Federal budget will help Mississauga residents with groceries and mortgages, MP says


Published March 30, 2023 at 11:39 am

Mississauga residents fighting daily battles to pay for groceries, health and dental care, and their mortgages are among those who’ll be helped most by the latest federal budget, a Mississauga MP and cabinet minister says.

Describing the latest financial plan delivered by Ottawa on Tuesday as a budget that is both “responsive” to the needs of everyday Canadians and “future looking,” Mississauga Centre MP and federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra told insauga.com in a phone interview that many people need a bit more help after “a tough last few years.”

He said significant negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic are still lingering as the economy and health-care system fight to fully recover.

“We are still being impacted,” Alghabra told insauga.com from Ottawa shortly after the budget was delivered. “Inflation (is an issue) that’s affecting Canadians…and this budget aims to tackle the challenges people are facing.”

Alghabra said a grocery rebate for some 11 million eligible families (up to $467 for families with two children or more), steps to combat predatory lending and offer “mortgage flexibility” to Mississaugans and Canadians, and a family dental care benefit will help significantly as Ottawa tries to make everyday living more affordable for people.

The MP noted that such problems aren’t unique to Canada as similar post-pandemic effects–worse in many cases–are being felt around the globe.

“We’re seeing these challenges around the world…and our message” to Mississauga residents and Canadians is that “we’ve got this, as a country. This budget is both responsive (to people’s needs) and future looking.”

The latest budget put forth by the federal Liberal government is said to prioritize spending on health care, transitioning Canadian businesses to a clean economy and offering affordability measures to help Canadians dealing with high prices from inflation.

It features $59.5 billion in new spending over the next five years, including $8.3 billion in the next year.

Of money set aside for the next five years, $13 billion is the expected cost of the Canada dental benefit intended to help families pay for necessary care.

Some $2.5 billion is earmarked for another one-time doubling of GST rebates this financial year to help low-income Canadians struggling with high prices and inflation.

Ottawa has dubbed this measure a “grocery rebate,” in recognition of historically high food prices.

The government has also set aside $158 million over three years, starting this year, to create and operate a new 9-8-8 suicide prevention phone line.

And in attempts to fight predatory lending, there will be a new $14 per $100 maximum amount that payday lenders can charge people for the amount they borrow.

The budget says a Criminal Code amendment will be made to that effect, while the government also intends to lower the maximum interest rates payday lenders can charge to an annual percentage rate of 35 per cent.

–with files from The Canadian Press

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