Canada 2018 Budget Adds $18.1B to Deficit, Focuses on 'Equality & Growth'

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau introducing the 2018 budget.

The new federal budget includes $21.5 billion in new spending over the next six years.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced the national budget Tuesday, which includes billions in new funding across a wide spectrum of initiatives.

He has been clear from the start that this budget was never intended to provide a path towards eliminating Ottawa's deficit.

One of the main focuses of the document is to advance towards gender equality and to help families.

Starting in June 2019, Canada will have a new parental leave benefit that will give fathers or non-birth parent five weeks of paid leave. This will total $1.2 billion over the next five years.

Legislation will also be introduced later this year on measures to close the income gap for equal work between the sexes.

Other means related to gender equality and family equity include $30 million over three years to promote women and girls to get involved in sports and free admission for kids into national parks becoming permanent.

An advisory committee for a national pharmacare program has been announced, although there are no estimates at this time how much the initiative will cost.

Other large spending announcements include:

  • $1.3 billion to conserve lands, waterways, wildlife, and species at risk
  • $1.3 billion over six years to First Nations Child and Family Services
  • $750 million over five years to improve cyber security
  • $231 million to fight the opioid crisis, which will include $165 million in 2018
  • $173 million to address illegal border crossings and asylum seekers
  • $172.6 million over three years for clean drinking water on First Nations
  • $100 million over five years to develop rural broadband innovation

- David Opinko / with files from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

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