Marking the 7th anniversary of the Canada Child Benefit
Thank you, Mark, for your words, but thank you also for the incredible work you do, not just in being a strong voice for Kingston and the Islands in Ottawa, but for tremendous leadership in the House of Commons as well. You’ve been a strong, a strong player on our team for a long time and it’s always great to be able to come and visit you here in Kingston and the Islands, a place I know you love so much.
Jacqueline, thank you so much for welcoming us here to the Boys and Girls Club. It is such an amazing place. You can feel from conversations with the parents to seeing the kids just how vibrant and dynamic this place is. What a huge part of the larger community it has become, and we’re glad to be able to continue to support the incredible work you do in preparing our kids for what is going to be a challenging future.
There’s no question that we’re in a time where the pressures, whether it’s financial pressures, the cost of living with, even though inflation is coming down, below 3% now, food prices are still high. We’re seeing destabilization in the geopolitics. It’s having an impact on energy and on food prices. We’re seeing challenges still as we get over the knock-on effects from the pandemic, dealing with climate change.
There’s a lot of reasons to be uncertain about the world, and that’s where Canadians really shine, in being there for each other, in stepping up and supporting people. And one of the great examples of how we were able to do that as a government is what we’re marking today. Seven years ago, we brought in the Canada Child Benefit.
It has lifted over half a million kids out of poverty. It has impacted families from coast to coast to coast with hundreds of dollars tax-free every single month to help with the high costs of raising kids. Today, July 20th, is the updated CCB. It’s increasing by 6.3%, which means for an average family making about $65,000 a year with two kids, that’s an extra thousand dollars this year.
That’s going to help out with the costs of living. So, we know that being there for people in targeted ways to support families is one of the best ways to create a strong, growing economy for the future. We’ve done that in many, many different ways. Even just this month with the grocery rebate that went out on July 5th to over 11 million people, with childcare fees cut in half here in Ontario and $10 a day in many parts of the country.
We’re going to continue to step up and support people with dental care, with investments in health care. We know that confident countries invest in themselves, and that’s exactly what we’re doing as we continue to step up and prepare for great jobs in the future and a growing economy that is providing solutions that the world needs.
Today, we’re here to mark the seventh year of the Canada Child Benefit, and this year, today, the CCB is increasing by 6.3% to help families with the cost of living. Yes, inflation is coming down. It’s now at 2.8%, but food prices are still high, and we’re there to help with these measures. We’re also there to help with dental care, we’re there to help with fees for childcare centres and daycares, which have been cut in half across the country. We continue to be there with investments for the grocery rebate that went out to help 11 million Canadians just a few weeks ago. So, we’re going to continue to be there while we create a strong, growing economy.
In a time of stress, politicians have a choice. As we note that people are struggling and people are worried, we can do either two things: we can help them with meaningful supports as we’re doing and invest for a strong economy of the future, or we can choose to amplify those fears. Tell people that everything is broken. We should just throw up our hands and give up. Well, that’s not what Canadians do. Canadians are there to help each other, as we’ve seen here at the Boys and Girls Club.
Canadians are there to stand up for each other. We’re there to be optimistic about building a full, a stronger future, but clear-eyed about the hard work it’s going to take to get there. I am deeply optimistic about this country, and seeing the boys and girls here at this amazing place only reinforces that we’re building a better future every day, and I’m just privileged to be a part of it with all of you.
So, thank you, Jackie, for inviting me here. And thank you all for being here today.