Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in support of Bill C-97, the budget implementation act, 2019, No. 1.
Canada's economy is one of the fastest growing in the G7. Since 2015, Canadians have created more than one million new jobs, with our lowest unemployment rate in 40 years. Our government is making sure that all Canadians feel the benefits of a growing economy through budget 2019, and it will continue to help middle-class Canadians get ahead.
I would like to highlight what budget 2019 means to my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City. The new Canada training benefit will help constituents in my riding gain the training and skills to be successful in their careers. With this new benefit, working Canadians will get four weeks for training every four years, up to $1,000 to help pay for the training, income support to help with everyday expenses, and the security of knowing that they will have a job to come back to when the training is done. To support this new training benefit, we have relieved small employers with EI premiums by introducing an EI small business premium rebate. The Canada training benefit will help my constituents get the skills they need to find and keep good jobs or to get retraining to help secure work for years to come.
Our government has also made big investments to support students and youth in my riding who attend Kwantlen Polytechnic University or other universities across Canada. We have doubled the number of jobs created through the Canada summer jobs program, increased Canada student grants, launched the Canada Service Corps and made huge investments in the youth employment strategy.
This summer, in Cloverdale—Langley City, the Canada summer jobs program has allocated $616,519 in funding and has approved 154 jobs so that our youth can gain meaningful, paid work experience. Helping more youth get work experience through the Canada summer jobs program is just one way this government is helping to grow and support the middle class and people working hard to join it.
Through budget 2019, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development launched Canada's first-ever national poverty reduction strategy. The strategy sets new poverty reduction targets and establishes the federal government as a full partner in the fight against poverty. Our poverty reduction strategy also builds on the progress we have made together so far.
One of the very first things we did after being elected in 2015 was introduce the Canada child benefit, which has lifted more than half a million Canadians, including more than 300,000 children, out of poverty. The Canada child benefit has allocated nearly $7.4 million per month to 24,440 children living in Cloverdale—Langley City.
We also, as a government, immediately reversed the previous government's disastrous changes to the guaranteed income supplement and old age security. We restored the age of eligibility from 67 to 65 and made benefits for seniors more generous, which is helping lift another 100,000 seniors out of poverty every year, including many in my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City. Further, through new horizons for seniors, five organizations in my riding have received over $80,000 in funding, including, among others, the Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society and the Royal Canadian Legion. This is what real change looks like.
We also know that no Canadian should have to choose between paying for prescriptions and putting food on the table. With budget 2019, our government is taking the next steps toward the implementation of a national pharmacare program by creating a Canadian drug agency to negotiate better drug prices on behalf of all Canadians, putting in place a national strategy for rare disease drugs to help Canadians access the life-saving drugs they need and creating a national formulary to provide consistency across the country. It is critically important that we get this right and do what is best and equitable for employers, employees and all Canadians.
To combat climate change, we are making zero emission vehicles more accessible for Canadians by providing a $5,000 federal incentive. In B.C., this can be combined with the provincial $5,000 credit and the $3,000 or $6,000 Scrap-It program incentive, depending on certain criteria.
We are also building infrastructure support for electric vehicles and zero emission vehicles and are encouraging new investments and innovation in zero emission vehicle manufacturing here in Canada. By investing in the future of transportation now, we are positioning Canada's automotive sector to grow, supporting clean jobs and growth and protecting the future for our children and grandchildren.
Our government knows that if we do not have a plan for the environment, we do not have a plan for the economy or for the future, and that is why we put a price on pollution in jurisdictions without one. We are making zero emission vehicles more affordable and are investing in clean technology and public transportation.
My beautiful province of British Columbia has had a price on pollution for over 10 years. Contrary to the narrative offered by the Conservatives, we have led Canada in economic growth and have reduced our emissions over the last decade.
Our government also knows the importance of investing in infrastructure. It not only creates good middle-class jobs for today but also strong local economies people can rely on for years to come. By helping to reduce traffic, keeping our families safe and addressing the challenges of climate change, our investments in infrastructure are setting our communities up for success.
Budget 2019 gives a one-time transfer of $2.2 billion through the federal gas tax fund to address short-term priorities in municipalities and first nation communities. In my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City, approximately $2 million has been secured for TransLink to cure congestion and improve transit options through the gas tax transfer.
Over the past four years, we have also secured federal funding of $4.46 million for the phase two expansion of the Surrey museum and $1.9 million to upgrade the Cloverdale Athletic Park multi-sport facility and field house. Better infrastructure, with improved public transit, more affordable housing and new community facilities, makes Cloverdale—Langley City a great place to start a business and raise a family.
We believe that every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Since taking office in 2015, we have made the most investments in housing in Canadian history. Our government launched Canada's first-ever national housing strategy, a once-in-a-generation $40-billion investment to fight homelessness and improve access to affordable housing across the country. By building, renewing and repairing housing in Canada, we are not just investing in our communities but are investing in people. We will keep working hard to make sure that Canadians have safe and affordable housing that meets their needs in communities where their families can thrive.
Budget 2019 also proposes to further increase compliance actions in the real estate sector by providing $50 million over five years and $10 million ongoing to create a real estate task force that would focus initially on the greater Toronto and greater Vancouver areas. This would benefit housing affordability in my area of Cloverdale—Langley City.
I would also like to speak about division 24 of part 4 of this act, which states:
Division 24 of Part 4 amends the Parks Canada Agency Act to provide that, starting on April 1, 2021, any balance of money appropriated to the Parks Canada Agency that is not spent by the Agency in the fiscal year in which it was appropriated lapses at the end of that fiscal year.
Having spent over 32 years working in Parks Canada prior to politics, this clause initially caused me some concern. We heard another member raise that concern in the House today. However, after speaking with the acting CEO of the Parks Canada Agency, I was reassured that this would help the agency deal with certain aspects of its operations, including asset recapitalization, and would have no impact on revenue and new park establishment, which are very important to the Parks Canada Agency. Our government knows and understands that we must always work hard to preserve the natural spaces we enjoy.
Finally, we know that building a better Canada must include advancing reconciliation with indigenous peoples. That is why budget 2019 includes important new measures that would help advance self-determination and improve the quality of life for first nations, Inuit, and Métis nations people.
Budget 2019 would help create a better future for indigenous people by improving access to clean drinking water and health services, funding distinctions-based post-secondary education, supporting indigenous languages and promoting entrepreneurship and business in indigenous communities. Our government will continue to advance the important work of reconciliation for a better future for indigenous people and for all Canadians.
I am proud to support this bill, knowing how my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City would benefit from the measures contained in Bill C-97.