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View Marwan Tabbara Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Toronto—Danforth.
I am very pleased to have the opportunity today to respond to the member's motion on the economy.
As members are aware, our government has been advocating its plan to build an economy that works for everyone, and our plan is working. Since we introduced it back in 2015, our plan has invested in Canadians and their communities, invested in the things that people need to build a better future for themselves and their families and in the things that create new opportunities for Canadians and support strong economic growth.
One of the first actions our government took was to introduce a tax cut for the middle class, which benefited more than nine million hard-working Canadians.
We introduced the Canada child benefit, which is providing more money to those families that need it the most. By doing so, we have helped lift more than 330,000 kids out of poverty and have given them a better start in life.
We increased the guaranteed income supplement to provide low-income single seniors with greater financial security in their retirement. We strengthened the Canada pension plan by working in co-operation with provincial partners so Canadian workers would have more money for their retirement.
We cut taxes for small business, from 11% down to 9%, to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and create more good, well-paying jobs in our communities and across our country.
With Canada's first-ever national housing strategy, we have helped make it more affordable for people to buy their first home. We have invested in the construction of more affordable housing in communities across Canada. Particularly, in my community, we have created over 2,000 subsidized housing units in over 2,000 new building units, with respect to our national housing strategy.
As a result of the hard work of Canadians and these investments, Canada's economy is resilient. Canadians have created more than one million new jobs over the past four years and stronger wage growth has helped more people get ahead. However, we still know that there is more work to do.
People are concerned about the cost of living. They are concerned about the global economic situation and developments arising from outside our borders. They worry about the impact these developments will have on their homes and communities. Therefore, I would like to make it clear today that as long as these efforts and sorts of changes are there, our government will keep working to help Canadians overcome them.
Increasing the basic personal amount to make life more affordable for Canadians, and support the economy, is one of the best ways we can do that. That is why we have proposed to increase the basic personal amount to $15,000 by 2023, which will benefit more than 20 million Canadians. This will mean that nearly 1.1 million more Canadians will no longer pay federal income tax in 2023. It will put $3 billion back into the pockets of Canadian households in 2020, with this amount rising to $6 billion by 2023. Those $6 billion will help make life more affordable and keep our economy growing. Those $6 billion are on top of the support we have already delivered for the past four years.
We are investing in Canadians to support a growing economy. As a result of our middle class tax cut, the Canada child benefit and the changes we have proposed to the basic personal amount, a typical family of four could be better off by more than $2,300 per year, compared to 2015. When the proposed changes to the basic personal amount are fully implemented in 2023, this same family could be better off by more than $2,800 per year compared to 2015. These changes mean that more families can now pay for things that will make a positive difference in their children's futures, things like healthy foods, warm clothes for the winter, and sports and music lessons.
We are also supporting Canadians and the economy with the introduction of Canada's first-ever national housing strategy. This 10-year, $55-billion investment will give more Canadians a place to call home. By doing so, it is lifting 530,000 families out of housing needs and reducing chronic homelessness by 50%.
Our enhanced guaranteed income supplement means there is now greater income security for close to 900,000 seniors, about 67% of whom are women, and this has helped 50,000 vulnerable seniors out of poverty.
These are just a few examples of how we are investing in people and in the things that grow our economy and give people a better quality of life. The last four years have proven that our plan is working. There is more money for families to help grow the economy, more livable communities, more good jobs and more than one million people no longer living in poverty.
In the face of current global changes we will continue to advance our plan in a way that is fiscally responsible. We will continue to reduce the federal debt relative to the size of our economy.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer has concluded that current government spending is sustainable over the long term and that our fiscal plan gives us the room we need to confront new and evolving challenges and keep our economy growing. Canada's net debt-to-GDP ratio remains low and on a downward track. That puts us at an advantage with respect to our group of seven partners. Our relatively low level of debt is a real competitive advantage, one that our government is fully committed to maintaining.
Even though our economy is doing well, we need to be ready to respond to whatever challenges might arise. We need to continue to build confidence in the Canadian economy, making sure that the world continues to see Canada as a great place to invest.
Canada is only one of 11 countries in the world with a AAA credit rating. This strong rating reflects the confidence that others have in Canada's economic strength. We build this confidence by making our businesses more competitive. We have cut taxes for small business twice, from 11% down to 9%, as I mentioned earlier, making it easier for them to succeed and create more jobs. Today, Canada has the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7 as a result of federal and provincial actions.
We will preserve and build these advantages to keep Canada's economy strong in the face of current challenges. We will continue to ensure that all Canadians can share in the benefit of this growth by making life more affordable and investing in new opportunities and investing in Canadians.
We have seen what can happen when we invest in Canadians. They take that help, combine it with their own hard work, and the result is a strong and growing economy.
With more than one million new jobs in just four years and record low unemployment and poverty rates, we will continue to advance our plan for middle-class prosperity over the coming years.
I would like to thank the member for the opportunity to make this clear today. I want to thank the members that spoke earlier about our plan. Again, our plan has been working with the introduction of the Canada child benefit, middle-class tax cuts, cuts on small business from 11% to 9%, and making Canada a place to invest in businesses so they can grow and scale up. We want to continue investing in Canadians so that we can see this prosperity not only now, but also in future generations.
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