Member of Parliament Pam Damoff addressed the House of Commons last week on Bill C-86, the Budget Implementation Act, designed to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018.
The measures being implemented will continue the transformational work of the federal government to grow the middle class and Canada’s economy, ensuring the most vulnerable citizens are not left behind and by building an equal, competitive, sustainable and fair Canada. Since 2015, Canada’s economy has been fuelled by the hard work of a stronger middle class. Combined with the government’s historic investments in people and communities, Canada now has the fastest growing economy in the G7 and has added more than 500,000 good, well-paying jobs since November 2015.
“I am very happy that the Budget Implementation Act will put in place measures that will move us toward gender equality and fairness for all Canadians,” said MP Damoff. “Our government is the first to introduce federal pay equity legislation. In 2017, women made 88.5 cents to every $1 a man earned. The Budget Implementation Act will legislate pay equity on Parliament Hill, in the federal government and in all federally regulated organizations like banks, telecommunication and transport companies. In all, about 1.2 million Canadians will be covered by the new legislation.”
There are a number of groundbreaking firsts delivered in the Budget Implementation Act, including measures to end gender based violence, ensuring gender equity and formalizing the use of a gender lens in creating all federal budgets moving forward.
“By focusing on fairness for all Canadians, our government is ensuring that more women are now employed and contributing to our shared economic success than at any point in Canada’s history,” said MP Damoff. “Supporting women’s economic participation is not only the right thing to do, but could also add $150 billion to Canada’s economy by 2026.”
The Budget Implementation Act also puts into place the new Employment Insurance Parental Sharing Benefit. The changes will give greater flexibility to parents by providing an additional five weeks of « use it or lose it » parental benefits when both parents agree to share parental leave. This “use it or lose it” model is already offered to parents in Quebec, where four out of every five fathers have decided to take advantage of the increased parental leave. In the rest of Canada this number is approximately one in 10.
For the first time, the federal government is setting out poverty reduction targets in the Act. Measures like the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) mean that nine out of 10 Canadian families have more money to help with the high cost of raising children. Even more importantly, the CCB has helped lift more than half a million people—including 300,000 children—out of poverty. Residents in Oakville North-Burlington have received payments helping 25,670 children with an average yearly payment of $4,930. The CCB has put over $70 million into the North Oakville and North Burlington economies in the past year, and over $245 million in to the Halton economies.
Another critical step the government has taken to reduce poverty is the National Housing Strategy, a 10-year, $40-billion national housing strategy aimed at reducing homelessness and improving the availability and quality of housing in Canada. Over the next 10 years, the strategy, which will be in part funded jointly by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, will help reduce homelessness and the number of families living in housing need, and will help strengthen the middle class.
“With the Budget Implementation Act, we are continuing to implement our plan and Canadians are seeing first-hand that our plan is working,” said MP Damoff. “More Canadians are working, with unemployment at its lowest level in 40 years, wages are growing at their fastest rate in close to a decade, businesses are investing because they are confident in our plan for creating long-term growth and Canada’s economy is one of the best-performing in the G7, with the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio. A strong and growing middle class is driving economic growth across the country, creating new jobs and more opportunities for everyone to succeed.”