THUNDER BAY – “This is a budget that puts people first and makes tangible investments that will make a real difference in people’s lives in Northern Ontario,” said Patty Hajdu, MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North and Minister of Status of Women. “We’re providing much needed funding for affordable housing, unprecedented support for Indigenous communities and immediate help for families with programs such as the Canada Child Benefit.”
Budget 2016 will invest $11.9 billion to build roads, bridges, community centres and improve water and wastewater facilities. It also provides $500 million to extend high-speed internet to rural and remote communities. In addition, funding is provided to re-open the Veterans Affairs office in Thunder Bay, reinstating the same staffing and service levels as prior to its closing by the previous government.
True to its commitment towards a total renewal of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous people, Budget 2016 makes tremendous investments totalling $8.4 billion over five years in First Nation communities. It will invest $3.6 billion over five years in quality education for every First Nations child, including building and repairing schools. Budget 2016 also provides $2.2 billion for clean water infrastructure to finally put an end to on-reserve boiling water advisories.
Budget 2016 also confirms our Government’s commitment to making real progress in achieving gender equality in Canada. By providing an additional funding of $23.3 million over five years for Status of Women Canada, it will allow Minister Hajdu to oversee the expansion of the department’s regional presence across Canada to support local organizations working on women’s issues and gender equality. Additionally, the Government has allocated $89.9 million over two years for the construction and renovation of shelters and transition houses for victims of family violence. This investment is expected to support the construction or renovation of over 3,000 shelter spaces over the next two years.
“Over $10 million has been earmarked for new shelters that serve victims of family violence living in First Nations communities,” said Minister Hajdu. “This budget addresses issues that I’ve been fighting for my entire life.”