Ensuring Canada’s best days lie ahead

Don Rusnak
Member of Parliament
Thunder Bay-Rainy River

On March 16, the federal government took an essential step to grow the middle class and revitalize the Canadian economy.

The 2016 budget puts people first and delivers the help that Canadians need now, not a decade from now. It is an essential step to restore prosperity to the middle class.

Building on the middle class tax cut passed in December, the budget reflects a new approach for the government: one that offers immediate help to those who need it most—and sets the course for growth for all Canadians.

I am happy to say that Finance minister Bill Morneau’s work also is inclusive of our needs here in Northwestern Ontario, as demonstrated by the re-opening of the Veterans Affairs’ office in Thunder Bay.

This office is an important point of contact for veterans across the riding, and I am pleased to see the our government restoring services to the many men and women in our region who have sacrificed for our country.

The federal government also demonstrated a commitment to investing in infrastructure in our riding and across the country.

To help Canadian families and communities right away, Phase 1 of the government’s infrastructure plan will invest $11.9 billion over five years to modernize and upgrade public transit, improve water and wastewater systems, expand affordable housing, and protect infrastructure systems from the effects of climate change.

Other highlights specific to Thunder Bay-Rainy River riding include up to $19.5 million over five years, starting in 2016–17, to the International Joint Commission to enable Canada to match U.S. funding to study flooding, variable water levels, and water quality that have affected important water basins that straddle the Canada-U.S. border.

Rail safety also is on the agenda. The government will strengthen the oversight and enforcement of trains that carry dangerous goods through Canadian communities, including those here in Thunder Bay-Rainy River riding.

In addition, the government will enhance prevention and response capabilities.

The federal government also is committed to a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples; part of this renewed relationship involves recognizing that indigenous peoples have an important role to play in Canada’s economic prosperity.

Investments in education, infrastructure, training, and other programs will help to secure a better quality of life for indigenous peoples, and build a stronger, more unified, and more prosperous Canada.

Finally, in order to give Canadian families more help with the high cost of raising children, the federal government will introduce a new Canada Child Benefit.

Simpler, tax-free, and more generous, the Canada Child Benefit will replace existing federal child benefits.

With the Canada Child Benefit, nine out of 10 Canadian families will receive higher monthly benefits—and hundreds of thousands of children will be lifted out of poverty.

These are just a few highlights from a carefully-planned budget aimed at economic prosperity and a better quality of life for all Canadians.

It is an ambitious, long-term plan to strengthen the heart of Canada’s economy: the middle class.

With the 2016 budget, the federal government is investing for the years and decades to come–we invest for our children and grandchildren so that they may inherit a more prosperous and hopeful Canada.

With these smart investments and a sense of fairness, the federal government will ensure Canada’s best days lie ahead.