No matter what challenges they faced, Canadians have always looked to the future—working hard to build a more prosperous and more just world for themselves, their children and their grandchildren.

That starts with a clean environment here at home. Canadians understand that our quality of life today—and our economic success tomorrow—rests on the commitments we make to protect Canada’s nature, parks and wild spaces and preserve a clean environment so that future generations of Canadians can continue to hike in our forests, swim in our lakes, watch for birds and whales, and spend time with family and friends in the natural places that mean so much to all of us.

Beyond our borders, Canadians are proud of our history of helping vulnerable people around the world. We lend a hand to those in need because we know that a safer, more prosperous world means a safer and more prosperous Canada. We understand that we are at our best and most effective when we focus our efforts. That’s the approach the Government is taking to international assistance. By focusing our assistance on the full empowerment of women and girls, we are helping to change the world for the better.

Canadians are also connected through shared values. Helping to keep each other healthy, taking care of each other when we are sick, looking out for the people in our communities who need the most help, honouring our veterans and celebrating our cultural diversity—those are the shared values Canadians uphold each and every day.

And Canadians also understand that every person deserves to feel safe and protected in a rapidly changing world, secure in the knowledge that their rights will be protected and their dignity respected. All Canadians should feel confident that they will be treated fairly under the law, and the Government will work hard to make that so.

Chapter 4: Advancing Canada’s Gender Equality Goals

Key Chapter 4 initiatives that advance objectives of Canada’s new Gender Results Framework:

  • Providing new, innovative tools to support Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
  • Improving the quality of life of people with dementia and ensuring that caregivers have the support they need.
  • Taking action to prevent and address gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination.
  • Enhancing diversity of the judiciary so it better represents Canadian society.
  • Moving towards an inclusive sport system by setting a target to achieve gender equality in sport by 2035.

Part 1: Canada’s Natural Legacy

A Clean Environment for Future Generations

As Canadians, our quality of life and our present and future prosperity are deeply connected to the environment in which we live—and more than that, the extraordinary beauty of Canada’s nature, parks, and wild spaces are central to our identity as Canadians. Whether it’s building a campfire with our kids, hiking with friends and family, or swimming in cool, clean waters, spending time in nature—and protecting it for future generations—is important to us all.

At the same time, Canadians understand that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. That is why the Government has made significant investments to protect our air, water and natural areas for our children and grandchildren, while also investing to create a world-leading clean economy.

Responding to the critical and urgent need to take action on climate change, Canada’s First Ministers, in consultation with Indigenous Peoples, adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in December 2016. To support the implementation of this historic national plan, the Government has allocated $5.7 billion over 12 years, including $2 billion for the Low Carbon Economy Fund, to combat climate change. In November 2016, the Government also launched a $1.5 billion national Oceans Protection Plan to improve marine safety and responsible shipping, protect Canada’s marine environment and offer new possibilities for Indigenous and coastal communities.

In Budget 2018, the Government is making further investments to help grow a healthy and sustainable clean economy—one that creates growth and middle class jobs, and preserves Canada’s natural heritage for generations to come.

Protecting Canada’s Nature, Parks and Wild Spaces

Whether the place we call home is a city in Southern Ontario or a small community in Canada’s Far North, the beauty that is part of Canada’s natural landscape is a gift to us all. To ensure that our children and grandchildren can continue to hike in our majestic forests and swim in our beautiful lakes, rivers and streams, Canada has committed to conserving at least 17 per cent of its land and inland waters by 2020, through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. Both protected and conserved areas will ensure healthier habitats for species at risk and improve biodiversity. 

As almost 90 per cent of Canada’s land and inland waters are provincial and territorial Crown or Indigenous lands, achieving this goal requires open collaboration with other orders of government. To support Canada’s biodiversity and protect species at risk, the Government of Canada proposes to make historic investments totalling $1.3 billion over five years, one of the most significant investments in nature conservation in Canadian history—a true legacy for our children and grandchildren.

This investment will contribute $500 million from the federal government to create a new $1 billion Nature Fund in partnership with corporate, not-for-profit, provincial, territorial and other partners. In collaboration with partners, the Nature Fund will make it possible to secure private land, support provincial and territorial species protection efforts, and help build Indigenous capacity to conserve land and species, for our benefit and the benefit of future generations.

The remaining funding will:

Protecting Marine Life

Whales are vital to healthy marine ecosystems, and an important part of eco-tourism in Canada’s Pacific and Atlantic coastal regions, and in the St. Lawrence Estuary.

A complex mix of threats—such as the availability of prey, increased noise levels from passing ships and pollution in the water—are endangering many whale populations, notably the southern resident killer whale, the North Atlantic right whale and the St. Lawrence Estuary beluga.  

To better protect, preserve and recover endangered whale species in Canada, the Government proposes to make available $167.4 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada. This includes funding for research to help us better understand the factors affecting the health of these whales, as well as actions that we can take now to help address threats arising from human activities.

Establishing Better Rules to Protect the Environment and Grow the Economy

The Government is delivering on its promise to protect the environment, restore public trust in federal environmental assessment and regulatory processes and provide predictability for businesses. Legislation was recently tabled in Parliament to establish better rules for the review of major projects that will protect our environment, fish and waterways, rebuild public trust, and help create new jobs and economic opportunities. The proposed changes include:

The Government has announced that it will invest about $1 billion over five years to support the proposed new impact assessment system and Canadian Energy Regulator; increase scientific capacity in federal departments and agencies; implement the changes required to protect water, fish and navigation; and increase Indigenous and public participation.

Pricing Carbon Pollution and Supporting Clean Growth

Central to Canada’s plan to fight climate change and grow the economy is the understanding that pollution has a real, tangible cost. It puts stress on the health of our communities, our economy and on Canadians themselves. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to putting a price on carbon pollution.

To ensure that a price on carbon pollution is in place across Canada, the Government is developing a federal carbon pollution pricing system that would apply in provinces and territories upon request, and in provinces and territories that do not have a pricing system in place that meets the federal standard by the end of 2018. The direct revenue from the carbon price on pollution under the federal system will be returned to the province or territory of origin.

Provinces and territories requesting that the federal system apply, in whole or in part, in their jurisdiction should confirm this by March 30, 2018. Provinces and territories establishing or maintaining their own system need to outline how they are implementing pricing on carbon pollution by September 1, 2018. The Government will review each system and implement the federal system in whole or in part on January 1, 2019 in any province or territory that does not have a carbon pollution pricing system that meets the minimum standard.

The Government recently released draft legislative proposals on the federal carbon pollution pricing system, as well as a regulatory framework outlining the approach to carbon pollution pricing for large industrial facilities, and intends to introduce legislation to establish that system.

To support the development and implementation of the federal carbon pollution pricing system, the Government will provide $109 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to the Canada Revenue Agency and Environment and Climate Change Canada to implement, administer and enforce the federal carbon pollution pricing system.

In addition, to ensure that the actions established in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change are transparent and informed by science and evidence, the Government proposes to make available $20 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, through Environment and Climate Change Canada to fulfill the Framework’s commitment to engage external experts to assess the effectiveness of its measures and identify best practices.

Greening Government Operations

Government leadership is critical for Canada to achieve its goals for environmental and sustainable development. Introduced in 2017 under the oversight of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the Greening Government Strategy sets an ambitious target to reduce direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions from Government of Canada operations by 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and by 80 per cent below 2005 levels by 2050—consistent with world-leading jurisdictions. The Strategy also outlines a broader scope for the Government’s greening efforts, including actions on water and waste.

The Department of National Defence owns and operates more than 20,000 buildings, representing about 60 per cent of the Government of Canada’s reported greenhouse gas emissions. Canadian Forces Base Halifax alone represents 10 per cent of the Government’s reported emissions.

To reduce emissions at CFB Halifax, a planned project to refurbish the antiquated heating plant on base will be expanded to include the rehabilitation of attached buildings and distribution systems. In total, this project is expected to reduce annual emissions at the base by up to 7 per cent.

Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund

The Government, through the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, is investing $1.4 billion in projects that will generate clean growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while creating jobs for Canadians for years to come.

The Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund provides funding to make buildings more energy efficient, help industries innovate to reduce emissions, and help the forestry and agriculture sectors increase stored carbon in forests and soils. All provinces that have signed the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change can apply for support through the Fund. The first round of funding agreements was announced in December 2017, with six provinces receiving funding for project proposals.

British Columbia: $162 million to support projects including the reforestation of public forests, which absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it.

Alberta: Almost $150 million to help Albertans, including farmers and ranchers, use less energy and save money. Alberta will work with Indigenous communities to install renewable energy solutions, and will also invest in restoring forests affected by wildfires.

Ontario: $420 million to support projects such as renovating buildings, retrofitting houses and helping farmers reduce emissions from their operations.

Quebec: Over $260 million to help expand actions under the province’s 2013–2020 Climate Change Action Plan. These new investments will allow more farmers and foresters to adopt best practices, more businesses to retrofit their buildings and more industries to find innovative ways to reduce emissions.

New Brunswick: $51 million, in partnership with NB Power, to help New Brunswickers improve the energy efficiency of their homes and businesses.

Nova Scotia: $56 million to expand an existing home retrofit partnership with Efficiency Nova Scotia. Today, only those homes heated with electricity are eligible for retrofit funding. The new funding will open up the retrofit program so that any Nova Scotian home could be eligible, allowing Nova Scotians to lower their heating bills and help reduce emissions.

Announcements for the remaining jurisdictions that have signed onto the Pan-Canadian Framework will be forthcoming as project proposals are approved.

Further details regarding the competitively based Low Carbon Economy Challenge will be announced in the near future. The objective of the fund will be to maximize greenhouse gas reductions in 2030, and it will be open to all provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations.

Adapting Canada’s Weather and Water Services to Climate Change

Climate change is already having an impact on Canadians. Extreme weather events, such as flooding and wildfires, can have a devastating impact on our people, our communities and our economy.

The Government maintains Canada-wide networks to collect data and monitor changes in weather, climate, water, ice and air. These networks enable the weather, water and environmental predictions that help keep people safe. The Government is proposing through Budget 2018 the following activities and investments to improve weather and water services, through Environment and Climate Change Canada:

Extending Tax Support for Clean Energy

The Government of Canada works with businesses to encourage investment in clean energy generation, and to promote the use of energy efficient equipment. Tax support, such as allowing accelerated deductions of the cost of eligible capital assets, can help us achieve this shared goal. The existing accelerated deduction of these assets is scheduled to expire in 2020. Through Budget 2018, the Government proposes to extend the preference to property acquired before 2025, which represents an investment of $123 million over the 2017–18 to 2022–23 period.

This renewed support will increase the after-tax income of about 900 businesses. This represents on average an additional $27,000 annually over the next five years that these companies will be able to use to invest in and grow their operations while reducing their carbon footprint. Increased adoption of clean technology will help Canada’s efforts to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and air pollutants.

What Will Success Look Like?

Part 2: Canada and the World

Advancing Gender Equality Around the World

Canada recognizes the importance of investing in ways that can help those in need around the world. In June 2017, the Government released its Feminist International Assistance Policy, focusing on six interlinked areas: gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, human dignity, peace and security, inclusive governance, environment and climate action, and growth that works for everyone.

Figure 4.1
Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy
How the 5 action areas of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy are all anchored around the core action area of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Text version below.

[Figure 4.1 - Text version]

To strengthen the impact of Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy, and advance our international leadership in key areas, the Government proposes to provide an additional $2 billion over five years, starting in 2018–19, to the International Assistance Envelope. These new resources will be dedicated to support humanitarian assistance and Canada’s core development priorities, in particular supporting women and girls, and will reinforce Canada’s commitment to reduce poverty and to do its part to support a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world. Further details on the allocation of this funding will be announced in the coming year.

Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy represents a turning point for the Government’s approach to international assistance. Through it, Canada has made clear its commitment to contribute to eradicating poverty and building a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. In support of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Feminist International Assistance Policy puts women and girls at the centre of its plan as agents of positive change for their families, communities and countries. Gender equality will be a focus of all of Canada’s international assistance investments to address economic, political and social inequalities that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential.


The Feminist International Assistance Policy’s Recent Projects Include:
  • $180 million over three years for the Global Partnership for Education to support girls’ education and help strengthen education systems in developing countries. 
  • $15 million over four years to Marie Stopes Tanzania to provide girls and women with improved access to family planning information and services.
  • The launch of the Elsie Initiative on Women in Peace Operations, which includes:
    • $6 million to designated United Nations missions to improve their ability to support and benefit women’s increased participation in peace operations.
    • $15 million to launch a global fund to support the deployment of women peacekeepers.

To advance gender equality around the world, the Government will:

The Government will track and report on progress to Canadians based on a clear framework with targets for action and indicators for results, aligned with the 17 goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Feminist International Assistance Policy establishes baselines and sets clear targets to:

Figure 4.2
The Policy Shifts the Priorities of Canada’s
How Canada’s international development assistance priorities will shift in three key areas under Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. Text version below.

[Figure 4.2 - Text version]

Additional Support for the Feminist International Assistance Policy

Taking more innovative approaches to international assistance will also be an essential part of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. In addition to the new international assistance resources announced in Budget 2018, the Government proposes to provide $1.5 billion over five years, starting in 2018–19, on a cash basis ($553 million on an accrual basis), and $492.7 million per year thereafter, from existing unallocated International Assistance Envelope resources, to support innovation in Canada’s international assistance through the following two new programs:

These measures will complement existing core international assistance activities, and will increase the impact of Canada’s international assistance by allowing the Government to explore new and innovative ways to engage internationally, including exploring the use of guarantees, equity and conditionally repayable contributions. These new measures are expected to double Canada’s international assistance provided through innovative tools over the next five years. The Government proposes to introduce any necessary legislative measures to enable Global Affairs Canada to carry out these new programs.

Protecting Vulnerable Women and Girls

Half of the world’s 22.5 million refugee population is made up of women and girls, making this population a significant segment of those fleeing war, violence or persecution in their home countries. Refugee women and girls face increased risks due to their gender, and are at risk of, or have suffered from, sexual violence and exploitation, physical abuse and marginalization.

Since 2015, Canada has demonstrated global leadership in providing protection to the world’s most vulnerable refugees. As of January 2017, more than 40,000 Syrian refugees were welcomed in Canada, where they have built new lives for themselves and their families. In addition, Budget 2017 announced funding of $27.7 million over three years, beginning in 2017–18, to resettle Yazidi women and girls, who were being targeted for abduction and enslavement by Daesh fighters in northern Iraq and Syria.

Building on these efforts, the Government commits to increase the number of vulnerable refugee women and girls to be resettled in Canada as government-assisted refugees. Specifically, Budget 2018 proposes funding of $20.3 million over five years, beginning in 2018–19, to welcome an extra 1,000 refugee women and girls from various conflict zones around the world. Providing additional support to this particularly vulnerable group will allow Canada to continue to show global leadership in helping the world’s most at-risk people.

Climate Change and Gender: Leading on the International Stage

In the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities, women and girls are particularly at risk when it comes to climate change. Women and girls are often the primary producers of food and providers of water, heating and cooking fuel for households. When the resources become more unpredictable and scarce due to, for example, extreme weather, women and girls have to spend more time and efforts attending to basic needs such as growing food and collecting water and fuel.

Canada has been an international champion in bringing a gender lens to climate change. Canada was a leader in securing the first ever Gender Action Plan under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted by countries at COP23 last year. The plan aims to bring more women to the negotiation table, promoting more responsive climate policies at both the grassroots and global levels.

Canada is leading by example in this regard, through its own Chief Negotiator and her team, with Canada’s climate negotiators also providing training to women negotiators from Caribbean countries to strengthen their voices at international climate talks. The Government is also integrating a gender lens in the delivery of its historic $2.65 billion commitment to support climate action in developing countries, including through its contribution to the National Adaptation Plans Global Network.

In addition, as part of Canada’s focus on climate action and gender in the Group of Seven (G7), the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, will host a summit of women climate leaders in the spring of 2018 to help accelerate global momentum for climate action.

Enhancing Transparency in Canada’s International Assistance Programming

Over the last number of years, the international assistance community has called on Canada to further improve communications around its international assistance budget. Previously, public commitments did not always include comprehensive details, including the total size and allocations of federal international assistance. To address this, the Feminist International Assistance Policy has committed to clarify Canada’s federal contributions to international assistance.

Chart 4.1
New International Assistance Envelope Funding Structure—2018–19 (millions)
Chart 4.1: New International Assistance Envelope Funding Structure—2018–19.  For details, refer to the following paragraph.

[Chart 4.1 - Text version]

New International Assistance Resources and Allocations

  2018–2019 2019–2020 2020–2021 2021–2022 2022–2023 5-Year
New Resources $200 $300 $400 $500 $600 $2,000
Allocation of Existing Resources
  New Innovation Program $55 $114 $177 $237 $291 $873
  New Sovereign Loans Program $2 $63 $157 $202 $202 $627
  Ongoing Program Funding (e.g. Peace and Security, Global Fund) $143 $303 $376 $376 $376 $1,573

The Government is also bringing forward a reform to the International Assistance Envelope funding structure regarding humanitarian assistance and core development assistance. For many years, the Minister of International Development has had to manage a single pool of funding to address core development priorities, as well as humanitarian assistance priorities. With the increasing scope of conflicts around the world, demand for humanitarian assistance has increased, and under the current funding structure, this has led to reductions in resources for other programs. With this reform, the Government will create a dedicated pool of funding for humanitarian assistance, and a separate dedicated pool of funding for core development assistance. These changes will help to achieve the goals of the Feminist International Assistance Policy.

Canada is committed to ensuring information on its international assistance funding is open and transparent, and is pleased to chair the International Aid Transparency Initiative. The Government will explore further enhancing its international assistance reporting, including consideration of legislative updates as appropriate. Over the coming year, the Government will determine how it can better communicate international assistance efforts to Canadians, non-governmental organizations and the international community from a historical perspective as well as the size and distribution of assistance planned for the coming year.

Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Canadians can be proud of our history of helping others around the world, including providing emergency and development assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable. We understand that a safer, more prosperous world means a safer and more prosperous Canada.

In 2015, Canada, along with all other United Nations member states, committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which set 17 goals (known as Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs) to eliminate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity by the year 2030.

Figure 4.3
Sustainable Development Goals

[Figure 4.3 - Text version]

These goals are universal, and apply to all countries. This means working to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, tackle climate change and support sustainable economic growth here at home, and helping other countries through our diplomacy, trade, peace and security, and international assistance efforts.

To reach these goals, in 2016, the Government of Canada began a comprehensive review of its international assistance support to improve the effectiveness of Canada’s international assistance. The result was a new Feminist International Assistance Policy, unveiled in June 2017, and centred around SDG 5: Gender Equality.

The Government is working hard to make progress on the goals for sustainable development here in Canada, and around the world, including work on:

Budget 2018 continues Canada’s efforts to reach the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:

To support reporting and ensure continued progress and coordination of our efforts on the Sustainable Development Goals both domestically and internationally, the Government proposes to provide $49.4 million over 13 years, starting in 2018–19, to establish a Sustainable Development Goals Unit, and fund monitoring and reporting activities by Statistics Canada. This will enable better coordination among all levels of government, civil society organizations and the private sector on Canada’s efforts on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will also support the monitoring and reporting of Canada’s domestic and international efforts to ensure that all of the Sustainable Development Goals are achieved by 2030 and that no one is left behind. The Government is also proposing to provide, from existing departmental resources, up to $59.8 million over 13 years, starting in 2018–19, for programming to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Canada as G7 Leader

The G7 Presidency offers Canada an opportunity to bring its people-first approach to growing a strong middle class to the international stage. By engaging other G7 countries on pressing global challenges, we can demonstrate how taking care of each other can lead to stronger growth and better outcomes.

In this coming year, Canada will use its G7 Presidency to advance the following five key priorities:

  1. Investing in growth that works for everyone—building a system that is fair and open, so that people have the needed support, resources and confidence to succeed.
  2. Preparing for jobs of the future—helping everyone get the skills they need to find and keep good jobs—not just today, but in tomorrow’s economy as well.
  3. Advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment—integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment considerations in all of Canada’s G7 activities, to ensure our priorities are truly inclusive.
  4. Working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy—investing in clean energy and technologies to protect vulnerable ecosystems and manage limited resources properly.
  5. Building a more peaceful and secure world—reaching out to our partners to build solutions that can deliver lasting peace while accounting for the changing nature of conflicts.

In addition, the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency—co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Ambassador Isabelle Hudon—will ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment are integrated across all themes, activities and initiatives of Canada’s G7 Presidency.

As G7 partners, we share a responsibility to ensure that all citizens benefit from our global economy, and that we leave a healthier, more peaceful, and more secure world for our children and grandchildren.

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau,
Prime Minister of Canada

Part 3: Upholding Shared Values

Supporting the Health and Wellness of Canadians

A strong publicly funded health care system is not just a point of pride for Canadians, it is also an essential foundation for a strong, fair and prosperous country in the years to come.

In 2018–19, the Government will provide nearly $38.6 billion to the provinces and territories under the Canada Health Transfer, an increase of $1.4 billion over the previous year, to help provincial and territorial health care systems adapt, innovate and address new challenges. In addition to the Canada Health Transfer, the Government is committed to working with the provinces and territories to tackle issues that affect the health of Canadians, to improve the responsiveness of our health care system, and to close gaps where the quality or availability of health care is not at the high standard Canadians expect and deserve. Recently, federal, provincial and territorial governments worked together to find ways to strengthen the health care system in Canada, reaching new funding agreements that will provide $11 billion over 10 years to provincial and territorial governments in support of home care and mental health.

Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Canada is in the midst of an opioid crisis. In 2016 alone, more than 2,800 Canadian lives were lost to apparent opioid overdoses. British Columbia has been at the forefront of this crisis, declaring a public health emergency nearly two years ago. However, the impact of the crisis is now being felt in many communities across the country—from inner cities to suburbs as well as in northern and rural communities and in Indigenous communities. The Government is committed to taking action.

Why Are We Facing an Opioid Crisis?

While problematic substance use has long been a reality in Canada, circumstances have fundamentally changed. Fentanyl is a highly toxic synthetic opioid which can have medical uses, but has also been introduced into Canada’s illegal drug supply. Fentanyl is being added to a variety of street drugs, without the knowledge of the people buying them.

Most illicit fentanyl in Canada is illegally diverted from China. Canada is working closely with China, the United States and other international partners to disrupt the export of illegally produced fentanyl and to better detect it if it arrives at the border.

Increased opioid use is not limited to illegal drugs. Canada is the second-highest per capita consumer of opioids in the world. Reducing prescription opioid use presents challenges since limiting access to prescription opioids may encourage people to seek more dangerous alternative sources.

People turn to illegal drugs for many reasons. Some people habitually use illegal drugs as an escape from pain and trauma. Some use illegal drugs on a recreational basis. Others began using prescription opioids, developed a dependence, and then turned to illegal drugs when prescription opioids were insufficient or unavailable. As a result, a broad range of people are being affected by Canada’s opioid crisis.

Figure 4.4
Opioid-Related Deaths in Canada, 2016
The number of opioid-related deaths in Canada by province and territory in 2016.  Text version below.
* British Columbia reports unintentional deaths related to all illicit drugs including, but not limited to, opioids.
† Information for Nunavut is not available as the territory decided to suppress all counts less than five.
‡ Expected to rise
Source: National report: Apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada (December 2017).

[Figure 4.4 - Text version]

The former Minister of Health has described the opioid crisis as “the most serious public health issue we’re facing right now”—one that affects people of all ages and backgrounds, devastating communities and tearing apart families.

In an effort to save lives, governments, non-governmental organizations, health and public safety professionals, and individual Canadians across the country have been responding to the crisis. Since early 2016, the Government has been working with provinces and territories as well as a range of partners to address this crisis. The Government recognizes that the opioid crisis has had a significant effect on many communities. The crisis has claimed the lives of thousands of Canadians from all walks of life and has had a devastating impact on many Canadian families. The Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of all Canadians through a compassionate and collaborative approach to addressing problematic substance abuse. To help address this crisis, the Government has made new investments, introduced new legislation, and fast-tracked regulatory action in an attempt to prevent further deaths. These investments and actions are helping to support individuals, families and communities that are directly affected by the crisis.

Federal Actions to Date
New Federal Investments
  • $100 million over five years to support the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy to support national measures and actions to respond to the opioid crisis
  • Over $20 million in emergency financial assistance for British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba to help these provinces respond to the overwhelming effects of the opioid crisis and address the critical needs of their citizens
New Legislation
  • To help protect Canadians from dangerous opioids, changes were made to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and other Acts, to allow the Minister of Health to quickly control a new and hazardous substance and to allow border officials to open small mail items, in order to detain or seize illegal substances such as fentanyl
  • To ensure that supervised consumption sites could be established in a timely manner so that treatment services are more readily available for Canadians, including streamlining the approval process for sites
  • Passed the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, which provides some legal protection for individuals who seek emergency help during an overdose
Fast-Tracked Regulatory Action
  • Significantly reduced barriers for communities that wish to establish safe consumption sites. Building on successful harm reduction models such as Vancouver’s InSite clinic, these sites will save lives.
  • Enabled access to drugs or medications authorized in other countries to respond to urgent public health needs
  • Made naloxone more widely available and expedited approval of the nasal spray version
  • Scheduled fentanyl precursors under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

Despite these significant efforts and those of many others, the number of opioid-related deaths continues to rise. It is projected that in 2017, more than 4,000 Canadians will have died as a result of opioid use.

Building on the federal actions to date, the Government proposes to provide $231.4 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $1.9 million in remaining amortization and $13.5 million per year ongoing, for additional measures to help address the opioid crisis. Key measures include:

In addition, as noted in Chapter 3, Budget 2018 also proposes targeted and specific investments in First Nations communities with high needs to address problematic substance use, including opioids.

Taken together, these investments will help to cut off the supply of dangerous drugs by preventing the illegal import of substances, will help people living with addiction and substance abuse disorders get the help they need, and will help educate more Canadians about the need to support those who seek treatment.

Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare

Canadians are proud of our publicly funded, universal medicare system which is based on need and not on ability to pay. Yet, we know that at least one in ten Canadians cannot afford the prescription drugs they need. Every year, almost one million Canadians give up food and heat to afford medicines. And those who can pay for their drugs face some of the highest costs among the world’s most advanced countries. The unaffordability of many medications leads to Canadians being less healthy, with significantly higher health care costs for us all.

The Government has demonstrated its commitment to improving access to necessary prescription medications, by taking concrete steps to lower drug prices, streamline regulatory processes for drug approval, support better prescribing practices and explore a national drug formulary. These steps will significantly improve the accessibility and affordability of prescription medications, but there is an opportunity to do even more.

As part of Budget 2018, the Government is announcing the creation of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. We are appointing Dr. Eric Hoskins, who recently served as the Minister of Health of Ontario, to chair this initiative. He and board members will begin a national dialogue that will include working closely with experts from all relevant fields as well as with national, provincial, territorial and Indigenous leaders. The Advisory Council will report to the federal Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance and will conduct an economic and social assessment of domestic and international models, and will recommend options on how to move forward together on this important subject.

A Community-Based Approach to Dementia

More than 400,000 Canadian seniors live with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Women are disproportionately affected, making up two-thirds of this population. Many women also take on the caregiving responsibilities for family members living with dementia. Budget 2018 proposes to provide $20 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, and $4 million per year ongoing, to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support community-based projects that address the challenges of dementia. Projects could include programs that provide mental health supports and information about self-care for family caregivers, or initiatives that help Canadians locate resources in their communities quickly, including information about best practices for providing care for people living with dementia. This new funding will help to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and ensure that caregivers—who are predominantly women—have access to the resources they need, including mental health supports.

Supporting a Healthy Seniors Pilot Project in New Brunswick

Canada’s population is aging—the most recent demographic information from Statistics Canada shows that approximately 17 per cent of the Canadian population are age 65 or older, up from about 15 per cent five years earlier.

Notably, women make up the majority of the Canadian population over the age of 65. Senior women face different challenges than senior men—women tend to live longer than men, and as such more senior women live alone than their male counterparts. In addition, the responsibility of care for aging spouses and parents predominantly falls on women.

As Canada’s population continues to age, we need to be prepared for the challenges that seniors, especially senior women, face. That is why Budget 2018 proposes to provide $75 million in 2018–19 through the Public Health Agency of Canada to support the Healthy Seniors Pilot Project in New Brunswick. New Brunswick is uniquely suited to undertake this pilot project as its population is aging faster than the rest of Canada. A higher proportion of New Brunswick’s population is over the age of 65—compared to other provinces—and the province is home to a measurably higher proportion of women over the age of 65, relative to the Canadian average. 

The Healthy Seniors Pilot Project will support a range of research initiatives to examine how governments can better support seniors in their home, communities and care facilities. This project will help us better understand the gendered impacts of an aging population, improve the quality of life for our senior citizens, and help us lay the groundwork for the dissemination of best practices in supporting healthy aging for all Canadians.

Expanding Eligibility Under the Thalidomide Survivors Contribution Program

The Thalidomide Survivors Contribution Program was established in 2015 to provide financial assistance for thalidomide survivors. The program includes a tax-free, lump sum payment to each survivor to help cover urgent health care needs, ongoing annual payments based on level of disability, and an Extraordinary Medical Assistance Fund to support survivors with extraordinary medical expenses such as specialized surgery not otherwise covered by provincial/territorial health care plans or home or vehicle adaptations. 

There is a concern that some thalidomide survivors may have been excluded by current eligibility criteria since, given the passage of time, it is difficult for claimants to obtain documentary proof that they are survivors. To address this concern, the program will be expanded to help ensure that all eligible thalidomide survivors receive the financial support they need. Additional details will be announced later this spring. All payments to eligible individuals will continue to be tax-free and annual payments will continue to keep pace with the cost of living.

Support for Canadians Impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex, lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that can have serious health, social and financial consequences for Canadian families.

Through Budget 2018, the Government proposes to provide $20 million over five years for two new initiatives to better support the needs of Canadians experiencing autism spectrum disorder and their families. This will include the creation an Autism-Intellectual-Developmental Disabilities National Resource and Exchange Network (AIDE) to develop online resources, an inventory of services, employment opportunities and local programming for families across the country, based on their specific needs. The Network would be led by the Pacific Autism Family Network and the Miriam Foundation. Funding of $9.1 million will also be provided to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support community-based projects that will support innovative program models, help reduce stigma, and support the integration of health, social and educational programs to better serve the complex needs of families.  

Expanding the Medical Expense Tax Credit for Psychiatric Service Dogs

The Government recognizes that psychiatric service dogs can play an important role in helping Canadians cope with conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. Through Budget 2018, the Government proposes to expand the Medical Expense Tax Credit to recognize costs for these animals for the 2018 and future tax years. 

This measure will directly benefit veterans and others in the disability community who rely on psychiatric service dogs, and complements the work of organizations that support them, such as the Royal Canadian Legion, and Paws Fur Thought, which provides service dogs to veterans and first responders with invisible disabilities.

Improving Compliance with the Canada Health Act

The Government contributes to the delivery of Canada’s publicly funded health care system through the Canada Health Transfer, which will provide nearly $38.6 billion to provinces and territories in 2018–19. Under the Canada Health Act, the Minister of Health may direct deductions from Canada Health Transfer payments if a province or territory permits extra-billing and user fees in the delivery of public health care. To encourage provinces and territories to take corrective action to align their public health care systems with the principles of the Canada Health Act, as well as to recognize those that have addressed issues of non-compliance, the Government is proposing legislative amendments to allow Canada Health Transfer deductions to be reimbursed when provinces and territories have taken the steps necessary to eliminate extra-billing and user fees in the delivery of public health care.

Taking Action to Reduce Smoking

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death in Canada. Combined federal/provincial/territorial tobacco control efforts over the last several years have contributed to a decline in smoking rates. Despite this progress, over 5 million Canadians continue to use tobacco products. Every day, Canadians are getting sick or dying because of tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke. The Government is committed to helping Canadians with an addiction to tobacco, and to protecting the health of young people and non­smokers.

Renewing and Enhancing the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy

The Federal Tobacco Control Strategy is a comprehensive, integrated and sustained tobacco control program aimed at reducing tobacco-related disease and death. 

Building on existing funding, the Government will renew and enhance the Strategy by proposing to provide $80.5 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $17.7 million per year ongoing. Public Safety Canada will renew agreements with the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service and the Kahnawake Peacekeepers to address organized crime activities at or near community lands, including contraband tobacco, and funding will also be provided to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to support ongoing law enforcement efforts to reduce contraband tobacco. Funding will also be provided to Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada to support targeted actions, including in Indigenous communities, to encourage the prevention of tobacco use and help Canadians quit smoking. This enhanced funding builds on the $43 million spent annually for the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy and will help to replace previous cuts in spending over the last decade so that Canada can remain a leader in tobacco control.

Tobacco Taxation

Every 14 minutes, a Canadian dies from a tobacco-related illness; that's 37,000 Canadians per year. Despite our efforts, there are still millions of Canadians who use tobacco and about 115,000 Canadians start smoking every year.

Tobacco taxation is known to be one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, and to keep tobacco products out of the hands of young people. To that end, the Government proposes to advance the inflationary adjustments for tobacco excise duty so that they occur on an annual basis rather than every five years.

The Government also proposes to increase the excise duty by an additional $1 per carton of 200 cigarettes, along with corresponding increases to the excise duty rates on other tobacco products.

Cannabis Taxation, Regulation and Public Protection: Legalizing Cannabis in 2018

The Government has committed to legalize and strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis in order to keep it out of the hands of young Canadians, and keep profits away from criminals and organized crime. To that end, in 2017 the Government introduced Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, to establish a strict system for the cultivation, production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada, and made strategic investments to implement and enforce the new federal legislative framework.

Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada. To strengthen our impaired driving laws to keep Canada’s roads safe, the Government has also introduced legislation to better protect the public from both drug- and alcohol-impaired drivers. 

Cannabis Taxation

To keep cannabis out of the hands of youth and profits out of the hands of criminals, the Government is proposing an excise duty framework for cannabis products.

Under the framework, excise duties will be imposed on federally licensed producers at the higher of a flat rate applied on the quantity of cannabis contained in a final product, or a percentage of the sale price of the product sold by a federal licensee.

The excise duty framework will generally apply to cannabis products that contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound of cannabis. Recognizing the non-addictive, potentially therapeutic role of low-THC cannabidiol oils, which are sometimes used with children facing certain medical conditions, products that contain low amounts of THC will generally not be subject to the excise duty. Pharmaceutical products derived from cannabis will also be exempt, provided that the cannabis product has a Drug Identification Number and can only be acquired through a prescription. Work will be undertaken by Health Canada to evaluate the drug review and approval process so that Canadians in need have better access to an array of medicinal options. As part of this work, the Government will also examine options for establishing a rebate program to retroactively reimburse Canadians an amount in recognition of the federal portion of the proposed excise duty that was imposed on equivalent products prior to them being given a Drug Identification Number.

In December 2017, the federal government reached an agreement with most provincial and territorial governments to keep duties on cannabis low, the higher of $1 per gram or 10 per cent of a product price, through a federally administrated coordinated framework. This tax room will be shared on a 75/25 basis, with 75 per cent of duties going to provincial and territorial governments and the remaining 25 per cent to the federal government. The federal portion of cannabis excise duty revenue will be capped at $100 million annually for the first two years after legalization. Any federal revenue in excess of $100 million will be provided to provinces and territories. As part of this arrangement, it is the federal government’s expectation that a substantial portion of the revenues from this tax room provided to provinces and territories will be transferred to municipalities and local communities, who are on the front lines of legalization.

The excise duty framework would come fully into effect when cannabis for non-medical purposes becomes accessible for retail sale.

Cannabis Public Education

The experience of other jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis has underlined the importance of ensuring that Canadians are well informed about cannabis. The Government proposes to provide $62.5 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, for public education initiatives. This funding will support the involvement of community-based organizations and Indigenous organizations that are educating their communities on the risks associated with cannabis use. The Government also proposes to provide $10 million over five years for the Mental Health Commission of Canada to help assess the impact of cannabis use on the mental health of Canadians, and $10 million over five years to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction to support research on cannabis use in Canada. These two investments will help inform future policy development, building on earlier significant public education investments of $46 million that have helped inform Canadians. With these investments, Canada’s spending on public education related to cannabis will be on par with the per-capita amounts spent by the State of Washington in its own experience with the legalization and strict regulation of cannabis.

Support for Canada’s Veterans

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canada's veterans and their families. Canada owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the women and men who have served in uniform and it is our responsibility to make sure that they are taken care of. On December 20, 2017, the Government unveiled its Pension for Life plan, a program designed to reduce the complexity of support programs available to veterans and their families. It proposes a broader range of benefits, including financial stability, to Canada's veterans, with a particular focus on supports for veterans with the most severe disabilities.

Pension for Life proposes three new benefits to provide recognition, income support and stability to Canada’s veterans who experience a service-related injury or illness.
Pain and Suffering Compensation:

A monthly, tax-free payment for life of up to $1,150 for ill and injured veterans.

Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation:

A monthly, tax-free payment for life of up to $1,500 for veterans whose injuries greatly impact their quality of life.

Income Replacement Benefit:

Monthly income replacement at 90 per cent of a veteran’s pre-release salary.

The Government will introduce legislation for the Pension for Life plan, which will include the choice of tax-free monthly payments for life to recognize pain and suffering caused by a service-related disability up to a maximum monthly amount of $2,650 for those most severely disabled; and income replacement for veterans who are facing barriers returning to work after military service at 90 per cent of their pre-release salary.

Pension for Life means that a 25-year-old retired corporal who is 100 per cent disabled would receive more than $5,800 in monthly support. For a 50-year-old retired major who is 100 per cent disabled, monthly support would be almost $9,000.

These new elements represent an additional investment of almost $3.6 billion to support Canada's veterans. When combined with services and benefits to help veterans in a wide-range of areas—including education, employment, caregiver support and physical and mental health—already announced in previous budgets, the Government of Canada’s investments since 2016 add up to nearly $10 billion.  

Jamal, Age 50, 100 Per Cent Disability Assessment

Jamal spent 25 years in service as a combat engineer in a field squadron. While deployed on Operation ATHENA, he was critically injured when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. Both his legs were amputated above the knee. After stabilizing with the Canadian Armed Forces Joint Personnel Support Unit, Jamal was medically released. His sister, Nadyia, moved in with him to act as his caregiver.

With a disability assessment of 100 per cent, Jamal will receive monthly tax-free Pain and Suffering Compensation and Additional Pain and Suffering Compensation of $2,550 (in 2017 dollars), or about $30,000 annually. This will be paid for life. He will also receive a tax free lump sum Critical Injury Benefit of about $72,000 to address the immediate impacts of his traumatic injury.

In addition, Jamal will receive an Income Replacement Benefit of 90 per cent of his salary at release, equalling about $6,400 per month, or about $77,000 annually after-tax. Once Jamal reaches the age of 65, his Income Replacement Benefit will continue at a reduced rate.

Jamal is still coming to terms with both his life after service and his new physical reality. His Veterans Affairs Canada case manager arranges for an occupational therapist, a social worker and a psychologist to work with him. Jamal has both a wheelchair and a motor scooter to give him greater independence; the cost of both is covered by Veterans Affairs Canada. He also receives grants through the Veterans Independence Program to cover house cleaning and work around his property, as well as snow removal in the winter. He has also arranged for Nadyia to receive the $1,000 per month Caregiver Recognition Benefit to recognize her contribution in support of his well-being. 

Cemetery and Grave Maintenance

Veterans Affairs Canada is committed to honouring the sacrifice of our veterans by maintaining the graves and grave markers for Canadians who were buried or had grave markers erected by the Government of Canada. These sites and markers recognize the bravery and commitment of those who served our country and they must be maintained. There are about 110,000 Canadians buried overseas as a result of the two World Wars, as well as 200,000 graves in Canada for veterans who were low income or whose death was related to their military service.   

In 2017, an evaluation by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) found that there was a backlog of 45,000 graves cared for by VAC in Canada requiring repairs. With existing levels of funding, the evaluation found that it would take more than 17 years to complete the needed repairs. To eliminate the current backlog of repairs in the next 5 years, the Government proposes to provide funding $24.4 million over five years, starting in 2018–19. The funding will be used for cleaning, restoring or replacing headstones, and fixing foundation issues.  

Better Services for Veterans

Since 2016, the Government has put in place substantial improvements to the benefits and services available for veterans. For example, the Government has raised financial supports for veterans and caregivers, introduced new education and training benefits and expanded a range of services available to the families of medically released veterans.

With additional benefits and services now becoming available, more and more veterans are coming forward to get the help they need. For example, over the past two years, Veterans Affairs Canada has seen a 32 per cent increase in the number of applications for disability benefits. To keep up with the rise in demand and ensure that veterans get services and benefits when they need them, the Government proposes to provide $42.8 million over two years, starting in 2018–19, to increase service delivery capacity at Veterans Affairs Canada.

Supporting Canada’s Heritage and Cultural Diversity

Canada’s heritage and culture plays a vital part in the day-to-day lives of Canadians. To support this important sector of our economy, Budget 2018 proposes investments that will ensure that Canada’s heritage can be celebrated and shared by more Canadians in more communities across the country. 

Supporting Canada’s Official Languages

Canada’s linguistic duality, which for 50 years has been enshrined in the Official Languages Act, is an integral part of Canada’s history and identity. Strong official language minority communities not only celebrate our shared history and identity, they are essential to Canada’s competitiveness in an increasingly globalized world. The Government understands the challenges that official language minority communities are facing, and has developed an Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023 to help address some of these challenges. In addition to serving existing communities, providing services and initiatives in both official languages is key to improving the integration and settlement of new immigrants. By promoting official bilingualism and empowering our communities to tell their stories, we strengthen Canada’s diversity, strengthen our communities and increase our influence around the world.

The Government proposes to provide $400.0 million in new funding over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $88.4 million per year ongoing, in support of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023. Key measures will be implemented by Canadian Heritage, Employment and Social Development Canada, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and will include funding for:

Taken together, the Action Plan will help improve services in official language minority communities and promote bilingualism across Canada.

Strengthening Multiculturalism and Addressing the Challenges Faced by Black Canadians

Diversity is Canada’s strength and a cornerstone of Canadian identity. Recent domestic and international events, like the rise of ultranationalist movements, and protests against immigration, visible minorities and religious minorities, remind us that standing up for diversity and building communities where everyone feels included are as important today as they ever were.

To provide support for events and projects that help individuals and communities come together, the Government proposes to provide $23 million over two years, starting in 2018–19, to increase funding for the Multiculturalism Program administered by Canadian Heritage. This funding would support cross-country consultations on a new national anti-racism approach, would bring together experts, community organizations, citizens and interfaith leaders to find new ways to collaborate and combat discrimination, and would dedicate increased funds to address racism and discrimination targeted against Indigenous Peoples and women and girls.

As a first step toward recognizing the significant and unique challenges faced by Black Canadians, the Government also proposes to provide $19 million over five years that will be targeted to enhance local community supports for youth at risk and to develop research in support of more culturally focused mental health programs in the Black Canadian community. In addition, with the creation of the new Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics, announced in Chapter 1, the Government is committed to increase the disaggregation of various data sets by race. This will help governments and service providers better understand the intersectional dimensions of major issues, with a particular focus on the experience of Black Canadians.

Investing in Canadian Content

The Canada Media Fund is a non-profit organization that fosters, promotes, develops and finances the production of Canadian content for all audiovisual media platforms. The Canada Media Fund receives financial contributions from the Government and Canada’s cable, satellite and Internet protocol television distributors.

With Canadians increasingly watching content online, contributions from the broadcasting sector to the Canada Media Fund have started to decrease in step with their declining revenues. To address this issue, the Government has committed to increase its contribution in order to maintain the level of funding in the Canada Media Fund.

The Government proposes to provide $172 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $42.5 million per year ongoing, to maintain the level of funding in the Canada Media Fund at the 2016–17 level. While the actual Government contributions will fluctuate depending on the broadcasting sector revenues, this approach will provide a stable source of funding to develop Canadian content and support good jobs, including for our writers, producers, directors, actors and crews.

Supporting Local Journalism

As more and more people get their news online, and share their interests directly through social media, many communities have been left without local newspapers to tell their stories.

To ensure trusted, local perspectives as well as accountability in local communities, the Government proposes to provide $50 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to one or more independent non-governmental organizations that will support local journalism in underserved communities. The organizations will have full responsibility to administer the funds, respecting the independence of the press.

Further, consistent with the advice laid out in the Public Policy Forum’s report on news in the digital age, over the next year the Government will be exploring new models that enable private giving and philanthropic support for trusted, professional, non-profit journalism and local news. This could include new ways for Canadian newspapers to innovate and be recognized to receive charitable status for not-for-profit provision of journalism, reflecting the public interest that they serve.  

More Women and Girls in Sport

Canada’s women and girl athletes do us proud at high-performance sport events, and regularly achieve podium success at Senior World Championships, and Olympic and Paralympic Games. However, fewer Canadian women and girls participate in sport and physical activity than men and boys—Statistics Canada estimates that in 2010 approximately one-third of Canadian men and one-sixth of Canadian women regularly participated in sport. Men are also approximately two to three times more likely to be coaches, officials or in other leadership positions than women.

We need to create an environment where women and girls feel comfortable engaging in physical activity and sport—at all ages and all levels. To do so, we need to better understand why women and girls choose not to participate in sport, or move into the senior ranks of coaching or management of sports, and then work to remove the barriers that exist.

This is why through Budget 2018, the Government is setting a target to achieve gender equality in sport at every level by 2035, and proposes to provide an initial $30 million over three years to support data and research and innovative practices to promote women and girls’ participation in sport, and provide support to national sports organizations to promote the greater inclusion of women and girls in all facets of sport.

Supporting ParticipACTION

Inactivity is now the fourth leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for an estimated 3.2 million deaths each year. In Canada, the vast majority of Canadians do not meet recommended levels of physical activity, with 9 out of 10 children and youth not meeting Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. ParticipACTION is a national non-profit organization, originally established in 1971, whose mission is to make physical activity a vital part of everyday life.

The Government proposes to provide $25 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, for ParticipACTION to increase participation in daily physical activity among Canadians.

Supporting Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a global grassroots movement, bringing community programs and competition opportunities to more than 4.5 million children, youth and adults with intellectual disabilities across 170 countries. Special Olympics Canada is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport.

The Government proposes to provide $16 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $2 million per year ongoing, for Special Olympics Canada to sustain its empowering movement, which supports more than 45,000 children, youth and adults in Canada with intellectual disabilities through its extraordinary network of more than 21,000 volunteers.

Revitalizing National Capital Commission Assets

The National Capital Commission (NCC) is a federal Crown corporation that is responsible for parkways, pathways, buildings and bridges in the National Capital Region. Each year, millions of visitors come to Canada’s capital to use and appreciate historic sites and parklands maintained by the NCC, including Confederation Boulevard (Canada’s ceremonial route), Parliament Hill and Gatineau Park. To ensure these infrastructure assets continue to remain safe and enjoyable for current and future generations of visitors to Canada’s capital, the Government will invest $55 million over two years, on a cash basis, in support of critical repair and maintenance work on its portfolio of fixed assets. 

A New Partnership Between Library and Archives Canada and the Ottawa Public Library

The Government also proposes to provide $73.3 million over six years, on a cash basis, starting in 2018–19, with $4.0 million per year ongoing, to support the construction and ongoing operations of a new joint facility that will house Library and Archives Canada and the Ottawa Public Library. This represents the Government’s share of the project, with the balance expected to be provided by the City of Ottawa. This new building will be an iconic community hub, a single door to the national library and archives, and a world-class public library in Canada's capital city which will increase citizen participation in the community and improve access to Canada's history, culture and collective knowledge. It is expected that the new building will be completed by 2023.

Supporting the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, one of Canada’s national museums, works to explore the subject of human rights, with special but not exclusive reference to Canada, in order to enhance the public's understanding of human rights.

In order to ensure that the museum has adequate funding to deliver on its mandate, including promoting respect for others and encouraging reflection and dialogue, the Government proposes to provide $35 million over six years, starting in 2018–19, to support the museum’s operations.

Good Governance

The Government of Canada is committed to evidence-based decision-making, whether it applies to a government agency spending taxpayer dollars or to engaging citizens to participate in democratic life. Equipping governments and Canadians with sound data and up-to-date information are essential to a healthy democracy. For this reason, the Government is taking action to increase the quantity and quality of information that is available to Canadians, while improving the delivery of government services. 

A New Process for Federal Election Leaders’ Debates

Leaders’ debates play an essential role in Canada’s federal elections by engaging Canadians in the election campaigns and helping to inform their voting decisions. Over the past 50 years, the way leaders’ debates have been negotiated have put at risk the structure and potential usefulness of leaders’ debates. 

The Government proposes to provide $6 million over two years, to be repeated every pre-election and election year, to support a new process that would ensure that federal leaders’ debates are organized in the public interest and improve Canadians’ knowledge of the parties, their leaders and their policy positions. In the coming months, the Minister of Democratic Institutions will bring forward  potential approaches to leaders’ debates. The Government may introduce legislation to implement the approach taken to establish the new process for leaders’ debates.

Upholding the Integrity of Canada’s Elections

Through Budget 2018, the Government proposes to provide $7.1 million over five years, beginning in 2018–19, and $1.5 million per year ongoing, to support the work of the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections. This funding will help ensure that the Canadian electoral process continues to uphold the highest standards of democracy by all Canadians, political entities, businesses and individuals alike, now and into the future. 

Renewing and Modernizing Statistics Canada

The Government is committed to evidence-based decision-making to support economic growth. A whole-of-government approach to data will seek to improve how the federal government collects, uses and shares data. It will be supported by the expertise of a renewed and modernized Statistics Canada, while ensuring that Canadians' privacy remains protected. As part of this approach, the Government proposes to provide $41 million over five years to Statistics Canada, starting in 2018–19, with $4.4 million per year ongoing, in support of the vision. The Government will also explore further options, including through legislation, to ensure Statistics Canada can respond to data needs of the 21st century. 

Beyond the modernization of the agency, it has become clear that the Government needs to fill gaps in knowledge for new and emerging cross-border services industries, such as content streaming services, which are becoming increasingly important to the Canadian economy. The Government proposes to provide $15.1 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $3.0 million per year ongoing, to Statistics Canada to address data gaps in international trade in services, including international trade in digital services and products. Better data will contribute to the Government’s commitment to produce high-quality information that is accessible and relevant to interested Canadians and will support its commitment to evidence-based policy-making. This is in addition to the $6.7 million over five years, outlined in Chapter 1, to create a new Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics.

Statistics Canada has a mandate to conduct the Census of Population and Census of Agriculture every five years, both of which produce objective, high-quality statistical information that is vital to all levels of government, the private sector, academia and not-for-profit entities. Statistics Canada will conduct the next census in 2021, building on the successes of the 2016 Census of Population, which had the highest response in history to the long form component and set a world record for Internet response. The Government proposes to provide $767.3 million over 10 years, starting in 2018–19, to Statistics Canada to conduct the 2021 Census of Population. The Government also proposes to provide $49.4 million over six years, starting in 2018–19, to Statistics Canada to conduct the 2021 Census of Agriculture.   

The 2016 Census revived the long form component to replace the voluntary National Household Survey (NHS). The return of the long form component improved the accessibility, accuracy and coherence of statistical information. In particular, the long form component was able to provide data on smaller communities across Canada that was unavailable in 2011 due to the NHS’s lower response rate. This data provides researchers and policy-makers with a better understanding of all Canadians.
Gender-Based Analysis Plus: Better, More inclusive Data

In order to obtain more inclusive data on sex and gender, Statistics Canada officials have been working with LGBTQ2 organizations to adjust Census of Population questions and response options to better reflect how people identify themselves, for example, by allowing respondents to answer in a non-binary fashion. This will provide critical information to help understand and meet the needs of LGBTQ2 Canadians.

Improving Client Services at the Canada Revenue Agency

Providing excellent service to Canadians is a top priority for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Over the past two years, the Government has made significant investments to improve the timeliness and responsiveness of service. While progress has been made, Canadians continue to face unacceptable delays and challenges in dealing with the CRA. More needs to be done to make the Agency and its services, fairer, more helpful and easier to use.

A More Client-Centred Approach

To effect systemic change, the Government will undertake a comprehensive departmental review of the CRA’s service model. This review will examine all aspects of the Agency’s work in order to ensure that Canadians interacting with the CRA feel like valued clients, not just taxpayers. Further details about this review will be announced in the coming months.

While this review proceeds, the Government will continue to invest through Budget 2018 to improve the quality and availability of services offered by the Agency.

The Government is proposing $206.0 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, and $33.6 million per year ongoing, for the CRA to address the Government’s commitments to service excellence in three key areas.

Improving Telephone Services
Enhancing the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program
Strengthening Digital Services

Clarifying the Rules on Political Activities by Charities

The Government has pledged to allow charities to do their work on behalf of Canadians free from political harassment, and promised to clarify the rules governing political activity, with an understanding that charities make an important contribution to public policy. An expert panel was created to study the issue of political activities by charities, and in 2017 this panel provided a series of recommendations to the Government based on consultations held with charities. The Government will provide a response to this report in the coming months.

Stabilizing and Future Transformation of the Federal Government’s Pay Administration (Phoenix)

Canada’s public servants deserve to be paid properly and on time for their important work. In early 2016, the Phoenix pay system for federal public servants was implemented following years of planning and development as part of a broader initiative originally intended to save money. Since that time, it has been obvious that the outcomes have been unacceptable for both the Government and its employees. The Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative launched in 2009 was under-resourced and suffered from poor planning and implementation. The Government is doing everything it can to make this right.

To date, the Government has committed more than $460 million to implement the Phoenix pay system and resolve subsequent issues. Over the last year and a half, the Government has hired several hundred people to rebuild capacity that was lost due to the previously flawed business plan. In addition, action has also been taken to reimburse employees who have incurred personal expenses as a result of pay issues. However, serious issues and challenges with the Phoenix pay system continue, and too many federal public servants are not being properly paid. 

Through Budget 2018, the Government is committing to the next steps in addressing the ongoing challenges of the Phoenix pay system, including announcing its intention to eventually move away from Phoenix and begin development of the next generation of the federal government’s pay system, one that is better aligned with the complexity of the federal government pay structure. In this context, the Government proposes to provide an additional investment of $16 million over two years, beginning in 2018–19, to work with experts, federal public sector unions and technology providers on a way forward for a new pay system.

In the interim, the Government will continue to address the existing pay challenges. To this end, Budget 2018 proposes an investment of $431.4 million over six years, starting in 2017–18, to continue making progress on Phoenix issues, including hiring additional staff to support the pay system, bringing the number of employees working on pay issues at the Pay Centre and satellite offices to more than 1,500. This compares to the 550 employees that were originally intended to handle all pay issues when the new pay system was launched. Furthermore, this additional funding would go towards hiring more staff within departments to better assist employees with payroll issues as they arise. This would mean that public servants also have better access to a broader range of supports in the workplace.  

Budget 2018 also proposes to provide $5.5 million over two years, starting in 2017–18, to the Canada Revenue Agency for the processing of federal government employee individual income tax reassessments that are required due to Phoenix pay issues, and for handling related telephone enquiries.

While the Phoenix pay system has been underpaying some public servants, it has also been paying others too much. Under current legislation, any employee who receives an overpayment in respect of a previous year is required to pay back the gross amount to their employer and recover excess withholdings from the Canada Revenue Agency. Public servants in this situation can rest assured that they will not have to start repaying until after the Canada Revenue Agency processes their tax return and refunds the excess withholdings (or credits them against a tax liability). At the same time, the Government is reviewing the legislation and will engage key stakeholders to assess the feasibility of changes to the legislation that would permit any private or public sector employee in this situation to repay the amount net of withholdings, starting for the 2018 taxation year and forward.

Finally, to address the real mental and emotional stress and unacceptable financial impacts on public servants, the Government has initiated discussions with public service representatives to address the numerous grievances and legal actions. Similarly, the Government will also take action to reimburse missing and inaccurate dues that are owing to public sector unions.

Improving Service Delivery

Canadians expect government services to be of high quality, accessible, secure and digitally enabled. The Government will make significant new investments to bolster the backbone of federal government operations, and ensure that Canadians receive the services that they need and deserve.

For example, building on investments of $12.1 million announced in Budget 2017, Employment and Social Development Canada is exploring modern approaches to service delivery, beginning with Employment Insurance (EI). Through the modernization of benefit delivery, the Government will improve Canadians’ access to services and benefits, including speeding up application processes. 

In addition, the Government is committed to minimizing the administrative burden on employers. To this end, Employment and Social Development Canada is working with stakeholders to develop ways to streamline employer reporting obligations under the EI program.

The Government proposes legislative amendments respecting service delivery by the Government to the public and partner entities, including e-service delivery.

Predictable Funding for Employment Insurance Service Delivery

Timely access to EI benefits is critical to help Canadians navigate a job loss or other life events. To meet the demands of increased EI claims volumes, the Government has increased funding for EI administration in the last two years. As a result, in 2016–17, 83 per cent of EI claimants received EI benefits or notification of their claim status within 28 days of filing. 

The Government proposes to make available up to $90 million over three years, starting in 2018–19, for EI claims processing and service delivery. Funding will be linked to EI claims volumes and will provide responsiveness to changing economic conditions. This will ensure that EI recipients continue to receive timely and accurate benefit payments. 

Employment Insurance Call Centre Accessibility

EI call centres play a key role in delivering EI benefits, allowing Canadians to obtain information and assistance from agents who know the EI program. Building on investments of $73 million over two years announced in Budget 2016, the Government proposes to provide an additional $127.7 million over three years, starting in 2018–19, to further improve accessibility and ensure Canadians receive timely and accurate information and assistance with EI benefits.

Part 4: Security and Access to Justice

Whether through the guarantee of a fair and equitable justice system, or the knowledge that their private information is secure, Canadians deserve to feel safe and protected in a rapidly changing world.

An interconnected world powered by new technologies offers great benefits to Canadian families and tremendous opportunities to businesses, small and large. In a digital and globally connected world, the Government is taking action to promote our shared values, bolster services to Canadians and strengthen their protection, at home, abroad, and online, including establishing this country’s first comprehensive cyber security plan. 

A strong, safe and secure Canada means our institutions are working effectively with the resources they need. This budget commits to a number of measures that bolster the efficiency of Canada’s safety and security institutions without compromising our shared values as an open, inclusive and welcoming society.

Access to Justice

Canadians should have every confidence that their justice system protects their rights and treats them fairly. Access to justice is not only about having an efficient and effective court system, it is also about having access to information, services and processes that enable Canadians to better understand and exercise their legal rights.  

The Government recognizes that access to justice is a foundation of Canadian society and will invest in strengthening the Canadian judiciary, supporting Canada’s court system, and enhancing openness and transparency. Together, these measures reinforce the Government's strong commitments to respecting the rule of law and to upholding a justice system that is accessible, fair and efficient. 

Expanding Unified Family Courts

Unified Family Courts aim to simplify family justice procedures for Canadians experiencing issues including separation, divorce, support and custody disputes. With access to Unified Family Courts, family law issues are considered under one court system, rather than two, which helps streamline the process and can help reduce the stress and confusion that families may face during this time. In addition, Unified Family Courts use specialized judges who are familiar with the sensitive nature of family law issues and offer a range of programs and support services to families. The combination of these specialized courts and enhanced services for families can help resolve issues more efficiently.

To enhance access to justice and improve outcomes for a significant number of Canadian families, the Government proposes to provide $77.2 million over four years, starting in 2019–20, and $20.8 million per year ongoing, to support the expansion of Unified Family Courts, creating 39 new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. This expansion will create a more streamlined process for those who rely on these services. The Government intends to introduce corresponding legislative amendments to create these new judicial positions to enhance Unified Family Courts.

The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians. To that end, the Government’s plan to strengthen the Canadian judiciary proposes:

The Government also proposes to support Canada’s courts system by:

Proposed investments through Budget 2018 will also enhance Canadians’ access to justice by:

In addition to these measures, the Government intends to bring forward broad-based, concrete reforms to the criminal justice system, including changes to how juries are selected.

Combatting Gender-Based Violence and Harassment

Violence and harassment can have lifelong impacts on an individual’s physical and mental health and are unacceptable, regardless of whom they affect and which form they take.

While anyone can be a victim of violence and harassment, women and girls face a greater risk of certain types of violence, including sexual assault and intimate partner violence, as well as sexual harassment and human trafficking. In addition, some individuals may be especially vulnerable, including young women, newcomers, Indigenous women, LGBTQ2 people, and women with disabilities. The Government remains committed to amending the Criminal Code to introduce a reverse onus on bail for individuals with previous convictions of intimate partner violence. The Government plans to work closely with provinces and territories in the coming months on this issue.

The Government recognizes that prevention is critical to ending gender-based violence, that survivors and their families need support, and that the legal and justice systems must be improved to respond to gender-based violence. Through Budget 2018, the Government proposes new funding to address these areas.

The Government is also committed to ensuring that Canadians have access to the supports they need to effectively navigate Canada’s justice system—and that Canada’s judiciary reflects our country’s diversity.

What Will Success Look Like in 2018?

National Human Trafficking Hotline

Human trafficking is a heinous crime that disproportionately affects women and girls, particularly Indigenous, newcomer and low-income individuals. The Government is committed to putting an end to gender-based violence and proposes to provide $14.51 million over five years, beginning in 2018–19, and $2.89 million per year ongoing, to Public Safety Canada to combat human trafficking by establishing a National Human Trafficking Hotline, including an online portal and a referral mechanism to social services and law enforcement. This hotline will help protect those vulnerable to being trafficked and enable victims to access the necessary social and law enforcement services they need. As this initiative proceeds, the Government will work with provinces and territories to ensure effective implementation.

Taking Action to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, Harassment and Discrimination

As movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp have demonstrated through the powerful stories of survivors, gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination continue to impact women at home, at work and throughout Canadian society. The Government has a vital role to play in helping to create a more equitable society, free from discrimination of any kind.

Everyone deserves to live a life free from violence. While gender-based violence is often thought of through the lens of violence against women and girls, many Canadians face violence every day simply because of their gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender.

The negative impacts of gender-based violence reach far beyond any specific population. While gender-based violence significantly influences the health, social and economic conditions of the individuals who directly experience it, it also has long-lasting and negative results for family members, friends and entire communities.

The Government proposes to provide an additional $86.0 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, and $20.0 million per year ongoing, to expand Canada’s Strategy to Address Gender-Based Violence. New investments will focus on:

Violence Against Members of the LGBTQ2 Communities

People self-identifying as homosexual or bisexual are three times more likely than heterosexuals to self-report having experienced violent victimization (i.e. sexual assault, robbery or physical assault).

LGBTQ2 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and two-spirit) and non-binary people often face discrimination, harassment and other harms, including hate crimes, as societal ideas about heteronormative gender roles, as well as ideas about appropriate gender performances, work together to create discriminatory experiences for members of LGBTQ2 communities.

LGBTQ2 individuals are more at risk of sexual assault than heterosexual individuals. Canadians who identified as homosexual or bisexual had a rate of sexual assault that was six times higher than those who identified as heterosexual.

In addition to providing more comprehensive support towards the Federal Strategy to Address Gender-based Violence, the Government is proposing targeted new measures to combat violence and harassment at home and in the workplace.

Ensuring a Workplace Free of Violence and Harassment

Harassment and violence prevents Canadians—particularly women, young people, LGBTQ2 persons, Indigenous Peoples and visible minorities—from participating to the fullest of their potential. Harassment and violence at work stands in the way of growth and success by contributing to productivity loss, turnover, stress and anxiety, and lower job satisfaction.

On November 7, 2017, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-65 to create a single, integrated framework that will protect federally regulated employees from harassment and violence in the workplace. The Government will provide $34.9 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $7.4 million per year ongoing, to support Bill C-65. This will ensure that federally regulated workplaces are free from harassment and violence.

The Government also proposes to establish a Centre of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellness within the public service that will have, as part of its mandate, to better support public servants in dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace within the public service.

Providing Legal Support to Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and Increased Awareness
The Government proposes to invest $50.4 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to address sexual harassment in the workplace. Of this amount, $25.4 million over five years will be dedicated to boosting legal aid funding across the country with a focus on supporting victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. The Government will work in partnership with provinces and territories but will not require them to match the proposed funding. In addition, the Government proposes to invest a further $25.0 million over five years to develop a pan-Canadian outreach program to better inform workers, particularly those most vulnerable, about their rights and how they can access help if they have been harassed in the workplace.
Support for Victims of Family Violence
Family violence affects victims and their loved ones who are forced to deal with its physical and its financial impacts, including potential loss of financial security. Indeed, financial dependence is one of the most significant reasons victims stay with or return to their abusers. That is why the Government intends to amend the Canada Labour Code to provide five days of paid leave to workers in the federally regulated jurisdiction who are victims of family violence or the parent of a child who is the victim of family violence. This builds on job-protected leave for survivors of violence which was introduced in Budget 2017.
Improving Support for Sexual Assault Crisis Centres on Campuses
Of all sexual assault incidents reported in Canada, nearly half (47 per cent) were committed against women aged 15 to 24, and 41 per cent of all sexual assaults across Canada were reported by students. There is a need for federal leadership in this area, to support a harmonized national approach and dialogue, leading to strategies to address sexual violence, to create safe campuses, and to remove the stigma from reporting or seeking support following sexual violence. The Government proposes to provide up to $5.5 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to Status of Women Canada to work with stakeholders, including provinces and territories, towards developing a harmonized national framework to ensure consistent, comprehensive and sustainable approaches in addressing gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions across the country. Starting in 2019, for those universities and college campuses that are not implementing best practices addressing sexual assaults on campus, the Government of Canada will consider withdrawing federal funding.
Addressing “unfounded” cases of sexual assault and better supporting victims
Sexual assault is a serious crime that can have devastating and long-lasting effects on victims. When individuals come forward to police, they should be treated with the compassion and respect that they deserve. Positive experiences with police investigations can also encourage others to report these crimes. Following media reports regarding concerns related to the manner in which sexual assault complaints were being investigated by the RCMP and other police forces across Canada, the RCMP undertook a comprehensive review in 2017 of all files where sexual assault complaints were coded as “unfounded.” As a result of this work, looking at more than 2,000 case files so far, 284 additional investigations have been launched as of December 2017. To continue and expand this work, Budget 2018 proposes to provide the RCMP with an additional $10 million over five years, and $2 million per year ongoing, to establish a national unit that will coordinate the review of nearly 25,000 more case files since 2015, as well as provide accountability across the force for investigations, and oversee the development of a curriculum and training to address the problems raised by “unfounded”. An external advisory committee and better supports for victims will also form part of this initiative. The Government as a whole will continue to work with provinces and territories on possible additional actions to help address these issues.

Addressing Corporate Integrity

Corporate wrongdoing imposes significant economic and social costs. It undermines competition, threatens the integrity of markets, puts up barriers to economic growth, increases the cost and risk of doing business, and undermines public and investor confidence. Many governments, including the Government of Canada, are committed to taking action against improper, unethical and illegal business practices and holding companies to account for such conduct. That is why the Government has already committed to increasing Canadian companies’ compliance with human rights standards abroad with the launch of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise.

Based on the consultation conducted in the fall of 2017, the Government intends to further strengthen its approach to addressing corporate wrongdoing, enhancing the government-wide Integrity Regime and introducing legislation for Canadian Deferred Prosecution Agreements, to be implemented through Judicial Remediation Orders (JRO), as an additional tool to hold corporate offenders to account. The JRO would establish a regime to sanction criminal conduct appropriately and deter wrongdoing. These actions are in line with those taken by some of our key trading partners such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and France.

Detailed proposals for enhancements to the Integrity Regime and the introduction of a new JRO regime will be brought forward in the near future.

A Strong Sanctions Regime

Sanctions are an important foreign policy tool for Canada: they serve as a way to respond to rapidly developing international crises, violations of international peace and security, and, with the new Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law), to gross violations of human rights or acts of significant corruption. The Government proposes to provide $22.2 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, with $4.3 million per year thereafter, to Global Affairs Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency to strengthen Canada’s sanctions system, including funds for the development of sanctions policy, coordination with international partners, and providing guidance to Canadians on sanctions obligations.

Ensuring Security and Prosperity in the Digital Age

The digital age has revolutionized how Canadians live as well as how our institutions function. Digital technologies have changed the way we work, how we shop, how we access services—including government and financial services. These changes have brought with them vast benefits and new challenges, including efforts to preserve cyber security and protect the privacy of Canadians. Cyber-attacks are becoming more pervasive, increasingly sophisticated and ever more effective. Successful cyber-attacks have the potential to expose the private information of Canadians, cost Canadian businesses millions of dollars, and potentially put Canada’s critical infrastructure networks at risk.   

With this budget, the Government of Canada is implementing a plan for security and prosperity in the digital age to protect against cyber-attacks. The Government proposes significant investments of $507.7 million over five years, and $108.8 million per year thereafter, to fund a new National Cyber Security Strategy. The Strategy focuses on three principal goals:

The Government will work alongside key partners in order to implement this plan: other levels of government, the business community, academia and trusted international partners. Canada will work to proactively solve mutual cyber issues, raising the cyber security bar for all Canadians. 

Improving Cyber Security

Canada’s plan for security in the digital age starts with a strong federal cyber governance system to protect Canadians and their sensitive personal information. To that end, the Government proposes to commit $155.2 million over five years, and $44.5 million per year ongoing, to the Communications Security Establishment to create a new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.

By consolidating operational cyber expertise from across the federal government under one roof, the new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security will establish a single, unified Government of Canada source of unique expert advice, guidance, services and support on cyber security operational matters, providing Canadian citizens and businesses with a clear and trusted place to turn to for cyber security advice. In order to establish the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, the Government will introduce legislation to allow various Government cyber security functions to consolidate into the new Centre. Federal responsibility to investigate potential criminal activities will remain with the RCMP.

To bolster Canada’s ability to fight cybercrime, the Government also proposes to provide $116.0 million over five years, and $23.2 million per year ongoing, to the RCMP to support the creation of the National Cybercrime Coordination Unit. The National Cybercrime Coordination Unit will create a coordination hub for cybercrime investigations in Canada and will work with international partners on cybercrime. The Unit will also establish a national public reporting mechanism for Canadian citizens and businesses to report cybercrime incidents to law enforcement.

Canadian Centre for
Cyber Security

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security will:

  • Bring together federal operational cyber expertise from across the federal government under one roof.
  • Provide Canadian citizens and businesses with a clear and trusted place to turn to for cyber security information.
  • Advance partnerships and dialogue with other jurisdictions, the business community, academia and international partners.
National Cybercrime Coordination Unit

The National Cybercrime Coordination Unit will:

  • Act as a coordination hub for cybercrime investigations in Canada and work with partners internationally.
  • Provide digital investigative advice and guidance to Canadian law enforcement.
  • Establish a national public reporting mechanism for Canadian citizens and business to report cybercrime incidents to law enforcement.

In addition to funding the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and the National Cybercrime Coordination Unit, the Government also proposes to provide an additional $236.5 million over five years, and $41.2 million per year ongoing, to further support Canada’s new National Cyber Security Strategy. Taken together, these investments will allow Canadians to continue to benefit from digital connections in a way that protects them, their personal information and our infrastructure from cybercrime.

Canada’s National Cyber Security Strategy will…
How Will a National Cyber Security Strategy Benefit You?

For Canadians:

For Canadian business:

For systems that Canadians rely on each day, such as online banking, electricity grids and telecommunications networks:

Enabling Digital Services to Canadians

To provide Canadians with important programs and services, federal government organizations depend on Shared Services Canada to provide modern and reliable information technology (IT) infrastructure and services. 

To modernize/enhance the Government’s digital services, Budget 2018 proposes significant investments in Shared Services Canada and the Communications Security Establishment to ensure that these organizations are properly resourced to address evolving IT needs and opportunities, and proactively address cyber security threats. This includes:

A majority of the funding for these initiatives will be reallocated from federal organizations that receive mandatory services from Shared Services Canada. The ability of the Government’s IT systems to protect Canadians’ data and meet future demands will depend on a strong IT governance structure. To support this, the Government will redefine the role of the Government of Canada Chief Information Officer.

Enhancing the Security of Taxpayer Information

Security breaches involving the loss of private personal information place Canadians at risk of identity theft. As the administrator of Canada’s tax, benefits, and related programs for governments across Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) safeguards the personal and financial information of tens of millions of Canadians.

As a result of the enhancements made to the suite of online options available to Canadians, the CRA’s systems are housing, processing and transmitting growing volumes of taxpayer data. Through Budget 2018, the Government will provide the CRA with $30.0 million over five years to enhance the security measures that protect the confidentiality of this sensitive information.

Investment Canada Act—National Security Review of Foreign Investments

Canada is open for business. Our competitive business environment is an attractive draw for foreign investors, and increased investments mean more good, well-paying jobs for Canadians, and continued economic growth. The Investment Canada Act enables the Government to undertake a review of proposed foreign investments in order to determine if they uphold Canada’s national interests—both from a net benefit perspective and for national security purposes. Similar to Budget 2017, Budget 2018 proposes to provide $1.24 million for Public Safety Canada and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to support continued operations related to the Investment Canada Act’s National Security Review Program. The National Security Review Program provides a robust framework for reviewing foreign investments for various reasons, such as to protect defence capabilities, safeguard the transfer of sensitive technologies, and ensure no potential involvement from organized crime.

Safeguarding the Integrity of Our Public Safety System

Public confidence in our safety, security and well-being is vital for an inclusive and peaceful society and a growing economy. It underpins Canada’s reputation as an ideal place to raise a family, invest or grow a business. Canada’s public safety institutions work hard to protect Canadians from those who threaten our safety and security. The Government proposes to invest nearly $775 million over five years to help our public safety institutions continue keeping us safe. 

Supporting RCMP Frontline Operations

The RCMP is committed to preserving the peace, upholding the law, protecting Canadians and promoting safety and security. The scope of policing operations within the RCMP is constantly evolving to address new and emerging threats, including in the areas of cybercrime, serious and organized crime, and national security investigations. The Government proposes to invest $80 million in 2018–19 to reinforce existing RCMP policing operations. This funding also supports the recruitment and training of new RCMP cadets to help meet demands for new frontline federal officers in Canada.

The Government also proposes to invest $60.2 million over five years, and $9.5 million per year ongoing, for the RCMP to renew radio systems in four divisions: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and the National Capital Region. Two-way radios are a lifeline for frontline police officers. They continue to be the most available, secure and efficient communications tool for policing. Secure radios are also critical for maintaining officer safety, promoting interoperability with other first responders and, ultimately, protecting Canadians.

Taking Action Against Guns and Gangs

The federal government is establishing the Initiative to Take Action Against Guns and Gangs—a multi-pronged approach to tackle gun and gang activity in Canada. Specifically, the Government proposes to provide $327.6 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, and $100 million per year ongoing, to Public Safety Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency. This Initiative, recently announced by the Minister of Public Safety, will bring together federal, provincial and territorial efforts to support community-level prevention and enforcement efforts, build and leverage unique federal expertise and resources to advance intelligence related to the illegal trafficking of firearms, and invest in border security to interdict illicit goods including guns and drugs. Funding would also be provided to Indigenous organizations to help build capacity through education, outreach and research, addressing the unique needs of Indigenous communities and urban populations. The Initiative will help reduce gun and gang violence so that Canadians can feel safe in their communities.

Preserving Canada’s Foreign Signals Intelligence Capability

The Communications Security Establishment is mandated to collect foreign signals intelligence to help inform the Government of Canada on matters of security, national defence and international affairs, reflecting the priorities set by the Government. In order to keep pace with rapid technological change that can challenge its ability to effectively collect foreign signals intelligence, the Government proposes to provide the Communications Security Establishment $225 million over four years, starting in 2020–21, and $62.1 million ongoing, to ensure this capability is preserved. 

Critical Infrastructure Security

Efforts to enhance the resilience of our critical infrastructure systems and plan for unforeseen disruptions are essential for keeping Canadians and our communities safe. To this end, the Government proposes to provide Public Safety Canada with $1.4 million in 2018–19 to continue operations of the Regional Resilience Assessment Program and the Virtual Risk Analysis Cell. These programs support assessments of critical infrastructure facilities, such as energy grids, information and communication technology networks and hospitals. The Virtual Risk Analysis Cell also promotes online information sharing across the critical infrastructure community. 

Support for the Correctional Service of Canada and the Office of the Correctional Investigator of Canada

The Correctional Service of Canada is responsible for the federal correctional system and protects public safety by actively encouraging and assisting offender reintegration. It provides correctional programming, opportunities for offender rehabilitation and practical skills development, and strengthening of community corrections. The Government proposes to invest $74.7 million in 2018–19 to enable the Correctional Service of Canada to continue existing operations in support of its mandate.

As the ombudsman for federally sentenced offenders, the Office of the Correctional Investigator serves Canadians and contributes to safe, lawful and humane corrections through independent oversight of the Correctional Service of Canada. The Office provides accessible, impartial and timely investigations of individual and systemic concerns in federal correctional facilities. To support this work, the Government proposes to provide the Office of the Correctional Investigator of Canada with $3.4 million over five years beginning in 2018–19, and $0.7 million per year ongoing. These funds will be used to enhance the Office’s investigative capacity, including its ability to delve more deeply into Indigenous corrections and the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples within the federal correctional system.

Supporting Those Who Keep Our Communities Safe

Every day, public safety officers put their safety at risk to protect our communities. Often, an officer’s routine exposure to traumatic events puts them at a greater risk for operational stress injuries, including post-traumatic-stress injuries. In recognition of the daily sacrifices made by public safety officers across Canada, the Government is proposing measures to support research and treatment on post-traumatic stress injuries among public safety officers as well as targeted supports for federal police officers.

Support to Address Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries for Public Safety Officers

There is a lack of research dedicated to understanding post-traumatic stress injuries among public safety officers. This limits our ability to effectively support those who keep us safe. To address this knowledge gap, the Government proposes to provide $20 million over five years, beginning in 2018-19, to support a new national research consortium between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment. This new consortium will work to address the incidence of post-traumatic stress injuries among public safety officers. 

Access to mental health supports can be particularly hard to attain for public safety officers in rural and remote areas. The Government proposes to invest $10 million over 5 years, starting in 2018-19, for Public Safety Canada to work with the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment to develop an Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy pilot as a means of providing greater access to care and treatment for public safety officers across Canada.

Supporting Mental Health for RCMP Police Officers

The Government is also committed to supporting the mental health and resilience of the RCMP so that it can continue to serve Canadians each and every day. To this end, the Government proposes to provide the RCMP with $21.4 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, to support the mental health needs of its officers.

Further Improving Mental Health Supports for Inmates

Through Budget 2017, the Government took an important step towards the goal of ensuring that offenders with mental health needs in federal correctional facilities receive the appropriate level of care. Challenges remain, however, in meeting the complex and varied needs of offenders, including for women inmates in federal corrections, whose numbers have grown by approximately 30 per cent over the last 10 years. Budget 2018 builds on the investments made in Budget 2017, proposing $20.4 million over five years, beginning in 2018–19, and $5.6 million per year ongoing, for the Correctional Service of Canada to further support the mental health needs of federal inmates. Funds would largely be targeted towards providing enhanced mental health supports for women in federal correctional facilities across Canada.

Reopening the Penitentiary Farms at Joyceville and Collins Bay Institutions

To provide federal inmates with training opportunities to acquire new skills, while preparing for employment and successful reintegration and rehabilitation into the community, the Government proposes to invest $4.3 million over five years, beginning and 2018–19, to support the reopening of the Penitentiary Farms at the Joyceville and Collins Bay Institutions in Kingston, Ontario. The farms would be run by CORCAN, a key rehabilitation programming agency of the Correctional Service of Canada.

Borders and Migration

As an open and welcoming country, and as a trading nation that relies on the free flow of goods and services across borders for its economic success, it’s important to all Canadians that we manage the integrity of Canada’s borders in a way that protects Canadians while encouraging cross-border economic activity. Budget 2018 puts forward a number of measures to help maintain this balance without compromising Canada’s reputation or the values of Canadians. This includes ensuring that individuals from abroad who come to work and contribute to the Canadian economy are protected from abuse. This work also includes measures to invest in Canada’s aviation security.

Strengthening the Canada Border Services Agency

The Canada Border Services Agency is responsible for managing Canada’s borders by enforcing laws governing trade and travel and aiding legitimate cross-border traffic, while stopping people and goods that pose a potential threat to Canada. The Canada Border Services Agency strives to maintain a high standard of service and has worked to improve processing times for the efficient and secure flow of travellers. The Government proposes to invest $85.5 million in 2018–19, to enable the Canada Border Services Agency to continue existing operations in support of the Agency’s mandate.

Irregular Migration: Managing the Border

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the safety of Canadians and keeping our borders secure. At the same time, people seeking asylum must be treated with compassion and afforded due process under Canadian and international law, and in keeping with our values as an open and welcoming country. To that end, the Government proposes to provide $173.2 million to support security operations at the Canada-U.S. border and the processing of asylum claimants arriving in 2018–19. Funding would be used to manage the increased number of people seeking asylum in Canada this year, many of whom arrive with their families seeking quick, safe and compassionate processing. Funds would be used to provide short-term processing and security screening supports at the border, as well as to support decision-making capacity for the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Safeguarding Canadians With an Enhanced Passenger Protect Program

The Passenger Protect Program works with air carriers to screen commercial passenger flights to, from and within Canada in order to protect safety at home and abroad. While the program is an important element of Canada’s national security framework, the Government has heard the concerns of families unfairly impacted by the program. The issue of children being unfairly targeted and encountering travel delays has been a source of particular frustration for parents. In response, the Government proposes to enhance the Passenger Protect Program with investments of $81.4 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, and $14.0 million per year ongoing, for the Canada Border Services Agency, Public Safety Canada and Transport Canada. These investments will be used to develop a rigorous centralized screening model and establish a redress mechanism for legitimate air travellers who are affected by the program. The enhanced program will help ensure that privacy and fairness concerns are addressed, while keeping Canadians safe. 

Protecting Air Travellers

To ensure consistent and effective security screening of travellers and workers, the Government proposes to provide $236.4 million in 2018–19, with $2.4 million in remaining amortization, to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). This funding will also allow CATSA to add new lanes for U.S. Pre-clearance of passengers at the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and the Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport.

Protecting Temporary Foreign Workers

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program are Canada's two programs that govern the entry of temporary foreign workers. Canada has an obligation to ensure these workers, who contribute to the labour market by providing the skills and expertise employers need when qualified Canadian workers are unavailable, are aware of their rights and are protected from abuse. The Government proposes to provide $194.1 million over five years, beginning in 2018–19, and $33.19 million per year ongoing, to ensure the rights of temporary foreign workers in Canada are protected and enforced through a robust compliance regime. Funding will support unannounced inspections under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the continued implementation of the International Mobility Program compliance regime, and the ongoing collection of labour market information related to open work permits.  

In addition, the Government proposes to invest $3.4 million over two years, beginning in 2018–19, from Employment and Social Development Canada's existing resources to establish, on a pilot basis, a network of support organizations for temporary foreign workers dealing with potential abuse by their employers. This network would support these workers in reporting wrongdoing and provide information on their rights to temporarily remain and work in Canada free from harassment and abuse.

Chapter 4 - Advancement
millions of dollars
4.1 Canada's Natural Legacy
Protecting Canada's Nature, Parks and Wild Spaces 0 97 218 240 367 423 1,346
Protecting Marine Life 0 30 34 34 34 35 167
  Less: Funds Sourced from Existing Departmental Resources 0 -10 -11 -10 -10 -9 -51
Establishing Better Rules to Protect the Environment and Grow the Economy 0 125 193 236 233 231 1,018
  Less: Costs to be Recovered 0 -9 -12 -12 -12 -11 -56
  Less: Funds Sourced from Existing Departmental Resources 0 -0.4 -0.4 -0.4 -0.1 -0.1 -2
Pricing Carbon Pollution and Supporting Clean Growth 15 32 28 25 24 4 129
  Less: Funds existing in the Fiscal Framework -14 -30 -25 -23 -21 -4 -118
  Less: Funds Sourced from Existing Departmental Resources -1 -3 -3 -3 -3 0 -12
  Less: Year-over-year Reallocation of Funding 0 0 0 0 -4 4 0
Adapting Canada's Weather and Water Services to Climate Change 0 15 23 28 29 25 120
Extending Tax Support for Clean Energy 0 0 3 20 40 60 123
4.1 Canada's Natural Legacy Total 0 249 448 534 677 758 2,666
4.2 Canada and the World
Additional Support for the Feminist International Assistance Policy 0 200 300 400 500 600 2,000
  Less: Year-over-year Reallocation of Funding 0 -40 27 0 0 13 0
Protecting Vulnerable Women and Girls 0 10 8 1 1 1 20
Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 0 8 8 8 8 8 42
  Less: Funds Sourced from Existing Departmental Resources 0 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -23
4.2 Canada and the World Total 0 174 338 405 505 618 2,039
4.3 Upholding Shared Values
Addressing the Opioid Crisis 0 165 24 16 14 12 231
A Community-Based Approach to Dementia 0 4 4 4 4 4 20
Supporting a Healthy Seniors Pilot Project in New Brunswick 0 75 0 0 0 0 75
Support for Canadians Impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder 0 5 4 4 4 4 20
Renewing and Enhancing the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy 0 11 16 18 18 18 81
Tobacco Taxation -30 -375 -350 -165 -240 -310 -1,470
Cannabis Taxation 0 -35 -100 -135 -200 -220 -690
Cannabis Public Education 0 18 16 16 16 16 83
Support for Canada's Veterans 4,158 -84 -104 -138 -129 -127 3,575
Foregone Revenues 0 0 15 20 20 25 80
Cemetery and Grave Maintenance 0 5 5 5 5 5 24
Better Services for Veterans 0 21 21 0 0 0 43
Supporting Canada’s Official Languages 0 47 84 90 89 91 400
Strengthening Multiculturalism and Addressing the Challenges Faced by Black Canadians 0 17 17 5 2 2 42
Investing in Canadian Content 0 15 29 43 43 43 172
Supporting Local Journalism 0 10 10 10 10 10 50
More Women and Girls in Sport 0 10 10 10 0 0 30
Supporting ParticiPACTION 0 5 5 5 5 5 25
Supporting Special Olympics 0 3 3 4 4 2 16
Revitalizing National Capital Commission Assets 0 3 6 2 2 2 14
A New Partnership Between Library and Archives Canada and the Ottawa Public Library 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
  Less: Funds Sourced from Existing Departmental Resources -1 0 0 0 0 0 -1
Supporting the Canadian Museum for Human Rights 0 4 8 8 6 7 33
A New Process for Federal Election Leaders’ Debates 0 1 5 0 0 0 6
Upholding the Integrity of Canada's Elections 0 1 2 2 2 2 7
Renewing and Modernizing Statistics Canada -3 15 14 12 8 10 56
  Less: Funds Sourced from Existing Departmental Resources 0 -2 -3 -2 -2 -3 -12
2021 Census of Population and Census of Agriculture 0 37 72 177 387 75 748
  Less: Reduction in Departmental Funding 0 0 0 -17 -17 -17 -52
Improving Client Services at the Canada Revenue Agency 0 33 38 49 49 36 206
Stabilizing and Future Transformation of the Federal Government's Pay Administration (Phoenix) 88 301 35 12 8 8 453
Predictable Funding for Employment Insurance Service Delivery 0 30 30 30 0 0 90
  Less: Projected Revenues 0 -4 -11 -12 -12 -13 -52
Employment Insurance Call Centre Accessibility 0 43 43 43 0 0 128
  Less: Projected Revenues 0 -6 -16 -17 -17 -18 -74
4.3 Upholding Shared Values Total 4,212 373 -69 97 76 -334 4,355
4.4 Security and Access to Justice
Expanding Unified Family Courts 0 0 18 19 20 20 77
Strengthening the Canadian Judiciary 0 6 6 3 4 4 23
Supporting Canada's Courts System 0 7 11 11 11 12 52
Enhancing Canadians' Access to Justice 0 5 2 2 2 2 13
Addressing Demand for Immigration and Refugee Legal Aid 0 13 0 0 0 0 13
National Human Trafficking Hotline 0 3 3 3 3 3 14
Taking Action to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, Harassment and Discrimination 0 14 16 17 18 21 86
Ensuring a Workplace Free of Violence and Harassment 0 6 7 7 7 7 35
Providing Legal Support to Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace 0 8 11 11 11 11 50
Improving Support for Sexual Assault Crisis Centres on Campuses 0 1 1 1 1 1 6
Addressing "Unfounded" Cases of Sexual Assault and Better Supporting Victims 0 2 2 2 2 2 10
A Strong Sanctions Regime 0 5 4 4 4 4 22
Ensuring Security and Prosperity in the Digital Age 0 67 91 112 115 122 508
Enabling Digital Services to Canadians 0 222 385 437 399 425 1,867
  Less: Funds Sourced from Existing Departmental Resources 0 -100 -200 -300 -300 -300 -1,200
Enhancing the Security of Taxpayer Information 0 7 6 6 6 5 30
Investment Canada Act—National Security Review of Foreign Investments 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Supporting RCMP Frontline Operations 0 100 8 10 12 12 140
Taking Action Against Guns and Gangs 0 30 40 71 87 100 328
Preserving Canada's Foreign Signals Intelligence Capability 0 0 0 53 55 57 165
Critical Infrastructure Security 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Support for the Correctional Service of Canada and the Office of the Correctional Investigator of Canada 0 75 1 1 1 1 78
Supporting Those That Keep Our Communities Safe 0 8 11 11 11 11 51
Further Improving Mental Health Supports for Inmates 0 3 3 4 5 6 20
Reopening the Penitentiary Farms at Joyceville and Collins Bay Institutions 0 2 1 0 0 0 4
  Less: Funds Sourced from Existing Departmental Resources 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1
Strengthening the Canada Border Services Agency 0 85 0 0 0 0 85
Irregular Migration: Managing the Border 0 116 57 0 0 0 173
Safeguarding Canadians With an Enhanced Passenger Protect Program 0 8 16 15 20 22 81
Protecting Air Travellers 0 236 0 0 0 0 238
Protecting Temporary Foreign Workers 0 45 42 42 35 34 198
  Less: Funds Sourced from Existing Departmental Resources 0 -2 -2 0 0 0 -3
4.4 Security and Access to Justice Total 0 973 543 543 528 580 3,167
Chapter 4—Net Fiscal Impact 4,212 1,768 1,261 1,579 1,786 1,622 12,229
  Less: Provision for Future Investments in Critical Programs and Services Included in 2017 Fall Economic Statement 0 0 0 -300 -600 -1,000 -1,900
Chapter 4—Net Fiscal Impact 4,212 1,769 1,261 1,279 1,186 622 10,329
1 Public sector accounting standards require that the present value of all increased future benefits to eligible veterans for past service be recognized up front. In addition, when amending benefits, accounting standards require the immediate recognition of certain past actuarial gains and losses that would have otherwise been amortized to expense in future years. The fiscal impact of accelerated amortization is temporary, and results in net fiscal savings shown in years 2018–19 to 2022–23. The ongoing cost of the Pension for Life proposal is estimated at $112 million.
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