Freeland Delivers A Good Budget, With A Bit Of Something For Every Canadian
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Freeland Delivers A Good Budget, With A Bit Of Something For Every Canadian

Today, Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, delivered her highly anticipated 2023 Federal Budget. The budget is focused on three main areas: strengthening the middle class, creating an affordable economy, and promoting a healthy future for Canadians.

“I have never been more optimistic about the future of our country than I am today. Budget 2023 will deliver new, targeted inflation relief for the Canadians who need it most; stronger public health care, including dental care for millions of Canadians; and significant investments to build Canada’s clean economy. At a challenging time in a challenging world, there is no better place to be than Canada.” Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Here are some of the main points of the budget:

Inflation relief for Canadians Through the new Grocery Rebate, Budget 2023 delivers targeted inflation relief for 11 million Canadians and families who need it most, with up to an extra $467 for eligible couples with children, an extra $234 for single Canadians without children; and an extra $225 for seniors, on average.

Universal public health care system To strengthen Canada’s universal public health care system, Budget 2023 delivers $198.3 billion to reduce backlogs, expand access to family health services, and ensure provinces and territories can provide the high quality and timely health care Canadians expect and deserve.

The Budget for 2023 includes a significant investment of $13 billion over five years, with an additional $4.4 billion ongoing to implement the Canadian Dental Care Plan. This plan will provide dental coverage for uninsured Canadians with an annual family income of less than $90,000, with no co-pays for those with a family income under $70,000. The plan is set to roll out in 2023 and aims to provide much-needed dental care to Canadians who would otherwise be unable to afford it. The investment is expected to be transformative, improving the oral health of vulnerable populations and reducing barriers to accessing dental care.

In addition to addressing the cost of dental care, the Canadian government recognizes that other factors may prevent Canadians from accessing necessary dental services. To address this, Budget 2023 also proposes to provide $250 million over three years, with an additional $75 million ongoing, to establish an Oral Health Access Fund. The fund will work alongside the Canadian Dental Care Plan to address oral health gaps among vulnerable populations and reduce dental care barriers, particularly in rural and remote communities. The government hopes to improve its citizens’ overall health and wellbeing by providing dental care for all Canadians.

Investments in clean economy Budget 2023 makes transformative investments to build Canada’s clean economy, fight climate change, and create new opportunities for Canadian businesses and Canadian workers.

Supporting low-income Canadians, Budget 2023 delivers new, targeted inflation relief for the most vulnerable Canadians to help support them with the cost of living. The government is taking steps to ensure more low-income Canadians can easily file their tax returns in order to receive the benefits to which they are entitled.

Standard charging port for electronic devices Budget 2023 announces that the government will work with international partners and other stakeholders to explore implementing a standard charging port in Canada for phones, tablets, cameras, laptops and other electronic devices, with the aim of lowering costs for Canadians and reducing electronic waste.

Reciprocal procurement for Canadian workers by having procurement policies that treat Canadian workers and businesses fairly-and; this should include ensuring the government buys goods and services from countries that also grant Canadian businesses a similar level of access to their government procurement markets.

Supporting Black Canadian Communities Budget 2023 proposes to provide $25 million in 2024-25 for the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative, to continue empowering Black-led and Black-serving community organizations and the work they do to promote inclusiveness.

Harassment and intimidation prevention Budget 2023 proposes to provide $48.9 million over three years on a cash basis, starting in 2023-24, to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to protect Canadians from harassment and intimidation, increase its investigative capacity, and more proactively engage with communities at greater risk of being targeted.

The 2023 Federal Budget of Canada is focused on strengthening the middle class, creating an affordable economy, and promoting a healthy future for Canadians. With investments in a clean economy, universal public health care, support for low-income Canadians, and initiatives to promote inclusiveness and fairness, the budget seems to have a holistic approach to building a better Canada.

The announcement of a $43 billion deficit in the Canadian budget for the fiscal year may raise some eyebrows, but it is a necessary measure for continued growth in the Canadian economy. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the economy has remained strong, and this deficit is manageable. The government’s investment in dental care is a vital step towards a more equitable and accessible healthcare system for all Canadians. The support of the opposition leader, Jagmeet Signh, is welcome news. Signh has been a vocal advocate for increased dental coverage and universal benefits, and his efforts have undoubtedly played a role in securing this investment.

However, it is disheartening to see the PC party leader, Pierre Pollievre, criticize the budget merely for political gain. This kind of short-sighted approach only harms the people the budget aims to help. Canadians deserve better than politicians who prioritize their own interests over the needs of the country. As the budget moves forward, all parties must come together to support it and work towards a brighter future for all Canadians.

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