Calgary, AB – The federal government has released Budget 2023, “A Made-in-Canada Plan: Stronger Middle Class, Affordable Economy and Healthy Future”. While it delivers the promised investments in health transfer payments and has a focus on the next generations’ clean economy, children and youth will not receive the catalytic investment and strategy needed to support their development.
The Young Canadians’ Parliament called for action on the environment and climate change in their recent Report. Members asked for increased accountability and transparency, incentives and taxation, and overall promotion of renewable energy. Today’s budget takes some of these recommendations into account.
Additional Budget 2023 commitments which will impact children and youth include:
- Helping Canadians Stay Active
- Implement a 988 Suicide Prevention Line
- Build on Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy
- Invest in a Safe and Accountable Sport System
- Support for First Nations, Métis and Inuit children
- Bolster Affordability and Housing Efforts
Children First Canada applauds these investments, which will address some of the recommendations found within CFC’s latest Raising Canada report on the top 10 threats to childhood, including efforts to support equity-deserving communities, improve health care and address systemic racism.
What is still lacking is targeted investments aimed at improving children’s lives that are commensurate with the overwhelming need. Canada lacks an ambitious vision for all our children. The creation of a federal commissioner, a national strategy, better data, and bold investments and leadership are urgently needed. Notably absent in this budget is a financial commitment to move forward with a national school food program.
“Kids are in crisis stemming both from the pandemic and the ongoing underfunding of their basic human rights. Mental health services are in unprecedented demand, children’s hospitals are overwhelmed, and parents are struggling to provide for their children’s basic needs. It’s time for a data-informed strategy with the leadership and catalytic investments to improve the lives of children.” – Sara Austin, Children First Canada Founder and CEO.
“Children and youth make up nearly a quarter of Canada’s population”, said 17-year-old Jayden Paquet Noiseux from Quebec, a member of CFC’s Youth Advisory Council. “Adults like to call us future leaders, but we’re leading right now by standing up for our rights. Our lives are on the line – in so many ways – and we’re calling on our government to work with us to find solutions.”.
“The budget outlines ways to encourage companies and organizations to switch to greener alternatives but nothing about holding those who circumvent regulations and go unnoticed accountable,” said Lucy Diaz, 15-year-old member of the Young Canadians’ Parliament from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. “There is also an extreme lack of focus on educating both students and those in the workforce about climate change and possible solutions. If the general public remains uneducated about climate change, these budget changes will seem extreme and unneeded, leading to unnecessary pushback.”
Children First Canada will continue to review Budget 2023 in detail in the weeks to come.
For more information, please contact:
Wraychel Horne, Communications Specialist, Children First Canada
Phone: +1 902-626-9601
About Children First Canada:
Children First Canada (CFC) is a national charitable organization with a bold and ambitious vision that together we can make Canada the best place in the world for kids to grow up. We are a strong, effective and independent voice for all 8 million children in Canada. CFC is harnessing the strength of many organizations that are committed to improving the lives of children in Canada, including children’s charities and hospitals, research centres, government, corporations, community leaders, and children themselves. Visit childrenfirstcanada.org for more information.