Federal Budget 2018
Equality + Growth, A Strong Middle Class
Minister of Finance Bill Morneau delivered his third federal budget today, focusing on strengthening the economy by promoting gender equality and bringing more women into the Canadian workforce. The 367-page budget document prioritizes science and innovation, improving housing for Indigenous peoples and putting protection measures in place for Canada against cyberattacks. It is a fiscal plan focusing on minor initiatives, shifting allocations and small tweaks in comparison to the more substantial budgets of 2016 and 2017.
Budget 2018 focuses on six key priorities:
Gender-Equity and Second Parent Leave
The creation of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare
Indigenous Housing and Skills
Targeted innovation funding
The Canadian economy continues to steam forward. Canada has the fastest growing economy among G7 nations, with second-quarter real gross domestic product (GDP) growth hitting 4.5% while Canada’s economy (real GDP) is expected to grow by 3.1% in 2017 and by 2.1% next year.
Currently Canada has a $18 billion deficit with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 30.1 per cent., This is also which is consistently decliningforecast to decline to 28.4 per cent in 2022–23. Further, the employment rate is at nearing historic highs. Since the Liberals entered office, Canada’s economy added over 600,000 jobs and the unemployment rate has fallen from 7.1 per cent to 5.9 per cent—close to its lowest level in over four decades.
What we DID See - Highlights
For the first time, the federal budget has been crafted using a new, mandatory government-wide, gender-based analysis. In the context of the budget, departments were tasked with identifying how line items might affect women and girls differently from men and boys. The goal is to empower women — but also to address looming productivity challenges caused by an aging population.
Supporting Equal Parenting and the Flexibility for Earlier Returns to Work
A new five-week "use it or lose it" incentive would allow fathers or non-birth parents to take parental leave and share the responsibilities of raising their baby, allowing the women primary parent, typically a woman, to return to work earlier after having a baby, if they choose. To support this, the Government will provide $1.2 billion over five years, starting in 2018–19, and $344.7 million per year thereafter, to introduce a new EI Parental Sharing Benefit. The Benefit will provide additional weeks of “use it or lose it” EI