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April 16th Weekly Update

Message From Tony

Everyone deserves to succeed. But today, for too many Canadians, especially Millennials and Gen Z, your hard work isn’t paying off like it did for previous generations. Your paycheque doesn’t go as far as costs go up, and saving enough seems harder and harder. It doesn’t have to be this way. Every generation should get a fair chance to get ahead.

One of the biggest pressures on people right now is housing. Young Canadians are renting more than ever and being priced out of their communities. Families are finding it difficult to get a good place to settle down. The cost to build homes is too high, and the time it takes to finish projects is too long. We need to build more homes in Canada, and we need to build them by the millions.

Last week, The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Sean Fraser,  unveiled the federal government’s ambitious housing plan, Solving the housing crisis: Canada’s Housing Plan, supported by new investments from the upcoming Budget 2024. At the heart of this plan lies a commitment to make housing affordable. No hard-working Canadian should have to spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing costs. No Canadian should have to live without knowing they have a safe and affordable place to live.

The plan lays out a bold strategy to unlock 3.87 million new homes by 2031. This includes a minimum of 2 million net new homes, on top of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s forecast of 1.87 million being built anyway by 2031. Federal actions in this plan, in Budget 2024, and taken in fall 2023 will support at least 1.2 million new homes, and we call on all orders of government to build at least 800,000 more homes by 2031.

The Prime Minister also announced new measures included in Canada’s Housing Plan to attract, train, and hire the skilled-trade workers Canada needs to build more homes. 

  • $90 million for the Apprenticeship Service, creating apprenticeship opportunities to train and recruit the next generation of skilled trades workers.
  • $10 million for the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program to encourage high school students to enter the skilled trades – creating more jobs and opportunities for the next generation of workers to build Canada up.
  • $50 million in the Foreign Credential Recognition Program, with a focus on residential construction to help skilled trades workers get more homes built. Like our previous $115 million investment, this funding will remove barriers to credential recognition, so workers spend less time dealing with red-tape and more time getting shovels in the ground.

Transforming our housing system and solving the housing crisis will take a Team Canada effort. No one level of government, home builder, not-for-profit, or community can do it alone. We need every partner pulling in the same direction to build the homes Canadians need.

This is about realizing Canada’s promise of affordable housing for every generation – and it’s just one of the things that we are going to be doing in Budget 2024. Alongside these measures, we’re getting healthy food on kids’ plates, delivering stronger public health care, making life more affordable, and creating good jobs to make sure every generation can get ahead.

Budget 2024 being tabled today

Over the past two weeks, our government has announced some of our Budget 2024 commitments to build more homes, faster, make life more affordable, and support the middle class. This includes investing in the housing supply, making a fairer playing field for renters, building more child care spaces and training more early childhood educators, helping hundreds of thousands of students access school meals, and more.

Today, Tuesday, April 16th, at approximately 4:00 p.m. ET, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, will present Budget 2024 – outlining more measures to advance Canadian priorities.

I encourage you to tune in and watch the tabling of the Budget on ParlVu at 4:00 p.m.

Supporting First Nations partners, volunteer firefighters, and search and rescue teams

MP Van Bynen and MP Leah Taylor Roy with the Central York Fire Services (CYFS)

Volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers play a critical role in protecting Canadians. Every year, thousands of Canadians volunteer their time and sacrifice their own safety to keep their neighbours safe. Whether responding to flooding in Nova Scotia or wildfires in British Columbia, these volunteers continue to do this selfless work.

In Budget 2024, our government is recognizing this community service by:

  • Doubling the Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit and the Search and Rescue Volunteers Tax Credit, increasing from $3,000 to $6,000 for 2024 and subsequent tax years. This will save volunteer firefighters up to $900 per year and particularly benefit rural communities.
  • Investing $166.2 million to support First Nations partners, whose communities are particularly vulnerable, in preparing for and responding to the impact of natural disasters.
  • Committing new funding for wildfire firefighter training through Natural Resources Canada’s Fighting and Managing Wildfires in a Changing Climate — Training Fund.

In anticipation for the 2024 wildfire season and seasons to come, our government is committed to working with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, and other emergency partners to ensure that our essential first responder volunteers are better supported in the selfless work they do to keep all of us safe.

Our North, Strong and Free: A Renewed Vision for Canada's Defence

We live in an increasingly complex world, where the security threats faced by Canada are rapidly changing. In response to these challenges, our government recognizes the need to invest in our Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), work with our NATO allies, and preserve our values of democracy, freedom, peace, and fairness for the next generation of Canadians.

Canadians deserve a CAF that has the ability to defend against emerging threats. That’s why we’ve released Our North, Strong and Free: A Renewed Vision for Canada’s Defence. This policy will enhance our capabilities to provide Canadians across the country with greater security, and better support CAF members and their families.

Canada will invest $8.1 billion over the next five years and $73 billion over the next 20 years to support six major themes for our national defence, including:

These six themes include investments like:

  • $295 million over 20 years to establish a CAF housing strategy, build new housing, and rehabilitate existing housing so CAF members have safe and affordable places to call home where they and their families are posted.
  • $107 million over 20 years for Canada’s participation in the newly established NATO Innovation Fund, which will offer additional funding streams for innovative Canadian entrepreneurs.
  • $307 million over 20 years for airborne early warning aircraft that will vastly improve Canada’s ability to detect, track and prioritize airborne threats sooner, respond faster, and better coordinate our response with the United States when required.
  • $9.9 billion over 20 years to improve the sustainment of our naval fleets, like extending the life of the Halifax-class frigates and preserving the Royal Canadian Navy’s interim at-sea replenishment capability.

Ultimately, this renewed vision is about giving our troops the tools they need to defend Canada — so that the next generation of Canadians can enjoy the same security and prosperity given to us by our parents. 

Supporting youth mental health in Canada

MP Van Bynen with the Canadian Mental Health Association of York Region and South Simcoe

Younger Canadians feel like the deck is stacked against them. That is, in part, leading to higher rates of mental health challenges than other generations. And, because many of them are still in school or just starting their careers, they are more likely to struggle with the costs of private mental health care.

To help younger Canadian access mental health care, we’re proposing an investment of $500 million for a new Youth Mental Health Fund in Budget 2024.

This fund will help community mental health organizations expand their resources and provide care to youth — broadening mental health support systems and supporting diverse Canadians, at-risk populations, and students at public colleges and universities.

In addition, our government has now signed bilateral health care agreements with all thirteen provinces and territories. These thirteen agreements, tailored to the unique needs of Canadians in every part of the country, will begin to deliver $25 billion in new funding to hire more doctors and nurses, reduce wait times and backlogs, improve mental health care, and more.

It is more important than ever that young Canadians get the support they need — and that includes mental health care.

Tony Van Bynen

Member of Parliament for
Newmarket—Aurora

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