Madam Speaker, I am delighted to speak to budget 2018. This is a very important budget that continues the work we began so long ago.
I will be focusing, first of all, on my region of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, a community I describe as a half-circle around the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth. We have some urban but also rural communities. It is a growing community. As well, we have the highest number of seniors. Those are big issues. We need to continue to grow the economy, create jobs, and make sure we support our seniors.
Today I will focus mostly on veterans, women, youth, and indigenous people. Before I do so, I want to share with the House the important work our government has done thus far for the economy. When I look at the unemployment rate of 5.7%, the lowest in the last 40 years, something great is happening on the ground. I am sure that all members in this House can confirm that jobs are being created in their communities, which is important.
I also want to talk about the Canada child benefit. All members in this House have many families in their ridings that are receiving extra money, about $3,000 more than the previous government was offering. This is tax-free money. As an example, in my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, $5.6 million is being given monthly to support families with young kids. Think about that. In my riding alone, it is $5.6 million monthly. That is $60 million a year, and everyone sitting in this House today is receiving similar amounts of money. That is essential, and that is an investment in our young people and families.
I should add that we have created over 600,000 new jobs, most of which are permanent jobs.
This budget also has an additional investment in our health care system. In Nova Scotia, health care is very important to us. We need to continue supporting our communities, making sure that we have enough doctors and the supports required. We are seeing investments in mental health, a new sum invested in the last health accord, which is crucial. We are making sure that the investment will support individuals and families with mental health challenges.
I spoke earlier about keeping seniors at home. There is an investment there. In this budget we are also seeing $20 million over the next five years invested in autism and another $20 million for dementia support and research. As we know, that is a big issue in Canada, more so in Atlantic Canada, as we have the highest number of seniors in the country. Those are big investments, because those are big issues that need to be supported by government, and that is where we are investing major amounts of money.
Now I would like to talk about veterans. We have invested about $10 billion over the last two and a half years to support veterans. This is an extremely important investment. We need to make sure that we support those who have supported our country, as well as their families. These are men and women who have been out there risking their lives every day. We are investing $3.6 billion in the pension for life. That is a large amount of money. I held many town halls across my riding last year, and the pension for life was a major item these individuals wanted and needed. The lump sum may work for some but does not work for most.
We were able to add an option. They have an option that, by default, is a pension, but they also have the option to get a lump sum.
How much support is there? An individual determined to be 100% disabled can receive up to $1,150 a month. If the individual's injury happened in Afghanistan, for example, and the person is 25 years old, with a life expectancy of about 82 for a man and 84 for a women, we would multiply that by 57 years. That alone would give about $700,000 or $800,000. However, someone severely injured may also have an opportunity to receive another $1,500 a month, in addition to the $1,150, which brings it to $3,150 a month, which would bring it to about $38,000 or $40,000 a year. Again, if we use the same formula, that would be about $1.75 million from ages 25 to 82. There is a third criterion, which is a 90% pre-release salary that could also be included. That investment in our veterans is extremely important as a disability pension.
That is not to say what we are already done. In April, we increased the $310,000 lump sum to $360,000, which is a $50,000 addition, depending on the percentage of the disability.
While I was making my tour, some asked what would happen if they took the lump sum. Could they still access the pension? This is something remarkable our government has done. The answer is yes. We break down the sum they have already received, and if they received a little extra, that sum is deducted. Some individuals could receive, depending again on the percentage of injuries, another $800 a month. There would be a deduction of $200 to $300 a month to catch up the amounts that were overpaid. This has been built to support all veterans who have experienced some disability in the workforce.
In this budget there is a $42-million investment for maintenance and repairs in cemeteries and graves, as we have over 45,000 grave sites to improve over time. This will be a way of reaching out very quickly on that.
I want to touch on a couple of investments, such as the new women entrepreneurs strategy, which is a $1.6-billion investment over the next three years to support entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. We also have put in $150 million over five years that is tailored to more regional challenges. We have received a lot of support from women's associations for that.
We have continued the summer jobs for youth amount we put in place two years ago, and we also invested $448 million in an enhanced youth employment strategy to give young people opportunities and internships in various areas so they can have experience and build on it as they enter the workforce.
Finally, there is a major investment in indigenous areas for children and families. We invested billions of dollars in health care and millions on a clean water strategy.
I have focused on just a few key areas. There are many other areas I could have shared with the House, but I am thankful for this opportunity.