Minister Vandal highlights budget investments to make life more affordable
March 30, 2023 — Yellowknife, Northwest Territories — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Today the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor, was in Yellowknife to highlight Budget 2023: A Made-in-Canada Plan: Strong Middle Class, Affordable Economy, Healthy Future and investments to make life more affordable.
Canada has bounced back remarkably since the pandemic. Canada’s economic growth was the strongest in the G7 over the last year, and today, 830,000 more Canadians have jobs than before the pandemic. Inflation, while still too high, has fallen for eight months in a row, our unemployment rate is near its record low, and, supported by our Canada-wide $10-a-day child care system, a record number of women are working, including in the Northwest Territories.
Budget 2023 builds on this important progress.
To make life more affordable, Budget 2023 delivers the new Grocery Rebate, offering targeted inflation relief for 11 million Canadians and families who need it most with up to an additional $467 for eligible couples with children; an additional $234 for single Canadians without children; and an additional $225 for seniors, on average. The government is also taking action to crack down on junk fees and predatory lending, lower credit card transaction fees for small businesses, and helping Canadians keep more money in their pockets.
To strengthen Canada’s universal public health care system, the Budget delivers $311 million here in the Northwest Territories to reduce backlogs, expand access to family health services, and ensure the territory can provide the high-quality and timely health care people in Canada expect and deserve. Indigenous Peoples face unique challenges when it comes to receiving the health care they deserve, so we’re also investing an additional $2 billion over 10 years to help ensure access to quality and culturally safe health care services, in line with the priorities of Indigenous partners. Budget 2023 also introduces a new Canadian Dental Care Plan, to help up to nine million people in Canada and ensure no one has to choose between taking care of their health and paying the bills at the end of the month.
To build Canada’s clean economy, the budget makes transformative investments to fight climate change and create new opportunities for businesses and workers in Canada. This includes significant measures that will deliver cleaner and more affordable energy, support investment in our communities, and create good-paying jobs for people in the Northwest Territories.
With a responsible fiscal plan that will see Canada maintain the lowest deficit and the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7, Budget 2023 will help to build a Canada that is more secure, more sustainable, and more affordable for people from coast to coast to coast.
“It is a challenging time in a challenging world, but there is no better place to be than Canada. Budget 2023 is our plan to make life more affordable, strengthen public health care, and build a stronger, more sustainable, and more secure Canadian economy—for everyone.”
The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor
“Budget 2023 is focused on addressing some of our territory’s top priorities. This includes measures to support Indigenous housing needs, mine remediation plans and investments in important infrastructure like the Taltson Hydro Expansion project to help in the clean energy transition.”
Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories
Budget 2023 proposes to commit an additional $4 billion to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to implement a co-developed Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy.
Budget 2023 proposes to introduce a one-time Grocery Rebate, providing $2.5 billion in targeted inflation relief for 11 million low- and modest-income people in Canada and families. The Grocery Rebate will provide eligible couples with two children with up to an extra $467; single Canadians without children with up to an extra $234; and seniors with an extra $225, on average.
Budget 2023 announces the government’s intention to work with regulatory agencies, provinces, and territories to reduce junk fees for people in Canada. This could include higher telecom roaming charges, event and concert fees, excessive baggage fees, and unjustified shipping and freight fees.
Budget 2023 announces the government’s intention to:
- Introduce changes to the Criminal Code to lower the criminal rate of interest from the equivalent of 47% APR (annual percentage rate) to 35% APR, in line with the lowest cap among provinces, in Quebec. The government will also launch consultations on whether the criminal rate of interest should be further reduced.
- Adjust the Criminal Code’s payday lending exemption to require payday lenders to charge no more than $14 per $100 borrowed, in line with the lowest cap among provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador.
Budget 2023 announces that the government will work to implement a right to repair, to make it easier and cheaper for people in Canada to repair, rather than replace, their home appliance and electronics. The government will launch consultations this summer, including on the right to repair and the interoperability of farming equipment, and work closely with provinces and territories to advance a right to repair, and make life more affordable for people in Canada and protect our environment.
Budget 2023 announces that the government will work with international partners and other stakeholders to explore implementing a standard charging port in Canada for phones, tablets, cameras, laptops and other electronic devices, with the aim of lowering costs for people in Canada and reducing electronic waste.
Since 2018, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has delivered a free and simple File My Return service, which allows eligible people in Canada to auto-file their tax return over the phone after answering a series of short questions. Budget 2023 announces that the federal government will increase the number of eligible people in Canada for File My Return to two million people by 2025—almost triple the current number.
Budget 2023 also announces that, starting next year, the CRA will pilot a new automatic filing service that will help vulnerable people in Canada who do not currently file their taxes receive the benefits to which they are entitled.
Budget 2023 proposes to enhance student financial assistance for the school year starting August 1, 2023. This includes:
- Increasing Canada Student Grants by 40%—to provide up to $4,200 for full-time students;
- Raising the interest-free Canada Student Loan limit from $210 to $300 per week of study; and,
- Waiving the requirement for mature students, aged 22 years or older, to undergo credit screening in order to qualify for federal student grants and loans for the first time.
In Budget 2023, the government is announcing that it has secured commitments from Visa and MasterCard to lower fees for small businesses, while also protecting reward points for consumers in Canada offered by Canada’s large banks.
- Budget 2023: A Made-in-Canada Plan: Strong Middle Class, Affordable Economy, Healthy Future
- Budget 2023: Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
- Backgrounder: Stronger Public Health Care
- Backgrounder: Making Life More Affordable
- Backgrounder: An Affordable Place to Call Home
- Backgrounder: A Made-In-Canada Plan: Affordable Energy, Good Jobs, and a Growing Clean Economy
- Backgrounder: Advancing Reconciliation
- Backgrounder: Stronger and More Inclusive Communities
- Backgrounder: Improving Service Delivery
For more information, media may contact:
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal,
Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor
Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
For questions related to Budget 2023, please contact the Department of Finance Canada.
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