Trudeau announces new low-income earners’ tax relief program during East York visit

Up to 70,000 working Canadians could escape poverty by 2020 thanks to a new federal tax credit program aimed at low-income earners, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this afternoon during a visit to the WoodGreen Community Services Employment Services Centre in East York.

In announcing the new Working Income Tax Benefit program after touring the facility at 989 Danforth Avenue, Mr. Trudeau said it will “create opportunities and incentives for people staying and getting into the workforce” rather than relying on social services benefits to survive.

The new benefit, a refundable tax credit aimed to help low-income earners having a difficult time making ends meet, will be an automatic payment made to anyone who qualifies and files a tax return, he said —an estimated 300,000 people. Under previous tax relief programs, he noted, workers were required to apply for the benefit and wait for it to be issued.

During his visit to the volunteer-staffed centre, which operates a year-round free tax clinic among other employment-related services offered to low-income people, the Prime Minister was accompanied by three local Liberal party backbenchers: Toronto-Danforth MP Julie Dabrusin, Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Don Valley West MP Rob Oliphant.

While touring the facility he also met with volunteers and agency personnel including Director of Strategic Initiatives Steve Vanderherberg, WoodGreen President and CEO Anne Babcockand Ansley Dawson, the organization’s Manager of Financial Empowerment.