Two days ago, the Federal Government announced Budget 2019. It outlines both continuing and new financial investments for initiatives across the country. While Budget 2019 proposes some important investments, it misses the mark on bold investments on areas like poverty reduction, child care and pharmacare. Many national organizations weighed in with their announcements and made key recommendations:
- Child Care Now notes the even though Budget 2019 acknowledges that high costs of child care negatively impacts families, there were no new investments into child care. You can join their campaign Affordable Child Care for All Plan by sending a message to federal party leaders.
- Canada Without Poverty welcomes the introduction of a variety of policy initiatives for people in poverty, including increased access to high-speed internet, lower interest rates for Canada Student Loans, and enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan, applauds the steps towards a national pharmacare program, but is critical of the failure to focus on the housing needs of renters.
- Children’s First Canada applauds the inclusion of some important measures related to children and youth. They continue to advocate for the establishment of a Commission for Children and Youth to ensure kids have an independent advocate working to measurably improve their wellbeing and hold the government accountable.
- UNICEF believes the government must continue its focus on reaching the most vulnerable children and youth. They make recommendations to build up Canada’s Child Benefit and create a Child Rights Impact Assessment to clearly show in budgets and economic updates what government spends on children and youth.
- The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children celebrates that children will benefit from some of the new initiatives, such as investments into Jordan’s Principle, and notes the budget is missing a clear plan to fund the new Indigenous child welfare system.
- Canadian Doctors for Medicare recognizes that investments into funding and creating the Canada Drug Agency are important steps forward on the implementation of national pharmacare. They note anticipation for the final report release from the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare.
Click here to read the Investing in Young Canadians budget booklet from Budget 2019.
First Call is still analyzing the federal budget to look for impacts on children, youth and families and we welcome commentary from our coalition members.