Madam Chair, I am pleased to have this opportunity to address the House. I propose to allocate my time by taking the first 10 minutes to speak and then following that with a couple of questions.
To begin, I would like to highlight one of our government's greatest achievements: putting Canada back in the game in terms of its engagement with the rest of the world.
The proof is in the numbers. An Ipsos MORI poll of 18,000 respondents from 25 countries released in July of last year found that Canada is seen as the most positive influence globally. The IMF has hailed Canada as an economic model for the world, with IMF's managing director Christine Lagarde saying that the world needs more Canada.
Our government could not agree more. Canada's economy is strong and growing, making Canada an excellent place to live, work, and invest. Among the G7 countries, Canada has led in economic growth since 2016 and has the lowest total government net debt-to-GDP ratio. Canada's federal debt-to-GDP ratio remains firmly on a downward track, and our government's debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to reach 0.5% in 2022-23.
Canada offers global investors many advantages, such as an openness to international trade and foreign direct investment. Our FDI rules are transparent and offer global businesses the help they need to navigate Canada's business landscape.
Canada also has a workforce that is diverse, innovative, highly skilled, and well educated. We have a wealth of natural resources, low energy costs, and livable cities with modern, efficient infrastructure, and our historic investments in infrastructure are building stronger links to world markets.
Canada is also home to a very stable financial system and efficient, open, and soundly regulated capital markets. This year Canada has a special opportunity to showcase these strengths to the world by hosting our G7 colleagues.
G7 countries share a responsibility to ensure that all citizens benefit from the global economy and that we leave a healthier, more peaceful, and more secure world for our children and our grandchildren. As G7 host, Canada looks forward to making this goal a reality.
Canada's G7 presidency offers us an opportunity to bring our people-first approach to growing a strong middle class to the international stage. By engaging other G7 countries on pressing global challenges, we can demonstrate how taking care of each other can lead to stronger growth and better outcomes.
Canada is using its G7 presidency to advance the following five key priorities.
The first is investing in growth that works for everyone. This means championing innovative and gender-responsive solutions to address common challenges, such as growing inequality, the changing nature of work, and persistent poverty.
The second priority is to prepare for jobs of the future. The Government of Canada and its G7 partners have a responsibility to ensure that the opportunities created by the economy of tomorrow are available to all their citizens and that the benefits of economic growth are shared broadly.
The third priority is to advance gender equality and women's empowerment. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are critical to building peace, reducing poverty, growing our economies, and achieving sustainability.
The fourth priority is to work together on climate change, oceans, and clean energy. The interconnected world that we live in requires us to work with international partners to develop truly global solutions to these shared challenges.
The fifth and final priority is to build a more peaceful and secure world for the benefit of people today and for our children and our grandchildren.
In addition, the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada's G7 presidency, co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Ambassador Isabelle Hudon, is ensuring that gender equality and women's empowerment are integrated across all themes, activities, and initiatives of Canada's G7 presidency. In particular, Canada recognizes the importance of investing in ways that can help those in need around the world.
In June 2017, the government released its feminist international assistance policy, focusing on six interlinked areas: gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, human dignity, peace and security, inclusive governance, environment and climate action, and growth that works for everyone. To strengthen the impact of Canada's new feminist international assistance policy and to advance our international leadership in key areas, the government announced that it would provide an additional $2 billion over five years, starting in 2018-19, to the international assistance envelope. These new resources will support humanitarian assistance and Canada's core development priorities, in particular supporting women and girls, and will reinforce Canada's commitment to reduce poverty and do its part to support a more inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous world.
Canada's new feminist international assistance policy represents a turning point in the government's approach to international assistance. Through it, Canada has made clear its commitment to eradicating poverty and building a more peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous world.
In support of the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development, the feminist international assistance policy puts women and girls at the centre of its plan, recognizing their important role as agents of positive change for their families, communities, and countries. Gender equality will be a focus of all of Canada's international assistance investments to address economic, political, and social inequalities that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential.
In the world's poorest and most vulnerable communities, women and girls are particularly at risk when it comes to climate change. Women and girls are often the primary producers of food and providers of water, heating, and cooking fuel for households. When resources become more unpredictable and scarce due to extreme weather, for example, women and girls have to spend more time and effort attending to basic needs, such as growing food and collecting water and fuel.
Canada has been an international champion in bringing a gender lens to climate change. Canada was a leader in securing the first-ever gender action plan under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted by the countries at COP23 last year. The plan aims to bring more women to the negotiation table, promoting more responsive climate policies at both the grassroots and global levels. Canada is leading by example in this regard through its chief negotiator and her team, with Canada's climate negotiators also providing training to women negotiators from Caribbean countries to strengthen their voices at international climate talks.
In conclusion, Canadians can be proud of our history of helping others around the world, including by providing assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable. We understand that a safer, more prosperous world means a safer and more prosperous Canada.