Federal Update: Community Spirit at the Ottawa Centre Cup

Yasir poses on a basketball court with many people.
Photo submitted by Ottawa Centre MP Yasir Naqvi

Submitted by Yasir Naqvi, MP for Ottawa Centre

In August, I was thrilled to host my annual Ottawa Centre Cup and Community BBQ in partnership with the St. Luke’s Bulls Basketball Team! I absolutely love this event, as it’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight our local basketball teams, partner with community organizations, and bring our community together while enjoying a great BBQ.

The OC Express came back stronger this year and beat the long-reigning champions and home team St. Luke’s Bulls with a score of 53-49. We also got to highlight local youth basketball teams including Christie Lake Kids and the Ottawa Shooting Stars, as well as community organizations, including Ottawa Community Housing and CAFES Ottawa. For those who joined us, I hope you had the chance to enjoy burgers, hot dogs and ice cream from the Merry Dairy — one of my favorite parts of the event!

Ottawa Centre Cup is also an opportunity to highlight how much the St. Luke’s basketball court is loved by its community. Over the years, this has been a place where the St. Luke’s Bulls and youth teams come together, and a place where community is built. For the last few years, the court has been in need of repairs, and safety upgrades including improved lighting and a more even surface. We were pleased to be joined by Somerset Ward City Councillor Ariel Troster and Mayor Mark Sutcliffe who shared some big news: The City of Ottawa is going to fix the court at St. Luke’s Park next summer! This announcement has come after months of important advocacy from the St Luke’s community and others. I’m very excited about the new court that will serve the St. Luke’s community for years to come. 

Thank you to the amazing volunteers and to our long-time partners, the St. Luke’s Bulls and the Ottawa Basketball Network for helping us organize this fantastic event and keep the tradition alive. The community support is what makes this event special. 

As fall is in full swing, I am glad to be back in the House of Commons and continuing to build on the progress we’ve made. The cost-of-living increase has hit families hard, and affordability continues to be top of mind for Ottawa Centre residents.

Whether you are a student saving up for the next semester, a parent buying back-to-school items, or a worker who is paying rent, it is very hard right now to make ends meet. Our federal government has been working hard to put money back in your pocket through targeted programs including the Canada Child Benefit, Canada Workers Benefit, the Climate Incentive Rebate, and more.

Earlier this summer, families across the country saw an increase in their monthly Canada Child Benefit payments, to keep in line with inflation. This year, close to 10,000 parents in Ottawa Centre will receive an average of $5,783 through the Canada Child Benefit.

Additionally, our government has expanded support for low-income workers through the Canada Workers Benefit, which has topped up the income of over 4.2 million Canadians. Through this program, over $7 million has gone towards Ottawa Centre residents alone.

Finally, over $36 million has been paid out to Ottawa Centre residents through the Climate Incentive Rebate, a program that is not only supporting the fight against climate change but is also putting money back in the pockets of Canadians.

We want to ensure that all Canadians have the resources they need to succeed. As always, my Community Office is here to help. If you have questions about these benefits, or need other assistance related to Federal programs, please call us at 613-946-8682, or email Yasir.Naqvi@parl.gc.ca.

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