We have reached the end of a busy year, and the holidays are fast approaching. I am grateful for the many organizations in Ottawa Centre who support our most vulnerable throughout the year and especially during the holidays. I applaud the many volunteers and non-profit organizations in our community giving back, such as Khalsa Aid which ran a winter coat drive, giving 400 new winter coats to international students, and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute which ran a holiday food drive in partnership with the Ottawa Food Bank, providing essential items to residents in need. If you are able to donate or volunteer your time, I encourage you to connect with our local partners and see how you can join our community in making an impact this holiday season.
Over the past few months, we have spoken quite a bit about affordability measures as this continues to be top of mind for residents of Ottawa Centre. Higher prices have made it tough for many Canadians and families, but since 2015, our government has been working to make life affordable. This includes the enhanced Canada Workers Benefit, the new Grocery Rebate and benefits such as the Canada Child Benefit, Canada Pension Plan and Guaranteed Income Supplement – all indexed to inflation. Our federal government is staying focused on being there for Canadians when they need it most.
We are also thinking about how we can ensure that the fight against climate change fits within our affordability measures. In addition to continuing to put money back into the pockets of Ottawa Centre residents through the Climate Action Incentive Payment, we have announced a new Energy Affordability Package. The package includes three pillars, all working together to make life more affordable for Canadians while we keep fighting climate change. We are:
- Doubling the pollution price rebate rural top-up from 10 per cent to 20 per cent, everywhere that federal pollution price rebates apply.
- Working with provinces to install a free heat pump for people who are making at or below the median household income and providing a $250 incentive to encourage people to sign up. We’re also strengthening the Greener Homes Initiative to help people across the country, no matter how they currently heat their home, to get a heat pump.
- Temporarily pausing the pollution price on heating oil everywhere the federal system applies.
Through these measures, we are taking real action that puts more money in your pocket and means less pollution in our air.
As we wrap up 2023, I hope you all get a chance to spend time with loved ones and friends this holiday season. There are several holiday events happening in Ottawa Centre, such as the annual Lansdowne Ottawa Christmas Market, and musical performances such as Holidays at the Symphony xxwith the Ottawa Pops Orchestra and Music and Beyond’s annual Christmas concert, both taking place at the Carleton Dominion Chalmers Centre.
To everyone celebrating in Ottawa Centre, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa, and have a very happy New Year!