Madam Speaker, it is a privilege to rise today to speak to the fall economic statement, which is reflected in Bill C-32.
Let me go on record just quickly about the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Nova Scotia. The report was released today. I want to applaud the commission, particularly on its focus on reinstating all of Hants County as part of Kings—Hants. There was a lot of community backlash or engagement on this issue, and I certainly want to applaud the commission for its work. I know it is not an easy job, but as it relates to the boundaries in Kings—Hants, I do think objectively that it is fair and reasonable.
I am going to use my time this morning to talk about the fall economic statement and how what this government is putting forward is going to matter to my constituents. I am then going to talk about a few things that are going to be extremely important in the days ahead as we move into 2023 and start to focus on budget 2023.
This has been talked about a lot in the House. Right now, we know that times are challenging, particularly for those Canadians who are vulnerable and have lower incomes. I want to applaud the government for trying to strike the balance between fiscal discipline and making sure that there are targeted measures to help those Canadians who do need extra help right now.
First of all, there is a doubling of the GST rebate for the next six months. This is a targeted measure. Eleven million Canadians would receive it. It is something that is around $2 billion to the treasury, but it is something that matters to those families and those individuals who need a bit of extra help right now. It was approved by the House, and I certainly appreciate that it is there.
Along with that is a doubling of the Canada housing benefit. This is to about 1.1 million renters across the country who have lower incomes. I had the opportunity to speak to one of my constituents last week who was really struggling to be able to pay the bills. My riding is rural. It is outside of Halifax, but she was trying to pay a rental bill of about $1,500. That has increased significantly, even since I was elected in 2019. We know the challenges around housing, and this is a really important measure to help those who are needing the extra help.
By working together here in Parliament, we have been able to move forward on dental care support for children under 12. I believe that has actually passed the Senate. It is another important measure for children in households with incomes under $90,000 that do not have any private insurance. We are making sure those children have access to dental care. I was disappointed to see that the official opposition, the Conservatives, voted against this. I did not hear much of a rationale as to why they would not support something like this, which matters to constituents from Newfoundland and Labrador and all the way to British Columbia. However, I am pleased to see that it is going to move forward. I know it is going to make a difference for families in my riding of Kings—Hants.
Speaking as one of the youngest members of Parliament in the House, who does still indeed have student debt, albeit not federal, one of the big measures is to remove interest from the federal portion of student loans. This is something that matters. On average, it would save those who hold debt almost $400 a year, and it would make sure that we are not piling on interest at a time when students are trying to recover. This is in addition to the fact that we moved the student-loan repayment schedule from an income of $25,000 up to $40,000 before someone would have to start repaying. These are really important measures. I had the chance to be with the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth at Acadia University last week. We spoke to students, and we know how important this measure is.
The Canada workers benefit is a benefit that would be brought forward on a quarterly basis. It will be automatically available to workers. Workers will not have to apply for this. This will come as part of the benefits from the government, and it is for workers who have family income below $42,000, so it is very targeted to help those who are working hard but are struggling to stay ahead. This is another affordability measure that I certainly support.
With respect to the tax-free home savings account and the doubling of the first-time homeowners tax credit, again, as a younger member of Parliament with a number of friends and people I know looking to get into the housing market, I know these are really important measures to make sure that they have tools to help purchase their first home. I applaud the government for moving forward on them.
In my riding, there is the most concentrated group of farms east of Quebec, and there is a number of supply-managed farms. Of course, this government made a promise to make sure supply-managed farms would be compensated, and I am pleased to see the government is moving forward with that. The Minister of Agriculture had the opportunity to announce that in Quebec on Monday. I know it is going to make a difference across the country, particularly for farmers in my riding. We know how important their work is, especially during the pandemic.
I have two other quick points before I transition to something else. There is the launch of the growth fund. This is a $15-billion capitalization of funds to try to draw private capital. For energy transition and opportunities for Canadian leadership on food and energy, this is a really good thing. I am pleased to see the Minister of Finance moving forward with it, along with the tax credit for the hydrogen and critical minerals sector.
I was particularly pleased with the Minister of Finance's candour about the challenges we could face in the days ahead, particularly with the prospect that we could be facing a global recession in 2023. When I look at some of the challenges, such as health care, I was disappointed to see provincial health ministers not take federal money that was on the table in British Columbia on the guise that somehow a national sharing of data was a step too far for them to be able to work together.
We are seeing challenges across the country. We want to make sure that, if we are going to put federal money on the table, it is actually going to health care and it is going to deliver on results. I was quite disappointed, but it is going to be a significant spend. The Government of Canada has made sure there will be more money coming ahead. This is one element, when we look at the fiscal discipline and the fiscal ability for the government, that will be a challenge.
Next is reducing emissions and fighting climate change, and of course Canada's position in the world. I am going to take my remaining time to talk about things I think we need to be really focused on as a Parliament in the days ahead. First of all, concerning regulatory reform modernization and non-cost measures, we need to really start talking about things that do not cost money that can help us to achieve the results and outcomes that we, as parliamentarians, or the government, may wish to see because there is going to be a real challenge on the fiscal position in the days ahead. This could include interprovincial trade.
A Senate report suggest that 2% to 4% of GDP is being left on the table. If premiers want more money for health care, that is fine. First of all, they need to stop the fakery around the idea of national sharing of data and having the results, and get out of the way to make sure we can grow the economy so we can have a sustainable way to pay for it.
I would like to see us move away from command and control regulations. We are one of the worst in the OECD in this regard. That is really important. As well, I would like to see things like a presumptive health approval, and I have said this in the House before. If an applicant comes to Health Canada and already has approvals from a jurisdiction such as the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, jurisdictions that we trust their processes, why would we not give them a presumptive approval to operate in Canada until such time that Health Canada either can approve them outright or found a reason as to why they could not operate in the country?
I want to ask my colleagues if we have given thought to how we are going to double or triple energy generation in the country. As we move to EV vehicles, and as we try to move to a low-carbon economy, we need to have serious conversations on how we are actually going to generate that electricity. I submit to the House that nuclear energy needs to be a big part of that conversation. We have a tremendous opportunity in Canada to be a global leader, and we are already are. We are recognized as being one of the best as it relates to nuclear energy. When we look at a zero-emission opportunity to generate electricity, we need to get more serious on it. I would like to see the government introduce nuclear as part of its green bonds initiative.
I hear too much of colleagues in the House who talk about net-neutral and getting to our 2050 goals, but that are not talking seriously about the technologies that are available before us right now and how we get there.
I would be remiss to not talk about the Atlantic loop. I hope to see in budget 2023 a firm commitment from the government to make sure there is money on the table to drive this initiative. I will go on record saying I am disappointed in Premier Houston's government and the fact that Bill 212 at the Nova Scotia Legislature is creating real challenges for Nova Scotia Power and Emera to actually raise the equity to make this happen. It is unfortunate, and I really hope he can get to the table with our provincial utility to make sure we do not squander this historic opportunity to help get Atlantic Canada off coal.
I look forward to taking questions from my colleagues, and I appreciate having this opportunity to speak today.