It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since Sudburians placed their trust in me as their Member of Parliament, and it’s been an exceptionally busy period.
There is no better opportunity than this first anniversary to update you on all that our Liberal government has done to invest in Sudbury and Northern Ontario, and to grow the middle class and to help those working hard to join it.
One year ago, I promised Sudbury voters I would be their voice in Ottawa, that I would work hard to bring needed infrastructure investments to Sudbury, and that our government would invest in Sudbury’s creativity and innovation.
One year later, I’m proud to say we have delivered on all counts.
We laid out the first phase of our plan, investing nearly $12 billion in new funding for public transit, roads, bridges, ports, clean water, affordable housing, childcare centres, and cultural and recreational facilities – infrastructure that connects people and communities. In fact, we approved more funding for projects from June to September than over the past 5 years combined!
And nowhere in Canada is that more true than right here in Sudbury.
In our first year, I have had the honour of presiding over $125 million worth of federal investments in Sudbury alone, and more in neighbouring Northern ridings.
So far, our government has invested:
- More than $30 million in Sudbury infrastructure, such as a roads and transit, with more to come. Of course, this was highlighted when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to Sudbury to announcement federal support for the long-awaited Maley Drive in April.
- More than $75 million in post-secondary education and innovation in Sudbury. From Metal Earth, the largest mineral exploration program the world has ever seen, to a new research and engineering building at Laurentian University; from $5 million for medical research in Sudbury, to $4.3 million for Cambrian College’s pioneering Powerline program and other college upgrades; these once-in-a-generation investments show confidence in Sudbury and Sudburians.
- Almost $3 million for youth employment strategies involving dozens of local partners.
- Almost $2.8 million for arts and cultural groups and tourism.
- More than $2.5 million to help local businesses commercialize, expand and export theirs products and services all over the world.
On this latter point, I decided it was important that I go to MINExpo 2016 in September, held in Las Vegas, at my own expense, to support local businesses there to promote themselves and develop the global contacts they need to succeed.
Investing in Canadians and Canadian innovation is what our government has been all about in our first year.
At the beginning of this year we first put in place the middle class tax cut — because we know when middle class Canadians have more money in their pockets to save, invest, and grow the economy, we all benefit. We cut the middle income tax bracket to 20.5 per cent from 22 per cent — a seven per cent reduction. This tax relief is worth up to $670 per person, per year — or $1,340 for a two-income household.
In July, families started receiving the Canada Child Benefit. Right now, it’s helping lift 300,000 kids out of poverty. Parents now receive more money, tax-free, to help with the high cost of raising their kids.
And this fall, we are strengthening the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to provide a more secure retirement and better quality of life for Canadians.
Now more than ever, we’re committed to making life better for each and every Canadian family, with a long term vision to grow the middle class and create a strong economy for future generations in communities like Sudbury.
I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to represent Sudburians in Ottawa, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together in just our first year. And I’m very much looking forward to three more years as Sudbury’s voice in Ottawa.
- Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury.