Century Initiative welcomes several of the initiatives announced by the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, in today’s federal budget.
Today’s budget rightly focuses on addressing the very real financial pressures on Canadians in the face of rising food and other prices, as well as higher inflation. As we enter a period of greater economic uncertainty, these measures will be even more important to households already having difficulties making ends meet.
However, we also cannot lose sight of the opportunity a federal budget presents to think about the measures required to secure Canada’s longer-term economic prosperity. With Canada’s birth rate at its lowest in more than 100 years immigration remains a key factor in our long-term economic prosperity as a country. That is why we are pleased to see the budget reiterate Canada’s commitment to increasing immigration, and its recognition of the vital contribution newcomers make to our economic and social fabric.
To that end, we welcome the Government’s commitment of $10 million over five years for measures to expedite the processing of citizenship applications. We also urge the government to continue delivering on the commitment made in budget 2022 to invest $50 million in measures to address immigration application backlogs.
While increasing our population is vital to our long-term economic prosperity as a country, it is important that policy-makers also invest in measures that will contribute not only to attracting newcomers to Canada, but to ensure that as the country grows in size, we grow well. That means investing in vital infrastructure, in our supply chains, in digital connectivity, and in providing the skills and job training required for us to meet the labour and skills gap facing so many industries. It is only by taking a more holistic view of our long-term prosperity, and by making the necessary investments that we will ensure that Canada grows and that our prosperity is more widely enjoyed.
Century Initiative looks forward to working with the federal government to realize our shared objective of a bigger, bolder, more prosperous Canada.