Submitted by Catherine McKenna, MP for Ottawa Centre
I know how hard the lockdown has been, and we are all tired, but it is necessary to keep everyone safe right now. Until everyone is protected from the virus, it is critical that we follow public health measures. Hang in there — we will get through this!
Supporting Canadians continues to be our priority. As part of Budget 2021, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) have been extended until the end of September. We plan to launch a new program, the Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which will subsidize employers so they can hire more people or increase their employees’ hours. Please continue to support local small businesses if you have the means — so many are offering curbside, online and takeout. They really need our support right now!
As a government, we are working hard to ensure that safe and effective vaccines reach Canadians as quickly as possible. By the end of Q1, we received 9.5 million doses, which is almost 4 million more than promised. Throughout the months ahead, millions more doses will arrive. We will continue to work closely with provinces and territories to support them as they vaccinate Canadians across the country. We remain on track to vaccinate every Canadian who wants a shot by the end of September.
Recently, our government invested $80 million to make important upgrades to 95 long-term care facilities across Ontario to ensure safer facilities for seniors and frontline workers. I am so happy this includes over $4.2 million to upgrade the Hillel Lodge, Grace Manor, Royal Ottawa Place and Villa Marconi Long-Term Care Center in Ottawa Centre.
As a mom of three, I understand the need for schools to be safe for students and teachers. I know how challenging it is for parents, many balancing work with kids at home. In April, we announced over $500 million in federal funding to ensure schools are safe across Ontario. Of this, Ottawa school boards received a total of $51.3 million. Through this investment, our schools will get the support needed to ensure kids, teachers and staff are safe in school.
We also recognize how incredibly important affordable childcare is for families. The pandemic has made access to early learning and childcare a universal issue that is resonating across sectors, regions and income brackets. As part of Budget 2021, we’re investing $30 billion to build a Canada-wide early learning and childcare system. Not only is this good for families, but also great for Canadians because it means more women are entering the workforce.
While we will get out of this pandemic, climate change isn’t going anywhere. That is why in Budget 2021, our government announced $17.6 billion in climate initiatives and, during the Leaders Summit on Climate, we committed to a new ambitious climate target of lowering emissions by 40-45 per cent by 2030.
As Budget 2021 has shown, we will continue to be there for Canadians. I know this has been such a difficult year for everyone, but better days are to come. If you need support right now, there are resources in Ottawa Centre ready to help, such as the 24/7 Distress Line at 613-238-2211 or text at 343-306-5550. Together, we will get through this!
Please note my constituency office continues to be open virtually and ready to assist. Call us at 613-946-8682 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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