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The Canadian government recently unveiled Budget 2023, which includes a series of measures aimed at providing relief to Canadians struggling with the rising cost of living. From a one-time Grocery Rebate to cracking down on junk fees and predatory lending, the government has proposed several initiatives to support vulnerable Canadians.

One of the major announcements in Budget 2023 is the Grocery Rebate, which will provide $2.5 billion in targeted inflation relief for 11 million low- and modest-income Canadians and families. Eligible couples with two children will receive up to an extra $467, single Canadians without children will receive up to an extra $234, and seniors will receive an extra $225 on average. This rebate will help ease the burden of rising food prices and allow Canadians to put food on their tables without worrying about financial strain.

The government also plans to crack down on junk fees, which often catch Canadians off guard and add to the cost of essential goods and services. This could include higher telecom roaming charges, event and concert fees, excessive baggage fees, and unjustified shipping and freight fees. By reducing these fees, the government hopes to make life more affordable for Canadians

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Predatory lending is another issue that can be particularly damaging for low-income Canadians, newcomers, and seniors. Budget 2023 proposes to introduce changes to the Criminal Code to lower the criminal rate of interest from 47% APR to 35% APR, in line with the lowest cap among provinces, in Quebec. The government will also adjust the Criminal Code’s payday lending exemption to require payday lenders to charge no more than $14 per $100 borrowed, in line with the lowest cap among provinces, in Newfoundland and Labrador.

To make life more affordable for Canadians and protect the environment, Budget 2023 also proposes a right to repair for home appliances and electronics. This will allow Canadians to fix their own devices or take them to independent repair shops instead of having to buy new ones or pay high fees to manufacturers. This will save money, reduce waste, and create jobs in the repair sector.

Budget 2023 is a comprehensive plan that reflects the government’s commitment to helping Canadians make ends meet in these challenging times. By providing targeted relief, lowering fees, protecting consumers, and promoting sustainability, the government is building a more resilient and inclusive economy for all.

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