Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister on growing the economy and making life more affordable

Speech

June 30, 2022

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Thank you very much, Tony [Van Bynen, MP for Newmarket-Aurora].  Thank you all for being here.

And, I hope Darren [Kirk, President and CEO of Exco] won’t mind my saying: he said to me that moving from working in finance to working here has been very inspiring for him, because he sees real things being made by people.  And, I have to say, I felt exactly the same way.

And so, I really want to thank everyone for the tour – all the amazing workers who spoke to me – and great to see what’s actually happening in one of the engine rooms of our economy.

Hello, everyone.

First, I want to acknowledge that the land we are gathered on is situated on the traditional territories of the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee and the Anishinaabe peoples, whose presence here continues to this day.

I am especially glad to be here at Exco Engineering.

From a small garage in Scarborough in the 1950s, to an international company making parts for some of the world’s biggest car companies, Exco is a true Canadian success story.

It’s businesses like Exco – innovative, home‑grown, Canadian‑headquartered companies that offer good, stable jobs – that are exactly what we need to continue growing Canada’s economy.

It was really exciting for me to see the world‑leading technologies being deployed here.  To see, first‑hand, that this is a company – this is a place – that is the world leader in some areas of steel laser printing.  It’s a really big deal, and it’s the kind of Canadian success that I think we as Canadians should really celebrate.

It was also really exciting for me to hear one of the gentlemen working downstairs talk to me about his own excitement in the way that Exco is part of the shift to [electric vehicles].  And I think that is fantastic, as well.

And we are seeing that happening in the whole Canadian automotive and auto parts sector and supply chain – it’s something our Government is very enthusiastic about.  It’s where the jobs of today and of the future are, and thank you very much, Darren and your team, for being part of that.

Whether it is investing in the skills and training our workers need; whether it is protecting NAFTA and our trading relationship with the United States; whether it’s creating a national system of affordable child care to help more women return to the workforce, or helping to bring here to Canada more of the skilled workers our businesses need, our Government is working hard to help great Canadian businesses like this one continue to hire, continue to provide great jobs, continue to grow, and continue to be competitive and world-beating.

So, Tony talked a little bit about Canada’s recovery from the COVID recession.  And, the fact is, Canada has had the most rapid jobs recovery in the G7.  This is one of the places where you see that. Canada’s economy – our real GDP – today is 2.2 percent higher than where it was when COVID first hit.

But, we also know that inflation – a global phenomenon which is a lingering result of the COVID recession and has been exacerbated by Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and by China’s COVID-zero policies – is making life harder for a lot of Canadians.  Canadians feel it when they go to fill up their tank or when they go to buy their groceries.

And so, what our Government is going to do to help Canadians weather this latest storm is what we’ve been doing over the past two years of getting through COVID – and that is: have a plan, work together, support each other.

Our Affordability Plan includes:

  • An enhanced Canada Workers Benefit that will put up to $2,400 more into the pockets of low‑income families starting this year;
  • Cutting child care fees by an average of 50 percent by the end of this year;
  • A 10‑percent increase in Old Age Security for seniors 75 and over, starting next month;
  • A dental care program, starting with children under 12, this year;
  • A $500 payment this year to help people who rent and who are struggling with the cost of housing;
  • And the indexation to inflation of supports like the Canada Child Benefit, the GST Credit, the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

To give you a concrete example, for a couple here in Newmarket, with an income of $45,000 and a child in daycare, this Affordability Plan could mean roughly an additional $7,600 on top of existing benefits – so more than 16 percent of their annual income – this fiscal year.

A senior with a disability, maybe living next door, in Aurora, could benefit from over $2,500 more this year than they received last year.

So this is real support – real, new support to the most vulnerable people in our communities – to help them at a time when the cost of living is a real challenge for many Canadians.

These are measures that we have already accounted for in our AAA‑rated fiscal framework.  They are part of the fiscally responsible budget we tabled in April.

But, for the Canadians who need this support the most – the most vulnerable Canadians – these measures represent new money, and they will make life more affordable at exactly the right time.

Now let me just conclude by saying, on the eve of Canada Day, this is a challenging time for the world, and it’s a challenging time for Canada.

But, thanks to the smart, hard‑working people of Canada – like the people who work at this world-leading plant and company – I really believe that there is no country in the world which is better positioned to survive and thrive in these turbulent economic times than Canada.

Thank you very much.

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