Message From Tony
As we head back to the House of Commons this week, our Liberal team remains focused on the things that matter most to Canadians: making life more affordable and creating well paying, meaningful careers. At our caucus retreat in London Ontario last week the Prime Minister announced a series of new wide-ranging measures. These announcements included the first agreement with the City of London, to build 2,000 new units in the next three years alone, and thousands more in the years to come, by cutting red tape and fixing outdated local policies. And we’re going to keep on going.
From young students moving out for the first time to seniors downsizing, Canadian renters of all ages are impacted by the rising costs of housing. Finding an affordable place to call home shouldn’t be a challenge.
That’s why we’re going to incentivize building much-needed rental homes by removing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the construction of new apartment buildings for renters, and we’re encouraging provinces to do the same. To date the Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador governments have indicated their intention to remove the provincial portion of the HST on purpose-built rentals. We will continue to be relentless in our efforts and use every tool in our toolkit to meet this generational challenge and make housing more affordable for people.
Supporting Canadians also means putting more money back in the pockets of families. We’ve followed through on our plan to back workers; we’ve delivered on our promise to support families; and we’ve continued to support seniors.
We know that Canadians are having a hard time paying their grocery bills and putting food on the table. That’s why our Government is taking action. Today, Minister Champagne and Minister Freeland met with the top 5 CEOs of the grocery sector to discuss tangible solutions to stabilize food prices and that the government expects concrete actions by Thanksgiving. The CEOs committed to support the efforts to stabilize prices.
We will continue fighting everyday to make life more affordable for Canadians.
Accelerating the Housing Supply
Across the nation, Canadians are seeing the cost-of-living rise and are struggling to find a safe, affordable place to call home. We’ve heard you, and we’re doing our part to accelerate the housing supply.
Over the summer, municipalities had the opportunity to apply to our $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF). Through this fund, cities, towns, and Indigenous communities will receive incentive funding to reduce red tape in housing accessibility, increase the housing supply, accelerate project approvals, and more. Many cities have been encouraged to think outside the box, like in London, ON, where they are considering multiple residential units on a single property.
Through our Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFi), we’re stimulating the supply of purpose-built rental housing units for middle-income Canadians. In Newmarket, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities, I had the opportunity to announce $77 million for phase 3 of the Deerfield Project to build 172 rental units. This investment builds on our $79 million investment for this project in 2020.
We’re supporting young people by making it more accessible to save up for your first down payment. The First Home Savings Account (FHSA) is a tax-free account that lets you save up to $8,000 a year, up to a lifetime limit of $40,000, to save for your first house. When you are ready to purchase your first home, you can withdraw your savings tax-free. All contributions are tax-deductible.
With our Canada Greener Homes Initiatives, we’re taking steps toward our climate and environment goals. This initiative helps homeowners retrofit their houses with home insulation, windows and doors, heat pumps, and renewable energy systems as well as provides funding to affordable housing owners to complete deep energy retrofits.
Building more housing, including affordable housing, is a key part of making life more affordable and building an economy that works for all Canadians. Our government is working across orders of government to build a better future for all.
Statue Unveiling at Sharon Temple
I had a wonderful time attending the unveiling of the Hope & Truth statue at the Sharon Temple recently with the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
I met with the artist, Donald Crétien, and the sculptor, Shane Clodd, and learned more about the thought they put into the design and how they consulted with the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation throughout the process.
The statue, a 12-foot-tall tree carved into a female hand, holding an aluminum feather engraved with Indigenous pictographs, will educate visitors and bring awareness of the work we must continue to do on the path to reconciliation.
This project was aided by a $92,995 grant as part of our Tourism Relief Fund, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
Thank you to the hosts and the artists for such a wonderful event.
Looking Into the Fall Session
Yesterday, we returned to Parliament Hill for our fall session of the House. We have a lot of work to do, so let’s go over the progress of our existing legislation:
- Bill C-35, the Canada Early Learning and Child Care Act: Bill C-35 has gone through the House, consideration in the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills, and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA), and the first reading in the Senate. This session, the bill will continue to go through the Senate for the second and third readings.
- Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms): Bill C-21 has gone through the House and the first two readings in the Senate. The bill will continue to go through the Senate through the Standing Senate Committee on National Security, Defence and Veterans Affairs (SECD), its Report stage, and its third reading.
- Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (bail reform): The first reading for Bill C-48 in the House has finished, and it will continue to go through the House for its next readings, consideration in committee, and the report stage.
- Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022: Bill C-27 has finished its first two readings in the House and will considered in the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology (INDU) in the fall. I look forward to further studying this bill in INDU.
I’m looking forward to the rest of this session and continuing on our work to grow our economy, make life more affordable, and meet our climate goals.
Rail Safety Week
Every year, more than 2,100 North Americans are killed or seriously injured because of unsafe behaviour around tracks & trains.
This week marks Rail Safety Week in Canada, raising awareness on how we can stay safe around trains and look out for others.
Here are some ways you can stay Rail Safe:
- Don’t bike down or near railway tracks.
- Don’t use railway tracks or the adjoining right-of-way as an ATV path.
- Never walk on railway bridges.
- Keep your dog on leash at all times around railway property.
- Only cross tracks at designated crossings.
- If you ever see something unsafe around the tracks, call the 24/7 toll-free emergency number posted at the rail crossing.
- Call your nearest mental health support line to get someone help if you are concerned about their mental health and their interest in train tracks. In York Region, you can call 1-855-310-2673.
- If your vehicle is stalled on the tracks, get out, getaway, and call 911 or the emergency number on the crossing.
Deaths and injuries related to train tracks are preventable. Rail safety is a shared responsibility, and by working together, we can keep our communities safe.