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.
The first budget delivered by the Liberals signaled a return to 1970s Trudeaupian Liberalism, not just with its flagrant disregard for balanced budgets and ballooning debt, but also by disregarding a core accountability under our Constitution: Canada's military.
By making it easier to navigate the tax rules and meet their obligations, Canadians will spend less time and less of their money on preparing their taxes, leaving more in their pockets. For Canadian businesses, productivity could improve as they spend less time, effort and capital dealing with tax compliance and red tape.
The proposed budget will increase government spending while having a deficit of $29.4 billion. It will direct billions of dollars to infrastructure spending, First Nations, and the middle class and lower income groups.
The Canadian Forces will once again have to wait to receive new much-needed equipment. Whether it is new fighter aircraft, ships or vehicles, the federal budget has postponed more than $3.7 billion in military spending until 2020 -- or later. As a matter of fact, the latest federal budget is another slap to the Canadian Forces' face. Bill Morneau, Canada's finance minister, said the Liberals are postponing defence spending to figure out defence priorities.
The changes are designed to distribute benefits and programs more fairly based on income. Families and students are the main beneficiaries of the new budget, though many of the proposed changes will not take effect until next year's tax return.
Canada's youth are the biggest winners from Tuesday's federal budget, but not in the way you'd expect. Buried deep inside the budget, well below the commendable financial commitments to First Nations, families and young children, is a potential game-changer for young people -- plans to create the first ever Prime Minister's Youth Council.
These two advanced manufacturing sectors directly employ more than 200,000 Canadians in good jobs that form the backbone of Canada's middle class. Even more are employed in the spinoffs from these two sectors -- both the suppliers to auto and aerospace, and the spending habits of its well-paid workers.