By: Hon. Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West
Happy New Year everyone! Bonne année à toutes et à tous! I hope you all enjoyed a joyous and restful holiday break with your loved ones. I’m grateful to be spending the month back in Halifax West and to have the chance to hear directly from you. Please keep your eyes peeled for your complimentary 2023 calendar, arriving in mailboxes soon.
For many Nova Scotians, the challenges facing our healthcare system are top of mind right now. While the federal government does not directly deliver health care, we do have an important role to play in strengthening our system. To help with this, we recently announced a $90 million investment to help internationally trained health care professionals enter our health workforce. I’ve worked for many years now to bring more primary care providers into the field, and I’m encouraged by this muchneeded next step.
To improve care for patients and better support our strained health care workforce, we must continue advancing the use of health data and digital health for Canadians, and our government stands ready to increase funding to the provinces when they are prepared to work together on this critical priority. However, we are not waiting to step up. In fact, in March, we will increase the Canada Health Transfer by close to 10% – on top of the additional 5% increase we announced last year. That’s more funding to provide the care you need, and a needed boost following the $2 billion we committed last year to address backlogs for surgeries and diagnostics. I will continue to advocate for more federal investment in health care and will work alongside my colleagues to ensure it remains one of our top priorities.
• The Canada Summer Jobs Program is available to non-profit employers and small businesses in Halifax West. Applications are due January 12.
• Applications for the one-time, $500 top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit for low-income renters are open until March 31.
• Families with children under 12 that do not have access to private dental insurance are also encouraged to apply for the new Canada Dental Benefit as soon as possible.
• Free tax clinics for those with modest incomes and simple tax situations will be available in our community later this year at Metroworks (902- 453-6246) the Lakeside Legion (902- 876-2578), and the Society of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Nova Scotians (902-422-7130).
Thank you to everyone who donated to the Canada Games Centre and Fairview Heights elementary School Food Drives in support of the Fairview Food Pantry. Many thanks as well to those who organized these events!
Thank you for all your support, I look forward to continuing to serve you in 2023!