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Δημήτρης Βοχαΐτης - LJI Reporter
Federal Hon. MP, Julie Dabrusin, who represents the Toronto-Danforth electoral district, gave an interview to the Greek Press and answers us related on the much-discussed budget of 2024 “enhance the financial stability and prosperity of Canadians” and “Torontonians in particular” as she says. In an attempt to tackle the housing crisis, the budget commits money to the National Housing Strategy program with the delivery of almost 4 million homes by 2031. the reduced cost of childcare and the new National School Programme. The passed budget also addresses health care with a 25 billion dollar investment and introduces incentives for health care workers. And in infrastructure projects, the planned investments focus on clean energy and charging stations in the country. As for the uproar over the new capital gains, Dabrusin makes it clear that “It will only affect high income earners, leaving 99.87% of Canadians unaffected” as she says. In conclusion, she emphasizes that “This integrated budget aims to promote economic growth, while respecting Canadian claims of fairness and sustainability”.
How will the recent federal budget contribute to Canadians’ financial stability and prosperity, especially Torontonians?
When our government began working on Budget 2024, we did so with the financial stability of Canadians in mind. The housing crisis is a top issue – a difficult problem to solve but one that would support the prosperity of Canadians across the country, and especially those in our cities When our government began working on Budget 2024, we did so with the financial stability of like Toronto.
For decades, the federal government did not play a significant role in the funding of affordable rental housing. This responsibility was left mainly to the provinces and municipalities. Our government changed that in 2015 and starting in 2017 we implemented the National Housing Strategy. In Budget 2024, our government is reaffirming its ongoing commitment to tackling this crisis. Whether it be through providing loans for an Apartment Construction Loan Program, which is on track to build over 131,000 new apartments by 2031-2032, or through incentives for cities to cut red-tape, fast-track home construction or invest in affordable housing, our government recognizes the importance of building faster, and more affordable homes. These are just a few of the housing strategies to help those in big cities like Toronto and rural communities alike. By 2031, this Budget will help to unlock 3.87 million homes around the country.
The assumption is that when the economy does well individuals and families also do well. However, could that be feasible when prosperity is strictly left to the private sector. How does this budget help individuals and families?
We’re making changes to help make life more affordable for Canadian families, especially in Toronto. The Canada Child Benefit is indexed to the rate of  inflation and is set to increase in July.  A family with a child under the age of 6 will receive up to $7,787 to help with their expenses. We have seen childcare costs cut in half through the National Childcare Program and this will drop to  $10-a-day within the next couple of years.   In this budget, we build on this support for families through the National School Food Program, expected to provide meals for more than 400,000 kids each year.  
Further, The Canada Disability Benefit is the first time that the federal government has stepped in to provide support to Canadians of working age, a benefit that should stack over the provincial programs.  This is the largest line item in this year’s budget and a big first step to aid Canadians with disabilities.
To what extent does this budget focus on the much-needed infrastructure investments?
Our last budget had focused on expanding our electrical grid, which was crucial for infrastructure development, helping to provide reliable and affordable energy for our homes and businesses. This also helps us to support growing industries like auto-manufacturers and artificial intelligence.
Our government is investing to build more charging stations throughout the country as part of Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program.  Some of these chargers can be seen around our community.   This is one example of the many ways in which we are taking crucial steps fighting climate change while investing in much-needed infrastructure.
By some accounts the national debt is forecasted to increase by as much as 20% over the next five years. The opposition is ringing alarm bells on this subject. How do you respond to that?
Our country’s net debt-to-GDP ratio is far below that of our G7 peers. We’ve seen our deficits declining and they have been rated AAA by two of the three independent credit experts - a rating that keeps our debt payments low. Budget 2024 continues to support our key values, investing in clean energy, more housing and supporting businesses, all of which is done while setting both deficits and the federal debt on a downward track. Our government will continue to support Canadians while protecting our fiscal anchors.
How does this budget align itself with Canadian values over climate change? What steps are taken to allow Canada to be a frontliner in the world for climate change?
Before we formed government, emissions were projected to increase with no clear path to bring them down. Our emissions in 2023 were the lowest, other than the pandemic years, in three decades. The work we are doing is having a major impact. Our electricity grids utilize 84% clean energy, which makes Canadian grids one of the cleanest in the world. Not only is this helping to fight climate change by reducing our emissions, but it’s also attracting foreign investors, putting us on the frontlines globally to combat climate change.
Budget 2024 provides funding to help individuals with lower incomes retrofit their homes. This program lowers the cost of their energy bills while also reducing emissions at the same time.
Healthcare is in a crisis all around Canada with one third of Toronto residents specifically lacking a family doctor. These indicators do not reflect the public care we are used to in Canada. Does this budget address the public healthcare crisis?
Access to safe and reliable healthcare is important for a healthy and vibrant community. Budget 2024 is strengthening the public health care system, by providing the provinces and territories with $25 billion over 10 years.  The province is in charge of running our health care system in Ontario.  
We are providing pharmacare for diabetes medication and several contraceptives, and we have created the Canadian Dental Care Plan for uninsured Canadians with low-incomes.  It doesn’t stop there, our government has proposed the Youth Mental Health Fund, an initiative that will ensure that young people have access to mental health resources.
During the pandemic years we saw a greater need for healthcare workers in our communities. Budget 2024 creates incentives for workers to join the healthcare field including support for provinces to increase hourly wage for personal support workers and other related professions, as well as partial student loan forgiveness for doctors and nurses, who work in rural and remote communities.
Do you address concerns about the new Capital Gains Tax rule impacting on middle-class Canadians?
There’s been a lot of disinformation and confusion surrounding the new Capital Gains Tax rule. Currently only 50% of capital gains, profits that are passively earned by selling an investment, is treated as taxable income. Under the new rules, we are increasing this amount to 66.7% as the taxable amount, after certain exemptions are applied. We are not increasing the tax rate. And we are only applying this new inclusion rate if a Canadian makes more than $250,000 in capital gains. It is expected that 99.87% of Canadians will not pay more tax in any given year. Couples and families can benefit from combining their personal thresholds. For example, when selling a cottage, a couple could make a profit of $500,000 and not pay a dollar more in tax than the current rules.
In conclusion, MP Julie Dabrusin's insights into the 2024 federal budget highlight a comprehensive approach to addressing Canada's most pressing issues. From housing affordability and healthcare improvements to sustainable infrastructure and economic equity, the budget promises significant advancements aimed at enhancing the quality of life for all Canadians. Dabrusin's reassurances on contentious topics like the capital gains tax underscore a commitment to fairness and transparency. As Canada navigates the challenges and opportunities ahead, this budget lays a foundation for a resilient and prosperous future, resonating deeply with the values and aspirations of Canadians across the nation.
In conclusion, Hon. MP Julie Dabrusin's insights into the 2024 federal budget clarifies how the federal government is addressing the country's most pressing issues. According to her, the budget promises significant progress aimed at improving the quality of life for all Canadians. Her reassurances on contentious topics -such as the capital gains tax- underscores a commitment to fairness and transparency. As she gives us to understand, Canada navigates the challenges and opportunities ahead, this budget lays the foundation for a resilient and prosperous future that deeply resonates with the values and aspirations of Canadians.

June 20, 2024
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