I would like to emphasize the number five, as you just have, Mr. Speaker, later on in my presentation, but there is one thing I must say before I do.
It is a great privilege for me to be here, on traditional Algonquin territory.
What a great privilege it is for me to be on this traditional and territorial ground of the Algonquin peoples, to be the member of Parliament for the incredible riding of Peterborough—Kawartha, and to have the opportunity to serve the people of Canada as their Minister of Status of Women Canada.
I am speaking today to budget 2017, which is a budget of opportunity, and not just for the people of my riding, where we have a college and a university, where we have one of the highest percentages of seniors, who have chosen to spend their golden years in my riding, and where we have high rates of poverty and a lack of access to affordable housing.
Budget 2017 is a budget of opportunity for women and girls in Canada.
In coming up with my remarks today, I thought about what numbers I ought to talk about. Do I talk about the $7 billion we would invest in budget 2017 for a national early learning and child care framework? Should I emphasize the $11 billion we would be setting aside for the first ever national housing strategy? Do I focus on the $100.9 million we would be putting forward to help implement this federal government's very first gender-based violence strategy? Do I talk about the 300,000 Canadian children who are being lifted out of poverty thanks to the Canada child benefit plan, which we introduced when we first assumed office? I thought about elaborating on all these numbers, but perhaps if there is one number I could leave members with today, it would be the number five.
The number five is an important number for several reasons. The United Nations sustainable development goal number five focuses on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. It is a goal that several nations have signed onto, as has Canada, and it seeks to change the course of the 21st century by addressing key challenges, such as poverty, inequality, and gender-based violence. We know that empowering women is a precondition for reaching this goal.
This goal is an important one, because there is worldwide recognition that when we have improved outcomes for women and girls, we have improved societies, we have improved countries, and we have enhanced stability and prosperity for people around the world. This is the evidence-based context in which our government's feminist approach to governance can be understood.
This brings me to chapter 5 in budget 2017. In chapter 5, what we see is a first for the Government of Canada, a gender statement. This is the first time there has been an acknowledgement in a federal budget that the decisions we make, how we tax, how we spend, and how we focus our efforts in terms of programs, services, policies, and legislation affects people of different genders and different backgrounds differently. This gender statement allows for a meaningful and transparent discussion on gender and intersecting identities, which will help us better understand the challenges faced by different communities across this great nation and make more informed decisions to advance fairness, gender equality, and prosperity for all.
I am going to talk about three women who highlight the importance of having a gender lens.
Let me tell the House about a young immigrant woman from my riding who attended Trent University. Her name is Andressa Lacerda, and she is the executive vice-president of Noblegen Inc., one of those clean tech companies that our environment minister is so proud of that are solving real challenges globally through investments in evidence, science, and clean technology.
Andressa's company, Noblegen, received a repayable loan of $600,000 through FedDev Ontario to help the company expand its marketing activities and sell its advanced bio-products on a global scale. It is expected that this $600,000 investment is to help leverage other funds and to create 22 decent jobs in my riding of Peterborough—Kawartha.
This is in line with budget 2017's innovation and skills plan to make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation, creating good, well-paying jobs and strengthening and growing the middle class. It is why we would be funding Futurepreneur Canada with $14 million over the next two years to continue its important work of inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs so that more of them can achieve the kind of success Andressa has.
I am going to talk about Sophia Fairweather, who I met at the UN Global Compact Network forum in Toronto this past April. Start Up By Sophia is an Edmonton-based organization that creates innovative startup products in STEM to help educate, inspire, and provide leadership to other children in STEM. That is why, in budget 2017, we have put aside $11 million to offer young people, particularly girls, the opportunity to participate in activities that build engagement in STEM fields.
Malala Yousafzai, one of the newest Canadians I know, spoke in this House not so long ago. When I think of her, I think of courage, determination, her passion, and her dedication to human rights and women's rights. Her way of elevating the voices of girls across the world is a lesson and a model for us all. Like her, our government will not be silent about violence against women and girls. That is why, in budget 2017, $100.9 million would be invested in implementing the first-ever gender-based violence strategy that would focus on prevention, support for survivors and their families, and a more responsive judicial system.
Chapter 5 in the budget is an important number, because it begins the important work we need to do to ensure that all of our decisions moving forward are considered through this gender lens so that Canada can lead the world and work with other OECD countries to continue to improve outcomes for people of all genders.
Last, I would like to speak about the Famous Five. Their statue is one of the most meaningful I have come across in the precinct, for a number of reasons. As we get ready for October, when we celebrate the Persons Case, we recognize the work of these five courageous women and their allies, who fought for personhood and for recognition that women and girls in Canada have just as much to contribute as their counterparts do. They fought for personhood, and they won, but they were also fighting for equal opportunity for all, because when Canadian women are elevated, empowered, and included, Canada as a whole prospers.
Budget 2017 reflects the highest level of political commitment to advancing socio-economic outcomes for women and girls and people of different genders in this country. Therefore, with the humility that our work is far from over, we will work together as a federal government, working with our provincial and territorial counterparts, to continue the good work of those great five women. I urge all my colleagues to review chapter 5 in great detail and to support budget 2017.