Dear Friends and Neighbours,
This is a big week for our government – stay tuned! Tomorrow, Finance Minister Freedland will table the 2022-23 Federal Budget with measures to keep Canada on the road to recovery from COVID-19, move us closer to net-zero emissions, support the vulnerable in our society, and strengthen the conditions for economic prosperity for Canadians and Canadian businesses.
You may share my deep commitment that we greatly reduce our society’s greenhouse gas emission footprint. If so, please check out our new 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada’s Next Steps to Clean Air and a Strong Economy. Experts have certainly lauded this Plan, from former BC Green Party Leader and climate scientist Dr. Andrew Weaver on Twitter: “Canada reclaims international leadership on climate file. An outstanding plan!” … to the Toronto Region Board of Trade: “An ambitious Emissions Reduction Plan with sector-specific targets & actions aligns with our work to promote Toronto as an innovative low-carbon region. We're excited to see this plan take shape to guide our next steps to building a world-leading net-zero economy.” Although it’s no easy task making this fundamental shift, we know climate warming is already here – costing hundreds of British Columbian lives and homes in last year’s heat dome – so we must act now.
A National Child Care Plan
For many families, child care is not a luxury, it’s an expensive necessity. Last week Ontario became the final province to sign onto our Liberal Government Plan for high-quality, affordable early learning and childcare (ELCC) programs and services. The Ontario agreement alone will create 86,000 new licensed spaces; and like BC’s agreement, it will reduce fees 50% in the short term, and deliver $10-a-day childcare by 2025.
Our historic childcare Plan is already making life much more affordable for families with young children right across Canada! As an added bonus, ELCC investments are creating new jobs, getting parents – especially women – back into the workforce, and serving to grow Canada’s economy.
Keeping cool with campers at last summer's Pedalheads Camp
Housing is a huge concern for Vancouverites. Since 2015, we’ve helped more than a million Canadians find a place to call home, creating jobs and a more resilient Canada for everyone. But for far too many a safe and affordable place to live is still out of reach and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made the housing crisis worse. That’s why we’re investing more in affordable housing to eliminate chronic homelessness.
Housing Minister Hussen recently announced yet another $440 million in Rapid Housing Initiative funding. Initially launched in October 2020, the Rapid Housing Initiative exceeded its initial target of creating up to 7,500 new affordable units and now is supporting construction of more than 10,000 units across Canada. Check out what has been done to date, to help house Canadians.
Vacant Homes Tax
A further action we are taking to ensure housing in Canada is built to provide homes, is the Underused Housing Tax Act in Part 2 of Bill C-8. When passed, it will add an annual 1% tax onto the value of vacant or underused residential property directly or indirectly owned by non-resident non-Canadians. It’s only just that people who live outside of Canada, but who are using Canadian property to passively store their wealth, should pay their fair share of Canadian tax. Subject to royal assent, the new Act will come into effect for the 2022 calendar year.
A humpback in the Salish Sea - photo courtesy of Yves Tiberghien
Clean drinking water
A clear measure of our government’s commitment to Indigenous Peoples is the promise to fund clean drinking water on reserves. We initially committed to lift all 109 long term drinking water advisories, and as of last month have lifted 131! This website maps the work being done.
In case you missed it:
Speaking at the Cherry Blossom Festival - Big Picnic last Saturday
The world’s shock and anger at the actions of the Russian President are only growing as the war in Ukraine passes the one-month mark. Our government is taking action in the International Criminal Court to bring Russian leaders and soldiers to account for war crimes against Ukrainians.
COVID-19 is continuing to have an impact on people and supply chains, climate change is affecting food production and cost, and the war in Ukraine has dramatically increased fuel prices contributing to inflation and affordability challenges here in Canada and around the world. Amidst these highly uncertain and difficult times there’s a bright spot – Canadian politicians are cooperating to create stability, deliver solutions, and to serve you better!
The Hon. Joyce Murray, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra