Since 2015, rent and the cost of owning a home have doubled, federal inflationary policies have poured fuel on the inflationary fire, taxes are increasing, including the carbon tax, which makes the price of anything shipped go up, and interest rates are adding to debt costs for families. Canada's Food Price Report 2023 predicts that a family of 4 will spend up to $1,065 more on food this year, and food bank usage has already increased by over 30% as families struggle to get by.
This year's federal budget will only add to inflation, increases several taxes, has no plan to balance in the years to come, and adds more than $60 billion in new spending costing $4200 per family. Canadians cannot afford the government's inflationary deficits as food, and housing have all hit record highs. Moreover, the government plans to introduce a second carbon tax that will drive carbon taxes up to 61 cents per litre, further hiking the price of gas, heat and groceries.
Conservatives will use all the parliamentary tools available to bring common sense to the country's finances. That is why we introduced 904 amendments to this year's budget to do what we can to stand up for struggling families.
Canadians now spend 62% of their paycheque on their monthly housing payments, up from 39% in 2015. While it previously took five and a half years to save for the average down payment on a home in parts of British Columbia, it now takes 30 years. This represents a staggering 500% increase in only eight years.
However, when I asked the Housing Minister recently in the House of Commons what he thought the average rent in Kelowna was, he said "it doesn't matter". It certainly does matter what rent costs. When I asked him about the increase in the time it takes to save for a down payment home, he would not acknowledge it as an issue or take any accountability.
People are struggling to afford basic necessitates like food, housing, and fuel, and homelessness is increasing in our community and across Canada. Despite the federal government claiming that they are taking meaningful steps to provide solutions to address the issue, a non-partisan report from the Office of the Auditor General noted that the federal government does not even know whether its billions of dollars spent on homelessness is making any difference.
Canada has the fewest homes per capita in comparison to other G7 nations. Government regulations and red tape stand in the way of construction. Conservatives believe federal infrastructure funding should be tied to the number of homes that are built - this is common sense.
On another note, with Canada Day celebrations just around the corner, I wanted to highlight that our office is once again offering complimentary Canada flag sets to residents of Kelowna-Lake Country. This is our 4th Annual Canada flag set community initiative. These sets include a 3 x 5 Canada flag, hand flag and pin.
Our Canadian flag symbolizes hope, prosperity, and peace. Let's reflect on the symbolism of our national flag to bring us together and to give strength to others.
If you would like to request a complimentary Canada flag set, please contact our constituency office via phone or email with your full name, phone number, address, and email in order to reserve one. Flag sets are available on a first-come basis, and we will be coordinating with those who reserved to either pick up sets at our constituency office over the next couple of weeks, or to pick up on Canada Day either in Kelowna or Lake Country at our community booths.
I hope to see you on Canada Day and if you're heading out of town, travel safe.
If you need any assistance with programs, have any thoughts to share, or would like to reserve a Canada flag set, feel free to reach out, at 250-470-5075 or at [email protected].