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Federal minister to visit Kamloops on April 3

International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan will be at a downtown grocery store and at the BC Wildlife Park
Harjit Sajjan, then the country's defence minister, as photographed at an event in Kamloops in October 2018.

In the wake of last week’s Liberal Party of Canada budget, a federal cabinet minister will visit Kamloops to tout the document.

International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan, MP for Vancouver-South and former defence minister, will be at the Daana Paani grocery store, downtown at Seymour Street and Fourth Avenue, on Monday, April 3, at 10 a.m. It is expected Sajjan will speak about the budget’s one-time grocery rebate.

Later on Monday, Sajjan is scheduled to visit the BC Wildlife Park to view improvements that were done with the help of federal funding.

Sajjan has visited Kamloops on a number of occasions in the past few years, including an August 2021 visit during the wildfires and a May 2020 visit following the fatal Snowbirds crash in the city.

Some highlights of the March 28 federal budget:

• The deficit is projected to be $40.1 billion

• In response to soaring food costs, about 11 million low- and modest-income Canadians will be eligible for a one-time grocery rebate via the GST tax credit system. Rebates will range from $467 (couples with two children) to $234 (single adults) to $225 (seniors).

• A planned 6.2 per cent hike in excise duties on alcohol was capped at two per cent for the next fiscal year (April 1, 2023, to Match 31, 2024). The excise tax is annually set at the rate of inflation.

• The Criminal Code of Canada will be amended to cap the amount of interest charged on loans at 35 per cent.

• A government-run dental insurance program will be introduced in June 2024 at a cost of $13 billion over five years. Until then, the current temporary dental benefit for uninsured children under the age of 12 in families with a household income of less than $90,000 will remain in place.

• The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority will receive $1.8 billion over five years to help speed up processing times and beef up security measures. Alongside that funding is a tax hike for travellers via the air travellers security charge.

• $359.2 million over five years to combat the opioid overdose crisis, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives in Canada since 2016, when fentanyl arrived in force in the illicit drug supply.