OTTAWA, June 28, 2016 /CNW/ - In the first parliamentary session since the swearing-in of the 29th Ministry, the Honourable Jean‑Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and Minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, has made measurable progress on his overarching goals to increase the social security of Canadians and re-establish the federal government's role in supporting affordable housing.
As a first step in a renewed and open dialogue on social issues between federal, provincial and territorial governments, Minister Duclos co-chaired the first meeting in 10 years of federal-provincial-territorial ministers responsible for social services. At the meeting, ministers discussed reducing poverty, supporting high-quality early learning and child care services, improving outcomes for Indigenous children and youth and ensuring greater accessibility and opportunities for Canadians with disabilities.
Other notable commitments delivered by the Government of Canada through Minister Duclos's mandate include:
Help for the Middle Class
- Introducing the new Canada Child Benefit to help families with the cost of raising their children. Now, 9 out of 10 Canadian families will receive more in child benefits than under the old system. The new Canada Child Benefit will be paid monthly to eligible families starting in July 2016.
- The Canada Child Benefit is the most significant policy innovation in a generation and is anticipated to cut child poverty from about 11.2 percent to 6.7 percent, leading to the lowest child-poverty rate ever in Canada.
Inclusive and Fair Canada
- Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up by $947 annually to help lift low-income single seniors out of poverty. This measure alone will improve the financial security of 900,000 seniors across Canada.
- Cancelling the increase to the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement from 65 to 67. This will put thousands of dollars back in the pockets of Canadians as they become seniors.
Growth for the Middle Class
- Investing $3.4 billion over the next two years in social infrastructure. Social infrastructure investments will improve quality of life for Canadians by creating jobs, building stronger communities and lifting more Canadians—including children and seniors—out of poverty. As part of this investment:
- $111.8 million is being delivered over two years towards the Homelessness Partnering Strategy. More than $12.5 million of that new funding will be invested towards the Innovative Solutions to Homelessness stream. This critical increase will allow a wide range of organizations and stakeholders to develop and test innovative approaches to preventing and reducing homelessness.
- Repairing and upgrading child care and health facilities on reserves
- Supporting over 100 community cultural and recreational infrastructure projects.
- Developing an early learning and child care framework over the coming year in collaboration with provinces, territories and Indigenous communities, with immediate supports to upgrade Indigenous child care resources and significant new investments to flow from the framework as of 2017–18.
New Investments to Address Pressing Housing Needs
Ensuring all Canadians have housing that is safe, adequate and affordable through significant and immediate new investments:
- $504 million over two years to double funding under the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH), which will support the construction and renovation of affordable housing, housing affordability and safe, independent living for low-income Canadians, and is expected to benefit more than 100,000 Canadian households.
- $574 million over two years to renovate or retrofit existing social housing.
- $201 million over two years to build, repair and adapt affordable housing for low-income seniors.
- $90 million over two years to build and renovate shelters and transition houses for victims of domestic violence.
- $177 million over two years to address urgent housing needs in northern and Inuit communities.
- $137 million over two years to renovate and retrofit existing housing on-reserve, through CMHC.
- $10 million over three years to build and renovate shelters in First Nation communities.
- $30 million to renew subsidies for CMHC-administered social housing over a two-year period.
- Consulting with all levels of government, Indigenous communities and key stakeholders in the coming months to develop innovative approaches and improve outcomes for Canadians through a National Housing Strategy.
- Encouraging construction of new affordable rental housing by investing $208 million over five years in a new Affordable Rental Housing Innovation Fund, administered by CMHC.
- Consulting with stakeholders on the design of an Affordable Rental Housing Financing Initiative that will provide low-cost loans to municipalities and housing developers to build more than 10,000 new rental units.
"I am very proud of the work we have accomplished this session. The challenges we have been working to address this Parliament, such as a struggling middle class, cannot be solved in six months to a year, but we are not shying away. We are working diligently, reaching out and asking all Canadians to take these next steps with us."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Contact : Mathieu Filion, Director of Communications, 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, [email protected]