Supporting families, seniors, and the middle class
In recent weeks, many have raised concerns regarding rumours that the federal government plans to tax employer-paid benefits for private health and dental plans. I want to assure constituents that this is not the case, and that taxation of these benefits has never been a part of the federal government’s plan to support and grow Canada’s middle class. The federal government remains committed to ensuring that families and seniors have the health and financial supports they need. With this as a priority, including in the Fredericton region, a tax cut was introduced to put more money directly in the pockets of Canadians. In addition to the middle class tax cut — which benefits almost nine million Canadians — the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) was introduced to help families who need it most with the high cost of living. The enhanced, tax-free CCB is helping more than 112,000 children in New Brunswick alone. We have also increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single seniors. Our government is committed to providing Canadians with the supports they need to get ahead, and maintaining the tax exemption of health and dental benefits is an important part of our plan.
Op-ed: airport expansion is vital for economic development in our region
I have been working closely with the Fredericton International Airport Authority, its stakeholders, and my colleagues in Ottawa to secure funding for the proposed expansion project at the Fredericton airport. I’m convinced that the expansion of our airport is integral to our prosperity and that it is in alignment with the federal government’s Atlantic Growth Strategy and Innovation Agenda. As I discussed in an op-ed which ran in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner on Feb. 9., I remain focused on finding a solution that allows our airport to access funding programs in order to further support economic growth and job creation in our region. Read the full op-ed here.
Honoured to be named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
I am honoured to have been appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Chrystia Freeland. This is great news for the Province of New Brunswick. Led by my colleagues, the Hon. Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard; the Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor, newly appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance; Serge Cormier, newly appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; and our fellow Caucus members, New Brunswick’s interests are well represented within our national government. I look forward to this new challenge, and thank the many people who support us as we represent this region in Ottawa.
Atlantic Growth Strategy – Innovation Tour
Last month I led a tour of Atlantic Canada as Chair of the Atlantic Caucus Innovation Subcommittee that will recommend ways the federal government can help spur job creation and economic growth through the Atlantic Growth Strategy. By working with innovators and other economic drivers in our four Atlantic provinces, my colleagues Andy Fillmore (Halifax), Sean Casey (Charlottetown) and Nick Whalen (St. John’s East) and I heard many ideas to improve competitiveness, collaboration and efficiency across sectors. I’m looking forward to presenting our report to the Atlantic Caucus and the Atlantic Growth Strategy Leadership Team in the coming weeks.
Veterans Open House
As our January open house was postponed due to weather, join me on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at the Hazen Centre in Oromocto for an open house with veterans and their families. The open house begins with a reception over light refreshments at 5:30 p.m., followed by discussion at 6 p.m. I recognize the many contributions our veterans and our women and men in uniform make in our region, across the country, and around the world. I believe it is essential that we consult with veterans and military members in order to help establish sound policies and ensure that they and their families get the services they need and deserve. Kindly RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend.
Providing cybersecurity solutions to the world
Last month, I was pleased to announce a federal investment of $2.27-million to establish the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity at the University of New Brunswick’s Fredericton campus. Cybersecurity is an important strategic sector that represents significant opportunities for economic growth and job creation in our region. Led by the Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity, Dr. Ali Ghorbani, this institute will further position our province as a world leader in providing cybersecurity solutions.