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HomeNewsBenefits for northern residents in the federal budget announcement

Benefits for northern residents in the federal budget announcement

The federal budget for 2023 was released today (Tuesday), with some good news for northern B.C. residents.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach said one of the main benefits of this budget was a commitment to a new national dental care plan.

“It’s going to help millions of Canadians and thousands in northwest B.C. alone get the dental care they need.”

He mentioned that during a telephone town hall, people said they couldn’t wait for the plan to be introduced.

Also introduced in the budget was a grocery rebate for Canadians to help battle the rising food costs.

For Bachrach, this is welcome even if it’s not very much money.

 “It doesn’t address the larger issue, which is the excess profits of the big grocery corporations.”

He added that this is “at the same time as so many Canadians are struggling to put food on the table.”

There was one other affordability measure introduced in this year’s budget.

“The other affordability measure we’re highlighting is a second doubling of the GST tax credit.”

Bachrach said last year, the government was forced to double the tax credit, and this time is no different.

“That’s going to result in people getting approximately $457 back for over one million British Columbians.”

The federal budget also introduced a five-year program to address the toxic drug crisis in Canada.

According to Bachrach, the crisis is a significant problem in the northwest.

“Just about every week, I hear about another family who’s lost a loved one, and we need to see the federal government step up and invest far more in the solutions we know make a difference.”

He added part of the problem is the limited access to detox and treatment, which pushes people to other centres to get help. 

When they come home, they lack the support necessary for reintegration into the community.

Bachrach also mentioned that economists predict Canada to be on the brink of a recession.

“We know when the economy slows down, we see an increase in unemployment, and the main support people fall back during those tough times is our employment insurance system.”

He expressed disappointment that efforts to improve that system were not included in the budget, especially with the closure of the Houston mill.

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