There’s nothing new in the latest federal budget when it comes to the Liberals' plans to increase female participation in the workforce and promote pay equality.
That’s according to Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River NDP MLA Georgina Jolibois, who said a fellow NDP MP put forward a private member’s bill to do exactly that last year, but it was voted down by the Liberals. She accused the Liberals of taking NDP ideas and presenting them as their own in the latest federal budget, which was unveiled Tuesday.
“They’ve been doing that for several years; they even did it in the last election,” Jolibois said. “There would be a number of areas where they would listen to what the NDP says, and then … steal our ideas.”
Although the government's latest budget seems designed to get more women into the workforce, Jolibois noted the Liberals didn’t mention any plans to address child care. With fewer women staying at home, she said, someone will need to be available to look after the children and quality care will be needed.
Jolibois also questioned the Liberals' plan to distribute $4.1 billion for on-reserve infrastructure, including housing, during a five-year period. She said money might not start flowing until next year, which is a cause for concern because 2019 is an election year. Although the timing appeared suspect, Jolibois said the decision to focus on Indigenous issues is still a positive sign.
With the deficit expected to hit $18 billion in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Jolibois expressed concern about Canada's growing national debt.
“The deficit really worries me, because we don’t know exactly what kind of infrastructure and programs and projects the federal government is still thinking about,” she said.
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