November 13, 2014

I would like to start with a few comments regarding the October 22, 2014 attack on Parliament Hill. This was the second time in a week that Canada has experienced a violent act of terror on our own soil.

October 22 serves as a grim reminder that we are not immune to such horrendous acts but one thing is clear, it could have been even more tragic if it weren’t for the brave men and women in uniform that guard and protect our Parliament. They served valiantly and heroically securing Parliament and keeping me, my colleagues, and my staff safe. I would like to especially acknowledge and thank Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers for his heroism. I cannot convey in words the gratitude I feel for Sergeant Vickers.

I want to extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. They died serving our nation and will remain forever True Canadian Heroes. We are forever indebted to their heroism and service to our nation.

I can proudly say that today Parliament opened at 10am as usual on October 23, because one thing is clear, we cannot, and we will never be intimidated. Such acts shall only serve to strengthen our resolve and bring us closer together as a nation.

Supporting Canadian Families

One of the major initiatives announced by our Government over the past month is new measures to support Canadian families. I am very excited about these changes to the tax code as they will mean real changes for every day Canadian families.

The proposed new measures include:

  • The Family Tax Cut, a federal tax credit that will allow a higher-income spouse to transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket. The credit will provide tax relief – capped at $2,000 – for couples with children under the age of 18, effective for the 2014 tax year. Income splitting is helping seniors across the country, which is why the Government is now proposing similar relief for families.
  • Increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) for children under age six. As of January 1, 2015, parents will receive a benefit of $160 per month for each child under the age of six – up from $100 per month. In a year, parents will receive up to $1,920 per child.
  • Expanding the UCCB to children aged six through 17. As of January 1, 2015, under the expanded UCCB, parents will receive a benefit of $60 per month for children aged six through 17. In a year, parents will receive up to $720 per child.
  • Increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction dollar limits by $1,000, effective for the 2015 tax year. The maximum amounts that can be claimed will increase to $8,000 from $7,000 for children under age seven, to $5,000 from $4,000 for children aged seven through 16, and to $11,000 from $10,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
  • Doubling the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and making it refundable.

The average tax relief and benefits for these families will be $1,140 in 2015. Previous tax-relief measures introduced by the Government since 2006 have resulted in a tax reduction of approximately $3,400 in 2014 for an average two-earner family with two children. This is allowing families to keep more of their money to spend it on what is important to them.

As always, thank you for your support. If you are having any difficulties navigating the Federal Government or if there is anything you want me to take back to Ottawa please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Until next time
Earl Dreeshen,
MP Red Deer