Effie Triantafilopoulos Reponses to 2015 Federal Election Questionnaire

On October 19, 2015 Halton voters will cast their ballot for local Federal candidates. On behalf of Halton residents, Regional Chair Gary Carr has sent a letter and questionnaire to Halton’s candidates asking for their positions on a number of issues of critical importance to Halton Region.

The following are Effie Triantafilopoulos' responses to 2015 Federal Election Questionnaire.

Effie Triantafilopoulos

Effie Triantafilopoulos
Oakville North-Burlington - Conservative Party of Canada


  1. Currently, the federal government does not provide sustained, long-term investment into Halton’s municipal infrastructure. Improving our roads, bridges, water and wastewater systems is one of the best ways to create local jobs, keep goods moving, help businesses succeed and maintain a high quality of life for the growing Halton community. By 2031, the infrastructure needs in Halton (including state-of-good-repair programs) are expected to reach approximately $5.6 billion.

    What would you and your government do to ensure a long-term, predictable and sustainable investment in local infrastructure to ensure that Halton residents are not burdened with the cost of growth?


    Over the last decade, the federal government has provided sustained, long-term investment into Halton’s municipal infrastructure. In fact, over the last 10 years a record amount of federal funding has been invested in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region.

    Across Canada, federal funding of $33 billion has been provided for over 12,000 provincial and municipal infrastructure projects. This was not always the case; until a decade ago, the federal government funded very little municipal or provincial infrastructure.

    One example of our record investment into local infrastructure is the Gas Tax Fund. Through the Gas Tax Fund, the Conservative government provides stable, predictable annual funding for local municipalities. This funding is not application based, thus eliminating the need for paperwork and allowing for stable budget forecasting. This year Halton Region will receive $14.3 million, Oakville $5.3 million, Burlington $5.9 million, Milton $2.4 million and Halton Hills $1.7 million, a total of $29 million in federal gas taxes this year.

    Looking forward, Conservatives will continue to work with provincial and municipal governments to build on this record of investment. Last year, the Conservative government announced a record new investment of $70 billion for public infrastructure over the next decade, which includes $53 billion for municipal and provincial infrastructure projects.

    Conservatives are proud of the federal investments in municipal infrastructure in Halton Region. Our prudent, fiscal management – based on low-taxes and balanced budgets – means that our commitment to deliver on the $70 billion in new infrastructure spending over the next decade can be counted on.
  2. Weather patterns have changed over the past few decades negatively impacting many communities including Halton Region which have seen an increase in severe weather events such as extended heat waves, torrential rain and ice storms. Without provincial and federal best practices and investment, municipalities are required to manage the social, economic, infrastructure, environmental and health-related consequences of climate change in the community, often at a very high cost. Long-term, sustainable funding is required for municipalities to improve community resilience and to reduce the severity of future climate change effects.

    What would you and your government do to help municipalities adapt and respond to climate change?


    The Conservative government is the first government in Canadian history to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). During the previous Liberal government, GHGs rose in an uncontrolled fashion from 600 Mt in 1993 to 749 Mt in 2006. Since coming to office in 2006, the Conservative government has reduced GHGs to 726 in 2013, the most recent year reported. Conservatives will continue to reduce GHGs, through the continued rollout of a sector-by-sector regulatory approach.

    Conservatives are committed to continuing to work with the Halton Region to ensure that federal funds continue to be available for municipal infrastructure. The risks presented by a warming climate require that municipal infrastructure be hardened against the increased risk of floods, ice storms and other severe weather events.

    Over the last 10 years, the Conservative government has partnered with local municipalities in Halton Region and invested in hundreds of local infrastructure projects. Since 2006, an unprecedented $33 billion in federal funds has been spent on over 12,000 municipal and provincial infrastructure projects across Canada.

    Nevertheless, more needs to be done. That is why, last year, the federal budget announced a record new investment of $70 billion for public infrastructure over the next decade, which includes $53 billion for municipal and provincial infrastructure projects. This funding will ensure that money is available to harden local infrastructure against the increase in extreme weather events caused by climate change.
  3. The provision of safe, affordable, accessible housing is a critical component of fostering healthy communities. Municipalities across the country are actively working to make communities livable for everyone by ensuring access to housing for newcomers, young people, the middle class and seniors. For too many Halton residents, affordable homeownership remains out of reach. As Canadian municipalities are unable to keep up with the demand for affordable housing options, there is a clear need for long-term predictable funding and a national housing strategy to improve the lives of residents and strengthen communities.

    How would you and your government support increased affordable and assisted housing in Halton Region? What would you do to move the creation of a national housing strategy forward?


    Over the last decade, the Conservative government has made significant investments into affordable housing in Halton Region.

    The most recent federal budget reaffirms the Conservative commitment to ensuring low-income families and vulnerable Canadians have access to affordable housing options. Through targeted investments, Conservatives are committed to working with the provincial government and not-for-profit organizations to increase the supply, quality, accessibility and affordability of housing in Halton Region.

    Conservatives are committed to spending more than $2.3 billion per year over the next four years to help ensure Canadians in need have access to affordable, sound and suitable housing. Of this amount, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will invest $1.7 billion annually to support 570,000 households that depend on social housing support. Further, the federal budget of 2013 announced $253 million per year, beginning in April 2014, to extend the Investment in Affordable Housing to March 31, 2019. Under this initiative, the Province of Ontario matches federal investments and has the flexibility to design and deliver programs that are tailored to address their local housing needs and pressures. Since the introduction of the Investment in Affordable Housing in 2011, over 205,000 households have benefitted from the initiative. The federal budget of 2013 also provided $119 million per year over five years to renew the Homelessness Partnering Strategy until 2018–19. Using a Housing First approach, support is provided to assist homeless individuals transition from shelters and the streets into stable housing. In addition to the federal investment in affordable housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Direct Lending activities offer low-cost loans to federally assisted social housing projects. In 2013, over $1.126 billion was provided in direct loans.

    Finally, Conservatives believe that the foundation of safe, affordable, accessible housing is sound economic management. That is why Conservatives have a low-tax, balanced budget plan to protect Canada’s economy, create jobs and increase home ownership levels.

    A re-elected Conservative Government would aim to add more than 700,000 new homeowners to Canada’s rolls by 2020. A re-elected Conservative Government will build on its record of supporting affordable, responsible homeownership for families by:

      • Expanding the Home Buyers’ Plan from $25,000 to $35,000 so that first-time home buyers can withdraw savings tax-free to make their down payments.
      • Maintaining the 2015 enhancement to Tax-Free Savings Accounts that allows annual contributions of up to $10,000 so that Canadians can save and invest even more of their hard-earned money tax-free.
      • Implementing the new Home Accessibility Tax Credit which provides up to $1,500 to seniors and disabled Canadians to keep their homes safe and secure.
      • Establishing a new permanent Home Renovation Tax Credit for home renovation expenses between $1,000 and $5,000.
      • Collecting data on foreign buyer activity in Canada’s housing market and, as necessary, taking concrete action to address the issue in coordination with provinces.

  4. Economic development and job creation continue to be priority issues facing Canadian municipalities including Halton Region. While all levels of government are working to create jobs and grow the economy, more must be done. Halton continues to be an economic hotspot where businesses choose to locate as a result of our competitive taxes, strong financial position and high quality of life. In addition, Halton’s successful Economic Development Strategy has been working to meet mandated provincial employment targets to achieve sustainable economic prosperity.

    How would you and your government assist Halton in creating the right climate for economic growth and job creation? What would you and your government do to spur innovation in Canadian businesses to help them become more globally oriented?


    Expanding trade and investment for Canadian companies is a priority for Conservatives. Expanded trade means more jobs for more Canadians.

    Over the last 10 years, the Conservative government has successfully negotiated free trade agreements with 39 countries, including the European Union and South Korea, to significantly increase Canada’s trade network and provide more export opportunities for Canadian businesses. Not since the Conservative government of Prime Minister Mulroney, which successfully negotiated the free trade agreement with the United States, has a government done as much to expand trade as the current Conservative government of Prime Minister Harper.

    Currently, the Conservative government continues to pursue free trade agreements, such as the on-going Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Negotiations. Conservatives are committed to deepening our trade ties in the dynamic and fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, while strengthening our traditional partnerships in the Americas. The TPP is a part of the Conservative’s ambitious pro-trade, pro-export plan to create jobs and opportunities for Canadians.

    In addition, the most recent federal budget has made a number of investments and tax changes to encourage greater trade and investment. Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, an association that represents manufacturing companies, praised the Conservative government’s budget and said that,

    “This year’s budget backs up the importance of both manufacturing and exporting with a number of important tax and investment measures that will have a very positive impact.”


    Conservatives are committed to making significant investments in Halton Region to spur innovation. A re-elected Conservative government will establish a new Advanced Manufacturing Hub in Burlington to encourage the development of cutting-edge products and technologies. The new centre will become a catalyst for high-quality, value-added investment and jobs in the manufacturing sector. A re-elected Conservative government will also establish an Investment and Trade Promotion Office with a mandate to coordinate federal programs and policies to attract new manufacturing product mandates and investments to Canada, and help Canadian firms increase market share globally.

    Finally, Conservatives are committed to continuing to invest in “trade infrastructure” – such as the Port of Quebec and the Windsor-Detroit border crossing – to ensure Canadian goods can get to new markets.
  5. Currently, Halton region has a population of more than 500,000 and it is expected to meet mandated growth targets of 780,000 by the year 2031. The Town of Milton continues to be the fastest growing community in Canada and the Greater Toronto Area with a population that increased by 56.6 per cent between 2006 and 2011. The amount of children aged zero to four in Halton has also continued to increase each year, creating a significant need for childcare and early learning programs. For many households, childcare continues to be the second-largest expense after housing. In addition to high fees, there are simply not enough spaces to meet the demand for childcare in the Halton community. As a result, many Halton families continue to struggle to find affordable, quality childcare options for their young children.

    How would you and your government ensure that there are more affordable and accessible early learning and childcare spaces available to match Halton’s growing population?


    Conservatives introduced the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), increased the Child Care Expense Deduction and introduced income splitting for families with children.

    This year the UCCB was increased to $1,920 per year per child under the age of six, and a new benefit of $720 per year per child aged six through seventeen was introduced. In addition, the Child Care Expense Deduction was increased by $1,000 per child for the 2015 taxation year. This will allow parents, where both parents work, to claim a bigger deduction for childcare expenses when they file their taxes in April 2016. Finally, the Family Tax Cut was introduced for couples with children under 18, allowing income-splitting to reduce federal taxes payable. A typical two-earner family of four will receive tax relief and increased benefits of up to $6,600 in 2015.

    All these measures have helped millions of Canadian families by supporting their childcare choices through direct financial support.
  6. Halton Region continues to partner with all levels of government to find solutions to the pressing issues facing the Region. Continued dialogue and consultation with all levels of government is required to ensure the Region’s voice is heard on matters that will directly impact the Region and Halton residents.

    How will you and your government involve the Region as partners on federal matters that have a direct impact on the Region and Halton residents?


    Conservative MPs in Halton Region will continue to work with regional and local municipal councils on the issues facing Halton Region.
  7. As federal matters impacting Halton Region arise, will you follow your party’s line, or will you choose to represent the wishes of your constituents and potentially vote against your party?

    Conservative MPs in the House of Commons have a strong record of standing up for their constituents and the people of Halton Region. An analysis by the Globe and Mail (external link) in February 2013 found that Conservative MPs were far more likely than Liberal or NDP MPs to break rank with their own party.