Mr. Speaker, as always, it is a privilege to rise in the House on behalf of my constituents in Vaudreuil—Soulanges to speak to budget 2023, “A Made-in-Canada Plan”, tabled by the hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
This budget reflects the global challenges we are facing as Canadians. It is a prudent, responsible and considered budget.
We must invest in the future of this incredible country that we are fortunate to call home and in the well-being of individuals, workers and families. We must invest in the green transition and in the cleaner and more prosperous economy of the future.
For the members of my community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges and for individuals and families across Canada, this budget is the next step towards a better future in which more Canadians will be able to find meaningful employment and live in an environment with better protection that will be enjoyed by future generations.
It comes at a time when the strength, resilience and perseverance of Canadians are once again on full display, because even with the immense challenges we have experienced over recent years, business owners and entrepreneurs have created over 865,000 more jobs for Canadians. Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio remains the best of all G7 member countries, and the Bank of Canada has projected that Canada's inflation rate should drop below 3% by the end of the year. Even while the economy has grown, Canada's annual report on emissions shows an 8.4% reduction in emissions since 2005. This is proof that, by working together, we as Canadians can meet any challenge we face, and through smart policies implemented over the last seven years, the Government of Canada can be there to support Canadians along the way.
In my remarks today, I would like to speak to three main components of this budget that would continue to respond to the needs of Canadians and build a better, stronger Canada: first, the strengthening of Canada's national health care system and the expansion of the national dental care; second, a grocery rebate for Canadians when they need it most; and finally, the unprecedented investment toward building a greener economy.
First, budget 2023 would address one of the biggest challenges we face as a nation and one that has been highlighted by the pandemic: the need to strengthen and renew our universal public health care system. That is why budget 2023 would commit Canada to delivering $198.3 billion to reduce backlogs, expand access to family health services and ensure that provinces and territories can provide quality health care to Canadians while also ensuring greater transparency and accountability.
Budget 2023 would also provide the funding necessary to deliver on our promise to expand national dental care, an investment that would ensure that up to nine million Canadians who need it most will receive the dental care they need. In 2021, I had the honour of meeting several incredible volunteer dental hygienists in the city of Pincourt, in my community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges, where they were holding one of their mobile clinics offering free preventative oral care. They highlighted the necessity of greater access to dental care for Canadians and stressed that, by bolstering preventative oral care, Canada could reduce avoidable health care costs at our hospitals. This sentiment was one shared by members of my seniors committee, who spoke to their experiences and those of their loved ones who have had limited access to dental care due to budget constraints. It is also what I have heard time and again from struggling parents in my community who have no dental coverage through work, and whose children have had to wait years between visits to the dentist, if they have ever gone at all.
This budget would ensure that, by the end of 2023, dental care would be available for seniors, youth under the age of 18 and Canadians with disabilities with household incomes below $90,000. This budget says, loud and clear, that when a child smiles in my community or any community represented by any member of the House, it is no longer acceptable to be able to gauge the income of parents based on the smile of their child.
The new grocery rebate is another key component of the budget that will make food bills more affordable. Over the past year, food prices have skyrocketed around the world, and Canada is no exception.
As a result, families have no other choice but to spend more on groceries every week. To help them, and to help 11 million families across Canada, we will be giving eligible couples with two children up to $467 more, single Canadians with no children up to $234 more, and seniors up to $225 more, on average. This is a $2.5-billion investment in Canadians’ well-being that will be appreciated by seniors, parents and workers in my community, Vaudreuil—Soulanges, who need it the most.
The third component I would like to address is the ongoing commitment in the budget to build a green and prosperous Canadian economy for the future. In my community, we will support not only a prosperous economy, but also a healthy environment. In Vaudreuil—Soulanges, we are blessed with magnificent landscapes and the daily benefits of our environmental wealth. A great many collective memories in our community are forged in the nature that surrounds us, as we enjoy snowshoeing on the trails in Saint-Lazare, kayaking in Vaudreuil-Dorion Bay, hiking on Mont Rigaud, cycling on the Soulanges Canal, or even picnicking at Pointe-du-Moulin in Notre-Dame-de-l'Île-Perrot.
I am extremely proud of the work we have done to enhance our environmental protection measures and of our government’s ongoing efforts to fight climate change. The 2023 budget delivers on our promise to Canadians to build a greener Canada and makes great strides in the fight against climate change.
We are tackling climate change with a three-pronged approach: a prosperous energy sector, clean electricity and a clean economy. Overall, we allocated $88 billion in new investments between now and 2035. This means more money for greener electricity and associated infrastructure in order to create an affordable, sustainable and reliable Canada-wide electrical grid, increase battery manufacturing, reduce taxes for the manufacturing of zero-emission technologies, and provide more support for workers in the clean economy sector.
The results of these investments are already being felt. Recent reports show that Canada has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 8.4% over 2005.
Finally, I would like to speak to a specific component of this budget to help Canadians reduce waste and save money.
More electronic devices in our society means more chargers of all shapes and sizes piling up in our homes and our offices, burdening all Canadians with additional costs and contributing to thousands of tonnes of electronic waste every year . This January, I launched a campaign within my Liberal caucus to have Canada commit to joining the European Union in mandating USB-C universal charging by 2024. After productive discussions with the Minister of Finance and her team, securing the support of the Prime Minister and Liberal caucus members, I was truly happy to see that budget 2023 would commit Canada to working with partners and stakeholders to explore implementing a standard charging port in Canada for small electronic devices and laptops as well.
Adding to the success already realized through the government's ban on select single-use plastics, the implementation of universal chargers in Canada would be a practical way to not only reduce waste but also keep more money in the pockets of Canadians. I look forward to helping this move forward in the months and years ahead.
For these reasons and many more, and on behalf of the community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges, I fully support passing the 2023 budget in the House. I will be voting in favour of this budget, and I hope that my colleagues from all parties will also voice their support.