Week of November 20, 2017
The Government of Canada is committed to being open and transparent. In order to showcase the progress being made in delivering results for Canadians, we recently launched the new Canada.ca/Results website designed to track the success of this government’s mandate. In this article, I want to talk about the progress we have made to date and where we are heading in the future.
Our promise to introduce a more generous tax-free monthly Canada Child Benefit (CCB) has been accomplished. In the Kenora riding alone, from June 2016 to July 2017, there were 8,070 payments made for a total of more than $73 million. That is an average yearly payment of $9,130 to families. The CCB will also be increased two years ahead of schedule, starting in July 2018, to help with the high cost of raising children. An additional $560 annually will be paid out to a single parent of two children making $35,000 in the 2019-20 benefit year.
Employment Insurance (EI) has been improved to better meet the needs of families. Those starting a family will be able to receive EI maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date, and parents will be able to choose to extend their parental benefits over 12 or 18 months. Family caregivers are to benefit from a new initiative which will allow individuals who are caring for a critically ill or injured adult family member to be eligible for up to 15 weeks of EI. Additionally, any family member, not only parents, can receive up to 35 weeks of benefits to care for a critically ill child.
A 10 per cent increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) has provided greater financial security for low income, single seniors. In July 2016, GIS was increased by up to $947 per year for the most vulnerable single seniors. Over the past year, this has improved financial security for nearly 900,000 seniors and lifted an estimated 13,000 people out of poverty.
Our government remains committed to providing more access to high-speed and ultra-high-speed broadband services in rural and remote areas like Northwestern Ontario. As of October, five successful projects been announced under the Connect to Innovate program for a total contribution of $104 million. More than $40 million of that contribution is going toward projects in our riding, with more investments expected in the coming months.
We have a lot to be proud of, but, as always, more work remains to be done. A new National Housing Strategy is underway, which will improve low-income Canadians’ access to adequate affordable housing. A new National Poverty Reduction Strategy will assist more than 3 million Canadians. The Nutrition North program is being expanded in northern communities providing access to affordable healthy food for those most in need.
I encourage everyone to visit Canada.ca/Results and take a look at what we have accomplished so far, the progress that’s been made, and the achievements yet to come.
For further information, please contact the offices below: