FedNor funding increase in federal budget

By Dryden Observer Staff

The Trudeau government tabled their Federal Budget last week, which the Liberals say will boost funding for women, scientists and the environment.

The budget touts significant investments being made to promote pay equity, boosting female entrepreneurs, childcare and women-centric organizations and an extensive strategy to address gender-based harassment and violence.

Maryam Monsef, the Minister of Status of Women said that with the 2018 Budget the Government proposes to introduce a new Employment Insurance Parental Sharing Benefit that would provide an additional five weeks of Employment Insurance Parental Benefits when parents—including adoptive and same-sex couples—agree to share parental leave.

“Investing in women means strengthening the economy for everyone,” said Monsef. “Women often end up taking on more caregiving responsibilities, which impacts their ability to reenter the workforce after having children. In jurisdictions where they are in place, we have seen that policies that encourage shared parenting dramatically increase the number of fathers who take time off work to care for their newborns. And when support is available to both parents, including adoptive and same-sex parents, the result is a more equitable division of parenting responsibilities. This is one more way that we are creating systemic change and providing women with equal economic opportunities. Unleashing their full potential will drive innovation and support the middle class.” 

Kenroa MP Bob Nault said that this budget provides Canadians with the opportunity to reach their full potential regardless of location.

“I believe that this budget recognizes the importance of reinvesting in rural and northern communities. That’s why we put an additional $28 million over five years, on top of the $25 million we invested last year to FedNor. In order to recognize the importance of women in leadership roles, $6 million will be allocated to support women entrepreneurs through a regional process. All in all, this means more capital will be invested into economic development initiatives throughout Northern Ontario. It’s a step in the right direction after years of disastrous cuts made by the previous government.”

Nault also pointed out that the government has allocated $100 million over five years to support projects related to low earth orbit satellites. These satellites have the potential to provide Canadians living in rural and remote areas with high-speed Internet and wireless services at a much more affordable price Nault said.

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day also commented on the budget, saying that he commends Minister Philpott of Indigenous Services for advancing and advocating to secure the much needed funds for Child Welfare.

“With today’s announcement of a total of $1.4 billion for First Nation child welfare over six years – this works out to $230 million annually across Canada or $360,000 per community – while this is a first step towards change, much more needs to be done,” said Day. “Our Chiefs will be looking for more details when we meet the Minister next month, especially on how this new funding will enable our communities to bring their children back home.”

Day also stated that the budget does nothing to address the growing housing crisis across Canada.

“An additional $600 million over three years nationally is a drop in the bucket,” said Day. “Ontario needs $2 billion alone. Manitoba needs $3 billion to end their housing crisis. But we do see the skills and employment portion as a much needed support that can go hand in hand with housing, to ensure that citizen are able to live and work within their communities.”

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