Budget 2018: Liberals focus on women, science with eye to 2019 election

Budget 2018: Liberals focus on women, science with eye to 2019 election

The Canadian Health Coalition, which represents health advocates across Canada, was critical of the government's plan to stop short of a universal public drug plan, calling it a betrayal of Canadians' desire for what has been called by some the "unfinished business" of medicare.

"We believe that Canada's future success rests on making sure that every Canadian has an opportunity to work, and to earn a good living from that work", he said. Gender equality in wages is a step forward. The Liberals have the support of more than half of those voters who self-identify as "left of centre", compared to one-quarter who routinely say they support the NDP.

Morneau's plan to raise long-term growth is counting on waves of new measures created to advance fundamental science, nurture the innovative economy and topple numerous barriers preventing women from fully participating in the workforce.

"It's not news to me that business is asking for lower tax rates-I was in business, that's a pretty common refrain", Morneau said.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau proposed legislating pay equity and offering parental leave to fathers "to make it easier for women to return to work sooner, if they so choose".

An additional $57.5 million a year for three years is not sufficient funding to end boil water advisories in First Nations as promised in the last election. Other measures include pay equity legislation for federally regulated sectors and C$2 billion over five years for a feminist worldwide assistance policy. The projections, which are similar to those the government posted in October, include annual $3-billion cushions to offset risks. That review recommended phasing in $1.3 billion more for researchers, scholarships and facilities over four years. The ratio of debt to the economy is scheduled to fall from 30.4 percent in 2017-18 to 28.4 percent in 2022-23.

Since the budget was released, many in Canada's research community have weighed in.

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Signs of better wage growth and inflation made him more confident about the economy, he said. The Federal Reserve uses its discount rate as sort of a brake pedal on the economy.

It's one of several new data-gathering measures pledged by the Liberals. The Employment Insurance Parental Sharing Benefit would increase EI parental leave to a maximum of 40 weeks in cases where the second parent agrees to take at least five weeks off. The Canada Research Chairs program will see an investment of $210 million over five years (with $50 million a year thereafter), largely targeted to support early career researchers and women. Former Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins will lead the effort.

Morneau said he would monitor impacts "in a responsible and careful way, letting evidence, and not emotion, guide our decisions". "Our goal is to do this in a way that actually deals with that gap".

Greenpeace Canada's Mike Hudema said it is worrisome that the government is not proposing new measures to break the country's "fossil fuel addiction" and speed the transition a renewable-energy economy.

After two years of reckless expenditure, Bill Morneau's hard third budget has cut the rate of net annual spending increase in half - to 2.4 per cent in the coming year, from 5.9 per cent in the current. And quite intriguingly, the largest individual investment in science, C$1.8 billion, is devoted to the creation of new facilities to "renew federal laboratories", billed as collaborative spaces that will bring together federal scientists from different agencies, departments and institutes.

The budget backs off somewhat on the new tax measures with some changes. "They can't", director Jonathan Zaid said in a statement. "We are definitely happy with this initial investment", she said. "This is a stay-the-course budget, " Baker said. It likely will never happen during the Trudeau government's years in power. And an additional C$275 million was allocated over five years to create a "tri-council" programme to encourage interdisciplinary, high-risk or worldwide research, which the Naylor report described as poorly supported by existing funding mechanisms.

The new federal budget allocates $172 million over five years to the CMF, starting in 2018-19, with $42.5 million per year ongoing. RSM Canada Consulting LP provides consulting services and is an affiliate of RSM US LLP, a member firm of RSM International.