Women, science and conservation are among the big themes of Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s latest federal budget which was tabled Tuesday afternoon. The budget, as expected, puts a large emphasis on gender equality, particularly getting more women in the workforce as part of a longer-term plan to grow the economy and prepare for the consequences of an ageing population.
The Liberal government’s latest federal budget includes $21.5 billion in new spending, with a plan to boost the participation of women in the workforce by giving up to five weeks of leave for new fathers. Worth $1.2 billion over five years.
It’s also designed to boost the number of women entrepreneurs and those in the trades, science and technology fields and includes major investments in science, $3.2 billion worth. As well as the environment and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, earmarking $4.7 billion over the next five years largely aimed at supporting Indigenous children and families and investing in housing and health.
The Liberals are also appointing a group of advisers to explore a national pharmacare program to cover prescription drugs chaired by Eric Hoskins who resigned Monday as Ontario Health Minister.
This big spending budget projects an $18.1 billion deficit for the coming year with no plan to balance the books through to at least 2023.