Mr. Speaker, it is indeed an honour today to speak to budget 2015, our economic action plan for Canadians.
Traditionally at this time of year while I am speaking to the budget I like to pick a few initiatives that are my favourites and tell the House about them by page number. I will start with the home accessibility tax credit on page 245 and the reason it is important to me and important to my constituents in Mississauga South.
Seniors and Canadians with disabilities may face special challenges related to gaining access to their homes, or being mobile or functional within it, and making improvements to improve safety, access and functionality of a dwelling can be costly. The home accessibility tax credit will help seniors and elderly Canadians stay in their own homes. Some people may install a railing, grab bars, wheelchair ramps, walk-in bathtubs, chair rails, or perhaps non-slip flooring. Canadians will be able to claim $10,000 in eligible expenses under the new home accessibility tax credit, which will result in federal tax relief of $1,500 for the 2016 taxation year.
These improvements will enable seniors and disabled Canadians to be more mobile, safe and functional in their own homes, ensuring that they can live healthy, independent lives in the comfort of their homes or in the homes of their families.
I would like to turn to page 190 and talk about the Canada 150 community infrastructure proposal. This is a new measure. In addition to the unprecedented spending on infrastructure by this government, members probably know about the 10-year new building Canada plan. This dedicated fund is for renovation, expansion and improvement of existing community infrastructure in all regions of the country.
Community-based facilities, like the Small Arms Inspection Building in Lakeview in Mississauga South, contribute to the quality of life and heritage of small communities and large urban areas alike across Canada. The Small Arms Inspection Building is an example of community infrastructure with a rich history and one with enormous potential. It was at this location that over 6,000 employees worked during World War II making Lee-Enfield rifles for the entire allied effort. Most of these employees were women doing their part to support the war effort from home.
There are big plans for the improvement and renovation of this iconic place, and infrastructure funds like this one, which will be cost-shared with municipalities, community organizations and not-for-profit entities, will support projects that celebrate our shared heritage as well as create jobs and improve quality of life.
I would also like to talk to members about an important initiative on page 240 of the budget to extend compassionate care benefits. Family and friends have been described as the invisible backbone of the Canadian health care system. Giving care can often place people in grave financial hardship, especially when they are forced to quit their jobs or work fewer hours as a result of the responsibility of caring for a loved one. It is for this reason that budget 2015 and this Conservative government will extend EI compassionate care benefits from six weeks to six months.
We do not believe that Canadians should have to choose between keeping their job and caring for a gravely ill family member. I have heard from my constituents in Mississauga South about this issue and the hardships that they face. There is more in the report of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care about the financial realities associated with caring for a dying family member. With this enhancement, the government is ensuring that the employment insurance program will continue to help Canadians when they need it most.
I would also like to tell members about a lesser known measure in the budget on page 303. That is the renewal and enhancement of Canada's honour system. This will bring the system of citations and honours for Canadians closer to all Canadians, with a commitment of $13.4 million over five years, plus $2.8 million in ongoing support to modernize the system. This matters to the constituents of Mississauga South because it is important to commemorate great Canadians. It will increase the number of nominations in particular to the Order of Canada.
I am hopeful that a great Canadian resident of Mississauga South, an icon and true patriot, hockey commentator Don Cherry will be recognized soon. Just imagine the jacket he would wear for the occasion.