On March 22nd, 2017, Finance Minister Bill Morneau released Budget 2017, which continues our work in helping the middle class and those working hard to join it. Budget 2017 is focused on fairness for families, workers and taxpayers. It is critical that we continue to invest in affordable housing, infrastructure, high-skilled job training and the economy as a whole.
Particularly, Budget 2017 brings good news for my riding of Brampton North and the City of Brampton. A few of the key highlights include:
- Maternity leave will allow women to claim benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date, up from the current 8 weeks – if they choose to.
- Parental leave will be extended from 12 months to 18 months at a lower rate – if the parent chooses to. The current 12 month rate for parental leave will remain available, giving new Canadian parents an option between the two.
- Fairness will be brought to ride-sharing applications like Uber to match taxi users, as a sales tax will be added to the fare.
- A new EI Caregiving Benefit of up to 15 weeks will be available to individuals who are providing care to an adult family member who requires significant support as they recover from a critical illness or injury. Parents of critically ill children will continue to have access of up to 35 weeks of benefits with added flexibility for more family members
- $741 million for investments to accelerate infrastructure projects for universities and colleges through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, a key tool for Brampton as it looks to build a new university in the near future.
- Canada Infrastructure Bank will be introduced and responsible for investing at least $35 Billion over 11 years using loans, loan guarantees and equity investments with a focus on strategic and transformative projects like regional transit plans.
- $7 billion over 10 years to create affordable childcare spaces
- $6 billion over 10 years for home care and $5 billion over 10 years for mental health initiatives
- $11.2 billion over 11 years for a National Housing Strategy to build affordable housing
As these measures introduced in Budget 2017 will help cities like Brampton move forward in their development, Canadians as a whole will benefit greatly as well. Below are many key highlights from Budget 2017!
Job Skills Training and Education:
- $225 million over 4 years and $75 million per year thereafter, to establish a new organization to support skills development through working partnerships with willing provinces, territories, the private sector, educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations.
- $29.5 million over five years for a program to support initiatives that teach basic digital skills.
- $454 million over 4 years to expand eligibility for student financial assistance for part-time students and students with dependent children, while launching a new project to assist adult learners with accessing financial aid.
- $50 million over 2 years to support a K-12 program to teach coding to youth.
- $1.26 billion to create a 5 year Strategic Innovation Fund to consolidate existing programs and expand to emerging sectors such as clean technology.
- $950 million over 5 years to support a number of business-led innovation “superclusters” that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth.
- Budget 2017 was the first time a gender-based analysis used to create the budget.
- $100 million over 5 years to establish a National Strategy to Address Gender-Based Violence.
- Additional $395.5 million over 3 years in the Youth Employment Strategy.
- $221 million over 5 years towards providing 10,000 work-integrated learning placements for Canadian post-secondary students and graduates each year, up from 3,750 placements.
- $59 million over 4 years to expand eligibility for the Canada Student Loans and Grants to help part-time students.
Fairness to Taxpayers:
- $523 million over 5 years to prevent tax evasion and improve tax compliance, with a potential revenue of $2.5 billion over the next five years.
- Amendments to the Canada Labour Code so that federally regulated workers can request more flexible work arrangements.
- $27.5 million over 5 years for a Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers to better integrate new citizens in our communities.