For Immediate Release
February 27, 2018 – Ottawa, ON
The 2018 Federal Budget is good news for the economy, workers and middle class of Northwestern Ontario, according to Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River.
Rusnak highlighted the $100 million that will be invested into developing technologies that could extend and improve access to broadband internet service in rural areas as proof of this government’s commitment to Northern Ontario and all of rural Canada. Another significant investment specific to the region is a $28 million over 5 years increase in Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) funding, of which $6 million will be dedicated specifically to supporting women entrepreneurs.
Additionally, Budget 2018 includes significant investments in science and research, which is great news for universities and colleges across the country including Thunder Bay. This funding covers increases in grants for research, monies for overhead costs, and a focus on investing in the latest tools and equipment. By investing in science and research, our government is ensuring Canadians have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to compete with innovative thinkers around the world.
People residing in Thunder Bay—Rainy River will also benefit from the increase of $5.6 billion for the Canada Child Benefit, over the 2018-19 to 2022-23 period, and the introduction of the new Canada Worker’s Benefit (CWB), which will help low-income families that are working hard to make ends meet. The new CWB also focuses on increased access, which means more hardworking Canadians will qualify for the program.
The government has also made significant investments in skills to improve labour market outcomes. These investments include enhanced post-secondary Canada Student Grants for young Canadians and adults wanting to return to school, greater flexibility for adult workers to retain EI benefits while retraining, and increased funding for unemployed and underemployed Canadians seeking training to find a new job.
Budget 2018 proposes an investment of $2 billion over five years and $408.2 million ongoing to support the creation of a new Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program, which will replace the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy.
Through investments made in Budget 2017 and Budget 2018, the government proposes dedicated funding to support the successful implementation of each of distinctions-based housing strategies. This includes an additional $600 million over three years to support housing on reserve as part of a 10-year First Nations Housing Strategy that is being developed with First Nations.
This budget also proposed a $1.5 billion investment over five years, starting in 2018-19, and $149 million per year ongoing, into Indigenous Health. This includes nursing services in isolated First Nations communities, supporting access to necessary health benefits and services, and the delivery of culturally appropriate addictions treatment and prevention programs.
Budget 2018 additionally makes investments in maintaining our border crossings, which are extremely important for regions such as Thunder Bay—Rainy River. Budget 2018 invests $85.5 million in 2018-19 to enable to Canada Border Services Agency to continue achieving its goal of managing Canada’s borders, enforcing laws governing trade and travel and stopping people and goods that pose a potential threat to Canada from crossing the border.
Finally, Mining and agriculture also are seeing increased support in Budget 2018. The Mineral Exploration Tax Credit will receive a one year extension, while Canadian agriculture exports will receive increased financial support to help them reach new markets.
“Everyone has to be able to benefit from Canada’s growing economy, as does every region. That is why I am proud that Budget 2018’s investments in FedNor, post-secondary education, and family and worker tax benefits will help ensure that every Northwestern Ontarian has an equal opportunity to take part in this economic success and continue contributing to our region and country’s growth. This government believes that every Canadian helps build our economy, and these investments in Budget 2018 will provide it with a strong foundation for years to come.”
Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River
“With this budget, built by and for all Canadians, we are tackling the challenge of equality head-on—asking tough questions, and beginning to provide solutions. We will continue to double down on our plan to invest in the middle class and everyone working hard to join it. It’s a plan that puts people first, builds on the hard work of Canadians, and keeps us squarely focused on the future—so that our children have better opportunities to follow their dreams, find good jobs, and give back to their community.”
Minister of Finance