Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, highlighted Budget 2023’s investments in dental care while visiting Mayflower Dental in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
Canada has made a remarkable recovery from the COVID recession. Canada’s economic growth was the strongest in the G7 over the last year, and today, 830,000 more Canadians are employed than before the pandemic, including 28,100 in Nova Scotia. Inflation in Canada has fallen eight months in a row, and our unemployment rate is near its record low. Supported by our Canada-wide system of affordable early learning and child care, the labour force participation rate for women aged 25 to 54 reached a record high of 85.7% in February.
Budget 2023 builds on this important progress.
To strengthen Canada’s universal public health care system, the budget delivers $198.3 billion, including $5.016 billion in Nova Scotia, to reduce backlogs, expand access to family health services, and ensure provinces and territories can provide the high-quality and timely health care Canadians expect and deserve. Budget 2023 also introduces the new Canadian Dental Care Plan to help up to 9 million Canadians and ensure no Canadian has to choose between taking care of their health and paying their bills at the end of the month.
To make life more affordable, Budget 2023 delivers the new Grocery Rebate, offering targeted inflation relief for 11 million Canadians and families who need it most with up to an additional $467 for eligible couples with children; an additional $234 for single Canadians without children; and an additional $225 for seniors, on average. The government is also taking action to crack down on junk fees and predatory lending, lower credit card transaction fees for small businesses, and help Canadians keep more money in their pockets.
To build Canada’s clean economy, the budget makes transformative investments to fight climate change and create new opportunities for Canadian businesses and workers. This includes significant measures that will deliver cleaner and more affordable energy, support investments in our communities, and create well-paying jobs.
With a responsible fiscal plan that will see Canada maintain the lowest deficit and the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7, Budget 2023 will continue to build a Canada that is more secure, more sustainable and more affordable for everyone from coast to coast to coast.