MESSAGE FROM YOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
Dear Ottawa-Vanier residents,
As we start a new year, I want to offer you my best wishes for happiness, peace and prosperity, as we enter 2021, our top priority remains keeping our community safe and healthy from COVID-19.
We will keep doing whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to support all Canadians, our communities, and our businesses through this crisis. This includes ensuring all Canadians have access to a safe, effective, and free vaccine. We expect in the first months of 2021, millions of Canadians will receive a vaccine. The availability of the vaccine will increase throughout the year, ultimately providing every Canadian with the opportunity to be immunized.
Until that time, we all need to keep doing our part to keep one another safe. On social media and while talking to constituents in your community, please continue to encourage everyone to download and use the COVID Alert app, wash their hands often, practice physical distancing, wear a mask, avoid gatherings, stay home when possible, and above all, follow local public health guidelines.
OUR VACCINATION EFFORTS
While scientists around the world do important work to find vaccines for COVID-19, we’re making sure that Canadians will be able to get vaccinated as soon as possible. So far, Health Canada has authorized two vaccines for use in Canada. Since then, what has happened? As of Dec. 31, 2020, we have distributed more than 420,000 vaccines to provinces and territories to deploy to Canadians. Updated information on vaccine distribution by province and territory will continue to be available on our website.
• Between the early doses we’ve already received, and the shipments now scheduled, we’re on track to have at least 1.2 million doses from both Pfizer and Moderna delivered by January 31.
• Canada will receive up to 920,000 doses of the Moderna (170, 000) and Pfizer (750,000) COVID-19 vaccines in January.
• We will continue to work with all partners to ensure that all Canadians will have access to vaccines, starting with the most vulnerable.
As the vaccine rollout continues, we will continue to work with all partners, including provinces and territories, to ensure cultural safety and respect for First Nations, Inuit and Métis when administering the COVID-19 vaccine. The Moderna vaccine does not have the same requirements to ship, handle, and store as the Pfizer vaccine, making it better suited for deployment to rural, remote, and Indigenous communities. Since the approval of the Moderna vaccine, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities have began to receive their first doses of the vaccine ready for distribution.
NON ESSENTIAL TRAVEL - CANADA RECOVERY SICKNESS BENEFIT
Workers should not have to choose between staying home from work when sick and putting food on the table. The purpose of the sickness benefit has always been to provide workers with a paid sick leave option where one might not be available through their employer. In September, all parties unanimously passed legislation, creating three new recovery benefits and outlining eligibility criteria for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit. This benefit was never intended to incentivize or encourage Canadians to not follow public health or international travel guidelines and we continue to strongly urge all Canadians to avoid non-essential travel. We are actively looking at all available options to address this issue.
A NEW YEAR'S TAX REDUCTION HELPS STRENGTHEN SENIORS' FINANCIAL SECURITY
Canadians are ringing-in the New Year with another tax reduction from the federal government—they can now earn more before paying any federal income tax. It’s another important step forward for the middle class and those working hard to join it—and for seniors’ financial security.
When the Liberal government’s increases to the Basic Personal Amount are fully implemented in 2023, 4.3 million seniors will benefit, including 465,000 whose federal income tax will be reduced to zero. Every year, singles will save close to $300 and couples will save nearly $600.
These savings will help seniors with everyday expenses, like groceries, hydro and deliveries.
It’s part of the Liberal government delivering on their plan to make life more affordable for seniors.
That work started in 2016, when the first act of our new government was to pass the Middle Class Tax Cut to reduce personal income taxes. This saved affected Canadians an average of $330 a year for singles and $540 a year for couples.
Seniors depend on strong public pensions, and our government is committed to improving them. We reversed the previous Conservative government’s increase to the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), restoring it to 65 years from 67 years. That put thousands of dollars back into the pockets of new seniors.
To help low-income seniors, we increased the GIS by $947. And to help those low-income working seniors keep more of their benefits, we increased the GIS earnings exemption so they can earn up to $5,000 without any reduction in benefits and get a partial exemption for their next $10,000 in income.
To help seniors with extra expenses of the pandemic, we made one-time payments to seniors in April through the GST Credit and July through OAS. Together, they are worth over $1500 for a low-income couple, all tax-free.
We also worked together with provinces and territories to increase the Canada Pension Plan’s maximum yearly benefit for future retirees by about 50 percent, meaningfully reducing the risk of not saving enough for retirement.
Our policies are showing positive results: 25 percent fewer seniors live in poverty than when we took office in 2015.
As seniors age, they are more likely to outlive their savings, have disabilities, be unable to work and be widowed—all while their health care costs are rising. To help address these pressures on older seniors’ quality of life, the Liberal government has reaffirmed our commitment to increasing Old Age Security by 10 percent once a senior turns 75.
Taken together, our government’s ambitious and progressive measures are making a real difference in seniors’ financial security—however, there is more work to do. Canadian seniors can always count on Liberals to listen, understand their needs and work hard to deliver for them.
CANADA SUMMER JOBS 2021 - CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
I am happy to advise you that the CSJ 2021 application period for employers will launch on December 21, 2020, and will remain open until January 29, 2021.
The CSJ program provides wage subsidies to employers from the not-for-profit, public and private sectors to provide good quality summer job opportunities and valuable work experience to youth between the ages of 15 and 30. In delivering on this, the Government of Canada seeks to ensure that quality job placements occur in inclusive, safe and respectful work environments, and to ensure that young people, including those who face barriers, achieve their potential in today’s evolving labour market.
To help young people develop stronger connections to the job market, and to support Funded public and private sector employers will be eligible to receive a wage subsidy reimbursement of up to 75% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage. Employers from the not-for profit sector will continue to be eligible for a wage subsidy reimbursement of up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage.
If you are interested, stay tune for the date of our training session.
SHARING A PUBLIC HEALTH MESSAGE FROM DR. VERA ETCHES
As you are aware, large crowds have been observed at outdoor skating rinks, tobogganing hills and skiing trailheads, raising concern about public health and safety. As a result, I have issued a Class Order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to all owners and operators of outdoor recreational amenities and to all persons accessing these amenities. The Order includes requirements relating to:
• A capacity limit of 25 persons on skating rinks and, for all other outdoor recreational amenities, at any areas where the public congregate, such as at the top of tobogganing hills, trail heads and access points;
• The requirement to maintain physical distancing of at least two (2) metres from persons outside one’s own household when using these amenities;
• Mandatory mask signage in locations where the public access the outdoor recreational amenities prior to actively participating in a recreational activity or when observing others participate in recreational activities;
• The prohibition of sports and activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within two (2) metres of each other; and
• The posting of signage, in conspicuous places, explaining the requirements of the Class Order.
As we know, physical activity and spending time outdoors is so important to our wellbeing and mental health. I encourage everyone to get outside and safely enjoy Ottawa’s beautiful winter amenities. Let’s be COVID Wise even when outdoors – maintain physical distance and avoid areas like rinks, hills, and trails when crowded.
Further details regarding the order can be found here.
On December 21, Chicken Farmers of Canada and Ontario contributed generously financially and by providing 35 thousand meals to the Ottawa Food Bank to support families in need during these difficult times. In the new year, there is a significant demand from Ottawa-area food banks such as Vanier Sharing, the Gloucester Food Relief Centre and the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre. If you can, I invite you to donate money or your time to support our vulnerable and needed families.
A year ago, today, Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 crashed outside Tehran, Iran, after being shot down by Iranian forces. All 176 people on board were killed, including 138 passengers with ties to Canada. 55 Canadians and 30 permanent residents lost their lives in this tragedy. Today, the University of Ottawa and University of Ottawa Iranian Student Association organized an event that allows us to commemorate three University of Ottawa students who perished along with the other 173 passengers on board., in a very touching ceremony on the first anniversary of this horrific event, we remember the victims of flight PS752 and express our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones.
Today marks also on the first National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters, we pay tribute to the victims of air disasters, both at home and abroad, and to acknowledge the profound loss of the victims' families and loved ones. Together, we will always remember these tragedies, and we will keep those who were lost in our thoughts and in our hearts.
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY AT MY CONSTITUENCY OFFICE
Do you want to join my #OttawaVanier team? Searching to fill the position of the Director for the Ottawa-Vanier Constituency Office. Please find the link for the description of the position and terms to apply. Thanks for sharing in your network.