This summary includes immediate highlights of Federal Budget 2023 tabled by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland in the House of Commons on March 28, 2023. Further analysis and implications of budget measures will be shared on our social media channels in the coming days.

Child Care

By April 2, 2023, six provinces and territories will be providing regulated child care for an average of just $10-a-day or less—significantly ahead of schedule. All other provinces and territories remain on track to achieve $10-a-day child care by 2026. In Quebec, federal investments are continuing to make the existing child care system more accessible through the creation of new spaces. [page 33]

Recent Action to Make Housing More Affordable

  • Launching a third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative, which is providing $1.5 billion to create 4,500 new affordable housing units for Canadians in severe housing need, with 25 percent of investments going to housing projects targeted towards women;
  • Delivering over $500 million towards the government’s goal of ending chronic homelessness, through Reaching Home, Canada’s Homelessness Strategy [page 43]

Building More Affordable Housing

  • Budget 2023 announces the government’s intention to support the reallocation of funding from the National Housing Co-Investment Fund’s repair stream to its new construction stream, as needed, to boost the construction of new affordable homes for the Canadians who need them most. [page 45]

Investing in an Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy

  • Budget 2023 proposes to commit an additional $4 billion, over seven years, starting in 2024-25, to implement a co-developed Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy. [page 46]

Working Together to Improve Health Care for Canadians

Budget 2023 lays out the federal government’s plan to provide an additional $195.8 billion over ten years in health transfers to provinces and territories, including $46.2 billion in new funding through new Canada Health Transfer measures, tailored bilateral agreements to meet the needs of each province and territory, personal support worker wage support, and a Territorial Health Investment Fund. This funding is to be used to improve and enhance the health care Canadians receive, and is not to be used by provinces and territories in place of their planned health care spending. 

The federal government will also work with Indigenous partners to provide additional support for Indigenous health priorities by providing $2 billion over ten years, which will be distributed on a distinctions basis through the Indigenous Health Equity Fund. [page 54]

Health Care Results and Accountability

  • Develop action plans to measure and report progress to Canadians, including: improved access to family health services, mental health and substance use services, supporting health care workers, and reducing backlogs and wait lists; and,
  • Commit to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, including fair and equitable access to quality and culturally safe health care services. What gets measured, gets done. [page 56]

Fighting Crime and Saving Lives: Combating the Opioid Crisis

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide a total of $359.2 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, with $5.7 million ongoing and $1.3 million in remaining amortization, to support a renewed Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy, which would guide the government’s work to save lives and protect the health and safety of Canadians. This includes:
    • $144 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, to Health Canada for the Substance Use and Addictions Program to fund community based supports, including safer supply, supervised consumption sites, and other evidence-based health interventions; [page 58]

Safeguarding Access to Abortion and Other Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Services

The overturning of Roe v. Wade in the United States served as a reminder that we must continue to do everything we can to protect Canadians’ access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care services, including abortion care. 

With a woman’s right to choose under threat around the world, the federal government is ensuring that abortion services are accessible across Canada. The federal government is committed to ensuring that no Canadian pays out of pocket to receive an abortion. Abortion is health care, and the federal government will continue to withhold Canada Health Transfer payments to provinces and territories that allow any patient charges for abortion services. 

In Budget 2023, the government is continuing to reduce existing barriers to care and ensuring that Canadians have access to accurate, culturally safe information about sexual and reproductive health care.

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $36 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to Health Canada to renew the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund. This fund supports community-based organizations that help make access to abortion, as well as other sexual and reproductive health care information and services, more accessible for vulnerable populations. [page 60]

Advancing Reconciliation and Building a Canada That Works for Everyone

Key Ongoing Actions 

Investments made in and since Budget 2022 to advance reconciliation, protect the environment, and build stronger and more inclusive communities across Canada include:  

  • $4.9 billion to enhance and reform services for Indigenous children, expand Indigenous-led mental wellness services, and support communities as they respond to and heal from the ongoing impact of residential schools;  
  • $4.3 billion over seven years to build and repair housing in Indigenous communities, including those who are self-governing and modern treaty holders;  
  • $1.6 billion over six years and $315 million ongoing to welcome 500,000 new permanent residents each year by 2025, as well as an additional $50 million to address immigration application backlogs;  
  • $1.6 billion over five years, starting in 2023-24, to implement Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy, which is currently being finalized with input from provinces, territories, National Indigenous Organizations, and other stakeholders;  
  • $1.1 billion over seven years, starting in 2023-24, to conserve and protect nature in Canada and around the world, including $800 million to support up to four Indigenous-led conservation initiatives; and,  
  • $100 million since 2020 to increase the federal contribution to legal aid services. [page 121]

Implementing the National Action Plan to End the Tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

  • $20 million over four years, starting in 2022-23, to support Indigenous led projects for safer communities through the Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative. 
  • $95.8 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, and $20.4 million ongoing to help Indigenous families access information about their missing and murdered loved ones, and to enhance victim services to support their healing journeys. This funding would renew existing programming and expand it to include support for families of 2SLGBTQI+ Indigenous victims who are men. 
  • $2.6 million over three years, starting in 2023-24, to support the National Family and Survivors Circle in keeping families and survivors at the centre of the implementation of the National Action Plan and the Federal Pathway. 
  • $2.2 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, to establish an oversight mechanism to monitor and report on the progress of implementation. 
  • $1.6 million over two years, starting in 2023-24, to support the Ministerial Special Representative appointed to provide advice and recommendations on the creation of an Indigenous and Human Rights Ombudsperson. 
  • $2.5 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, to facilitate and coordinate work on advancing the National Action Plan by establishing a standing Federal-Provincial-Territorial-Indigenous table on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQI+ People. This table will provide a specific forum to take action on areas of shared roles and responsibilities regarding Missing and Murdered Indigenous, Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ People, including prioritizing discussion on how to launch a “Red Dress Alert” to notify the public when an Indigenous woman or two-spirit person goes missing. [page 130] 

Fighting Systemic Racism, Discrimination and Hate

  • $85 million over four years to launch Canada’s new Anti-Racism Strategy;  
  • $100 million over five years to launch the Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan;  
  • $200 million to establish the Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund, and create a sustainable source of funding to support Black communities;  
  • Up to $265 million over four years for the Black Entrepreneurship Program;  
  • $18 million over two years to support the Canadian Race Relations Foundation in delivering grants for community-level interventions to combat racism in Canada, including the rise of anti-Asian racism during the pandemic;  
  • $21.5 million to enhance legal supports for racialized communities; and,  
  • Implemented the “nothing without us” Accessible Canada Act to realize a barrier-free Canada for persons with disabilities by 2040. [page 141] 

Canada’s New Action Plan to Combat Hate 

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $49.5 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, to Public Safety Canada to enhance and expand the Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program and allow it to be more responsive to the evolving security needs of communities. [page 142] 

Building on Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide an additional $25.4 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, and $0.6 million ongoing, to the Department of Canadian Heritage to continue to support Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy and fight all forms of racism, including but not limited to anti Indigenous racism, anti-Black racism, anti-Asian racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia. [page 142]

Supporting Black Canadian Communities 

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $25 million, in 2024-25, to Employment and Social Development Canada for the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative, to continue empowering Black-led and Black-serving community organizations and the work they do to promote inclusiveness. [page 142] 

Advancing Gender Equality in Canada

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $160 million over three years, starting in 2023-24, for the Women’s Program to provide funding to organizations in Canada that serve women. The government is committed to maintaining historic funding levels for Canadian women’s organizations and equity-deserving groups, with a particular focus on Indigenous women, women with disabilities, members of the 2SLGBTQI+ communities, and newcomer, Black, racialized, and migrant women. [page 144] 

Advancing Inclusion of Canadians with Disabilities 

  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $10 million over two years, beginning in 2023-24, to Employment and Social Development Canada to help address the unique needs and ongoing barriers faced by persons with disabilities by investing in capacity building and the community-level work of Canada’s disability organizations. [page 146]

Creating a New Leave for Pregnancy Loss 

  • Budget 2023 proposes to make amendments to the Canada Labour Code to create a new stand-alone leave for workers in federally regulated sectors who experience a pregnancy loss. This will support thousands of Canadians, including women and working parents, as they recover, both physically and emotionally, from a tragic moment in their life. [page 148]

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The Equal Futures Network acknowledges that Indigenous people are the traditional guardians of Turtle Island, on the land also known as Canada

Read our full Territory Acknowledgment here.