MP Shafqat Ali, met with the members of the Filipino community in Brampton Centre to highlight Budget 2023’s investments in healthcare, seniors, families, and immigration. Canada has made a remarkable recovery from the COVID recession. Canada’s economic growth was the strongest in the G7 over the last year, and today, 830,000 more Canadians are employed than before the pandemic, 361,600 here in Ontario. Inflation in Canada has fallen for eight months in a row, our unemployment rate is near its record low, and, supported by our Canada-wide system of affordable early learning and childcare,
the labour force participation rate for women aged 25 to 54 reached at a record high of 85.7 per cent in
February. Budget 2023 builds on this important progress.
To make life more affordable, Budget 2023 delivers the new Grocery Rebate, offering targeted inflation relief for 11 million Canadians and families who need it most with up to an additional $467 for eligible couples with children; an additional $234 for single Canadians without children; and an additional $225 for seniors, on average. A tax-free payment of $500 to help low-income people who are struggling with the cost of rent.
Budget 2023 announces that the government will work to implement a right to repair, with the aim of
introducing a targeted framework for home appliances and electronics in 2024. Financial institutions will be able to start offering the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account to Canadians as of April 1, 2023. The
government is also taking action to crack down on junk fees and predatory lending, lower credit card transaction fees for small businesses, and help Canadians keep more money in their pockets.
To strengthen Canada’s universal public health care system, the budget delivers $198.3 billion, including
$77.006 billion here in Ontario to reduce backlogs, expand access to family health services, and ensure
provinces and territories can provide the high quality and timely health care Canadians expect and deserve.
Budget 2023 also introduces a new Canadian Dental Care Plan, to help up to 9 million Canadians and ensure no Canadian has to choose between taking care of their health and paying the bills at the end of the month. Supporting about 3.5 million families annually through the tax-free Canada Child Benefit, with families this year receiving up to $6,997 per child under the age of six, and up to $5,903 per child aged six through 17. Reducing fees for regulated childcare by 50 percent on average, delivering regulated childcare that costs an average of just $10 a day by 2026—with six provinces and territories reducing child care fees to $10 a day or less by April 2, 2023—and strengthening the child care system in Quebec with more child care spaces.
Enhancing the Canada Workers Benefit for our lowest-paid—and often most essential—workers, to provide up to $1,428 for a single worker without children, up to $2,461 to a family, and an additional $737 for workers with disabilities. $1.6 billion over six years and $315 million ongoing to welcome 500,000 new permanent residents each year by 2025, as well as an additional $50 million to address immigration application backlogs; $100 million since 2020 to increase the federal contribution to legal aid services.
Increasing Old Age Security benefits for seniors aged 75 and older by ten percent as of July 2022, which
is providing more than $800 in additional support to full pensioners; Strengthening the Canada Pension Plan, which will eventually raise the maximum retirement benefit by up to 50 percent.
The federal government knows that the higher cost of living still means that students still need support to afford an education and pursue their dreams. Budget 2023 proposes to enhance student financial assistance for the school year starting August 1, 2023. This includes increasing Canada Student Grants by 40 percent—to provide up to $4,200 for full-time students; Raising the interest-free Canada Student Loan limit from $210 to $300 per week of study; and, Waiving the requirement for mature students, aged 22 years or older, to undergo credit screening in order to qualify for federal student grants and loans for the first time.
This will allow post-secondary students to access up to $14,400 in enhanced Canada Student Financial
Assistance for the upcoming school year. Students with disabilities and dependants will also receive an increase in Canada Student Grants. Quebec, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, which do not participate in the program, can receive federal funding to provide their own comparable support.
With a responsible fiscal plan that will see Canada maintain the lowest deficit and the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7, Budget 2023 will help to build a Canada that is more secure, more sustainable, and more affordable for people from coast to coast to coast.
MP Ali also shared the recent announcement by Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, for the opening of a new application processing centre in Manila, Philippines. This initiative supports Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and helps boost immigration application processing within Canada’s centralized network, as well as abroad. The new centre is located within Canada’s Embassy in Manila and will be supported by 37 new employees. The added capacity is part of Canada’s ongoing efforts to accommodate the high volume of visa applications from around the world and will support ongoing efforts to also improve client service and help achieve Canada’s
planned increases to immigration levels in the years to come. By expanding its presence overseas, Canada is making strategic investments, with the goal of bringing more people to Canada—whether to visit, study, work or immigrate permanently.
Members of the Filipino community displayed a great deal of excitement upon learning about the 2023 Budget and the investments made by our Federal Government to facilitate Canadians and newcomers. The guests enthusiastically provided their valuable feedback to MP Ali, who took the opportunity to explain the budget plan and progress in detail.