A re-elected Liberal government will put more money in parents’ pockets to help them in the first year of their children’s lives, said Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau in St. John’s on Tuesday.
Nothing is more important to parents than spending time with their kids. But raising a family isn’t cheap, and the bills pile up early on – when parents are being paid less but baby products and child care cost more, he said.
“Every parent knows that raising kids is expensive – especially in that first year,” said Trudeau. “With everything else on their plates, the last thing new parents need to worry about is making ends meet. That’s why we’ll be there for families – so they can be there for their kids.”
A re-elected Liberal government will:
- give up to $1,000 more to families to help when the costs of raising kids are highest, by boosting the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) by 15 per cent for children under the age of one;
- make sure families get more money right away, by making maternity and parental benefits tax-free; and
- make paid leave fairer for families, by introducing a 15-week leave for adoptive parents – so they get as much in benefits to care for their kids as everyone else.
These important steps will build toward a long-term vision that helps families when it matters most, said Trudeau.
He added that is why the Liberals will, within the first year of their mandate, work to establish Guaranteed Paid Family leave – an ambitious program that will make sure that parents who don’t qualify for paid leave through Employment Insurance or don’t get enough, because they’re between jobs, earn little, or haven’t worked enough hours, will receive a guaranteed income during the first year of their child’s life. This means every single Canadian parent will be able to afford to spend the first year at home with their kid.
Since 2015, the Liberals said their government has made it a priority to make life easier and more affordable for families:
- They gave more money to nine out of ten families and helped lift 300,000 children from poverty, by creating the CCB;
- They created tens of thousands of new child care spaces across the country, by developing the Early Learning and Child Care framework;
- They made parental leave more flexible, by allowing parents to spread their time over 18 months; and
- They gave both parents the option to take more time off with their newborn, by adding the five-week parental sharing benefit.
“Conservatives like Andrew Scheer and Doug Ford pretend they are for the people, but on the first opportunity, they cut taxes for the wealthiest and cut the help Canadian families rely on,” said Trudeau. “Our kids deserve the best possible start in life – and that’s exactly what today is all about.”