Community spirit at the
Ottawa Centre Cup!
In August, I was thrilled to host my annual Ottawa Centre Cup and Community Barbeque in partnership with the St. Luke’s Bulls basketball team! I absolutely love this event, as it’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight our local basketball teams, partner with local organizations and bring our community together while enjoying a great barbeque.
The OC Express came back stronger this year and beat the long-reigning champions and home team Bulls by a score of 53-49. We also got to highlight local youth basketball teams, including Christie Lake Kids and the Ottawa Shooting Stars, as well as community organizations, including Ottawa Community Housing and CAFES Ottawa. For those who joined us, I hope you had the chance to enjoy burgers, hot dogs and ice cream from the Merry Dairy – one of my favourite parts of the event!
Ottawa Centre Cup is also an opportunity to highlight how much the St. Luke’s basketball court is loved by its community. Over the years, this has been a place where the Bulls and youth teams come together, a place where community is built. For the last few years, the court has needed repairs and safety upgrades such as improved lighting and a more even surface. We were pleased to be joined by Somerset Ward Councillor Ariel Troster and Mayor Mark Sutcliffe who shared some big news – the City of Ottawa is going to fix the court next summer! This announcement came after months of important advocacy from the St Luke’s community and others. I’m very excited about the new court that will serve the neighbourhood for years to come.
Thank you to the amazing volunteers and to our long-time partners, the St. Luke’s Bulls and the Ottawa Basketball Network, for helping us organize this fantastic event and keep the tradition alive. The community support is what makes this event special.
As summer winds down and kids head back to school, I look forward to returning to the House of Commons and continuing to build on the progress we’ve made. The cost-of-living increase has hit families hard, and affordability continues to be top of mind for Ottawa Centre residents.
Whether you are a student saving for the next semester, a parent buying back-to-school items for your child or a worker who is paying rent, it is very hard right now to make ends meet. Our federal government has been working hard to put money back in your pocket through targeted programs including the Canada Child Benefit, Canada Workers Benefit, the Climate Incentive Rebate and more.
Earlier this summer, families across the country saw an increase in their monthly Canada Child Benefit payments to keep them in line with inflation. This year, close to 10,000 parents in Ottawa Centre will receive an average of $5,783 through the Canada Child Benefit. Additionally, our government has expanded support for low-income workers through the Canada Workers Benefit, which has topped up the income of over 4.2 million Canadians. Through this program, over $7 million has gone towards Ottawa Centre residents alone. Finally, over $36 million has been paid out to Ottawa Centre residents through the Climate Incentive Rebate, a program that is not only supporting the fight against climate change but is also putting money back in the pockets of Canadians.
We want to ensure that all Canadians have the resources they need to succeed. As always, my Community Office is here to help. If you have questions about these benefits, or need other assistance related to federal programs, please call us at 613-946-8682, or email Yasir.Naqvi@parl.gc.ca.
August 18, 2023
It has been great seeing many of our neighbours this summer at local outdoor markets, cultural festivals and more! Thank you to the many hardworking volunteers who have dedicated their time at our well-loved community events. Although summer is winding down, there is still lots to explore: visit OttawaTourism.ca/Events to find information about upcoming events.
Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to visit a number of great organizations in Ottawa Centre. I was pleased to visit Tewegan Housing for Aboriginal Youth and meet with the dedicated team to announce a $1.5 million federal investment in three Ottawa-based Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations. Tewegan Housing is an essential transitional home here in Ottawa Centre, providing a safe and culture-oriented environment for young First Nations, Inuit and Métis women. This critical funding will help them and the other organizations to enhance their capacity and work towards eliminating violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.
I also had the chance to visit House to Home, another incredible community-based, not-for-profit organization furnishing homes for local refugee families. Their hardworking team of volunteers collect donated furniture and household items for their warehouse and offer newcomers the dignity and comfort of picking out furniture they need to make their new houses feel like homes. If you have second-hand furniture to donate, please visit h2hottawa.com to learn more.
Finally, I would like to share that the federal government has launched a public online consultation to support the development of a Safe Long-Term Care Act. Throughout the pandemic, my team and I spoke with many Ottawa Centre residents about this issue, and I’m glad to see that there is a path forward to solidify standards and ensure that long-term care is safe, reliable and centered on residents’ needs. This is a chance to share your perspective and advice on how federal legislation can help advance the quality and safety of long-term care. You can share your ideas online, by e-mail or by mail. For more information, visit bit.ly/LTC-consultation. If you have any questions, please reach out to our office.
As always, the team in my community office is here to help. You can call us at 613-946-8682 or send an email to Yasir.Naqvi@parl.gc.ca.
June 9, 2023
Congratulations to the Glebe Report on its 50th anniversary! This marks half a century of valuable journalism and community building. Thank you for your contributions to our city and congratulations on achieving an incredible milestone.
As we enjoy the beautiful weather, I hope you are taking advantage of Ottawa’s active transportation network. Opportunities to walk, run, bike and roll are key parts to creating healthier, safer and more environmentally sustainable communities. This summer, Ottawa will see the grand opening of the new Chief William Commanda Bridge, made possible by an $8.6-million investment by the Government of Canada, that will connect cyclists and pedestrians across the Ottawa River between Ottawa and Gatineau.
The NCC Weekend Bikedays are happening all summer long, encouraging residents to use our existing parkways to get around without their cars. These initiatives build on Ottawa’s growing active transportation network, which includes new paths across LeBreton Flats, the iconic Flora Footbridge and quite possibly in the near future a fully pedestrianized Wellington Street. I encourage you to get outside and enjoy the nice weather by choosing to bike to work, walk to the grocery store or go for a stroll. You can find routes, maps and more information at City of Ottawa and National Capital Commission websites.
Summer is also a great time to plant more trees. Increasing our urban tree canopy is an important part of our work to make Ottawa the greenest capital in the world. Tree cover works as natural climate control by cooling temperatures during hot summer months, storing carbon dioxide and contributing to our natural biodiversity. Planting two billion trees over a decade is a crucial part of Canada’s climate plan. Last year’s summer update reported that approximately 29 million trees were planted across the country, amounting to about 97 per cent of the 2021 season’s planting projection. More details will come later this summer on planting numbers from the 2022 planting season.
We have started a local initiative to plant more trees in Ottawa Centre to help restore our urban tree canopy. Last month, I was happy to partner with Community Associations for Sustainable Environment (CAFES Ottawa), Forests Ontario and Forêt Capitale Forest to launch a pilot tree-planting program for our community. We gave out free trees to residents over Mother’s Day weekend, along with instructions on how to care for their tree for years to come! Additionally, we hosted a community tree-planting event for the whole family to enjoy. Together we have planted more than 120 trees in our community!
As always, my team and I are here to help. Let us know what issues are important to you and how we can better support you and our community.
May 12, 2023
Budget 2023: Affordability, health care and clean economy
Spring is here! I hope you and your family and friends are spending time outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Recently, the Government of Canada released Budget 2023, which delivers targeted and temporary inflation relief to those who need it most. Canadians are facing serious challenges including a high cost of living, a warming planet and a brutal war in Europe. Inflation has fallen eight months in a row and average wages are up, but we all know our vulnerable friends and neighbours are still struggling with higher prices.
I am pleased to share that Budget 2023 continues our work to make life more affordable, strengthen our universal public health care system and build a clean economy.
Here is how we are
investing in our community:
Introducing a new Grocery Rebate to make up for the higher prices without fuelling inflation. That’s money directly into the pockets of 11 million Canadians who need it most, with up to an extra $467 for a family of four. Single Canadians without children could receive up to $234, and seniors could receive an extra $225.
Announcing the new Canadian Dental Care Plan which will provide coverage for up to nine (9) million uninsured Canadians with annual family income of less than $90,000.
Strengthening our Health Care System by providing more than $198 billion over the next 10 years to improve health care for Canadians. Whether it’s ensuring you can access a primary care team or getting into surgery quicker, we are addressing gaps in the system to help you and your family get high-quality care.
Investing in Mental Health Support by proposing to invest $158.4 million over three years in the Public Health Agency of Canada to support the implementation and operation of 988, a dedicated suicide prevention line.
Investing in Substance Use Prevention by proposing to provide $359.2 million over five years to support a renewed Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy, which would guide the government’s work to save lives and protect the health and safety of Canadians.
Investing in a Greener Economy with new tax credits for projects in clean electricity, clean technology manufacturing and clean hydrogen. Requirements attached to those credits ensure good wages for workers and apprenticeship opportunities.
Supporting Students with a 40-per-cent increase to the Canada Student Grants, providing full-time students with up to $4,200. We are also making all Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans permanently interest-free, including ones being repaid right now.
Learn more about Budget 2023 at Canada.ca/Budget, and please do not hesitate to contact my community office for further information. We are here to help you.