Submitted by Yasir Naqvi, MP for Ottawa Centre
We’ve come to the end of a busy year.
While 2022 was a year full of highs and lows, we have lots to celebrate.
This past month I was pleased to join our community members at the Old Ottawa East Community Association Annual General Meeting, and share updates on the National Capital Commission’s upcoming upgrades to street lighting along the Canal as part of the Rideau Canal Lighting Rehabilitation Project. The project’s goals are to repair or replace all outdated and broken pathway and parkway lights. This includes light heads, arms and bases. I was also pleased to hear your thoughts on how we can plant more trees along Colonel By Drive.
I also had the pleasure of attending the Debra Dynes Family House Annual General Meeting where the focus of discussion was on how we can continue to combat food insecurity amid the rising cost of living, and ensure residents have access to the resources they need.
Affordability continues to be top of mind for many Ottawa residents: In the Fall Economic Statement, the federal government outlined ways we are continuing to support Ottawa Centre residents through targeted measures aimed at making life more affordable. Notably, helping people buy their first home through the new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, which will allow prospective first-time home buyers to save up to $40,000 tax-free toward their first home. Like an RRSP, contributions would be tax-deductible, and withdrawals to purchase a first home—including investment income—would be non-taxable. Our government expects that Canadians will be able to open and begin contributing to an account in mid-2023.
Additionally, we are eliminating all interest on Federal Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans to reduce the burden of student loans on young people so they can invest in building their futures. Among other initiatives, we intend to lower credit card transaction fees for small businesses in a manner that does not harm other businesses and protects existing reward points for consumers. As we get through the challenges of global economic uncertainty, we will continue to be there for residents as we build an economy that works for all Canadians.
As we head into the holiday season, I hope you get a chance to attend one of the many community events taking place across Ottawa Centre like the Lansdowne Ottawa Christmas Market, or one of the many concerts playing at the National Arts Centre. If you can, consider donating to our local food bank or our charitable community organizations who serve our most vulnerable.
I wish you a very happy holiday season and hope you get a chance to spend time with family, friends and loved ones.