Canada’s Backbone: Budget 2018 For Growth and Equality

Canada’s Backbone: Budget 2018 For Growth and Equality

On February 27, our government presented Budget 2018. It recognizes that it is Canadians who make our economy strong and lays out our plan to deliver more prosperity and equality for us all. I am pleased to share with you some of the elements of the Budget that I am most proud of.

When we formed the government, we promised to work hard to build a stronger middle class and create opportunities for Canadians.

The first thing we did to grow the economy and create jobs was to lower taxes for middle class Canadians, leaving more money in their pockets to spend in their own communities. We created the Canada Child Benefit that provides support to low income and middle income families, lifting thousands of children out of poverty. We also started making historic investments in infrastructure, building better roads and public transit systems and refurbishing affordable housing.

These policy changes and investments, along with the approval of pipelines to get our resources to international markets,are being felt here in Alberta. Our provincial economy continues to rebound. Last year,Alberta gained 55,000 jobs – the best job growth since 2014. This year our province is projected to regain its place as the fastest growing provincial economy in the country. Despite these positive signs, we know there is more work to be done.

Through Budget 2018, we are creating opportunities that draw strength from our diversity to build a country where every Canadian has a real and fair chance to work, to contribute, and to succeed. One of the best ways we can do this is by better supporting women and girls and help create conditions where they can thrive.

Over the past forty years, one-third of Canada’s economic growth has been linked to the increased participation of women in the work force. Unfortunately, over the last decade, that growth has been stagnant. Budget 2018 focuses on addressing this issue by increasing parental sharing benefits, by helping more women get into skilled trades, and by supporting female entrepreneurs. We will also tackle the gender wage gap by introducing pay equity legislation to ensure women are paid fairly for work of equal value.

This is not just the right thing to do, but also the smart thing for our economy. Greater diversity in the workforce boosts productivity and profitability. A study done by RBC Economics estimates that if Canada had a completely equal representation of women and men in the workforce, we could have increased the size of the economy by 4% last year.

Through Budget 2018,we are also creating new opportunities for Canadian innovators.We will invest $3 billion in the next generation of Canadian research and researchers. We will also invest $1.3 billion to provide researchers with access to the tools and infrastructure they need to carry out their work at universities, polytechnics, colleges and research hospitals, including some of the state-of-the-art facilities here in Edmonton.

Central to our commitment to building an equal, competitive, sustainable, and fair Canadais addressing the unacceptable inequalities faced by First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. That’s why Budget 2018 invests across government to close the unacceptable gaps in services and outcomes. We are working in partnership with Indigenous communities to remove barriers to success, while investing in the infrastructure, skills, high-quality education, and resources needed to ensure all Indigenous people can participate in the economy and strengthen their communities.

Budget 2018 is focused on continuing to grow the economy by investing in Canadians and will contribute to a stronger, more prosperous Canada where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. I encourage you to read more at

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