Yes, Mr. Speaker, 11 million. However, only 11% of those people deposited the maximum last year. Therefore, 90% of the people depositing already do not have enough to deposit the current maximum, but the government wants to double it. Why is that? It is because it will help the Conservatives' well-heeled friends. It is not going to help the majority of the working-class and middle-class people I work for in my riding of Scarborough Southwest. These people do not seem to find themselves burdened at the end of the year with having to decide what to do with an extra $10,000 that is burning a hole in their pockets. I wish I could say that they did because Scarborough used to be a prosperous place. It used to have above national average incomes. It used to have tens of thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs that helped to elevate people into the middle class. However, through successive Liberal and Conservative governments, since first free trade and then NAFTA came in, all of that industry and all of those good-paying jobs left.
We used to have a GM van plant in my riding. It has been gone since the early 1990s. We used to have tens of thousands of good jobs along what was called the golden mile, which, when it opened after the Second World War, was the model on which many communities ended up being built because people could live and work close together and also have good-paying jobs. They are all gone, and they have been replaced by part-time, precarious, largely retail jobs and car malls that are not very accessible by transit, that do not make good planning for those areas. Who are these changes being made for? I have said, it is for the wealthy few.
That is just like the income-splitting plan, a $2.5-billion waste of our money that could be far better spent, either on actually balancing the budget so they do not have to dip into the contingency fund or on other programs like affordable child care.
The current government's entire package and plan for families would give families up to $1,960 a year per child. In the city of Toronto, child care costs are between $1,000 and $2,000 a month per child. Exactly what are the Conservatives telling families to do for the other 10 to 11 months beyond what the government's money gives? The government would give $1,960 but then families pay between $10,000 and $20,000 in child care costs. Are families actually going to be further ahead at the end of the day? No, they are not. They end up having to make really tough choices in our city of whether to lose one income and have one parent stay home, which puts a lot of strain on families and makes it hard to pay the mortgage. God forbid if the parents are also trying to help a kid through university or college, because of skyrocketing tuition fees. The Conservatives want to give $1,960 but then let parents throw $15,000 to $20,000 a year into child care costs.
The NDP has an alternative plan of $15 a day for child care that would actually be affordable for families and would let them make the right choices for their families, whether to have a parent stay home or have both parents work because they would have the option to do either. It would be good-quality child care. I started my working career in child care. I worked at the Not Your Average Daycare in Scarborough for five years, and I saw first-hand the importance of early education and learning.
The story does not end there. It gets worse. As we move forward through the years, the Conservatives' plan at the start would cost a few hundred million dollars, primarily of course to the wealthiest Canadians. The amazing thing is that this cost would grow with each passing year. In a relatively short time, the cost to Canadians would be $20 billion to the treasury. I heard one of the parliamentary secretaries say the Conservatives do not want to pass on debt to the next generation, to our children. The Conservatives are doing something far worse. They are passing it to our children's children. They are passing it to our grandchildren. No responsible parent, grandparent or government should ever pass the buck along two generations down the line.
Of course, we have seen this approach with the government when we talk about climate change, which was not mentioned even once in the budget. We see that the Conservatives do not care. They have not put this as a priority. They said they are going to regulate sector by sector. Then the Prime Minister got up and said they are not going to touch the biggest polluter, the biggest sector, oil and gas.
The current government's entire philosophy is relying on the high price of oil, a commodity where the cost goes up and down. I worked in Fort McMurray, in the oil sands. I have been there through one of those turns. The folks there know that it is cyclical. The casino in Fort McMurray is called Boomtown Casino because they know that the price of oil and commodities goes boom or bust. However, the Conservatives were relying on the fact that it was going to boom forever. It is absolutely preposterous to be putting all their eggs in that one basket.
We all know that we are supposed to diversify the economy. We are supposed to invest in different areas of the economy so that we can weather those storms, but the Conservatives never did that and now Canadians from coast to coast to coast are paying the price.
This budget should be helping people, but it is only helping the wealthy few and the rest are left to fend for themselves.