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Monday’s election was clearly decided: a Liberal majority government headed by the second youngest Prime Minister in Canadian history, Justin Trudeau.
“It was a very clear verdict that Canadians were seeking real change,” said Pramod Udiaver, CEO of online advisor service, Invisor. “The Liberals campaigned and won with a focus on the middle-class,” says Udiaver, “with many of their promises attempting to make a meaningful different for middle-income families.”
MIDDLE-CLASS PARENTS WIN
For example, parents should expect to see the new Liberal government scrap the Universal Child Care Benefit and introduce the Canada Child Benefit. This new benefit will be geared to income, meaning Canada’s wealthiest families would no longer receive a benefit, while Canada’s middle-class parents could see as much as $2,500 more, tax-free, every year (based on a typical family of four).
The Liberals also promised to create a more flexible parental benefits plan that would allow parents to receive their benefits in smaller blocks of time—for example, once every two weeks rather than once per month. Parents would also have the option of taking a longer leave—up to 18 months when combined with maternity beneﬁts (although at a lower beneﬁt level).
Parents of university-aged children will also benefit. The Liberals campaigned on promises to increase the maximum Canada Student Grant to $3,000 per year for full-time students and to $1,800 per year for part-time students. The new federal government also promised to increase the income thresholds for Canada Student Grant eligibility, giving more students access to the program. While, the Liberals will cancel existing textbook tax credits they also promised to eliminate the need for graduates to repay their student loans until they are earning at least $25,000 per year.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING A PRIORITY
Just over a month ago, Justin Trudeau made promises that impacted Canadians ability to afford adequate housing. These promises included:
→ a new, 10-year investment in social housing infrastructure, prioritizing affordable housing and seniors’ facilities (including building more units and refurbishing existing units)
→ encourage the construction of new rental housing by removing all GST on new capital investments in affordable rental housing
→ loosening the existing qualification rules for the Home Buyers’ Plan to allow more Canadians affected by sudden and significant life changes to access their RRSP savings for a down payment
→ review escalating home prices in high-priced markets, including Toronto and Vancouver, and review all policy tools that could keep homeownership within reach for more Canadians