The federal government is handing out rebates to eligible Canadians to alleviate inflated grocery as part of the 2023 budget.
Dan Vandal, minister of Northern Affairs, made the announcement in Yellowknife on Thursday.
The government is spending a total of $2.5 billion for the grocery rebate, which offers $467 for eligible couples with children, $234 for singles without children, and $225 for seniors, on average.
The one-time rebate is available to 11 million Canadians earning a low to modest income, which the government says includes 10,000 NWT residents.
Ottawa is also spending $311 million to increase access to family health services and to reduce backlogs for healthcare in the NWT, and an additional $2 billion nationally over 10 years to ensure access to more respectful healthcare for Indigenous people.
Budget 2023 also includes $4 billion to spend on the implementation of a co-developed Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy.
Among other budget items is the new Canadian Dental Care Plan, intended to help up to nine million people.
There’s also spending to fight climate change, which includes delivering cleaner and more affordable energy and transitioning away from diesel.
“It is a challenging time in a challenging world, but there is no better place to be than Canada,” Vandal stated. “Budget 2023 is our plan to make life more affordable, strengthen public health care, and build a strong, more sustainable, and more secure Canadian economy — for everyone.”
Michael McLeod, NWT member of Parliament, was not present for the announcement but he made his statement in a news release.
“Budget 2023 is focused on addressing some of our territory’s top priorities,” he stated. “This includes measures to support Indigenous housing needs, mine remediation plans and investments in important infrastructure like the Taltson Hydro Expansion project to help in the clean energy transition.”
He also announced that the federal government is taking action to crack down on predatory lending and junk fees, which could include higher telecom roaming charges, event and concert fees, excessive baggage fees and unjustified shipping and freight fees.
Ottawa also plans to reduce credit card transaction fees for small businesses.