Budget 2017 is about putting people first and delivers the programs that Albertans – and all Canadians – can benefit from today, not a decade from now. It is an essential step to restore prosperity to the middle class and support Alberta.
As one of the youngest and most innovative and dynamic provinces, Alberta is at the forefront of those who can most benefit from investment and support for young families. With an average median age of 36.1 years old (according to Statistics Canada), Alberta has the highest proportion of working-age persons of any province (70.6%) and is characterized by a high birth rate and immigration from other provinces.
With these realities in mind, Budget 2017 positively impacts our city, province, and country directly with our commitment to middle class families.
Let’s take a look at some of the key points for Alberta.
There is a strong connection between child care and the economic security of families. To support Canada’s families, Budget 2017 proposes measures that will increase support for early learning and child care, so that more parents here in Alberta can pursue new opportunities to learn and to work. To make sure Canadian children get the best start in life, and to better support Canadian families, #Budget2017 invests $7 billion over 10 years, to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across the country.
Being a working parent is hard. That’s why we’re committing $152 million over five years and $27.5 million per year thereafter to help working parents navigate the challenges that come with a growing family by allowing them to choose to receive EI parental benefits over an extended period of up to 18 months at a lower benefit rate. And, for expecting parents, $43.1 million over five years and $9.2 million per year thereafter to allow expectant mothers to claim EI maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date—expanded from the current standard of 8 weeks—if they so choose.
For too many families, the lack of affordable, high-quality child care means difficult choices—some parents may have to sacrifice retirement savings to pay for child care, while others may leave their careers because child care is unavailable or unaffordable. These choices are especially hard for single parents – we all know single parents who are making incredible sacrifices for their children, and how a lack of affordable, high quality childcare places even more stress on them and their children.
It’s why I ran for office and that’s what I’m promoting in Ottawa every day I am there: help for families and the middle class, along with those we are helping to join them.
As always, you can contact my office by email at email@example.com or by phone at 403.244.1880. My office is located at 950 6 Ave SW and my door is always open to you. You can follow my work in Parliament online and sign up for my e-newsletter at www.KentHehrMP.ca.