Salma Zahid

Your member of parliament for


Scarborough Centre

Salma Zahid

Your member of parliament for


Scarborough Centre

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#Budget2017: Strengthening the Middle Class in Scarborough

I’m pleased to report on the Government of Canada’s Budget 2017, which is the next step in our long-term plan to create jobs and strengthen the middle class and those working hard to join it.

We promised Canadians we would put middle class families first. And that’s what we did. In Budget 2016 we introduced the Canada Child Benefit, made it tax-free and targeted it to families that need it the most — families are receiving up to $6,400 per child under 6 and $5,400 per child aged 6 to 19. Our middle class tax cut is benefitting nine million Canadians, with the average family saving $540. And the first phase of our long-term infrastructure plan provides $11.9 billion over five years to immediately invest in infrastructure Canadians need – including public transit.

The steps we have taken to date are having a real, positive impact on our economy—and on Canadians. But we are not done. We’re building on that foundation with Budget 2017

When middle class Canadians believe their hard work can translate to a better life for themselves, their children and grandchildren, they become an unstoppable force. Budget 2017 is about ensuring every Canadian has a real and fair chance at success.

Canadians Deserve Affordable and Secure Housing

Canadians who need it will have better access to housing that meets their needs, through the new National Housing Strategy-to help build, renew and repair Canada’s stock of affordable housing. The budget proposes $11.2 billion over the next 11 years to support key priorities for affordable housing, including the construction of new affordable housing units, the renovation and repair of existing housing, rent subsidies and other measures to make housing more affordable, and initiatives to support safe, independent living for Canada’s seniors, persons with disabilities and other individuals requiring accessibility modifications

Investing in Our Children = Investing in Our Future

We also know that when families have access to more high-quality, affordable child care spaces, they thrive in their employment and educational pursuits. The budget invests $7 billion over 10 years to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across the country. Over the next three years, this will support up to 40,000 new subsidized child care spaces and make it more affordable for parents to return to work.

Improving Public Transit for You and Your Family

And with this budget we’re expanding on the historic investment made in Budget 2016 by investing in faster, more efficient public transit systems to help you get to work on time, and back home faster to family and friends. To support the next phase of ambitious public transit projects, our government is investing $20.1 billion to support urban public transit networks and service extensions.

Supporting Families and Youth

Other highlights of note in Budget 2017 include more flexibility with maternity and parental leave, a new EI Caregiving Benefit of up to 15 weeks for individuals who are providing care to an adult family member as they recover from a critical illness or injury, and eliminating the $1000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee for bringing medical caregivers to Canada as well as for families earning less than $150,000.

The budget makes substantial investments in education and youth with an additional $395.5 million over 3 years in the Youth Employment Strategy and $454 million over 4 years to expand eligibility for student financial assistance for part-time students and students with dependent children.

Newcomers and Communities at Risk

We’re also investing $27.5 million over 5 years for a Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers to better integrate new citizens in our communities. The strategy will include improved pre-arrival supports, so that newcomers can begin the foreign credential recognition process before arriving in Canada, a loan program that will assist newcomers with the cost of having their foreign credentials recognized., and targeted measures to test innovative approaches to help skilled newcomers gain Canadian work experience in their profession.

And there is funding of $5 million over five years to support Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program, which provides funding to not-for-profit organizations to make needed security infrastructure improvements such as the installation of outdoor lighting or security cameras. Places of worship such as mosques, synagogues and churches can benefit from this funding.

Budget 2017 continues the Government’s plan to invest in the middle class, and in the long-term productive capacity of the Canadian economy.

We are making smart and responsible investments that will lead to more and better jobs and opportunities, and grow Canada’s economy over the long term.

Learn more about Budget 2017 at www.budget.gc.ca.