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Housing, lack of disability benefit a 'big miss' in federal budget: Port Moody–Coquitlam MP

While happy to see a grocery rebate and new dental plan, Bonita Zarrillo believes more was needed to make life better for struggling Canadians.
Port Moody-Coquitlam MP Bonita Zarrillo speaks in the House of Commons.

The following was submitted to the Tri-City News from Bonita Zarrillo, MP for Port Moody-Coquitlam, and NDP critic for disability inclusion, infrastructure and communities, and deputy health critic.

In Budget 2023, the NDP used their power to secure the biggest Universal Healthcare expansion in a generation. The dental care plan is a big win for Canadians.

By the end of this year, seniors, persons with disabilities and all youth under 18 will be eligible.

Seniors and the disabled community are two groups disproportionately impacted by poverty in this country and providing them with essential dental care will be life-changing for millions of Canadians. New Democrats are proud of this win.

As the NDP critic for disability inclusion, I share the community's disappointment that the Liberal promise for a Canada Disability Benefit did not materialize in this budget.

The government has failed to live up to their commitment of financial support for persons with disabilities living in poverty.

Persons with disabilities continue to be ignored by this government and an interim emergency benefit is now more urgent than ever as housing and food prices skyrocket.

The increasing price of food was top of mind for NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and the NDP Caucus as we pushed for another GST rebate, which the Liberals accepted and branded as a "grocery rebate."

This is a win for Canadians and will help people pay their bills.

Housing was a big miss by the Liberal government in this budget. This shows that the government does not understand the urgency of the crisis happening in our communities.

Fortunately, the NDP secured investment in Indigenous Housing in urban, rural and northern communities, yet more is needed.

These communities are facing unprecedented challenges with affordable housing and homelessness. It is essential that a "For Indigenous, By Indigenous" strategy is developed in addressing these challenges.

The work of the NDP has also resulted in new investments in a clean energy economy in budget 2023. These investments will create good-paying union jobs while tackling the climate crisis.

As the Liberals continue to support fossil fuel subsidies, the NDP have shown them how to transition to green economies and still support workers. The NDP will continue to stand alongside workers.

My NDP colleagues and I have used our power in this minority government to make life better for people, and we will continue to use our power to support people as there is still more work to do.