Yesterday, March 6th, 2018, Parliamentary Secretary to Crown-Indigenous Relations & Northern Affairs and Member of Parliament for Labrador, Yvonne Jones, and Joël Lightbound, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, met with constituents in Labrador to discuss Budget 2018. Both Ms. Jones and Mr. Lightbound attended a roundtable with local business leaders in Happy Valley—Goose Bay before visiting with constituents at the Labrador Friendship Centre, the Mokami Status of Women, and the NunatuKavut Community Council and Assembly Office. The Members then travelled to Sheshatishu were they met constituents at the Mary May Social and Treatment Centre, the Sheshatishu Youth Centre and Group Home. Below are comments by Ms. Jones on Budget 2018.
In Budget 2018, our Government continues to put people at the forefront of our decision-making. We are committed to strengthening and increasing accessibility to programs that support Labradorians across the Big Land. This includes things like the Canada Child Benefit, EI benefits for shared parental leave, EI benefits for seasonal workers, and targeted supports for women in the trades. We’re also introducing the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB)– a stronger, bigger and more accessible program that replaces the Working Income Tax Benefit. The CWB will offer more money to help with the cost of basics like food and clothes, so that a worker earning $15,000 could receive up to almost $500 more from the CWB in 2019 than under the WITB in 2018. By making this benefit more generous, and by automatically giving the benefit to all those who qualify, we will help lift about 70,000 more Canadians out of poverty by 2020.
This budget also shows our Governments continued commitment to forging new relationships with Indigenous Peoples based on trust, respect, and in the true spirit of cooperation. Building on PM Trudeau’s apology on behalf of the Government of Canada to the residential school survivors of Labrador, budget 2018 allocated $248 million to support access to mental health and emotional support services for residential school survivors and their families. Budget 2018 also sees unprecedented funding for Indigenous community health programming including $27.5 million earmarked to help end TB in Inuit Communities; skills and employment training; and $400 million for housing. Budget 2018 builds on significant investments of $11.8 billion in the past two budgets and takes further steps toward reconciliation by investing in priority areas identified by our indigenous stakeholders.
All in all, I am extremely pleased with the Budget 2018. Labrador is poised to capitalize on historic investments to infrastructure, Indigenous programming, housing, and development. The future of Labrador is bright and full of great potential.