Submitted by Catherine McKenna, MP Ottawa Centre –
For many Canadians, being a parent and raising a family is the most important part of their lives. That’s why our government has introduced new benefits, made changes to Employment Insurance, and invested in our youth to help ensure every Canadian family has a fair chance at success. In Ottawa Centre, 7,340 families are receiving an average of $5,000 through the Canada Child Benefit for things like groceries, school supplies and music lessons. Across the country, nine out of 10 families are receiving money and 300,000 children are out of poverty. I am thrilled that Budget 2018 included additional funding for the benefit of keeping pace with the cost of living. If there’s anything that being a mom of three has taught me, it’s that life is often unpredictable. Families grow and loved ones get sick. Our government has made changes to Employment Insurance to make sure Canadians get the benefits they need, when they need them. Last year we reduced the wait period for benefits from two weeks to one. We also introduced a new caregiving benefit of up to 15 weeks for individuals who are providing care to an adult family member who is critically ill or injured. These changes are helping more Canadians support their loved ones.
Supporting loved ones also means having the flexibility to balance your work and home life in a way that makes sense for you. Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits offer vital income support to parents during the critical period in early childhood when they need to take time off work to care for their children. Through Budget 2018, a new Parental Sharing Benefit provides up to eight additional weeks of benefits when both parents agree to share parental leave. This use-it-or-lose-it benefit allows new mothers to return to work sooner (if they choose), and helps ensure both parents get that very important bonding time with their newborns.
Once our children are grown up and are in school, they are focused on getting the experience they need to be successful in their future careers. A summer job is a critical way for students to get the kind of valuable work experience that employers look for on a resumé, while earning money for the upcoming school year. Our government doubled the number of students who got a summer job through the Canada Summer Jobs program. In Ottawa Centre over 1,000 summer jobs have been created for students since 2016. Our government remains focused on helping Canadians as we invest in the middle class, in our communities, and in our economy. We want to make life better for our middle class and every family working hard to join it.
If you have any questions about the information you ’ve read here, do not hesitate to contact my community office.