From the Office of MP Vance Badawey, representing the federal riding of Niagara Centre in Niagara, Ontario
Posted March 23rd, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Ottawa, Ontario – The March 22nd, following weeks of consultations across Canada, including three days of consultations in Niagara, Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled his first budget.
The Federal Government is focusing on strengthening the middle class and on long-term investment. To this end, Morneau has reduced the middle-income tax rate from 22 per cent to 20.5 per cent, thereby cutting taxes for middle-class Canadians on average $330 per year.
“This is part of our plan to help families,” said Badawey upon hearing Morneau’s speech in the House of Commons. Badawey added that, “In addition, the Government is introducing the Canada Child Benefit that will provide families with a benefit of up to $6,400 per child under the age of 6, and up to $5,400 per child aged 6 through 17.”
Thanks to this new program, over 3 million additional families will benefit, especially those in low- and middle-income families. Families benefiting from the CCB will collect an average of $2,300 more per year – tax free.
Acknowledging the challenges facing seniors, the budget proposes to double that Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up, representing a 10-per-cent increase in the total Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits available to the lowest-income single seniors. This measure represents an investment of over $670 million per year, and will improve the financial security of about 900,000 single seniors across Canada.
Shifting his attention to the environment, Badawey noted that “A major priority for Niagara’s South Coast has been improving water quality.” As such, he was very pleased to see that, “$3.1 million has been allocated to improve near-shore water and ecosystem health on Lake Erie, an additional $149 million in investments will be put towards revitalizing harbours, and up to $217 million of funding will be earmarked for environmental remediation work on contaminated sites.”
“Access to these programs,” continued Badawey, “will enhance and strengthen strategic areas of our communities.”
Looking towards the much anticipated infrastructure funding, Badawey commented that, “This budget is going to grow the Canadian economy and create jobs in all regions of Canada, including here in Niagara. Phase 1 of the infrastructure plan will immediately invest $11.9 billion in order to build roads, bridges, improve public transit, improve water and wastewater facilities, and refurbish affordable housing. This will create tens of thousands of jobs and boost the economy.”
Infrastructure funding helps families, business, seniors, and students by investing:
- $3.4 billion over the next three years in public transit.
- $5 billion over the next five years in green infrastructure including investing in clean water infrastructure and electric vehicle charging stations.
- $3.4 billion over the next five years in social infrastructure, including affordable housing, seniors housing, community centres, and childcare centres.
Badawey, an on-going champion of education, was also eager to see that “the budget plans include investing $2 billion in a Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund which will modernize on-campus research and training facilities.
”Moreover, the budget will add $184 million in training to help Canadians transition and update their skills. Badawey remarked that, “We want to ensure workers and students today have the skills and resources to get jobs.”
The tourism sector was also singled out in Moreneu’s budget. Recognizing the importance of tourism to regional and national economies, Destination Canada has committed $50 million over two years to promote the unique destinations, events, and festivals that Canada and the Niagara Region has to offer. Working alongside industry partners, new marketing initiatives will help attract more visitors from around the world to Niagara.
“It is now critical that Niagara’s local governments, businesses, and social service providers identify our regions priority projects and begin applying to the programs in Budget 2016 so this new funding comes to our communities,” added Mr. Badawey.
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