Advocating for our community’s priorities ahead of the 2024 Budget 

Parliament is sitting once again, and I’m glad to be back in Ottawa making the most of every opportunity to advocate for our community’s priorities.   

With the 2024 Federal Budget around the corner, my team and I have been calling on the government to include a variety of critical measures. Today, I’d like to share just three of our community’s top priorities I’ve been advocating for on behalf of folks in Kitchener Centre:  

Firstly, I’ve called on the governing party to adequately fund the Canada Disability Benefit (CDB). The Canada Disability Act was passed in June of 2023, yet Canadians with disabilities continue to disproportionately live in poverty in Canada. Other federal benefits, like the Canada Childcare Benefit, were funded prior to regulations being finalized – yet in this case the governing party appears to be doing the opposite. Adequately funding the CDB is a critical step in getting this new federal benefit out to people with disabilities, and I’m committed to continuing to press this issue.  
  
Second, I’ve called on the governing party to address the housing crisis. Homes should be places people live, not commodities for investors to trade. Yet continued under-investments in social housing and incentives for corporate investors commodifying our housing is fueling the crisis. This is why I’ve called on the federal government to at least double the social housing stock in Canada, and to put in place a package of measures that would address the financialization of housing, including ending tax exemptions for corporate investors like real estate investment trusts.   
  
Third, I’ve called on the governing party to address affordability and act on the climate crisis by extending the 15% windfall profit tax already placed on the profits of the banking and insurance companies to the oil and gas industry. The non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Office has shown that extending this measure would generate $4.2 billion for proven climate and affordability solutions, including investments in public transport. It would also be sufficient to replenish and expand the Greener Homes Grant, a program supported by local organizations like REEP Green Solutions, that helps folks make cost-saving and climate-friendly home retrofits.  

You can read more about these priorities in my letter to Finance Minister Freeland and in my full pre-budget submission