Budget 2017 earmarked a whopping $11 billion for housing and homelessness. There's no doubt this will have a big impact. However, these funds must not only build affordable housing, they must align with poverty reduction strategies and mental health and recovery initiatives if we are to truly reduce long-term homelessness.
In March, the Liberal government announced the federal budget for 2017-2018. Although there were relatively few tax measures mentioned on March 22, it's important to know what these changes are and what the implications will be for you and your family in the coming years.
The Liberal Government has stated they want to build a strong middle class, but who comprises the middle class? Mr. Morneau in his 2017 budget speech stated, "All Canadians must pay their fair share of taxes," but what is a "fair share"? Let's do the math and find out.
Innovation is therefore a very broad term. It does not necessarily have to take place in a scientific laboratory. Indeed, this type of science-based R&D is not what has driven many of the great business innovations that we have seen emerge over the past few "digital" decades.
With Canada currently ranked 35th in the 2016 World Economic Forum's survey on gender equity, and a federal government committed to tackling the ongoing gender gap, now is the time to drive change in practical ways that will create measurable results.
Budget 2017 is all about strengthening the middle class, strengthening their access to services, but what gets lost in the numbers and system is that indigenous youth have the least access to these services and do receive equitable funding as compared to any other young Canadian.
Thanks to the federal budget presented by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, we saw not the self-described feminist, environmentalist, progressive Justin T, but the reigning prime minister of austerity and broken promises. Clearly, "sunny ways" for the "middle class" are no longer part of his weather forecast.
The 2017 federal budget pledges an incredible $50 million over two years to teach young Canadians to code. This is a huge boost to support Canadians in developing the skills and creativity needed to compete and lead in the global innovation race.
The Liberals failed to take any meaningful action on closing tax loopholes or leveling the digital playing field. They failed to deliver, again, on their election promise to end the stock options deduction that gives almost a billion dollars to some of the richest people in Canada. They failed to make the tax system simpler or fairer.
For 22 years, Canada's federal governments have not properly assessed their own budgets and policies to ensure their decisions help both women and men, and do not further widen gender inequality. The aim should be to reduce it.
When governments try to actively create growth by supporting certain projects rather than others, or by investing public funds instead of letting companies invest and innovate, they can have the opposite effect. This is the wrong way to do things.
From 1990 to the present, cuts to our aid budget were triple that of domestic programs in percentage terms. Given that aid accounts for a mere two per cent of total spending, this was nickel-and-diming the poor was downright unconscionable. We now spend a miserly 0.26 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) on aid.
As the weeks close in before the release of the next federal budget, we need to get out our loudspeakers and make sure this government hears us clearly: we want an economic model that works for women.
Since launching Oxfam's campaign on women and work last week, we've received all kinds of questions and comments about whether women are really being shortchanged by the global economy. Some suggest that gender inequality doesn't exist here in Canada, only in poor countries.
Women's homelessness is a significant, yet often hidden, crisis facing this country. Research shows that for every person who is absolutely homeless, there are at least three more who fall into the hidden homelessness category.
The Liberals promised a "leaner, more agile" military, raising concerns over the size of the military. With our current commitment and the promised renewal of UN peacekeeping missions, Canadian soldiers will not be able to sustain such a high operational tempo, let alone if we slash our military numbers.