A high-ranking minister in the Trudeau cabinet was in Brampton today to take questions from media in advance of a March 22nd date for the tabling of the Federal Budget.
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos is Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and he spent thirty minutes taking questions from local media representatives on a broad range of subjects, including the government’s plans to promote economic development, support seniors, children, and reduce poverty.
In his prepared comments, the Minister touted the benefits of the Canada Child Benefit which was introduced in 2016 to replace the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the National Child Benefit Supplement, and the Universal Child Care Benefit. The government claims that the new measure has “lifted 40 out of 100 children out of poverty”.
Minister Duclos also spoke briefly about steps taken in 2016 to support seniors, including restoring age 65 as the age of eligibility to receive benefits, and increases to the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Old Age Security payments.
“Next week’s budget will continue those measures to help support and grow middle-class Canadians, and take more Canadians out of poverty and into the middle-class.” Duclos said, “But, there will be other themes that we will see develop in next week’s budget.”
He added that innovation is expected to be an important component of the upcoming budget.
Last month, Brampton Focus sat down with Minister Navdeep Bains, who is driving an “innovation agenda” which he says is key to economic development and will help Canada prepare for the “economy of the future”. You can watch that interview online by clicking here.
Infrastructure announcements are also expected, with the City of Brampton having several large projects that it would like to see move ahead, including support for building a new university, funding for a “Riverwalk” to eliminate the flooding risk to the downtown area, and a plan to divert rail freight cars from the Kitchener line which will allow all-day two-way GO Train service.
On hand for the question and answer session were the Brampton MPs, Raj Grewal, Kamal Khera, Ramesh Sangha, Ruby Sahota, and Sonia Sidhu.
The Federal Budget is scheduled to be released on March 22nd. In his fiscal update last November, Finance Minister Bill Morneau indicated an expected deficit of $25.1 billion this year and a shortfall of $27.8 billion for 2017-18.