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Federal Budget 2023

Selfadvocatenet.ca  Coverage of Federal Budget 2023

Tuesday, March 28th,2023 is budget day federally as the budget comes in.

San will try to find what is in it for people with disabilities as it comes out. Stay tuned all day until this page is updated

You can watch the live coverage here  on CPAC

Budget 2023: Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister and

Minister of Finance  Chrystia Freeland

Transcript of the Speech

March 28, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario

Check against delivery

 

 

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Canada’s economy has made a remarkable recovery from the COVID recession.

Last year, Canada delivered the strongest economic growth in the G7.

There are 830,000 more Canadians working today than when COVID first hit.

We have recovered 126 per cent of the jobs that were lost in those first months—compared to just 114 per cent in the United States.

When we announced a Canada-wide system of affordable early learning and child care in our 2021 budget, we said that it would create new economic opportunities for mothers in Canada—and thus greater prosperity for us all.

And you know what, Mr. Speaker? It worked.

I am so proud to say that, last month, the labour force participation rate for Canadian women in their prime working years hit a record high of 85.7 per cent.

Today, Mr. Speaker, there are more Canadians with good jobs than ever before.

Putin and the pandemic drove up inflation around the world. Central banks have responded with one of the fastest and most synchronized monetary tightening cycles since the 1980s.

And today, here in Canada, inflation is coming down.

Inflation has fallen for eight months in a row, and the Bank of Canada predicts it will drop to just 2.6 per cent by the end of this year.

In February, the average wage for Canadians went up by 5.4 per cent. That meant paycheques outpaced inflation, which meant more money in Canadians’ pockets after a hard day’s work—from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

But we all know that our most vulnerable friends and neighbours are still feeling the bite of higher prices.

And that is why our budget delivers targeted inflation relief to those who need it most.

For 11 million Canadians and Canadian families, a new Grocery Rebate will help make up for higher prices at the checkout counter—without adding fuel to the fire of inflation.

Because what all Canadians want right now is for inflation to keep coming down, and for interest rates to fall.

Which is why the budget I have tabled today will ensure that Canada maintains the lowest deficit and the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7.

We’re making sure the very wealthy and our biggest corporations pay their fair share of taxes, so we can afford to keep taxes low for middle class families—and invest in our health care system and social safety net.

Canada is a country of peace, order, and good government. We have strong institutions and a resilient financial system that is the envy of the world.

Our country has a proud tradition of fiscal responsibility. That is a tradition we are determined to uphold.

We are reducing government spending by more than $15 billion—while taking great care not to reduce the services and direct support that Canadians rely on.

By exercising fiscal restraint, we are ensuring that we can continue to invest in Canadians and in the Canadian economy for years to come—just as we have done since 2015.

Because we know that investments in Canadians are also investments in our economy. This is what the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, has referred to as “Modern Supply-Side Economics.”

We are investing in housing because our economy is built by people, and people need homes in which to live.

We are investing in Canadian workers so they have the skills they need, and can travel to where the jobs are.

We are investing in a stronger immigration system, and welcoming record numbers of skilled workers to Canada to support our growing businesses.

And we are investing in affordable child care for families from coast-to-coast-to-coast, so that more Canadian mothers no longer have to choose between their family and their career.

Investments in housing, and skills, and immigration, and child care: these are not just social policies—they are economic policies, too, Mr. Speaker.

And health care is another one of those policies.

So today, we are delivering the comprehensive, $198 billion investment in public health care that the Prime Minister announced last month.

And from helping every Canadian find a family doctor, to tackling the unacceptable backlog of surgeries, to combatting the opioid crisis that has devastated too many families and communities, we will ensure that Canadians receive the care they need.

We will ensure that every Canadian can rely on a world-class, publicly funded health care system—one that is deserving of its place at the very heart of what it means to be Canadian.

And just as we are reinforcing the public health care system we have today, we are also expanding its reach.

Since December, our investments have helped more than 240,000 Canadian children receive the dental care they need.

And today, I am so proud to announce the creation of the new Canadian Dental Care Plan.

By the end of 2023, we will begin rolling out a dental care plan for what will eventually be up to nine million uninsured Canadians. That will mean no Canadian, ever again, will need to choose between taking care of their teeth and paying the bills at the end of the month.

These are significant and necessary investments, Mr. Speaker.

Because a strong and effective health care system is essential for a strong and healthy Canadian workforce.

And we need a strong and healthy Canadian workforce now, more than ever.

Because as we wrestle inflation to the ground, Canada must also navigate two fundamental shifts in the global economy.

First, in what is the most significant economic transformation since the Industrial Revolution, our friends and partners around the world—chief among them, the United States—are investing heavily to build clean economies and the net-zero industries of tomorrow.

At the same time, Putin and the pandemic have cruelly revealed to the world’s democracies the risks of economic reliance on dictatorships.

As a result, our allies are moving quickly to friendshore their economies and build their critical supply chains through democracies like our own.

Together, these two great shifts represent the most significant opportunity for Canadian workers in the lifetime of anyone here today.

That is not hyperbole, or a mere turn of phrase.

President Von Der Leyen stood in this House earlier this month and said she wants Canada and Europe to “join forces for the climate, for our economies,” and to end what she called Europe’s “dangerous dependencies” on authoritarian economies.

President Biden stood in this House, just last week, and he told us that we are at an inflection point in history—one of the kind that happens every five or six generations.

He said we had all learned the hard way that just-in-time supply chains expose us to significant risks, and urged us to work together to build a future based upon our shared prosperity—“where Canada and the United States can anchor the most competitive, prosperous, and resilient economic region in the world.”

These are our closest friends and our steadfast democratic allies. These are our two greatest trading partners.

And like so many of our partners around the world, they need the expertise of Canadian workers, the ingenuity of Canadian businesses, and the resources that Canada has in such fortunate abundance.

Today, and in the years to come, Canada must either meet this historic moment—this remarkable opportunity before us—or we will be left behind as the world’s democracies build the clean economy of the 21st century.

So we will fight for Canadians, and we will fight for Canadian businesses. We will ensure that Canada seizes the historic opportunity before us.

We are going to build a clean electrical grid that connects Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast, protects our environment, and delivers cleaner, more affordable electricity to Canadians and Canadian businesses.

We are going to make Canada the very best place in the world for businesses to invest, because that means more vibrant, prosperous communities, and more good careers for Canadians.

Canada has free trade deals with countries that represent two-thirds of global economy. We are going to make Canada a reliable supplier of clean energy to the world, and, from critical minerals to electric vehicles, we are going to ensure that Canadian workers mine, and process, and build, and sell the goods and the resources that our allies need.

We are going to make sure that the unions who built the middle class can continue to thrive, and we are going to make it easier for Canadian workers to learn the skills they need.

When the Government of Canada buys things from other countries, we are going to make sure that those countries offer Canadian businesses the same access that we give them.

We’re going to build big things here in Canada—from a Volkswagen battery plant in Ontario, to the Galaxy Lithium mine in Quebec, to the TransMountain Expansion in Alberta, to the Atlantic Loop, to the LNG terminal in Kitimat, BC.

Our plan is going to mean good-paying jobs—good careers—for everyone, everywhere—from big cities to small towns. From Toronto, Ontario to Peace River, Alberta.

For our auto workers building electric vehicles, and our bus drivers who drive them.

For our skilled tradespeople expanding our clean energy grid, and building thousands and thousands of affordable energy efficient homes.

For our miners and our energy workers, powering Canada and the world.

For our health care workers and our teachers in thriving communities—big and small.

For our farmers and our fishers, who feed Canada and the world.

For our incredible service workers—who will continue to be as essential as ever.

For our forestry workers, for our climate scientists, and for our environmental biologists.

For our engineers designing hydrogen plants and SMRs, and for our computer scientists who have made Canada an AI superpower.

For Indigenous Peoples building major projects, and sharing in the prosperity they create.

And for our new generation of small business entrepreneurs dreaming up solutions to the challenges of the 21st century—and their hardworking employees providing for their families all across our great country.

As I’ve travelled across Canada over the past year, Mr. Speaker, I’ve met a lot of incredible, hardworking Canadians.

Jeff, an electrician who lives in Mississauga with his wife, Sheryl—an ICU nurse. They are proud of their jobs—and proud of the family their jobs have made it possible for them to raise.

Léonard, a software developer in Quebec City, who codes charging stations that are used from San Diego, California to Happy Valley-Goose Bay in the north of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Two young union women: Nicholle in Oshawa, who will start her first electrical placement this week, and Kayla—first in Edmonton, and then again in Calgary—who teaches apprentices to weld—and gave me a lesson, too.

I’ve met potash miners and child care workers.

I’ve met scientists and innovators, and the longshore workers and truckers who keep Canada’s economy moving.

And all across our great country, I’ve met people who value the same things.

A good career that pays them well, doing work they are proud of.

The ability to live with dignity—to be who they are, to love who they love, and to be judged on their character, rather than what they look like or where they were born.

The belief that if they work hard, they can raise their children and launch them into an even more prosperous future.

And the conviction that because they live in Canada—by birth or by choice—every day represents a new opportunity.

And that is what this budget invests in: the possibility for every single Canadian to share in the remarkable opportunities that Canada provides—and in the new era of prosperity that we will build together.

The brave people of Ukraine have reminded us that we must never take our freedom and our democracy for granted. We have the power to shape our country’s future—and we must always be sure to use it.

What a gift it is to call this remarkable country home.

Canada is a land filled with good, hardworking people—people who do big and important things.

And it is because of them—the people of Canada, and the big and important things they will do in the months and years to come—that I have never been more optimistic about the future of our country than I am today. Thank you very much.

A Made-in-Canada Plan: Strong Middle Class, Affordable Economy, Healthy Future

The Federal Budget 2023 the full details can download you need adobe reader to read this

Here are some highlights picked out that relate to people with disabilities getting out of the federal budget 2023

Advancing Inclusion of Canadians with Disabilities

In October 2022, the government launched the Disability Inclusion Action Plan, a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach to disability inclusion. Community engagement is a key aspect—the government needs to get views from Canadians with disabilities in matters that affect them. To further enhance disability inclusion in Canada:

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $10 million over two years, beginning in 2023-24, to Employment and Social Development Canada to help address the unique needs and ongoing barriers faced by persons with disabilities by investing in capacity building and the community-level work of Canada’s disability organizations.

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $21.5 million in 2023-24 to Employment and Social Development Canada to continue work on the future delivery of the Canada Disability Benefit, including engagement with the disability community and provinces and territories on the regulatory process.

The government remains committed to the launch of a Canada Disability Benefit as part of the Disability Inclusion Action Plan, including engagement with the disability community and provinces and territories on the regulatory process. Investments in Budget 2023 continue to lay the necessary groundwork for the Canada Disability Benefit, building off of the government’s reintroduction of the Canada Disability Benefit Act in June 2022.

Supporting Canadians With Disabilities

The federal government provides significant support to Canadians with disabilities. This includes:

  • More than $1.6 billion per year to support persons with severe and prolonged mental and physical impairments through the Disability Tax Credit;

  • Over $1 billion per year through Canada Disability Savings Grants and Bonds, as well as exempting from tax investment income earned in Registered Disability Savings Plans, which supports the financial security of persons with disabilities;

  • Providing $922 million to provinces and territories through the Workforce Development Agreements in 2023-24, approximately 30 per cent of which is targeted to help persons with disabilities get training, develop their skills, and gain work experience;

  • Over $650 million annually through more generous Canada Student Grants, interest-free Canada Student Loans, and easier-to-access repayment assistance—including loan forgiveness for those with severe permanent disabilities—to support persons with disabilities with the additional costs of post-secondary education, such as those that come with supportive services and devices;

  • $105 million in 2023-24 to support the implementation of an employment strategy for persons with disabilities through the Opportunities Fund. This included funding to the Ready, Willing and Able Program to support persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder or intellectual disabilities in finding employment; and

  • Over $460 million per year through the Child Disability Benefit provided as a supplement to the Canada Child Benefit for parents of children with severe and prolonged disabilities, providing an average of approximately $2,700 in annual support.

Along with the proposed Canada Disability Benefit Act, these measures form part of the government’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan, which aims to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

 

Making Life More Affordable for Persons With Disabilities

Persons with disabilities can face additional costs related to medical care, retrofits, and medical devices. In fact, they are almost twice as likely to be low-income as people without a disability. Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) are there to support the long-term financial security of people with disabilities who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. Since their creation in 2008, total assets within RDSPs have grown to approximately $8.8 billion, with close to 260,000 RDSPs supporting persons with disabilities with the cost of living in their later years.

The federal government has expanded access to RDSPs by allowing a qualifying family member—such as a parent, a spouse, or a common-law partner—to open an RDSP and be the plan holder for an adult with mental disabilities whose ability to enter into an RDSP contract is in doubt, and who does not have a legal representative. The provision has helped many families access an RDSP, but it is currently set to expire.

  • Budget 2023 announces the government’s intention to extend the Qualifying Family Member provision until December 31, 2026. To further increase access to RDSPs, the government also intends to expand the provision to include adult siblings of an RDSP beneficiary. These measures are expected to cost $13 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, and $3 million ongoing.

Since the introduction of the Qualifying Family Member provision in 2012, the federal government has maintained that this provision is intended as a stopgap for provinces and territories to develop more appropriate, long-term solutions to address RDSP legal representation issues for persons with disabilities. While most provinces and territories have made significant progress, others have not. The government continues to encourage provinces and territories that have not already done so to address issues surrounding guardianship for persons with disabilities.

 

This a good one to get active everyone needs

Helping Canadians Stay Active

Supporting people to be more active has significant benefits for their physical and mental health, as well as for our communities, the environment, and the economy. However, in 2018-19, less than half of adults, children, and youth met the minimum national physical activity guidelines. To help encourage more Canadians to get moving:

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $10 million over two years, starting in 2023-24, towards ParticipACTION’s Let’s Get Moving Initiative, which will continue supporting national programming that aims to increase daily physical activity among Canadians.

     

    Funding was proposed for Employment and Social Development Canada for the Enabling Accessibility Fund to reduce waitlists for critical services and supports for persons with disabilities. Enabling Accessibility Fund

    This measure will directly benefit persons with disabilities by addressing social, physical, and economic barriers to their participation in their communities and workplaces. More than one in five Canadians aged 15 and older has a disability, including 24 per cent of women and 20 per cent of men. Among Canadians with a disability, 71 percent have two or more types of disability, and 43 per cent have a disability that is severe or very severe. People with severe or very severe disabilities are less likely to be employed than those with mild or moderate disabilities. The prevalence of disabilities tends to increase with age. While 13 per cent of youth aged 15 to 24 have a disability, 38 per cent of people aged 65 and older have a disability.

    A New Grocery Rebate for Canadians

    Groceries are more expensive today, and for many Canadians, higher prices on essential goods are causing undue stress. In Budget 2023, the federal government is providing new, targeted inflation relief to the Canadians who need it most.

    For 11 million low- and modest-income Canadians and families, the Grocery Rebate will provide eligible couples with two children with up to an extra $467; single Canadians without children with up to an extra $234; and seniors with an extra $225 on average. This will be delivered through the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GST Credit) mechanism.

    By targeting the Grocery Rebate to the Canadians who need it most, the government will be able to provide important relief without making inflation worse.

    • Budget 2023 proposes to introduce a one-time Grocery Rebate, providing $2.5 billion in targeted inflation relief to the Canadians who need it most. The Grocery Rebate will be delivered through a one-time payment from the Canada Revenue Agency as soon as possible following the passage of legislation.

    Alex works as a cashier at a convenience store, and Sam works part-time as a cook at a restaurant. Together, they earn $38,000 to support their two young children. Higher prices at the grocery store have strained their already tight budget, and they are struggling to make ends meet. On top of the enhanced Canada Workers Benefit, the Canada Child Benefit, and the GST Credit they already receive, the Grocery Rebate will make it easier for them to buy the healthy food their growing children need by providing them with $467.Brandan earns $32,000 per year working at a gym. Between the higher costs of rent, car payments, and groceries, he is having a tough time paying the bills at the end of the month. The Grocery Rebate will provide him with $234, on top of the enhanced Canada Workers Benefit and the GST Credit.

    Making Life More Affordable for Students

    Over 750,000 post-secondary students rely on federal assistance each year to help them afford the cost of tuition, housing, and everyday essentials. To make the transition from school to working life easier, the federal government permanently eliminated interest on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans, and made changes to loan repayment assistance so that nobody earning less than $40,000 per year needs to make payments on their federal student loans.

    When COVID-19 disrupted students’ lives, the federal government responded by doubling Canada Student Grants—income-tested support that hardworking, ambitious young people receive when the cost of going to school is out of reach for them and their parents. This meant students could receive up to $6,000 in up-front, non-repayable aid each school year, for three years starting in the 2020-21 school year. This support is currently set to expire on July 31, 2023. But with life costing more and with students still in need of support to afford an education, the government knows it is important that students can afford to pursue their dreams.

    • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $813.6 million in 2023-24 to enhance student financial assistance for the school year starting August 1, 2023. This includes:

      • Increasing Canada Student Grants by 40 percent—providing up to $4,200 for full-time students.

      • Raising the interest-free Canada Student Loan limit from $210 to $300 per week of study.

      • Waiving the requirement for mature students, aged 22 years or older, to undergo credit screening in order to qualify for federal student grants and loans for the first time. This will allow up to 1,000 additional students to benefit from federal aid in the coming year.

    These changes will allow post-secondary students to access up to $14,400 in enhanced Canada Student Financial Assistance for the upcoming school year. Students with disabilities and students with dependents will also receive an increase in Canada Student Grants.

    This builds on ongoing supports the federal government has introduced to make life more affordable for students and young people, such as extending enhanced federal student supports to include part-time students with dependents, and providing up to $20,000 per year to help students with persistent, prolonged, or permanent disabilities afford necessary services and equipment for their studies.

    The federal government will work with students in the year ahead to develop a long-term approach to student financial assistance, in time for Budget 2024.

    Quebec, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, which do not participate in the program, can receive federal funding to provide their own comparable support.

    1.2 An Affordable Place to Call Home

    Everyone should have a safe and affordable place to call home. However, for too many Canadians, including young people and new Canadians, the dream of owning a home is increasingly out of reach, and paying rent has become more expensive across the country. This is undermining the financial stability of an entire generation of Canadians.

    A lack of affordable housing also has an impact on our economy. Without more homes in our communities, it is difficult for businesses to attract the workers they need to grow and succeed, and when people spend more of their income on housing, it means less money is being spent in our communities.

    This is a complex and longstanding issue—one that requires a real plan to address the multitude of factors that are making housing more expensive in Canada.

    Budget 2022 announced significant investments to make housing more affordable, including by helping people buy their first home, tackling unfair practices that drive up costs, and working with provincial and territorial governments, municipalities, and both the private sector and non-profits to double the number of new homes that Canada will build by 2032. Budget 2023 proposes new measures to build on this progress and continue the government’s work to make housing more affordable from coast to coast to coast.

    Recent Action to Make Housing More Affordable

    Over the past year, the federal government has taken significant steps towards making housing more affordable for Canadians. These have included:

    • Introducing a two-year ban on non-resident, non-Canadians purchasing residential property to help curb speculation and ensure that houses are used as homes for Canadians to live in, rather than as financial assets for foreign investors;

    • Introducing a one percent annual underused housing tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned residential property that is vacant or underused;

    • Introducing a new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account to allow Canadians to save up to $40,000, tax-free, to help buy their first home;

    • Making sure that profits from flipping properties held for less than 12 months are taxed fully and fairly;

    • Doubling the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit to provide up to $1,500 in direct support to home buyers to offset closing costs involved in buying a first home;

    • Introducing a new, refundable Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit, which will provide up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary suite for a senior or an adult with a disability, starting in 2023;

    • Applying the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax to all assignment sales of newly constructed or substantially renovated residential housing, to help address speculative trading in the housing market;

    • Launching a new $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund to remove barriers and incentivize housing supply growth, with the goal of creating at least 100,000 net new homes across Canada;

    • Launching a $200 million stream under the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund to develop and scale up rent-to-own projects;

    • Launching a third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative, which is providing $1.5 billion to create 4,500 new affordable housing units for Canadians in severe housing need, with 25 per cent of investments going to housing projects targeted towards women;

    • Delivering over $500 million towards the government’s goal of ending chronic homelessness, through Reaching Home, Canada’s Homelessness Strategy; and,

    • Delivering a top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit in December 2022, which provided low-income renters with a $500 payment to help with the cost of housing.

      2.2 Dental Care for Canadians

      Dental care is an important component of our health, but seeing a dentist can be expensive. A third of Canadians currently do not have dental insurance, and in 2018, more than one in five Canadians reported avoiding dental care because of the cost. Delaying preventative care can have wide-reaching impacts, including costlier treatments, worsening health outcomes, and time away from school and work.

      To make dental care affordable for more Canadians, the federal government has committed to providing dental care for uninsured Canadians with family income of less than $90,000 annually, starting with children under 12-years-old.

      In September 2022, the government announced the creation of the Canada Dental Benefit, and applications opened in December. The Canada Dental Benefit is now providing eligible parents or guardians with direct, up-front, tax-free payments of up to $1,300 over two years, per child, to cover the cost of dental care for their children. To date, the Canada Dental Benefit has helped more than 240,000 children receive the dental care they need.

      The New Canadian Dental Care Plan

      It isn’t just children who need affordable dental care. Across Canada, millions of Canadians are avoiding the dental care they need because it costs too much—and nobody should have to choose between taking care of their teeth and being able to pay the bills at the end of the month.

      In Budget 2023, the federal government is moving forward with a transformative investment to provide dental care to Canadians who need it.

      • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $13.0 billion over five years, starting in 2023-24, and $4.4 billion ongoing to Health Canada to implement the Canadian Dental Care Plan. The plan will provide dental coverage for uninsured Canadians with annual family income of less than $90,000, with no co-pays for those with family incomes under $70,000. The plan would begin providing coverage by the end of 2023 and will be administered by Health Canada, with support from a third-party benefits administrator. Details on eligible coverage will be released later this year.
       

     

    Expanding Access to Dental Care

    In addition to cost, other factors may also prevent Canadians from accessing the dental care they need, such as living in a remote community, or requiring specialized care due to a disability.

    • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $250 million over three years, starting in 2025-26, and $75 million ongoing to Health Canada to establish an Oral Health Access Fund. The fund will complement the Canadian Dental Care Plan by investing in targeted measures to address oral health gaps among vulnerable populations and reduce barriers to accessing care, including in rural and remote communities.
     

    Investing in Better Dental Care Data

    Existing data on oral health in Canada is limited and cannot be disaggregated by region or socio-economic characteristics—restricting the government’s ability to support those who need it most.

    • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $23.1 million over two years, starting in 2023-24, to Statistics Canada to collect data on oral health and access to dental care in Canada, which will inform the rollout of the Canadian Dental Care Plan.

    Of these combined investments, $6 billion over four years, starting in 2024-25, and $1.7 billion ongoing would be sourced from the existing dental care funding provided through Budget 2022.

 

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