THE federal government said on Wednesday that Budget 2017 is the next step in its long-term plan to create jobs and strengthen the middle class. Canada is home to a well-educated and highly skilled workforce, but as the demands of the workplace change, so too must the education and skills workers bring to their jobs. The changes in the economy—both here at home and around the world—present incredible opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
With its strong focus on innovation, skills, partnerships and fairness, Budget 2017 takes the next steps in securing a more prosperous future for all Canadians. It helps hard-working, talented and creative people develop the skills they need to drive our most successful industries and high-growth companies forward, and invests in Canadians’ well-being through a focus on mental health, home care and Indigenous health care, according to the federal government.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the government’s second budget—Building a Strong Middle Class—which continues to invest in middle class Canadians at every stage of their lives, transform neighbourhoods and communities, and give every Canadian a real and fair chance at success.
Morneau said: “Budget 2017 is about jobs. It’s about creating good middle class jobs today, while preparing Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow. The next step in our plan for Canada’s economy is making the smart, responsible investments we need to be innovative and competitive, while improving the health of our communities, ensuring a better future for our kids and grandkids.”
Budget 2017 will:
- Equip Canada’s workers with the skills and tools they need to succeed in a changing economy. Budget 2017 places Canada’s skilled, talented and creative people at the heart of a more innovative economy. It makes smart investments to help adult workers retrain or upgrade their skills to adapt to changes in the new economy, and to help young people get the skills and work experience they need to start their careers.
- Take an important step towards gender equality, with Canada’s first ever Gender Statement, which serves as a basis for ongoing, open and transparent discussions about the role gender plays in policy development.
- Strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, universal health care system to meet the needs of Canadian families. Budget 2017 confirms the Government’s historic health funding agreements with 12 provinces and territories by investing in better home care and mental health initiatives that will help the families who need it most.
- Advance Canada’s efforts to build a clean growth economy, by investing in green infrastructure that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, delivers clean air and safe drinking water, and promotes renewable power. Budget 2017 also takes important steps to support the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
- Position Canada at the leading edge of a changing economy, by helping to ensure Canadians are able to access the jobs of the future. Budget 2017 helps connect companies on a global scale, takes an innovative and collaborative approach to solving modern challenges, and helps businesses get what they need to grow.
- Build stronger communities, by improving access to early learning, child care and affordable housing. Budget 2017 takes concrete action to improve the quality of life of all Canadians, with more cultural and recreational centres, as well as safe and accessible public spaces.
- Advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, through investments in infrastructure and First Nations and Inuit health, actions to strengthen Indigenous communities, funding to support education and training, and measures to promote language and culture revitalization.
- Make the tax system fairer for the middle class. Budget 2017 will close tax loopholes, crack down on tax evasion, improve existing tax measures for individuals and families, and eliminate measures that are inefficient or no longer effective. Through Budget 2017, the Government will also be taking steps toward eliminating tax measures that disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
By taking action today—investing in the things that Canadians need to succeed now and well into the future—Budget 2017 will help deliver a growing economy that works for every Canadian, according to the federal government.