Budget 2017 builds on our commitment to Canadian families. In Budget 2016 we rolled out our Middle Class Tax Cut and new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) to invest in our middle class and those working hard to join it.
Budget 2016 provided an initial $500 million for early learning and childcare. Budget 2017 will invest an additional $7 billion to support the creation of high-quality child care spaces across Canada – up to 40,000 new subsidized child care spaces. With more affordable child care, more parents will be able to return to work.
As a father of two young boys, I know personally and directly, how difficult it can be to find child care spaces. Even once spots are located, I know how difficult it can be to afford them. This unprecedented investment of $7 Billion will address both the supply of spaces, and help to drive down costs by boosting the amount of subsidized spots.
We have also fulfilled our campaign commitment to introduce more flexibility and choice to parents on parental leave. This is through important changes we have just announced to EI parental benefits in Budget 2017. Proposed changes will allow parents to choose to receive their current benefits over an extended period of up to 18 months.
As a dad, I know that often parents face the daunting proposition of returning to work after one year off with their child, where neither parent nor child are ready for that kind of separation. I also know that many studies have shown that prolonged periods for bonding and nurturing at a young age, are critical to children’s development. That’s why our government is taking this important step, and making things more flexible for parents that would like to remain on parental leave for longer than one year with their children. We believe Canadians deserve that kind of choice.
Our Government is also working with provinces and territories to develop a National Framework on Early Learning and Child Care to implement consistent best practices and create new approaches to best serve families. For Indigenous families, our Government will work directly with Indigenous partners to create a distinct framework to reflect the needs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children across Canada.
We are also making improvements to the justice system for families to better support children and parents experiencing separation and divorce, and ensure timely services are available to families in both urban and rural centres. Budget 2017 provides the Department of Justice with an additional $107.8 million for 2017-18, and $21.1 million per year after the initial investment.
I am proud of our Government’s new Budget and re-commitment to affordable child care, and broad support for Canadian families. Stay tuned for the next installment of my Budget 2017 series Monday, March 27! Next up: how Budget 2017 supports women.
“We like the commitment they’re making toward child care. Of course, it’s starting out with a $500 million investment but it will ramp up as we get toward 2019 and move forward from there and I think anytime you can get a national childcare strategy in this country for working families, we’re very pleased with that.“ – Hassan Yussuf, President, Canadian Labour Congress
“It is encouraging to see investment measures in this budget that will help workers, their families and their communities to build better futures…. Affordable childcare will help more women join and stay in the workforce. The provinces and territories need to support affordable childcare programs in the regions.” – Jerry Dias, National President, UNIFOR
MP for Parkdale-High Park
Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism