It’s been one year since the people of Kildonan – St. Paul elected me to represent them in the House of Commons. I’ve been deeply humbled to represent such hard-working, compassionate people, who serve as my example in Ottawa. It is also an honour to serve all Canadians as the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour. After one year with Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister, we have only begun to deliver the real change we promised Canadians.
I’m proud of our work in Europe: the Prime Minister has strengthened Canada’s contributions in Eastern Europe and signed the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement. Next week, I will fly to the Ukraine and begin work on reaching an agreement to share Canadian mining expertise with Ukrainians. Prior to leaving, I will be visiting the 10 ambulances Canada is sending to the Ukraine – half of these ambulances were donated by Manitoba. Canada is committing over $8 million to helping Ukraine’s emergency services, and I’m looking forward to seeing our money at work first-hand.
When I sit down for coffee with my constituents, people tell me they believe in an economy that will work for all Canadians. As Minister of Employment, I doubled the Canada Summer Jobs program to employ 78,500 youth, provided extra EI supports for businesses and workers in Western Canada, have improved labour relations, and prevented a work stoppage at Canada Post. Our government cut taxes for the middle class and increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single seniors.
The landmark Canada Child Benefit has already made a massive impact for Canadian families, and will help life over 300,000 children out of poverty. As a mother, I know how difficult raising children can be in today’s economy, and that strong families are the backbone of the Canadian economy. No child should be left behind, and our government is working hard to meet Canadian’s expectation of inclusive growth.
Canada’s young people are our future. Our government increased Canada Student Grants by 50% to help young people prepare for their careers without burdening them with debt. Young Canadians are worried that today’s economy has no room for them, and we are dedicated to making jobs training more accessible and post-secondary education more affordable.
Our inclusive society is Canada’s greatest strength. Our Prime Minister made history by marching in Pride parades in Vancouver and Toronto. Closer to home, I was proud to march in Steinbach’s first-ever pride parade.
In the past year, Canada has become more optimistic, inclusive, and forward-looking. I am excited by the progress we have made, and recognize we still have a lot of work to do. A year ago, we were elected with high expectations. Canadians expect us to build off of a successful first year and invest in the future. I’m looking forward to building our nation’s infrastructure, improving the government’s relationship with Canada’s indigenous peoples, and continuing to meet your expectations for a growing, inclusive country.