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and Fair CanadaA better, more inclusive Canada where all Canadians have a real chance to succeed
Canada’s strength lies in its diversity. That is why the Government set out an agenda to help all Canadians to build better lives and contribute to and share in the prosperity of the country. Budget 2016 delivers on this agenda, with investments for those who need it most, including seniors, Indigenous peoples and veterans.
Strong families and communities are fundamental to the success of Indigenous peoples. The Government will work in partnership with Indigenous peoples to break down the barriers that have for too long held back individuals and communities from reaching their full potential. This will benefit the broader Canadian economy.
Budget 2016 also delivers on the Government’s commitments to help all Canadians retire with security and dignity and to provide veterans with the support and care they deserve in return for the sacrifices that they have made for their country, and reinforces the Government’s commitment to work with provinces and territories to enhance the Canada Pension Plan.
At the same time, Canadians want to feel safe in their homes, online and in their communities. Budget 2016 introduces measures that will help protect Canadians by ensuring public safety officers have the necessary equipment and facilities to investigate serious crime, and to enhance our understanding of radicalization at home.
Finally, Canadians are proud of their country and its place in the world. Budget 2016 will support important national institutions, safeguard our two official languages and promote industries that highlight Canada’s culture.
Investing in the Canadian cultural sector helps to create jobs, strengthens the economy and ensures that the unique Canadian perspective is shared with the world.
“The Government’s agenda reflects that Canada’s strength is its diversity. Canadians elected a government to bring us together, not to set us against one another. Canada is strong because of our differences, not in spite of them. As a country, we are strengthened in many ways: by our shared experiences, by the diversity that inspires both Canada and the world, and by the way that we treat each other.”
- $3.4 billion dollars over five years to lift low-income single seniors out of poverty with a significant increase to Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up benefits.
- $2.6 billion over five years to improve primary and secondary education for First Nations children living on reserve.
- Nearly $1 billion over five years to build and renovate schools on reserve to foster better learning environments for children on reserve.
- Nearly $635 million over five years to strengthen the on reserve child welfare system.
- $1.2 billion over five years as part of the first phase of the Government’s 10-year plan to create inclusive growth in Indigenous and northern communities, including in early learning and child care and housing, as well as investments in other community infrastructure on reserve.
- $2.2 billion over five years in water and wastewater treatment and waste management as part of the first phase of the Government’s 10-year green infrastructure investment plan.
- Significant improvements to the financial security of our veterans, who have given so much in the service of Canada.
- $1.9 billion over five years to support Canadian arts and culture organizations and cultural infrastructure, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada and national museums.
National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
The number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is a national tragedy. On December 8, 2015, the Government announced its intention to launch a national inquiry into the unacceptable overrepresentation of Indigenous women and girls as victims of violence. Budget 2016 will allocate $40 million over two years toward the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Primary and Secondary Education for First Nations Children
Improving the education outcomes of First Nations children living on reserve is critical to improving their quality of life and contributing to stronger communities. Budget 2016 will make substantial investments in primary and secondary education on reserve, totalling $2.6 billion over five years. This includes funding to address immediate needs and to keep pace with cost growth over the medium term. It also includes investments in language and cultural programming.
Better Learning Environments in First Nations Schools
The academic achievement of First Nations children, as well as their health and well-being, depends in large part on the quality of their schools. There is a significant need to repair and construct schools on reserve and ensure that they are adequately maintained. Budget 2016 will invest $969.4 million over five years in First Nations education infrastructure on reserve.
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy
The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy helps Indigenous peoples in all regions of the country to develop workplace skills and pursue training. Budget 2016 will invest $15 million over two years to launch a pilot project that provides opportunities for Indigenous peoples to train for jobs that support their communities, including in housing construction, water treatment and local administration.
Quality housing, access to early learning and child care, health care, and cultural and recreational infrastructure can contribute to improving the quality of life of First Nations and Inuit communities. Over the next five years, the Government will invest $1.2 billion in support of social infrastructure in First Nations, Inuit and Northern communities.
Northern and Inuit Housing
The need for affordable housing is also particularly high in the North and Inuit communities. Budget 2016 will provide up to $177.7 million over two years to provinces and territories through the Investment in Affordable Housing initiative to address urgent housing needs in these regions.
Support for Veterans
Budget 2016 will: enhance financial benefits for modern-day veterans by increasing the Disability Award for injuries or illnesses resulting from or worsened by military service; better support veterans who have had their job prospects limited by a service-related illness or injury; and increase the Earnings Loss Benefit to provide income replacement of 90 per cent of gross pre-release military salary for injured veterans participating in Veterans Affairs Canada’s rehabilitation or vocational assistance program or with injuries preventing them from suitable and gainful employment.
These measures represent a significant investment that will help support disabled veterans, including veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce and those with injuries that prevent them from getting a good job. These measures will ensure that disabled veterans who are unable to return to work because of their injuries receive higher lifelong financial support.
Strengthening Canada’s Health Care System
The Government is committed to working in partnership with provinces and territories to negotiate a new multi-year health accord that will improve health care in Canada and boost health outcomes for all Canadians. Discussions with the provinces and territories have begun to enhance the affordability and accessibility of prescription drugs, improve access to home care and mental health services, and support pan-Canadian innovation in the delivery of health services.
Budget 2016 announces initiatives that will help Canadians maintain and improve their health, including through expanding access to nutritious food in the North, enhancing food safety, providing funding for specific men’s and women’s health initiatives, improving vaccine uptake and coverage, and investing in concussion protocols.
Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement for Single Seniors
Budget 2016 will increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up benefit by up to $947 annually for single seniors starting in July 2016, which will support those seniors who rely almost exclusively on Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits and may therefore be at risk of experiencing financial difficulties. Budget 2016 also confirms that the eligibility age of Old Age Security will be restored to 65.
Enhancing Food Safety in Canada
An effective and reliable food safety system protects the health of Canadians and supports foreign consumer confidence and demand for Canadian agri-food products. Budget 2016 will provide $38.5 million over two years, on a cash basis, to further strengthen and modernize Canada’s food safety system.
Enhancing the Safety of Railways and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods
Canadians expect industry and government to take action to reduce the risks associated with the movement of goods by rail through their neighbourhoods. Budget 2016 will provide up to $143 million over three years to sustain existing measures and support new and expanded activities to strengthen oversight and enforcement, and to enhance prevention and response capabilities related to rail safety and the transportation of dangerous goods.
Investing in Arts and Cultural Organizations
Investing in Canadian cultural and creative industries allows Canadian artists to share their stories at home and abroad. Budget 2016 provides $1.9 billion over five years to support longstanding arts and cultural organizations and cultural infrastructure, including $675 million to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada and $550 million to the Canada Council for the Arts over five years.
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