The 2018 federal budget was introduced in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon. Budget 2018 outlines the government’s next year of priorities and plans to support the needs of Canadians.
This Budget strives to ensure that every Canadian has a real opportunity to participate in the workforce and have a fair chance at success. This Budget specifically has a gendered focus by ensuring that every chapter has gone through a gendered-lens. Whether it’s helping more women re-enter the workforce and ensuring equal pay for work of equal value, helping families with the cost of raising their kids, or giving extra help to low-income workers, Budget 2018 makes smart investments that will give more people a real and fair chance at success, and build a stronger economy. Canada is making new major investments for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. This is not just the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do.
“Budget 2018 shows that the government is continuing to make middle class families the priority for government spending. More support for parents, for young people looking for work, for women in the workforce, and for affordable housing means that Canadian families will continue to drive economic growth and build a life for their kids,” said Bryan May, Member of Parliament for Cambridge
“When Canadians have a fair and equal chance to succeed -- they do. That’s why Budget 2018 is built by and for all Canadians. Our theme for 2018 is all about adding you to the budget,” said Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
Starting a family is difficult enough for young parents, and many Canadians struggle financially with a baby at home. Today, the government has unveiled efforts to support the needs of new parents by providing additional paid leave for new fathers, allowing parents more flexibility in raising their children and planning their finances. The new EI Parental Sharing Benefit will allow new parents to share their parental leave. An additional five weeks of paid parental leave will be allowed for the non-birthing parent, on top of the already available 15 weeks of pregnancy leave, and 35 weeks of parental leave.
Our government is introducing new measures for families, including the large number of Canadian families lead by single mothers. The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) has been helping families for the last two years, and overall single mothers are receiving roughly $1.8 billion more in benefits annually under the CCB. To continue our support for Canadian families, starting in July 2018, the CBB will be strengthened to keep up with the cost of living in Canada.
Assistance for Low-Income Workers
The Working Income Tax Benefit is a refundable tax credit that supplements the earning of low-income working Canadians. Budget 2018 introduces the Canada Workers Benefit, an expansion of the Working Income Tax Benefit that puts more money in the pockets of low-income workers. More than 2 million Canadians will benefit from this $500 million expansion, and more than 70,000 will be lifted out of poverty as a result in the next two years. By helping working Canadians take home more money while they work, more people will be encouraged to join and remain in the workforce.
Budget 2018 makes community engagement a priority with greater investments in programs such as Canada Summer Jobs. The Government proposes to provide an additional $448.5 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to the Youth Employment Strategy. This funding will continue to support the doubling the number of job placements funded under the Canada Summer Jobs program in 2019-20.
Addressing the Opioid Crisis The opioid crisis in Canada is something that cannot be ignored. It is threatening lives across the country and affects Canadians whether they are exposed to the drug or not. That is why Budget 2018 will provide significant new funding to the provinces and territories to help them better combat this issue, along with a public education campaign to help people to get the help they need.
On top of those actions, starting in 2018-19, the federal government proposes to provide $231.4 million over five years. Measures that include providing a one-time emergency fund of $150 million for provinces and territories to introduce treatment options, and expanding the Substance Use and Addiction Program to create new treatment methods for Canadians struggling with addiction.
In the past year our government announcement has announced an additional investment of $3.6 billion to support Canada's veteran’s pensions. The government is restoring injured veterans’ pensions for life that was ended under the previous government. By returning pensions for life, Canadians injured in the line of duty will receive the support they need for the sacrifice they made.
To keep up with the rise in demand and ensure that veterans get benefits and services, the Government will provide $42.8 million in funding, starting in 2018–19, to improve service delivery at Veterans Affairs offices.