ADVANCING OUR SHARED VALUES
Canadians have always worked hard to build a more prosperous future for themselves, their children and their grandchildren. They value Canada’s leadership in building a more just world. They understand that their quality of life today—and their economic success tomorrow—rests on the commitments we make to protect Canada’s nature, parks and wild spaces, while preserving a clean environment for future generations of Canadians. They are proud of our history of helping vulnerable people around the world, because they know that a safer, more prosperous world means a safer and more prosperous Canada. In Budget 2018, the Government is taking a more focused approach to international assistance, by supporting the full empowerment of women and girls in order to change the world for the better.
A Clean Environment for Future Generations
We all want to ensure that our children and grandchildren can continue to hike in our majestic forests and swim in our beautiful lakes, rivers and streams. Budget 2018 proposes one of the largest investments in nature conservation in Canadian history—in order to protect our ecosystems, landscapes and biodiversity, including species at risk. Working in partnership with provinces, territories and Indigenous peoples, this plan will help to conserve 17 per cent of our land and inland waters.
A Sustainable and Clean Economy That Works for Everyone
A clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. Pollution has a real cost and puts stress on the health of communities, the economy, and on Canadians themselves. A central part of Canada’s plan to address climate change and grow the economy is the Pan-Canadian Approach to Pricing Carbon Pollution. To ensure that a price on carbon pollution is in place Canada-wide, Budget 2018 provides funding to support the federal carbon pollution pricing system that would apply in provinces and territories that do not have a carbon pricing policy that meets the federal standard.
Advancing Gender Equality Around the World
In Budget 2018, the Government is strengthening the impact of Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy, and advancing Canada’s international leadership in key areas. By making major new investments that focus on gender equality and the full empowerment of women and girls, the Government is helping bring about the change we need for a more equitable, prosperous world.
Protecting Vulnerable Women and Girls
Canada is a global leader when it comes to welcoming newcomers who have fled war or persecution in their home countries. Women and girls represent half of the world’s refugee population and face increased risks due to their gender. Many have suffered from sexual violence and exploitation. Through Budget 2018, the Government is taking action to ensure that Canada welcomes more refugee women and girls from various conflict zones and that we continue to show leadership when providing international assistance to the world’s displaced people.
Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Canada
The Government recognizes that Canada is in the midst of an opioid crisis. In 2016 alone, more than 2,800 Canadian lives were lost to apparent opioid overdoses. The impact of the crisis is being felt in many communities across the country—in inner cities, suburbs, northern and rural communities, as well as in Indigenous communities. Through Budget 2018, the Government provides significant new funding to assist provinces and territories with providing better access to evidence-based treatment services, launches a public education campaign to address stigma that creates barriers for those seeking treatment, and prevents the illegal import of substances.
Pharmacare: Helping Canadians Get the Medicine They Need
Every year, almost one million Canadians give up food and heat to afford the medicine they need. Those Canadians who can pay for their prescriptions face some of the highest costs among the world’s most advanced countries. The high cost of prescription medication means that sometimes sick Canadians must do without. This reality leads to Canadians being less healthy, and significantly higher health care costs for us all. As part of Budget 2018, the Government is creating an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, which will recommend options on how best to move forward together on this important issue to ensure every Canadian has access to the medicine they need. This builds on significant actions taken over the past two years to make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible.
Getting Ready for the Legalization of Cannabis
The Government has committed to legalize and strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis, to keep it out of the hands of Canadian children and to keep profits away from criminals and organized crime. To this end, the Government is taking additional steps in preparation for legalization. Through Budget 2018, the Government will ensure that taxes on cannabis products remain low. To help those who rely on medical cannabis, the Government will exempt from excise duties low-THC products, including low-THC cannabidiol oils, which are sometimes used by children facing certain medical conditions, and prescription pharmaceutical products that are derived from cannabis. The Government will also examine options to provide retroactive reimbursement for duties imposed on equivalent products prior to them being given a Drug Identification Number. The Government will also provide additional funding to support community-based organizations and Indigenous organizations that are educating the public on the risks associated with cannabis use.
Increased Support for Canada’s Official Languages
Preserving and protecting Canada’s official languages are an important part of what it means to be Canadian. Official language minority communities hold an important shared history and identity. In 2019 Canada will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act. The Government understands the challenges that official language minority communities are facing to maintain and grow their place in Canada. To help meet these challenges, Budget 2018 provides additional funding for the following key initiatives: more vital and sustainable community organizations; the attraction and retention of teachers serving official language communities; improving the quality and accessibility of early learning and child care for families in these communities; enhanced cultural, artistic and heritage activities; supporting French- and English-language minority community radio stations and newspapers; the development of an interactive application to make it easy to learn English or French as a second language, and improved access to services in English for English-speaking communities of Quebec. Budget 2018 also supports greater access to legal information and services in both official languages.
Improving Services at the Canada Revenue Agency
The Government recognizes that Canadians have been frustrated by frequent busy signals, dropped calls and long wait times at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). To improve telephone services, Budget 2018 proposes funding to hire more agents, monitor feedback from Canadians to improve service, and provide more training to staff so information is more accurate. This will ensure Canadians receive the information they need, when they need it. Furthermore, Budget 2018 proposes to strengthen digital services in order to deliver a more user-friendly experience, as well as expand tax preparation clinics so more Canadians are able to get access to the benefits they are entitled to. The Government will also undertake a comprehensive review of the CRA to ensure that services are delivered in a client-centred way, and that Canadians interacting with the CRA feel like valued clients, not just taxpayers.
Protecting Canadians from cyber attacks
Digital technologies have changed the way Canadians live and how our institutions function. But cyber-attacks are also changing, becoming ever more sophisticated and effective, and have the potential to expose the private information of Canadians and cost Canadian businesses millions of dollars. To help improve the cyber resilience of Canadians when they use digital technologies, and to bolster Canada’s cyber security posture, Budget 2018 proposes significant investments. This includes support for Canada’s first comprehensive cyber security plan—the National Cyber Security Strategy—and the creation of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and a National Cybercrime Coordination Unit. These investments will help Canadian businesses better prepare for cyber-attacks, and promote better coordination in response to cyber incidents. The Government will work alongside trusted partners in Canada and around the world to proactively address mutual cyber issues and raise the cyber security bar for all Canadians
Support for public safety and the women and men who keep Canadians safe
Canada is an ideal place to raise families and grow businesses. Public confidence in Canadians’ safety, security and well-being is vital for an inclusive and peaceful society and a growing economy. Budget 2018 proposes various investments in our public safety institutions to help continue keeping Canadians safe. This includes investments in front-line policing operations, radio equipment for police officers and support for border operations. The Government is also committed to supporting the mental health of public safety officers. Budget 2018 provides support for research on post-traumatic stress injuries among public safety officers, as well as targeted supports for federal police officers.
Encouraging safe cross-border economic activity
As an open and welcoming country and as a trading nation, Canada’s borders must be managed in a way that protects Canadians while encouraging cross-border trade and the free flow of goods and people. Budget 2018 maintains this balance by proposing investments that will aid legitimate cross-border traffic, while stopping people and goods posing a threat from entering Canada. The Government is also taking steps to better manage the processing of asylum claimants at the Canada-U.S. border.
Through Budget 2018, the Government is making investments that will improve the delivery of services to Canadians, and enhance the security of our country. This will allow
- A clean environment for future generations
- Progressive Canadian leadership on the world stage
- A safe and restricted access to cannabis once it is legalized
- Quicker, more accurate and improved service at the Canadian Revenue Agency
- Support for Canada’s safety and security institutions, and for public safety officers, who keep Canadians safe
- Smarter borders that allow legitimate travel and commerce, and keep potential threats away
- Enhanced cyber security for Canadians and Canadian businesses
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