Updating Canadians on the COVID-19 situation and announcing rental housing investments
Thank you, Ahmed, for that introduction, and for everything you do for families and for all Canadians.
It’s also great to be here with Minister Alghabra, and with our whole Brampton team – Kamal, Sonia, Maninder and Ruby – for this important announcement today.
I want to start today by thanking people across the country for everything you’re doing to help beat COVID in Canada.
When you roll up your sleeve to get vaccinated, you keep yourself and others safe, and you keep us all on the right path to end the pandemic once and for all.
Your efforts are paying off.
This weekend, we even passed the US in terms of fully vaccinated people.
So let’s keep that momentum up.
The science is clear. These vaccines are safe and effective.
For those of you who think that a first or second vaccine shot isn’t necessary: I ask that you reconsider.
Vaccines prevent you from getting sick, from going to the hospital, and from getting your loved ones sick
Now is the time to do it.
So if you haven’t already done so, make sure you book an appointment and get the shot.
We’re expecting 7.1 million Pfizer and Moderna doses to arrive in Canada this week.
The shots are there for you and that’s good news all around.
Thanks to the rising vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 cases, we‘re able to move forward with adjusted border measures.
As long as things stay on the right track, we’ll open our borders on September 7th to any traveler who’s fully vaccinated with a Canada-approved vaccine at least 14 days before arriving.
As a first step, on August 9th, we will opening non-essential travel to Americans who’ve been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days.
This is in recognition of our unique bond, especially between border communities.
As of September 7, we will reopen our borders to travellers who have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days with a vaccine approved in Canada.
As a first step, we will begin by reopening the border to fully vaccinated Americans as of August 9.
We are continuing to take a measured approach to re-opening the borders.
The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority, and we will never compromise on that.
Now, onto today’s announcement.
The people of Brampton have shown true resilience over the last year and a half.
I know it hasn’t been easy.
You’ve all had to adapt in many different ways; So many of you have made big sacrifices and faced loss.
But what didn’t change throughout it, is the tremendous community spirit her in Brampton and your devotion and commitment to being there for each other.
Your very own Member of Parliament, Kamal Khera, proved that when she returned to work as a nurse at the height of the pandemic.
Thank you, Kamal.
You’ve inspired your community.
You’ve touched the lives of so many with your dedication and your hard work.
Today, we’re here because too many Canadians are still facing very real obstacles when it comes to housing affordability and availability.
Since 2015, in Brampton alone, we’ve funded more than 1,600 housing units to tackle the issue.
Across the country, we’ve implemented programs like the First Time Home Buyers Incentive which provides support to make mortgages more affordable for younger Canadians.
In addition, our Rental Construction Financing Initiative has leveraged billions of dollars in private investments to build tens of thousands of new affordable rental units in communities large and small.
These are significant accomplishments. Nonetheless, we’re looking to the future knowing we need to do more.
That’s why Minister Hussen and Deputy Prime Minister Freeland have brought together leaders from all orders of government and across sectors to tackle this pressing issue.
We’re working hard to develop solutions that will increase the supply of housing for Canadians, from affordable rental units to ownership options.
The pandemic has only worsened housing gaps and inequalities, and we know that Canada needs more housing options, and fast.
Today I’m joined by our Brampton team to announce the construction of 302 new affordable rental units, here at Mount Pleasant Village.
We’re building a 26 story residential tower, so that hard-working, middle-class Canadians will be able to live close to where they work.
Take a young grocery store worker who wants to stay in this community but simply can’t afford to buy a home and needs more rental options close to their workplace.
This is who these affordable units are for.
Today’s announcement is about increasing the rental supply in Canada, something that has been overlooked for far too many decades.
It’s part of a program that continues to help families across the country who are feeling priced out of the housing market.
As we work to build back better after this pandemic, affordable housing remains at the top of our priority list.
More and more young professionals, families and multi-generation households are setting roots here in Brampton.
The city is growing at a record speed.
We know that buying a home has become beyond the reach of far too many families.
That’s why we’re delivering innovative solutions.
We’re also finding new ways to create good-paying jobs while we’re at it.
Take our latest budget investment of $300 million to convert vacant commercial property into hundreds of rental housing units.
This is an opportunity for property owners and communities to explore converting excess space into rental housing, thereby making urban communities, like Brampton, more livable and more affordable.
We’re also exploring ways to unlock public land as a tool to create affordable units and innovative pathways to homeownership, including rent to own models.
This kind of leadership and innovative approach to housing is what this country needs.
Once people have secure, stable, and affordable housing, they’re able to start fulfilling their potential.
That’s why we shouldn’t think of housing as just a problem, but also as a solution.
We have made great strides in the last few years, but we know there’s still more work to be done.
And that’s exactly why we’re here today.
Housing will always be part of the solution for healthier communities, but also for attracting and retaining workers and growing our economy.
As a government, we’re in your corner.
We’ll continue to support our recovery, create middle-class jobs and boost economic growth.
And together, we’ll keep building a better Canada and a better future for everyone
Thank you very much.