Sheehan Pleased With Federal Budget

Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan is pleased with the Federal Budget for 2024 that was presented in the House of Commons Tuesday.

“The budget that we have brought forward addresses critical challenges that we are facing – both in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma, and across Canada. Most importantly, we are committed to generational fairness, including in housing and healthcare, and ensuring that we have the resources and the workers to secure this for the future.” said, Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Seniors

“It is a plan to build a Canada that works better for every generation, where younger generations can get ahead, where their hard work pays off, and where they can buy or rent their own home—where everyone has a fair chance at a good middle-class life. But it is also a plan that addresses the acute challenges faced by communities across Canada, including here in Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma District,” said local Member of Parliament, Terry Sheehan.

By now, many Canadian will have already heard about bold new programs designed to help reduce costs of day-to-day living, including a National School Food Program, the Canada Disability Benefit, and the first phase of national universal Pharmacare; but central to this year’s budget is a suite of measures to build more housing, and to make it more accessible and affordable for Canadians.

It lays out a bold strategy to unlock 3.87 million new homes by 2031. This includes a minimum of 2 million net new homes, on top of 1.87 million homes already expected to be built by 2031. This includes unlocking more public and government-owned lands for development; incentivising the construction of new purpose-built rental apartments; making it easier to save for a first home; and helping municipalities build with a $400 million top-up to the Housing Accelerator Fund and a new $6 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to help communities build the essential infrastructure needed to support more homes and livable neighbourhoods.

Our government is also taking action to address the urgent opioid addiction and toxicity crisis that has affected communities across Canada. Measures in this budget will also see $150 million flow to directly to municipalities and Indigenous communities through the Emergency Treatment Fund, to help provide rapid responses to emergent, critical needs related to the opioid crisis.

More health care workers will help reduce long wait times and make it easier to find a family doctor. In recent months, our government has worked with provinces to streamline foreign credential recognition so that internationally educated health care professionals can get to work more quickly. In January, we committed $86 million to support projects to increase credential recognition capacity for 6,600 internationally educated health care professionals, and this budget proposes to provide $77.1 million over four years to integrate internationally-educated health care professionals into Canada’s health workforce more effectively, by creating 120 specific training positions, increasing assessment capacity and providing support to navigate credential recognition systems. This builds on the $3.1 billion bilateral agreement made with the Government of Ontario in February to improve the health care system, and we are encouraging the provinces and territories to continue to expedite credential recognition across the country.

At a time when Canada is facing labour shortages, in key sectors from health care to construction, we must enable all available workers in Canada to contribute. The budget proposed $100 million for the Apprenticeship Service to help create placements with small and medium-sized enterprises for apprentices, and to encourage Canadians to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades. Critically, we are also working to ensure that skilled newcomers to Canada can find work in their fields.

Already, the Foreign Credential Recognition Program helps provide training, work placements, wage subsidies, and mentoring to newcomers. For six years, the program has helped more than 9,000 skilled newcomers receive work placements and wage subsidies, and another 20,000 workers receive low-cost loans and support services to minimize the costs and requirements associated with practising their trade in Canada. To continue this, the budget proposes $50 million toward this program – at least half of this amount will be to streamline foreign credential recognition in the construction sector to help skilled trades workers build more homes, and the remaining funding will support foreign credential recognition in the health sector.

Building on previous measures that are fighting the dumping of cheap steel, we are also taking steps to protect our local resource industries. As a community built on manufacturing and resources, it is critical for Sault Ste. Marie that Canada is doing business globally on an even playing field, and countries respect agreed-upon trade rules. That is why we have taken steps to ensure that Canada’s trade systems have the tools needed to defend Canadian workers and businesses from unfair practices of foreign competitors. For instance, earlier this year, Canada introduced a system to track the countries steel imports are initially melted and poured in, to increase transparency and enforcement of Canada’s trade laws. This budget will deliver $10.5 million to create a dedicated Market Watch Unit to monitor trade measures, protecting our industry here in Northern Ontario.

We are also ensuring that communities, including rural and remote communities in Northern Ontario are preparing to face the effects of climate change, such as ensuring we have trained workers to fight forest fires. The budget will amend the Income Tax Act to increase the tax credits, from $3,000 to $6,000, in recognition of the important role played by volunteer firefighters and Search & Rescue in contributing to the security and safety of Canadians. We are also doubling our funding to continue to build wildfire fighting capacity and enhance training best practices, with a focus on the wildland-urban interface. This builds on existing funding to support the federal government’s commitment to train 1,000 wildland firefighters.

Budget 2024 renews our focus on unlocking the door to the middle class for millions of younger Canadians. We’ll build more housing and help make living cost less. We will drive our economy toward growth that lifts everyone up. That is fairness for every generation.

One thought on “Sheehan Pleased With Federal Budget

  1. TLDR but what a surprise one of Trudeaus little soldiers agreeing with his pompous leader smh

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