LONGUEUIL – Alexandra Mendès, MP for Brossard—Saint-Lambert, Michel Picard, MP for Montarville, and Sherry Romanado, MP for Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne, shared and commented on the 2018 federal budget recently tabled by the Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance. According to the federal representatives, ensuring that all South Shore residents have an equal opportunity for success is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do.

One of the key themes of Budget 2018 is gender equality. More than 20 concrete measures have been proposed, including a move towards pay equity; financial support for community-based women’s organizations; a new funding and venture capital strategy for women entrepreneurs; the promotion of women’s and girls’ participation in sports; measures to combat gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination; and assistance for victims of harassment and sexual assault.

Recalling the revelations contained in the “Paradise Papers,” Montarville MP Michel Picard highlighted the federal government’s further efforts to crack down on tax evasion and tax avoidance. “Tax fairness means that everyone pays their fair share of tax. Improving the integrity of the tax system means more money for public services, so everyone wins.” The government will invest $90.6 million to further combat tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Budget 2018 proposes an unprecedented investment of nearly $4 billion over five years in research and science in Canada. This investment includes measures to ensure that Canadian research facilities have the necessary resources to undertake high-quality multidisciplinary research, and the ability to attract talent and retain young scientists and researchers. Alexandra Mendès, MP for Brossard—Saint-Lambert, noted that “Research and science are vital, especially with an economy in constant, accelerated transformation. I am very proud of Budget 2018 and the investment of nearly $4 billion in science and innovation. It is concrete proof of our government’s commitment to invest in innovative ideas and in our young researchers and scientists, to provide them with the tools they need to keep Canada competitive in the development of new ideas and technologies, while contributing to the wellbeing of our communities.”

Budget 2018 also contains provisions to support the health and wellbeing of Canadians living with dementia and autism spectrum disorder. Among other things, the budget proposes to allocate $20 million over five years to fund community-based projects to provide resources and support for people living with dementia and for their caregivers. The government will contribute a further $20 million over five years to local and national initiatives to better support the needs of Canadians experiencing autism spectrum disorder, and their families. “The federal government is very sensitive to the complex reality of Canadians impacted by autism spectrum disorder and dementia. Our local organizations are doing an amazing job of helping these individuals and their families. These investments will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the services available to them,” stated Sherry Romanado, MP for Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne.  

To support Canada’s efforts to combat climate change, 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. The new Nature Fund will support the Quebec government’s species protection efforts. From this new program, the members of Parliament highlighted the efforts to protect, preserve and restore whale populations in the St. Lawrence Estuary. The federal government also reiterated its plan to proceed with the creation of a federal carbon-pricing regime.

The federal debt-to-GDP ration is gradually declining. Canada has one of the fastest growing economies among G7 countries and its unemployment rate is at its lowest rate in decades. That is why the government has the confidence to make investments that will strengthen and grow the middle class and those working hard to join it.