Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday! This is a time to look back on what we’ve achieved in our history, and to embrace the values we share as a nation. This year we unite as Canadians, and together we can imagine a vision – a big, bold vision – of what our country can become. Canada 150 inspires all of us to be part of something bigger than ourselves as we build the country for the next 150 years. 2017 will be the year to create lasting connections that will live on long after the celebrations have ended. I encourage you to visit Canada.ca/150 to see all the different events and celebrations that will take place across the country, throughout 2017.
Accomplishments of 2016
It has been an interesting year and I am proud to be part of a government which made progress on a number of fronts in 2016. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but here are some highlights of what we have accomplished this past year.
- We restored the eligibility age for the Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) from 67 to 65. Low-income Canadian seniors living alone now receive up to an additional $947 per year, which will help 900,000 vulnerable seniors and improve their quality of life.
- We increased Canada Student Grants by 50% to help more than 350,000 students to graduate with less debt and build a more prosperous future.
- We ratified the Paris Agreement as part of our commitment to fight climate change. We also introduced pricing for pollution to encourage companies to find innovative solutions to pollute less and achieve a healthier environment for the next generation.
- We are investing $118 billion in building and improving public transit, roads, bridges, ports, clean water and wastewater systems, affordable housing, and child care facilities. These investments will also create good jobs for Canadians.
These policy changes were only made possible because of the input of Canadians from across the country, including people like you in our community. My team and I hosted Town Halls, on climate change, Canada Post, defence priorities and the Federal budget to name a few, and asked for your insights and opinions. Through this consultation process, we were able to communicate your views, and ultimately influence policy. Additionally, with the feedback you provided me in 2016, I am able to define areas of focus for 2017.
Areas of Focus for 2017
In addition to my responsibilities as your Member of Parliament and as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Public Services and Procurement, I have heard from many of you that you would like me to place particular focus on the following areas:
Advanced manufacturing (aerospace and automotive) investments, local infrastructure for mental health, Canada’s defence capabilities, precarious employment (job quality), and ensuring increased value for your tax dollars.
These are things that will make a real difference in our community in the short term and set the foundation for years to come. The world needs more Canada, and I am committed to helping Canada thrive both at home and abroad. If you believe there are any additional areas I should be focused on, please do contact me. What we focus on now will continue to define and shape us not only for 2017, or 2018, but for the next 150 years. I am looking forward to achieving this vision together with you.
Services Our Office Offers
Our office in Richmond Hill is here to assist you. We can help organizations with government funding like the Canada Summer Jobs Program, as well as assistance for more individual concerns like: Canada Pension Plan, Guaranteed Income Supplements (GIS), OAS, immigration, visas, and we are now happy to report that we are fully equipped to assist with passport applications and renewals.
Please Contact Me!
I look forward to hearing from you and trust that you will contact me with any and all matters that you feel are important at a federal level. Email: Leona.Alleslev@parl.gc.ca. Phone: (905)773-8358. Office: 12820 Yonge St. suite 202, Richmond Hill).