Our Government is Here for Families
David Tilson, MP
Canadian families are the foundation of our great country. However, the costs of child care, education, and physical activities can really add up. By helping families care for their loved ones, we are making concentrated investments in the next generation of skilled Canadians. Our Government prides itself in being the government for families.
Since taking office in 2006, we have delivered real results for hard-working Canadian families. From the creation of the Universal Child Care Benefit, to the Child Tax Credit, to the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit – our Government has worked to give parents a break on the costs of raising their children. In addition, our Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) has created an additional outlet for families to save money. Having enough set aside for your children’s education or even a nest-egg for your retirement, is a priority for families. The TFSA allows account holders to contribute up to $5,000 per year, while investment income earned and withdrawals from the account are tax free.
In May 2011, we were honoured and humbled by the strong mandate Canadians gave us. We will continue working for a strong economic recovery and for the best interest of families.
As part of the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan – our low-tax plan for jobs and growth – our Government has invested in additional savings for hard-working families in Canada.
This year, our Government delivered the Family Caregiver Tax Credit. This 15 per cent non-refundable credit, on an amount of $2,000, provides tax relief for caregivers of all types of infirm dependent relatives. This includes, for the first time, spouses, common-law partners, and minor children. An estimated 500,000 caregivers will benefit from the Family Caregiver Tax Credit. Through this credit, our Government is recognizing the sacrifices that many Canadians make to care for their children, spouses, parents, or other family members with infirmities – often while also having to hold down a job.
In addition, our Government introduced the Children’s Arts Tax Credit. This 15 per cent non-refundable credit, on an amount up to $500, is available for children under the age of 16 for registration costs associated with children’s artistic, cultural, and recreational activities. From music lessons to art camp, our Government is making it more affordable for parents to enroll their children into the activities that will help shape their future.
Moving forward, our Government will look ahead to the future, to continue on our plan of helping families save. Once Canada’s federal budget is back to balance, our Government will work to double the amount Canadians can contribute each year to the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) to $10,000. So far, this savings vehicle has been a huge success – approximately 4.7 million Canadians have opened an account. This action will help Canadian families save even more when they need it most.
Finally, we understand that in addition to the focus of Canadians on ways to save financially and boost our economic recovery, families also worry about their safety in Canada’s communities. Our Government passed the Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act, also known as the mega-trials legislation, to provide our justice system with the right tools to reduce long, drawn-out and expensive trials. We also re-introduced the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act to keep human smugglers out of our communities and oceans. Furthermore, when Parliament returns this month, our Government will stick to its promise of passing our remaining crime legislation within the first 100 sitting days. This includes action to crack down on organized crime, violent young offenders, and terrorists.
Families in Canada work hard and play by the rules. They deserve to be supported by a Government that will take action for their safety and financial security. Through our many tax credits for families and legislation against crime, our Government is ‘Here for Families.’