Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season

I want to take this time and wish you all a wonderful holiday season. I hope you have the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends!

Ontario’s Plan to Build

Last month, the government released the 2022 Fall Economic Statement, providing a clear update on the government’s key priorities. This update also includes targeted relief programs to help families and businesses keep costs down while supporting the most vulnerable among us.

There are a few brand new initiatives that I want to highlight:

● Increasing the ODSP monthly earnings exemption from $200 to $1,000 per month, encouraging recipients to keep more of the money they earn.

● Proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS), helping to keep costs down for over 200,000 low-income seniors.

● Investing an additional $4.8 million over two years to expand the Dual Credit program, encouraging more secondary students to enter a career in the skilled trades or in early childhood education.

Extending Relief for Ontario Drivers

With inflation reaching its highest levels in over four decades, families in our community are struggling with the rising cost of living. Our government is stepping up to extend the current gas and fuel tax cuts, saving Ontario households $195 on average between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023.

Supporting our Students

These past few years have been difficult for families within our community and across Ontario.  The government is investing in the education system by extending in-school tutoring supports, implementing Ontario’s first reading intervention program for young children and delivering $50 million in immediate support for this school year to improve math performance.

The government is also delivering $365 million in Catch Up Payments. This is direct financial relief to parents to help offset costs for additional tutoring supports or supplies and equipment to enhance student learning. As of October 20, parents with school-aged children up to 18 can receive $200 per child, while parents with school-aged children with special education needs up to 21 years old can receive $250.

You can apply at ontario.ca/catchuppayments

Great Lakes Local Action Fund

Another local organization will receive funding in order to protect the natural environment here in our community. The Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy will receive nearly $50,000 to help fund the Janitors of the Wetlands: Engaging Communities through Action project, which aims to clean up the shores of Lake Ontario.

The program will partner with five First Nation communities who offer us a better understanding of the importance of the work they do to promote clean communities. I am excited to see the continued transformation of our shoreline, which is so important to families in Scarborough – Rouge Park. Our government is committed to empowering local efforts to better our community.

I look forward to celebrating the holiday season with you at our local events. From my family to yours, I wish all those celebrating a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May your holiday season be blessed with peace, love and joy.

Reach out to my office at 8130 Sheppard Avenue East Unit 105, by email at vijay.thanigasalam@pc.ola.org, or give us a call at 416-283-8448.