Mr. Speaker, this past year has been challenging for all Canadians. Today it is my honour to represent Brampton South to speak in support of Bill C-30, the budget 2021 implementation act. In budget 2021, the priority is to support Canadians through the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and create more jobs and prosperity for all Canadians across the country.
This budget outlines the many challenges Canadians have faced throughout the past year and recognizes that Canadians need support in order to recover financially from the pandemic. As more people are eligible to get vaccinated, businesses are still in need of support to make it through this third wave of the pandemic. That is why this government is extending business and income support initiatives through to the fall.
I would like to focus on some key areas for my community. During the series of pre-budget consultations, I met with many businesses and many seniors from Brampton, including organizations such as CARP, the International Seniors Club, Young at Heart Seniors and others. With budget 2021, Brampton seniors will not be left behind. Many seniors find it difficult to adjust their financial situation after retirement, especially in the pandemic.
This is why the government is providing a one-time payment of $500 this summer to those aged 75 years and older as of June 2022. It is essential aid for seniors who have been impacted by COVID-19. Old age security benefits will also be increased by 10% for seniors over 75, and will be adjusted annually for inflation. All of these actions proposed in budget 2021 will help our seniors live more independent lives and have a dignified retirement.
One of my constituents, Myrna Adams, who is a member of our local CARP chapter, requested that more action be taken to prevent elder abuse in Canada. I am happy to report to my constituents, and to all Canadians watching, that budget 2021 will provide funding for the Public Health Agency of Canada to design and deliver interventions that prevent family violence, including elder abuse. Budget 2021 was designed with the feedback of many seniors from Brampton and across Canada. This pandemic has shown us just how important it is to protect our loved ones and community members.
Some of the people hardest hit by COVID-19 are women, especially low-income women. More than 16,000 women have left the workforce, while more than 91,000 men have re-entered. In order to recover from this pandemic, we need women in the workforce.
Access to affordable child care has been a top priority in my riding of Brampton South this past year. With school closures and many parents still needing to go to work, finding affordable child care for their children has been a struggle. In urban centres such as Brampton, many young families are struggling with increases in the cost of living, including child care. This is not only a social issue but also an economic problem. If parents are unable to work because they cannot afford care for their children, they lose out on their full potential for contributing to the economy.
Proposed in budget 2021 are supports for parents and more affordable options when it comes to child care. The proposed Canada-wide early learning and child care system will help to ensure that all families, no matter their socio-economic background, have access to child care across the country and will increase women’s participation in the workforce.
Not only do children need access to high quality education and affordable care systems, but so do our youth. When the pandemic hit last year, young Canadians were among the hardest hit demographics, experiencing more job loss than any other age group. The mental well-being of youth has been an issue that my riding has taken very seriously over the past year. Being isolated from their peers, attending online school and experiencing the stress of finding summer jobs have affected young people greatly.
In budget 2021, the federal government is investing $5.7 billion over the next five years to help youth by creating more job opportunities and providing them with the ability to finish and further their education. The government's overwhelming support for young Canadians has been apparent over the last year: $7.4 billion was spent on youth when COVID-19 hit Canada last year to help young Canadians through this difficult time as well as create more opportunities for them to get meaningful work experience while supporting small businesses.
Making education a little more affordable is a pillar of this budget. Waiving interest on student loans for another year is giving students an opportunity to save money and not worry about making additional payments. Summer employment opportunities have been increased, with 75,000 job placements in 2022-23 through the Canada summer jobs program.
In my riding, over 600 young Canadians will be employed through Canada summer jobs and my riding will benefit with over $2.7 million. This will ensure that students are securing job opportunities for the summer and learning important skills and gaining work experience. Students and young Canadians will benefit from the new Canada recovery hiring program. By offering small businesses the ability to hire more people faster, this in turn will help young Canadians looking for summer jobs.
Our government recognizes infrastructure investments create good jobs and build healthy communities. It is the right time to start investing in Canadian communities for the economy to recover from this pandemic.
I know that in the coming years, my community will benefit from some recent infrastructure investments the government has made. This includes over half a million dollars to create a youth hub at the South Fletcher's Sportsplex; upgrading The Rose theatre and making it more accessible, with a grant of over $2 million; $35 million in safe restart funding to support the city of Brampton; a grant of $38 million for flood mitigation that will allow us to protect and transform our downtown Brampton and build the city’s transformative Riverwalk project; more transit funding like we saw last summer, where the federal government invested millions of dollars to upgrade Brampton’s transit system; and the largest federal housing investment ever made in Peel Region of $276 million, which will create 2,200 much needed affordable housing units.
These are just some of the most recent investments from our federal government. I know there is more coming in the budget and Bramptonians look forward to seeing their fair share of investments.
Finally, I would like to thank the government for using the budget to recognize that 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin in Canada, with a commitment to establish a national framework for diabetes. Members of the House know I have long advocated for this to help the 11 million Canadians living with diabetes and pre-diabetes. With a focused strategy, we can help them all and perhaps find our way to a cure.
Brampton is a community of essential workers. Many of my constituents work in health care, manufacturing, food processing, distribution, transportation and other essential industries. I extend my thanks to all of them for the hard work they have continued to do over the last year. Throughout the pandemic, they had to continue going to work to keep our supply chain running so the rest of us could stay safe.
I thank all essential workers in Brampton and across Canada who have had to work in essential roles. The Government of Canada has their backs. This bill is essential to restarting the economy and ensuring that no Canadian is left behind. Since the start of the pandemic, it has been this government’s priority to protect the health and safety of all Canadians, help businesses endure COVID-19 restrictions and ensure we have a plan in place for a strong economic recovery. This bill would do just that.