Alberta Economic Diversification, Extra Benefit for New Parents, National Pharmacare, and the Opioid Crisis

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As I write this, our government just released Budget 2018 (www.budget.gc.ca), focused on creating a more fair, innovative, competitive and inclusive Canada.

Canada has the fastest growing economy in the G7 and our debt-to-GDP ratio continues to decline – enabling us to double-down on our plan to invest in the middle class and people working hard to join it. There’s more work to be done, but things are moving in the right direction with nearly 90,000 full-time jobs added in Alberta last year.

Below are just a few highlights from Budget 2018.

Alberta Economic Diversification: As part of the Innovation and Skills Plan, Budget 2018 invests $184 million to help workers in Alberta and other western provinces adapt to a lower-carbon economy. This includes $35 million to support women entrepreneurs.

Extra Benefit for New Parents: Budget 2018 proposes a new EI Parental Sharing Benefit that provides five extra weeks of benefits. It supports a more equal distribution of child care between both parents and gives more flexibility if parents want to return to work earlier.

National Pharmacare: When Canadians can’t afford medicine, it leads to reduced health and higher costs for everyone. Budget 2018 creates an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare to recommend how best to ensure everyone has access to the medicine they need.

Address the Opioid Crisis: We have made new investments, introduced new legislation and fast-tracked regulatory action. Budget 2018 provides an extra $20 million in emergency funding for Alberta, BC and Manitoba to address the crisis.

Science and Research: Budget 2018 provides the biggest investment in fundamental research in Canadian history. It will spur innovation by ensuring our next generation of researchers is bigger, more diverse and better equipped.

To contact me, visit www.KentHehrMP.ca, email kent.hehr@parl.gc.ca or call 403-244-1880.

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