Fuhr: Canada Child Benefit meant to help families

Cheques from Ottawa for new program to start arriving in July.

Families will begin receiving their new Canada Child Benefit this month putting more money in the pockets of nine out of ten families to help with the high cost of raising their kids.

The new Canada Child Benefit replaces the old Canada Child Tax Benefit, including the National Child Benefit Supplement and the Universal Child Care Benefit.

It will provide a maximum annual benefit of up to $6,400 per child under the age of 6 and up to $5,400, per child, aged 6 through 17. Families with less than $30,000 in net income will receive the maximum benefit.

Families whose children qualify for the disability tax credit can receive an additional amount as part of their Canada Child Benefit, up to a maximum annual benefit of $2,730 per child eligible for the disability tax credit.

If you wish to calculate your benefit amount a benefit calculator is available at http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/tool-outil/ccb-ace-en.html.

Our government has made a commitment to implement measures that will help alleviate poverty for Canadian families with children. Under the new Canada Child Benefit over three million families will receive more money than before and lift almost 300,000 children out of poverty.

More Affordable Housing in Kelowna

I was pleased to attend the official opening of Pleasantvale an affordable housing initiative that will support seniors and modest income families in the city.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this great project – especially to The Society of Hope, and to the funding partners – the federal government, the province of British Columbia and the City of Kelowna.

Our government is committed to tackling housing and homelessness challenges here in B.C. and across the country.  This includes asking Canada Mortgage and Housing to investigate the rapid rise in property prices we are witnessing in some Canadian cities.

Budget 2016 announced significant new investments to give Canadians greater access to more affordable housing, including doubling the amount of existing funding, providing additional funding for northern and Inuit regions, and targeting funding for seniors, victims of family violence, and to improve water and energy efficiency through retrofits and renovations to existing social housing.

We are also committed to delivering a comprehensive national housing strategy through a renewed relationship with the provinces, territories, municipalities and other stakeholders to achieve better outcomes across the housing continuum.

As a first step toward open dialogue on social issues between federal, provincial and territorial governments, Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, co-chaired the first meeting in 10 years of federal-provincial-territorial ministers responsible for social services.

Our government wants a national housing strategy that will meet the needs of all Canadians and improve the lives of those in greatest need.

In this regard, we are seeking input directly from Canadians.  Constituents can participate in the consultation process by taking part in a survey and/or submitting their ideas or written submissions online at www.LetsTalkHousing.ca. I’d also be happy to hear your thoughts.

Stephen Fuhr is the MP for Kelowna-Lake Country.  Constituents can reach him throughout the summer by contacting our constituency office at stephen.fuhr.c1@parl.gc.ca or by calling 250-470-5075.