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May 7th Weekly Update

Message From Tony

2024 National Inventory Report

Last week, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change released Canada’s 2024 National Inventory Report (NIR), that tracks and reports on the country’s GHG emissions. This year’s edition provides estimates from 1990 to 2022 and confirms that Canada has bent the curve and is reducing emissions toward achieving our 2030 emissions reduction goal at the same time as we grow our economy.

As a result of the efforts of Canadians, our emissions have declined since 2005. Canada’s emissions remain well below pre-pandemic levels, the lowest they have been in 25 years (except for 2020 and 2021).

And although we knew emissions were going to bounce back, they have actually come in below the levels that were predicted by both the GoC and Climate Change Institute. Our government is making progress on our 2030 Emission Reduction Plan, having just announced $800 million in Budget 2024 to help Canadians cut their energy bills and emissions with the Canada Greener Homes Affordability Program. We will keep up the momentum, with new measures like the oil and gas emissions cap and investments in the EV supply chain, that are both building a stronger economy and a healthier, more sustainable future for the next generation.

Celebrating Community

This past weekend was an opportunity to celebrate community milestones.  In Aurora there was the Art Show and Sale – a celebration of their 60th year and then it was onto Theatre Aurora’s 65th Anniversary celebration. From The Sound of Music, Annie, South Pacific, Murder on the Orient Express and most recently On Golden Pond, Theatre Aurora has provided hours of joy to audiences and challenging roles for actors.  Live theatre captures our imagination, enriches our lives, and provides a shared experience for audience and actor.  Theatre is enchanting, an emotional experience when done well that takes us out of our seats in a state of complete joy and perhaps even with tears in our eyes.

Theatre Aurora has provided an opportunity for audiences to experience that range of emotion while providing professional type experiences for those involved – actors, directors, producers, set designers, costume makers, musicians, and ticket sellers.  The breadth of opportunity is endless, and the creativity limited only by one’s imagination. Playing a character builds character. All of this captured in what was once a cement factory is testament to the creativity and drive of all involved – providing us – the audience with a memorable experience.  For all that you do, thank you!

I also celebrated the 200th anniversary of Trinity United on Main. Newmarket has benefitted from the strength of those who gather in Trinity United Church    – a strength and purpose committed to the betterment of the lives it touches and the town it has helped build. 

And there is much to be said about its continuing commitment in providing support to projects that are responding to our urgent, growing need for affordable housing. Over the years I have witnessed firsthand the very significant contribution Trinity United has made to our community. May it continue to do so for another two hundred years.

Protecting Canadians and defending democracy

Over the past few years, we have steadily increased our defence spending — through our 2017 defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, and our plan to modernize NORAD. But the world has changed, and we must do more. Climate change is disproportionately affecting our Arctic, which is warming at four times the global average. The Arctic is becoming more accessible — and we are seeing much greater Russian and Chinese activity in the region.

In the face of these challenges, and this suffering, many across Canada and around the world are left to worry about what future their children and grandchildren will inherit. Protecting Canada’s national interests and promoting Canada’s values in this more challenging world requires proactive engagement with the world.

In Budget 2024, we are investing in our full range of tools at Canada’s disposal. We are investing in our defence to protect Canada and our allies in a more insecure world; in preserving and promoting free and open trade and deepening our economic partnerships with emerging and developing economies; and in strengthening Canada’s contributions to ending the conflicts and humanitarian crises that undermine stability.

This includes investments to:

  • acquire a more modern, mobile, and effective tactical helicopter capability.
  • scale up the production of made in-Canada artillery ammunition in partnership with Canada’s defence industry.
  • enhance Canada’s intelligence and cyber operations through the creation of a Canadian Armed Forces Cyber Command and, with the Communications Security Establishment, creating a joint Canadian cyber operations capability.
  • ensure Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members have safe and affordable places to call home through the establishment of a Canadian Armed Forces Housing Strategy.
  • increase the number of civilian specialists in priority areas to accelerate and improve the purchase of new equipment, capacity to recruit and train new soldiers, and upgrade our infrastructure.
  • accelerate development of an electronic health record platform to improve the continuity of care as CAF members move between provinces and territories.

These commitments are part of our plan to ensure all Canadians feel safe and secure and that CAF members have what they need for themselves and their family to protect our nation. They also demonstrate a steady increase in defence spending compared to the last decade.

In 2014, under the Stephen Harper Conservative government, defence spending was only at $18.5 billion, representing barely 1 per cent of GDP. In 2025-26, defence spending is estimated to be $44.2 billion, representing a 138 per cent increase in National Defence spending. By 2029-30, our government will be investing $49.5 billion to keep Canada safe from coast to coast to coast.

Tax fairness for every generation

Canada is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. For generations, this has meant Canada is a place where everyone could secure a better future for themselves and their children. But in the last few decades, the pathways enjoyed by generations of Canadians to build a middle-class life have come under pressure. Those at the top have been getting richer while younger generations struggle to buy a first home and afford to start a family. That’s not fair.

That’s why our government is taking action to build a fairer future with transformative investments in housing, innovation, the clean economy, and in younger generations. We’re asking the wealthiest Canadians to pay their fair share. To do this, we’re proposing new measures that will make the tax system more fair.

Canadians pay tax on the income from their job. But currently, they only pay taxes on 50 per cent of capital gains — the profit generally made when an asset, such as stocks, is sold. We’re proposing to increase the inclusion rate on capital gains realized annually above $250,000 by individuals and on all capital gains realized by corporations and trusts from one-half to two-thirds, by amending the Income Tax Act, effective June 25, 2024.

This will only affect the wealthiest 0.13 per cent of Canadians, with the inclusion rate remaining at one-half for capital gains realized up to $250,000 by individuals. Principle residences will remain exempt to ensure Canadians do not pay capital gains taxes when selling their home. Other exemptions include Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA), First Home Savings Account (FHSA), Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), the Quebec Pension Plan, and other registered pension plans.

We’re also increasing the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption from $1 million to $1.25 million, which means that when selling a business, small business owners and other shareholders can be tax exempt on up to $1.25 million in capital gains. This exemption can be claimed multiple times until reaching the lifetime total and can be used by multiple owners.

On top of this, we are providing a new $2 million Canadian Entrepreneurs’ Incentive, which means that entrepreneurs in certain sectors will benefit from a new lifetime partial exemption offering a one-third inclusion rate on up to $2 million, when fully implemented.

Lowering every day costs

The global rise in the cost of living has left people here in Canada struggling to keep up with bills. While inflation has come down significantly, the government is taking action to lower everyday costs for Canadians and hold corporations to account, like helping young people save up for a first home or their education and helping families make ends meet.

To do this, our government is taking action to hold to account those who are charging Canadians unnecessarily high prices, whether it is grocers inflating their profit margins, corporations charging junk fees, or unnecessary banking fees. In Budget 2024, we’re doing this by:

  • monitoring the five major grocers’ work to help stabilize prices, as well as investigating other price inflation practices in the grocery sector, through the Grocery Task Force.
  • tackling shrinkflation and dequalification, including through the Office of Consumer Affairs, which has launched research projects to investigate and reveal price inflation and harmful business practices that reduce the quantity and quality of groceries.
  • strengthening food security by proposing to provide $62.9 million over three years to renew and expand the Local Food Infrastructure Fund to support community organizations across Canada to invest in local food infrastructure, with priority to be given to equity-deserving groups.
  • providing interest relief for farmers by proposing to provide $64 million to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to support a $250,000 interest-free limit on Advance Payments Program loans for the 2024 program year.
  • cracking down on junk fees for banking, telecom services, airlines, and sporting and event tickets.
  • making it easier for Canadians to renew or switch between home internet, home phone, and cell phone plans by proposing to amend the Telecommunications Act.
  • continuing on our work to develop a right to repair, which will ensure Canadians have the right to repair their broken appliances or devices at a fair price.

These measures build on our previous efforts and will give people back control over their personal finances and banking choices. We’re fighting to help Canadians keep more of their money.

Tony Van Bynen

Member of Parliament for
Newmarket—Aurora

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