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August 1st Weekly Update

Message From Tony

All across the country, Canadians are telling us that the cost of housing is a concern. From students who rent to families looking for their first (or forever) homes to seniors looking to downsize, finding an affordable place to call home is challenging.

We have an ambitious plan that drives down the cost of housing by building more homes.  We know that not enough homes are getting built in our communities, so we’re rapidly investing billions of dollars to construct new units – including affordable ones. Fixing our supply problems will make housing more affordable for everyone. 

We’re holding local governments accountable, so they cut red tape and get rid of rules that discourage building new homes, with funding to build more homes that are affordable, energy efficient, and close to public transit.

Addressing housing supply, housing stock and affordability requires partnership across all levels of government. And partnerships need to include developers and community not-for-profits.

We’re taking real, urgent action on all fronts to drive down the cost of housing for Canadians. 

We’re helping renters. We’re helping not-for-profit housing providers and developers build homes for renters. And we’re providing rent support to Canadians who need it most every month with the Canada Housing Benefit – which just received a one-time $500 top-up. 

We’re making the system fairer. We’re banning foreign buyers – particularly rich investors – who drive up the cost of housing, and we’re cracking down on house flipping. 

We’re helping young people buy their first home. We’ve created a tax-free savings account to help people save, and we’re providing incentives for first-time buyers. 

We are focused and committed on solving Canada’s housing challenges.

Providing Sustainable Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics

MP Van Bynen at EcoGuardian's Site in Newmarket
MP Van Bynen at EcoGuardian's Site in Newmarket

Right here in Newmarket, EcoGuardian is providing sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic.

I had the opportunity to visit EcoGuardian’s site and learn about the importance of incorporating sustainability into our everyday lives, and how they are leading the way in eco-friendly packaging.

Since 2022, we’ve taken steps toward our goal of zero plastic waste by 2030 by banning the manufacture, import, and sale of several single-use plastics, including:

  • Checkout bags
  • Cutlery
  • Foodservice ware
  • Ring carriers
  • Stir sticks
  • Straws

As we continue to build on our single-use plastic ban, companies like EcoGuardian are paving the way for alternative utensils and packaging.

Canada Workers Benefit

We’re putting money directly in your pockets to help cope with the rising cost of living.

On Friday, July 28th, 2023, the enhanced Canada Workers Benefit (CWB), now delivered quarterly, was deposited in people’s bank accounts and will provide up to $2,616 this year for a family.

We’ve expanded the amount of Canadians eligible, allowing up to 4.2 million Canadians to receive this refundable tax credit.

To be eligible for the CWB, you must meet all the following conditions:

  • Earn less than $33,015 in a year if you are a single Canadian with no children, and earn less than $43,212 for families.
  • Are a resident of Canada throughout the year; and, 
  • Are 19 years of age or older on December 31, or you live with your spouse or common-law partner or your child.

Persons under 19 may be eligible to receive the CWB if they have a spouse or common-law partner or an eligible dependent on December 31st.

We’re going to keep working to make life more affordable for those who need it most.

Learn more about the eligibility requirements here.

9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Hotline

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

Every Canadian deserves access to high-quality, timely mental health care.

In Budget 2023, we made a commitment to improve access to mental health care and implement a three-digit suicide and crisis hotline. Last week, we delivered on these promises.

We’re investing over $177million over three years in the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to implement the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Helpline and to help increase the capacity of their distress centres.

The 9-8-8 line will be available 24/7 in both English and French starting November 30, 2023, and will be free of charge no matter where you are. Canadians can either call or text this helpline to access trauma-informed and culturally appropriate crisis services.

As we continue to work toward the launch of this three-digit helpline, Canadians still have access to Talk Suicide Canada, which offers 24/7 bilingual crisis and suicide prevention support. You can reach Talk Suicide at 1-833-456-4566 or at suicide.ca for support by online chat.

Our government is committed to getting Canadians access to the mental health care they deserve.

New Horizons for Seniors Program - Call for Proposals

MP Van Bynen at Trinity United Church, a recipient of the 2022-2023 New Horizons for Seniors Program funding

Our New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) provides organizations with up to $25,000 to fund a project created by or aimed at seniors. During the 2022-2023 call for proposals, organizations in Newmarket-Aurora received over $233 million in funding.

Today, August 1, 2023, NHSP is opening their 2023-2024 call for proposals in their community-based stream. For the next six weeks, organizations can submit their applications with a proposal for a senior-based project.

To be eligible for funding, projects must:

  • be no longer than 52 weeks;
  • request no more than $25,000;
  • meet at least 1 program objective;
  • have seniors leading or playing a vital role in its planning and/or delivery;
  • seek to benefit seniors and communities; and,
  • demonstrate cost effectiveness.

The NHSP is aiming to support projects that engage and connect seniors with their communities, raise awareness of elder abuse, and promote volunteerism among seniors and other generations.

Any organization can apply for funding as long as they have a proposal that meets all the criteria and follows at least one program objective.

The deadline to submit your application is September 14, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Inefficient Fossil Fuels Subsidies Framework and Guidelines

By investing in our environment, climate, and biodiversity, we’re delivering on our goals to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

We’ve launched our Inefficient Fossil Fuel Subsidies Government of Canada Guidelines, outlining our plan to eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and to phase out public financing of the fossil fuel sector.

Effective last week, subsidies are considered inefficient unless they meet one or more of the following criteria: 

  • Enable significant net greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Support clean energy, clean technology, or renewable energy.
  • Provide essential energy service to a remote community.
  • Provide short-term support for emergency response.
  • Support Indigenous economy participation in fossil fuel activities.
  • Support processes such as carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), or have a credible plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.

Canada is the only G20 country to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies ahead of the 2025 deadline and the first country to release guidelines that fulfill our commitments.

Through these guidelines, we’re taking steps toward an energy sector that is aligned with our ambitious climate goals.

Tony Van Bynen

Member of Parliament for
Newmarket—Aurora

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