A Strong Canada at Home and in the World

For 150 years, generations of Canadians have come together to build our country brick by brick, block by block, from coast to coast to coast. We are a country of millions of immigrants, refugees and Indigenous Peoples, bound by a spirit of daring, hard work and ingenuity.

In Budget 2017, we move ahead with confidence, driven by innovation, and the ardent belief that a Canada built by all should benefit all. We know that a growing and optimistic middle class has long been at the heart of our success, and that a strong and thriving middle class will continue to lead the way: finding new frontiers, creating new opportunities for women and men and—above all—building a country that works for everyone.

Canada did not happen by accident, and it won’t continue without effort. As we look forward to Canada’s next 150 years, we join Canadians in renewing our commitment to this hard but vital work.

What Success Will Look Like

  • More patients receiving better care at home or in their community.
  • Shortened wait times for mental health services to help children and young persons under the age of 25 in need of support.
  • Better access to health care on-reserve and improved health outcomes for First Nations and Inuit.
  • Increased opportunities for Indigenous Peoples to pursue post-secondary education and training.
  • More veterans getting the skills, training and education they need for civilian employment.
  • Better support for ill and injured veterans and their families.
  • More equal wages and increased labour market participation for diverse groups of women and men.
  • Greater representation of women in positions of leadership in both the public and private sector.
  • Reduced risk and occurrence of gender-based violence.
  • Stronger partnerships and Canadian engagement around the world.

In Budget 2017, the Government is working to level the playing field for all Canadians: individuals, families and communities. Its aim is to break down the barriers that put a drag on our economy and prevent Canadians from reaching their fullest potential.

That is why Budget 2017 will:

  • Help ensure that Indigenous Peoples have the opportunity to realize their full potential.
  • Empower women, and take action to address gender-based violence.
  • Improve access to mental health and home care services.
  • Support veterans in making the transition from military to civilian life.
  • Strengthen our engagement with the world while investing in key partnerships.

By putting people first and embracing Canada’s diversity and openness, Budget 2017 will bring confidence and optimism back to the middle class, support thriving communities and create the conditions for strong, inclusive economic growth fuelled by hope and hard work.

“Middle class growth is much more than an economic imperative—it’s central to our unity as a nation. It’s that shared sense of purpose that’s so hard to define but so deeply felt. The feeling that we are all in this together. The knowledge that wherever we came from, we are united not only in our struggles, but also in our dreams. It is the middle class that unites us, and it’s our diverse communities that keep our economy growing. We need both to succeed.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Healthier Canadians

Canada’s publicly funded, universal health care system is a source of great pride for all Canadians. It is an essential foundation for a strong, fair and prosperous nation. The Government of Canada has reached new health funding agreements with the 12 provinces and territories that have accepted the federal offer of $11 billion over 10 years to provide more—and better—home care and mental health support for Canadian families.

Budget 2017 will also take action to improve access to prescription medications, lower drug prices, support health innovations and respond to the ongoing opioid crisis—through an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding. In addition, the Government will simplify the existing system of tax relief for caregivers by replacing three existing tax credits with a single new Canada Caregiver Credit, which will provide better support to those who need it most.

Support for Canada’s Veterans

Canada’s veterans have dedicated their lives to the defence of our country, and they deserve our unwavering support for the sacrifices they have made. The Government is committed to ensuring that it delivers the programs and services our veterans—and their families—need for a seamless and successful transition from military to civilian life.

Budget 2017 takes further action to ensure that veterans receive the skills, training and education they need to succeed, better support the families of ill and injured veterans, and invest in mental health for veterans at risk. These measures include a new Education and Training Benefit, increased financial support for caregivers to better recognize and honour the vital role that they play in the day-to-day lives of ill and injured veterans, as well as a commitment from the Government to provide an option of a pension for life through the Disability Award, with further details to be announced this year.

Opportunities for Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Peoples represent one of the fastest-growing groups in Canada. First Nations, Inuit and Métis continue to make important and diverse contributions within Canada, and will play a vital role in the future success of our country. Investing in Indigenous communities forms a significant part of our work toward reconciliation and it will benefit all Canadians.

Indigenous Skills and Education

To help Indigenous students attend post-secondary institutions and find good jobs, Budget 2017 will increase funding to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program as well as to Indspire, an Indigenous-led registered charitable organization with a proven record in this area. New Budget 2017 investments in the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy program will also help Indigenous Peoples in all parts of the country get the skills and training they need to fully participate in the economy and contribute to the success of their communities.

Healthier First Nations and Inuit Communities

The gap in health outcomes between First Nations and Inuit, and the broader Canadian population remains unacceptably wide. Budget 2017 will respond to the needs of First Nations and Inuit with new support for maternal and child health, access to primary care and mental health services, and home and palliative care. Budget 2017 proposes to invest$828.2 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to improve the health outcomes of First Nations and Inuit. This funding will make it easier for First Nations and Inuit to receive timely medical care—including mental health services. This amount includes $15 million in proposed funding for harm reduction measures that form part of the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy.

Supporting Strong Indigenous Communities

The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. Budget 2017 is advancing this commitment with new investments in stronger Indigenous communities, including funding for:

  • Promoting the revitalization of Indigenous languages and culture.
  • Addressing the overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples in the mainstream criminal justice and corrections system.
  • Boosting the development of Indigenous fisheries.
  • Increasing the capacity of Métis organizations to work toward self-government.
  • Encouraging the environmental stewardship of Indigenous lands.
  • Supporting service centres that provide programming and services for urban Indigenous Peoples.

The Government will also work with Indigenous partners to establish and fund a framework for Indigenous early learning and child care.

Indigenous Infrastructure

Budget 2017 will make key infrastructure investments in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities to help deliver sustained economic growth for years to come. In addition to the $4 billion investment over 10 years, beginning in 2018–19, for infrastructure in First Nations and Inuit communities, the Government is also investing in training for community members, so that they can manage and maintain this important infrastructure. The Government is also investing $225 million over 10 years, beginning in 2018–19, to support housing for Indigenous Peoples not living on-reserve.

Upholding Canada’s Place in the World

In Canada, we have made the choice to build an economy that works for everyone. We strive to provide equal opportunities to women and men while being open to the world—welcoming new ideas, creative ways of thinking and a diversity of cultures.

The Government will make our country stronger by deepening our engagement with the world and investing in key partnerships. It will:

  • Launch a new Development Finance Institution that will promote economic growth, create jobs, advance women’s economic empowerment and reduce poverty in areas where alternative financing is scarce.
  • Join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to support inclusive, sustainable economic growth around the world, by promoting investments in high-quality infrastructure projects, while also increasing crucial trade links for Canadian businesses.

Safety and Security for Canadians

Canada is fundamentally a safe and peaceful country. It’s a big part of what makes Canada a great place to invest, grow a business and raise a family. At the same time, emergencies and threats to Canada—and to Canadians—can occur at any time.

To ensure that Canada remains a safe and secure place to live, and to protect the interests of all Canadians, the Government is committed to taking action. This includes taking steps to address gender-based violence, modernizing Canada’s corrections system, strengthening the family justice system, building a strong judiciary, ensuring access to federal court decisions, addressing delays in access to provincial and territorial superior courts, and protecting Canada’s critical infrastructure.

Equal Opportunity for Women and Men

A meaningful and transparent discussion around gender and other intersecting identities allows for a greater understanding of the challenges this country faces, and helps the Government make informed decisions to address those challenges—with better results for all Canadians. Budget 2017’s Gender Statement sets a new bar for openness and transparency by examining the ways in which public policies affect women and men differently. And there is more to do.

When women and girls are given opportunities to succeed, Canada succeeds. With this Statement, the Government is building on its existing use of gender-based analysis to ensure that:

  • The Government’s decisions deliver results that are more equitable and more fair.
  • There is a continuing conversation around the need for more equal wages and a more diverse workforce.
  • There is greater representation of women in positions of leadership in both the public and private sector.
  • There is a reduced risk and occurrence of gender-based violence, whose victims are predominantly womenand girls.

How Veterans Will Benefit

David is a 32-year-old Canadian Armed Forces member who will be released in the summer of 2018 after 12 years of service in the Regular Force as an ammunition technician. He is planning on going back to school full-time for a three-year college course to become a civil engineering technician. He will receive an education benefit of $20,000 per year for each of those three years. Depending on his family income, David could also be eligible to receive student grants and loans through the Canada Student Loans Program. In addition, David can access employment services such as career counselling and job-search training under the Career Transition Services Program to assist him in re-entering the labour force following the completion of his studies.

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