QUÉBEC, Nov. 4, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, today highlighted achievements over the past year that include help for middle-class families, seniors, Indigenous people and other vulnerable groups and reaffirmed his commitment to focusing on mandate priorities.
Minister Duclos outlined a number of accomplishments:
- As a first step in renewing the dialogue on social issues between federal, provincial and territorial governments, Minister Duclos co-chaired the first meeting in 10 years of federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for social services.
- In July 2016, Minister Duclos followed through on the commitment to introduce the Canada Child Benefit; the most significant social policy innovation in a generation. It now provides a fairer, tax-free benefit to help Canadian families with the costs of raising their children.
- To better understand poverty and to inform the development of a Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Minister also announced the Tackling Poverty Together Project, which includes six community case studies. He also released a discussion paper in support of future consultation at the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.
- Significant improvements were made to Employment Insurance (EI) including: temporarily extending the maximum duration of EI Work-Sharing Agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks; extending and expanding the Working While on Claim pilot project until August 2018 to help EI claimants stay connected to the labour market and ensure that they benefit from accepting work; and eliminating the EI eligibility requirements for new entrants and re‑entrants. The Minister has recently launched online consultations in support of the Government's commitment to provide more flexible maternity and parental and more inclusive caregiving benefits and leaves.
- The Guaranteed Income Supplement was increased for the lowest-income single seniors and the age of eligibility was restored from 67 to 65 for the Old Age Security pension.
- Important steps were taken to re-establish the federal leadership role in housing, beginning with significant investments in affordable housing, and extensive consultations were launched on development of the National Housing Strategy.
- The Affordable Rental Innovation Fund was launched, which will bring unique ideas, new funding models and innovative building techniques to revolutionize the rental housing sector.
- The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has been asked to conduct a thorough review of the root causes of the rapid and continuing rise in property prices in several of Canada's major urban centres as well as to work closely with Statistics Canada and the Department of Finance to support access to improved data on foreign investment in housing.
- Investments in the Homelessness Partnering Strategy increased to provide direct support and funding to communities across Canada.
- Open discussions and consultations continued with all levels of government, partners and Canadians.
Minister Duclos pledged to continue to work with his colleagues and Canadians so that the Government of Canada can fully implement its vision of a diverse, prosperous and truly inclusive country.
"We promised real change and our ambitious agenda is being realized through innovation, smart investments and a sense of fairness. By remaining focused on our mandate priorities and aligning our resources with our commitments, we are ensuring Canadians are supported by a government that works with them and for them."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
- Nine out of 10 families received more money under the Canada Child Benefit than under previous benefits, and the new benefit is expected to lift 300,000 Canadians children out of poverty.
- In Quebec, this would lift 60,000 children out of poverty by 2017. That's nearly half of the children currently living in poverty in the province of Quebec.
- Investments in affordable housing, shelters, seniors housing and Indigenous housing on-reserve will result in improvements for over 200,000 households across Canada.
- The new Affordable Rental Innovation Fund will help create up to 4,000 new affordable rental units over five years, reducing the number of Canadians living in housing need and the reliance on long-term government subsidies.
- The Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up improves the financial security of about 900,000 seniors across Canada, particularly single women.
- Approximately 245,000 single seniors living in Quebec received increases to their Guaranteed Income Supplement as of July 2016, and over 40,000 single seniors in Quebec received increases to their Allowance for the Survivor benefit as of July 2016.
- The elimination of the new entrant and re-entrant rules is expected to benefit approximately 50,000 Canadians who claim Employment Insurance annually across Canada.
- National unemployment rates fell from September 2015 to September 2016, based on the most recent data. In Quebec, the rate fell from 7.7 percent in September 2015 to 6.9 percent in September 2016. (Sources: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 282-0087 and Catalogue No. 71-001-XIE)
- The Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories to strengthen the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to help middle-class Canadians achieve their goal of a safe, secure and dignified retirement. Once fully phased in, the CPP enhancements will increase CPP benefits by as much as 50 percent.
Canada Child Benefit
Consulting Canadians on Poverty Reduction
Tackling Poverty Together Project News Release
Employment Insurance Changes for 2016
Guaranteed Income Supplement
Old Age Security
Canada Pension Plan enhancements
Homelessness Partnering Strategy
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Minister Duclos' Mandate letter
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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Émilie Gauduchon, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, firstname.lastname@example.org