country will benefit from a $500 one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit.
These are all concrete measures that we’re debating right now in the House that we’re hoping to move forward on and we call on all Parliamentarians to support the GST credit as it moves through the Senate, but also support for dental, support for rental. These are things that will make a difference in the lives of Canadians right across the country.
Canadians, Parliamentarians need to work together to deliver it.
These measures are part of the efforts we have made since 2015 to make life more affordable. A number of government income benefits are already indexed to inflation, including the Canada Pension Plan and the Canada Child Benefit. This summer, Old Age Security payments, which are provided to people 75 years old and older, increased by 10 percent, and our government implemented a plan to make housing more affordable by increasing the housing supply, by helping to save, and by limiting speculation.
We’re also helping families with young children who are already saving thousands of dollars a year thanks to our plan to deliver $10-a-day child care, including many families here in Ontario who are beginning to see rebates in their child care fees. Those are hundreds, even thousands of dollars. That makes a real difference at a time where every penny counts as we’re supporting our young families. And on Friday, the next Climate Action Incentive quarterly rebate payments are going out.
That’s the fact that the price on pollution we brought in a number of years ago actually returns more money to the average families and that quarterly payment is going out this Friday. Here in Ontario, the fall rebate for a family of four is $186, part of the $745 total that you’ll get this year in Ontario. Payment goes to Canadians who live in provinces with the federal price on pollution.
That is Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. And again, for the vast majority of families, for the hardworking families of the middle class and those working hard to join it, you get more money back from that price on pollution than you pay. On average.
Since 2015, we have been working to make life more affordable and to build an economy that includes everyone. During the pandemic, we made investments that allowed people to keep their jobs, to pay their rents, and to buy groceries.
We’ve worked hard to ensure that no one in our economy was left behind during the pandemic, so our economy could come roaring back. And now Canada has one of the strongest job recoveries in the G7 and we have a really low unemployment rate. But we know that’s not enough. We know we need to keep working hard for Canadians. We need to keep making sure that as the economy grows, everyone benefits, not just those at the top. That’s why we’ll keep investing in programs that lift people up and build a future where everyone sees and has opportunity. That’s why we’re focused on an economy that works for all Canadians.
Thank you very much, everyone!