Federal Update: Spring, a time of renewal

Submitted by Yasir Naqvi, MP for Ottawa Centre

Spring is here, at least officially! Over the past month, whether you were celebrating Ramadan, Passover, Easter, Vaisakhi, Nowruz or just good weather, it has been a time of renewal and rebirth. Our local shops and farmers’ markets are opening again, and we are feeling hopeful for a safe and healthy summer of get-togethers and barbecues. However, given that COVID-19 is still among us, I strongly suggest following public health guidelines, especially on masking and vaccination.

As we enjoy warmer weather and the easing of restrictions, we are also showing solidarity with the people of Ukraine, whose suffering and resilience has moved us all. Our federal government has implemented further measures including a dedicated Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) program, while also providing relief to European partners who are currently supporting displaced Ukrainians. This allows for targeted charter flights to Canada, short-term income support for up to six weeks to ensure basic needs are met and temporary hotel accommodations for those who need them for up to two weeks. Our support for Ukraine, for democracy and for human rights remains unwavering.

The federal government also released Budget 2022 on April 7. From the very beginning, our government has been focused on growing the middle class and building a better Canada that leaves nobody behind. I am thrilled that the budget focuses on many of the priorities of our Ottawa Centre community.

The key focus of this year’s budget are making housing more affordable, continuing the fight against systemic racism, delivering on climate action and clean air, and moving forward on reconciliation with Indigenous communities. Here are some specifics:

Housing: Making housing more affordable

– Introducing the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account to make it easier for young Canadians to save for their first home

– Implementing a two-year ban on home purchases by foreign buyers

– Introducing a Tax-Free Home Savings Account of up to $40,000

– Launching the Accelerator Fund to build 100,000 new homes

Climate change: Investing in a clean economy

– More incentives to encourage the use of zero-emission vehicles

– More investments to support renewable electricity projects

– Create a new agency to sustainably manage Canada’s resources, further protecting our land, lakes and oceans

Dental care: Investing in a new dental program

– Investing more than $5.3 billion to provide dental care to Canadians starting with 12-year-olds and then expanding to under 18-year-olds, seniors and persons living with a disability in 2023

– No co-pays on dental care for families with an annual income below $90,000

Systemic racism: Fighting against discrimination and hate

– Launch a new Anti-Racism Strategy and National Action Plan on Combatting Hate with a funding of $85 million over four years

– Funding of $50 million over two years for the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative, to continue empowering Black-led and Black-serving community organizations and the work they do to promote inclusiveness

– Providing $11.2 million over five years to push back against religious discrimination, hateful rhetoric and racism at home and abroad

Indigenous communities: Focus on reconciliation

– Investing into the RCMP’s National Centre for Missing Persons

– Closing the gaps in housing for Indigenous peoples

– Investing $686.1 million to improve health outcomes in Indigenous communities

You can read more at www.canada.ca/budget

In addition to these new measures, Ontario families will soon benefit from Canada’s $10-a-day national child care and early learning program. This federally-led initiative will meet families’ needs for high-quality, accessible, affordable and bilingual child care.As we emerge from the pandemic, our government will continue to focus on Canadians and build a better future for everyone. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at 613-946-8682 or via email at Yasir.Naqvi@parl.gc.ca for more information on these initiatives or assistance.

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