Madam Speaker, I am pleased to stand today on behalf of the people of St. John's East in support of budget 2018. Budget 2018 proposes real and tangible benefits for my riding of St. John's East and reflects many issues raised by my constituents in the consultations I have had with them over the past year.
In my short remarks, I will focus on three aspects of the budget: specific supports to St. John's East and Newfoundland and Labrador; economic growth that benefits all Canadians; and support for the opportunities in trade, pharmacare, and innovation that will grow the future Canadian economy.
Budget 2018 proposes many important investments for Newfoundland and Labrador, including $250 million to renew the network of small craft harbours and work with municipalities where investments and divestitures can enhance local communities and support a safe and prosperous fishery. I visited eight small craft harbours in and around my riding over the break weeks, and it was lovely to see what great work the small craft harbours do and what the priorities for improving the safety and the industriousness of those harbours would be.
There will be $80 million in 2018-19 and $150 million in 2019-20 to the provinces for training and support for seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI benefits. The new Canada workers benefit is expected to provide almost $40 million to support 5,000 additional low-income workers in my province. There is $48 million in new funding for ACOA, of which $8 million is dedicated to women entrepreneurs. In 2018-19 alone, Newfoundland and Labrador will receive $750 million through the Canada health transfer and the Canada social transfer.
There is also enhanced support for research and researchers, including those at Memorial University in my riding of St. John's East, by investing nearly $4 billion across the country to help researchers solve the problems of today and create the innovations of tomorrow.
The benefits of budget 2018 are not only for St. John's East, obviously. They are intended to be enjoyed by the entire country. It is clear that the fastest and best way to grow our economy is by identifying and correcting systemic biases holding good people back. Budget 2018 identifies and addresses unfairness against women and indigenous people. Levelling the playing field for those groups will drive economic growth.
Women in Canada are among the world's most educated, and it is time we acknowledged that by ensuring greater participation of women in the workforce. It is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do for our economy. That is why this budget puts gender at the heart of its decisions. Advancing women's equality in Canada will drive economic growth, while boosting the income of Canadian families. More women in leadership positions will not just grow the economy, create jobs, and strengthen communities; it will also lead to innovation and changes in the workplace that will benefit everyone.
In this budget, the government is providing leadership to address the gender wage gap. Through the increased transparency required by pay equity legislation, we will see how our government is meeting its commitment that women working in federally regulated sectors receive equal pay for equal work. We will also seek to introduce GBA+ legislation to make gender budgeting a permanent aspect of the federal budget-making process going forward.
The push for a level playing field does not end with gender equality. We will also be working to create a fair playing field for Canada's indigenous people by forging a new relationship based on trust, respect, and a true spirit of reconciliation.
Through budget 2018, the government is working to help close the gap between the living conditions of indigenous people and those of non-indigenous people, facilitate self-determination, and advance the recognition of rights. We will do this by, first, building on significant investments of $11.8 billion in the past two budgets, and second, by investing in priority areas identified by first nations, Inuit, and Métis nation partners in the spirit of reconciliation.
We are committed to ending long-term drinking water advisories on public water systems on reserve by March 2021 and will make greater investments through budget 2018 to ensure that this happens more quickly. Nearly one in five indigenous people live in housing that is in need of major repairs, and others live in housing that is overcrowded. We are working to ensure that they get the support they need to enjoy safe, adequate, and affordable housing, something the majority of non-indigenous people take for granted. These investments will ensure that indigenous people can benefit from similar conditions for growth as their non-indigenous counterparts.
By addressing existing inequalities, we can grow the economy and create a better country for all Canadians.
Canada's future is bright. We have a lot to be optimistic about. Future opportunities in trade, pharmacare, and innovation will make it even brighter. This government knows that Canada's economic success also depends on strong trade relationships in an increasingly globalized world. Canada is a trading nation, and if done properly, trade can be a positive force for change. That is why this budget funds Global Affairs Canada with up to $75 million over five years to establish a stronger presence for Canadian diplomatic and trade support in China and Asia. This includes bolstering the number of Canadian diplomats and trade commissioners on the ground in China, as well as new initiatives to promote Canada's trade with China and other Asian markets.
We are continuing to work with the United States and Mexico to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement. We know that this agreement has been beneficial to the lives of workers and families in all three partner countries. Under NAFTA, North America has become the biggest, most comprehensive trading bloc in the world, comprising a quarter of the world's GDP, even though we represent only 7% of the world's population. That is why we are working hard to renegotiate an updated and improved North American Free Trade Agreement that would benefit all three countries and foster greater opportunity for the middle class.
Trade maintains the high standard of living enjoyed by many people in St. John's East. They are proud of Canada's improved global brand as a reliable partner in fair, progressive, environmentally conscious, and gender-balanced trade. Our country is one of innovators. Curiosity, courage, creativity, and a collaborative spirit are what leads to the kind of innovations and technologies that improve our daily lives and drive our economy and our country forward.
Science and technology, along with stronger international trade, are rapidly changing the way Canadians live and work, bringing new challenges and more opportunities. Nowhere is that more evident than at Memorial University, the university of Newfoundland and Labrador, where our Genesis Centre is fostering numerous young, smart, and innovative companies that are doing great things in oceans tech and health care in the digital economy, providing opportunities in clean energy and home improvement. Innovation is an integral part of Newfoundland and Labrador's growth.
On February 15, 2018, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development announced groundbreaking funding for Canada's five superclusters. I am proud and happy to say that this includes an ocean supercluster, which is based in Atlantic Canada and will use innovation to improve competitiveness in industries that we know very well in St. John's East: fisheries, oil and gas, clean energy, and oceans tech. The OECD predicts that the ocean economy will double by 2030, and St. John's is poised to enjoy that growth, partially due to budget 2018.
Many of my constituents in St. John's East are calling for a national approach to ensure that no Canadian needs to choose between food or heat and the medicine he or she needs. That is why I am excited about the creation of a new advisory council on the implementation of national pharmacare that was announced as part of this budget. The council will begin a national dialogue that would include working closely with experts from all relevant fields, as well as with national, provincial, territorial, and indigenous leaders. The council will report to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance, and will conduct an economic and social assessment of domestic and international models. As we move forward with some version of national support for access to pharmaceuticals, I think everyone would agree that this will improve the lives of the majority of Canadians.
Our government is investing in new generations of Canadian research and researchers by proposing $1.2 billion over five years to the granting councils for fundamental research to provide increased support and training opportunities for researchers, students, and high-quality personnel.
There are so many great components to this budget. Once again, I am proud to say that I stand on behalf of my fellow citizens of St. John's East in support of this budget. If I were to highlight one thing, it would be the small craft harbours in my riding. For centuries, they were the lifeblood of the community. When Newfoundland joined Confederation, they became federal assets, and they provide one of the main connections that ordinary citizens have to their federal government. In places like Pouch Cove, Bauline, and Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, we really get an opportunity to see how the Government of Canada can make positive change in the lives of people. Those small craft harbours have been neglected, and by having this additional funding in place we will be able to make them safer and more economically useful for the fishers who create their livelihood and the livelihood of their communities out of those ports.