Thank you to the Local Weekly for this monthly opportunity to connect with your readers across the Sunshine Coast. It is an honour to work with and for the communities in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country and serve as your Member of Parliament. I look forward to working with colleagues across party lines in the 43rd Parliament to improve our communities and our country. I wanted to take this first opportunity to mention key ways we will do so.
The imperative of fighting climate change was the single most important priority expressed to me during the election campaign. Message received. Building on what has been done over the last four years, we are setting more ambitious 2030 GHG reduction targets and bringing in legally binding measures to ensure we are on track to achieve them and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. This will translate to enormous opportunities as we make energy-efficient homes and zero-emissions vehicles more affordable, create more resilient communities, and make Canada the best place to start and grow a clean technology company.
Healthy, thriving oceans are central to our identity. That is why we modernized the Fisheries Act and will continue to implement the Oceans Protection Plan. We will eliminate single use plastics by 2021, continue removing derelict vessels, establish Marine Protected Areas in 25 per cent of our waters by 2025, and bring in other measures to restore wild salmon populations and other marine life.
With the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7, and the lowest unemployment in 40 years, our economy remains strong. This Parliament will continue to grow the economy and make life more affordable. This means investing in families and communities across the country, passing our second middle class tax cut, reducing cell and wireless costs by 25 per cent, increasing the Canada Child Benefit, and building more affordable housing through the National Housing Strategy. The new NAFTA will benefit families, businesses, workers, and communities across our riding and country.
I look forward to working with the Sunshine Coast Seniors Planning Table and others as we improve the lives of seniors. To help seniors and all Canadians with the cost of medications, we are moving forward with a National Pharmacare Program. Old Age Security benefits will increase by 10 per cent at the age of 75, the Canada Pension Plan survivor’s benefit will increase by 25 per cent, and we will continue to improve the lives of caregivers.
Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples remains a fundamental priority. Reconciliation in action will mean working with First Nations communities to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into federal law this year.
Your comments and feedback are welcome: 6367 Bruce Street, West Vancouver, V7W2G5 604-913-2660, Patrick.Weiler@parl.gc.ca