Madam Speaker, it is a great pleasure to rise today to speak on Bill C-86, which implements into legislation a number of provisions that were laid out in budget 2018.
Today, I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague and friend from Saint Boniface—Saint Vital.
When I speak to this bill, I would like to focus my thoughts on the hard-working middle-class families in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, who, like Canadians from coast to coast to coast, know that our government is working for them to build a stronger economy and a healthier environment, not only for today but also for generations to come to ensure that our children, much like my children, will have a prosperous future and confidence knowing that our government made the right decisions for their future.
I also wish to salute the entrepreneurs in the city of Vaughan, who run over 12,000 small and medium enterprises. They know they have a strong advocate in me as their MP and in our government to ensure they have the tools to compete and succeed both domestically and globally.
Our government is committed to building a strong middle class and helping those working hard to join it. We know the results to date and are very proud of our record: a record low unemployment rate; over 500,000 or 600,000 new jobs created in the last three years, the majority of which are full time; and, amazingly, over 500,000 job vacancies in Canada. A majority of the jobs that have been created in this great country have been from the private sector, another thing we should be proud of.
There are many elements in Bill C-86 that I could speak to, everything from the pay equity act to the Canadian gender budgeting act to the wage earner protection program to the enactment of a department for women and gender equality act, which, as a father of two young daughters, I am very proud of. It would establish a department for women and gender equality to assist the minister in ensuring that we as a society and a government advance equality with respect to sex and sexual orientation. There are even amendments to the Bank Act to strengthen provisions that apply to a bank in relation to the protection of customers and the public. Canadians expect and deserve the strongest consumer protection standards when dealing with their financial institutions and we will deliver on that.
However, I wish to focus my time this afternoon primarily on one aspect of Bill C-86, which for me represents our government's commitment to building a more prosperous country and that would ensure that all Canadians benefit from economic growth and a more inclusive and fair society.
Division 21 of part 4 of Bill C-86 enacts the poverty reduction act, which sets out for the first time in our country's history targets for poverty reduction in Canada from coast to coast to coast. The poverty reduction targets our government has put forward are ambitious and realistic, and are lifting and will lift hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of poverty from coast to coast to coast. Our government aspires to achieve a poverty reduction target of 20% below the poverty level in 2015 by 2020, and 50% below by 2030. These targets are not just numbers, because behind them are the stories of hard-working Canadians from all walks of life and all parts of this great country. Canadians are ambitious and steadfast. They expect nothing less from their government. When we look at the measures behind the poverty reduction act we can not only be proud of the work we have done as a government but, more importantly, also of the work we have done as a country.
The pillars of our poverty reduction strategy are based on the following: dignity to lift Canadians out of poverty by ensuring that basic needs are met; opportunity and inclusion to help Canadians join the middle class by promoting full participation in society and equality of opportunity; and resilience and security to support the middle class by protecting Canadians from falling into poverty.
How do we achieve these targets? Let me list the measures that our government has put in place: the transformational Canada child benefit; a 10% Increase in the guaranteed income supplement; the Canada workers benefit; and the profound national housing strategy, a $40 billion plan over 10 years, that will see housing needs reduced or eliminated for over half a million Canadians across this country. In my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, we will see more than 150 units of affordable housing built in 2019.
Moreover, investments in public transit under the PTIF 1 and now PTIF 2 will deliver sustained secure funding for public transit across Canada.
There is also the Canada workers benefit, which in budget 2018 provided a tax benefit that will put more money in the pockets of low-income Canadians. In fact, it is estimated that over 70,000 Canadians will be raised out of poverty, and over two million Canadians will receive assistance, from the CWB. Someone making $15,000 a year will receive $500 more from the CWB in 2019 than in 2018.
In Bill C-86, our government will enact changes that will ensure that an individual who is eligible to receive the Canada workers benefit can receive the benefit without having to claim it. Enrolment will be automatic. No Canadian will be left behind by our government, and the automatic enrolment mechanism that we have included in Bill C-86 is one further step to ensure this.
In achieving our poverty reduction targets, we also need to consider the transformational social program that we introduced, the Canada child benefit. We are delivering it to families who need it, not millionaires but hard-working, middle-class families across this country. In my riding alone, it equates to about $5 million a month, helping over 17,000 children and 9,000 families, with an average payment of over $500. That is real change that is working for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. That is real change that is benefiting middle-class families from coast to coast to coast.
We also indexed the CCB two years ahead of schedule, which will mean hundreds of extra dollars for families to help them pay for their kids' sports activities, to save for their education or buy clothes for the upcoming winter. It is estimated that the CCB will lift nearly 300,000 children out of poverty.
For our most vulnerable seniors, our government has raised the guaranteed income supplement by 10%. Promise made; promise kept. In my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, over 2,000 seniors received, on average, over $800 extra per annum. That is real change, helping real Canadians, our most vulnerable seniors. Furthermore, we came to an agreement on the CPP, the Canada pension plan. We enhanced and strengthened it for future generations.
There are other measures that we have instituted, but I would like to talk briefly in my remaining time about two measures in Bill C-86. One deals with the Canada Labour Code. For many of us who follow labour relations, there was an element in labour relations dealing with contract flipping or contract re-tendering. It was one of these things that was really unfair to the middle class, unfair to hard-working workers. We have addressed that.
It is contained in division 15 of part 4 of this bill. Our government will address continuity of employment issues when a work, undertaking or business becomes federally regulated, or in case of contract re-tendering. This is important, as there are instances where employees obtain a new employer through a contract tendering process, and then face much lower wages for exactly the same job.
Anyone who follows what happened at the airport in Toronto knows that this happens to many workers there, where they will be employed by an employer, making $20 an hour, and a contract re-tendering will come up and they will have to go to a new employer who imposes a much lower wage rate. It is unfair. We have addressed it. The legislation is in line with that in other jurisdictions, including the U.K. and Australia.
I will not read the pertinent section of the bill, but I encourage my colleagues from all parties to do so. It is groundbreaking, and it will ensure that we help all middle-class Canadians, all hard-working Canadians, including those workers who face a contract re-tendering.
In Bill C-86 and prior budgets, we have also addressed the issue of tax fairness and tax avoidance. Our government has invested approximately $1 billion in the Canada Revenue Agency. This morning there was an article in one of our national newspapers applauding our government for taking the concrete measures that are in Bill C-86, when looking at the issues of tax fairness and tax avoidance. We have a prosperous economy, Canadians are working at record levels, and we have the highest labour force participation rate for women in our country's history, but we must ensure that all individuals and organizations pay their fair share, including large corporations and wealthier Canadians.
We are preventing banks from creating artificial losses. We are enhancing tax reporting requirements for trust funds. We are strengthening rules for limited partnerships. We are cracking down on tax-free corporate distributions. We are also increasing ownership transparency.
It has been a pleasure to speak on Bill C-86. There are a number of great measures in this budget implementation act. I did not even touch on the pay equity bill, which will be transformational for millions of folks in this country. It will reduce the gap between what men and women are paid, which we must do. It is the right thing to do. It is the fair thing to do. It is the thing to do for my two daughters, who are at school today, for their futures. I am proud of our government that has acted on so many fronts.