Report from Parliament Hill:
Government continues to support seniors, families, and communities in the North
Bob Nault, MP, Kenora Riding
Summer is in full swing and I have been busy travelling the riding, speaking with Northerners about the important issues in our region. It’s clear that we need to invest into infrastructure in order to improve our roads and airports, internet access, and provide more affordable and accessible housing.
Recently, I attended the Northern Housing Summit in Sioux Lookout which brought together federal, provincial, municipal, and First Nation leaders, along with key stakeholders and organizations, to discuss the housing challenges in Northwestern Ontario. It was encouraging to see so many parties committed to providing every Northerner access to a place they can call home.
The 2016 Census shows that, for the first time ever, there are more seniors than children living in Canada. By restoring the eligibility age for Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) from 67 back to 65 two years ago, more seniors are able to access their much deserved retirement benefit earlier.
In addition, both OAS and GIS benefits now have automatic enrolments as part of the government’s commitment to service improvement for pension benefits. Implementing GIS automatic enrolment means that each month, up to 17,000 seniors who turn 64 years old on or after December 1, 2017, are automatically enrolled for the GIS benefit.
As of July 1, OAS benefits have also been increased. The increase means that a single senior receiving OAS and the GIS, with no other income, will be eligible to receive $1,487 a month for an annual total of $17,854. That’s $1,728 more than would have been received in November 2015.
Keeping in line with the needs of Canadians, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) continues to help hard-working families provide the best start in life for their children. More than 7,000 families receive the CCB in our riding every month, for a total of more than $6 million. The benefit supports close to 15,000 children in our region.
On July 20, 2018, the CCB will increase again to keep up with the cost of living. This change comes two years ahead of schedule and will give parents even more money each month to help them provide for their children.
This means that the CCB, for the 2018-19 benefit year, will now have a maximum annual benefit of $6,496 per child under age 6, and $5,481 per child age 6 through 17. As an example, a single parent earning a household income of $35,000 with two children under the age of 6 , will see an increase of $560 yearly to help defray the costs of raising children for the 2019-20 benefit year. For this parent, this means $12,992 in support annually. For more information on how much you are entitled to or how to register for the CCB, please contact my office at 1-866-710-0008.
These are just a couple examples of how we are continuing to support seniors, families, Northerners and all Canadians. We are stronger as a country, region, and community, when we take care of one another.