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Grocery rebate payments to be issued in July, CRA says as bill poised to pass next week

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Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday that the federal government would be issuing the promised "grocery rebate" payments in "just a few weeks." But, according to the Canada Revenue Agency, they won't be landing in eligible Canadians' bank accounts until July.

In an email to CTVNews.ca, the CRA confirmed that it is planning on rolling out the food-inflation focused benefit eight weeks from now, in line with the pre-scheduled next quarterly GST/HST credit payments.

"Pending the enactment of the proposed legislation, the Canada Revenue Agency expects to issue the grocery rebate to eligible individuals on July 5, 2023," said CRA spokesperson Sylvie Branch. 

The bill implementing the $2.5 billion grocery rebate offering, as well as the $2 billion in "unconditional" health-care top-up funding to the provinces and territories, is on track to pass the Senate by the end of next week, after the House unanimously approved it in April.

The one-time affordability measure was included in the March 2023 federal budget, and Freeland opted to pull this proposal out of the main budget implementation bill to try to see these payments administered faster.

But, even with the final parliamentary stamp of approval just days away, those waiting to receive this federal financial aid will have to hold out for two more months.

"It is our Liberal government that is going to be delivering in just a few weeks a grocery rebate to 11 million Canadians who need it the most. That is Liberal compassion, that is taking care of each other," Freeland said during a panel discussion at the Liberal Party of Canada convention in Ottawa.

This rebate is a rebrand of the GST tax credit boost delivered last fall and, as such, will be provided through the same system. For those who typically receive the GST tax credit, they likely won't need to do anything besides file their tax return in order to receive the payment.

Eligible low-and modest-income Canadians are not required to spend this one-time payment at the grocery store, but the Liberals sought to frame it as an effort to help offset the high cost of food. 

Couples with two children will receive a payment of up to $467, while eligible seniors will receive up to $225, and eligible singles will receive up to $234. 

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