Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

March 12, 2010 11:34 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates Women’s Role in Building Canada

Minister Finley highlights the Government’s strong record

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 12, 2010) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, will attend the third annual BAPS Women's Conference,entitled Nurturing Families, Shaping Communities, on Saturday, March 13, 2010. The conference will commemorate International Women's Day, and Minister Finley will take this opportunity to speak about Government of Canada measures that support women and their families.

"Women play a fundamental role in the strength of Canada," said Minister Finley. "Our government is investing in families to ensure that all Canadians, regardless of gender or ethnicity, have the same opportunities to succeed."

Federal investments in support of early learning and child care are at the highest level in Canadian history. The Government of Canada is committed to helping parents balance work and family life, and to providing them with real choices in deciding what is best for their children. In 2009-2010, the federal government is providing $5.9 billion in support of early learning and child care through transfers to the provinces and territories, direct spending, and tax measures for families. 

Through the Universal Child Care Benefit, parents are receiving $1,200 per year for each child under the age of six. This benefit helps approximately 2 million children and their families each year, and has lifted an estimated 22,000 families with 57,000 children out of low income. Furthermore, in year two of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government is strengthening the Benefit for sole-support, single-parent families.

In addition, as of January 31, 2010, self-employed Canadians are able to register for the Employment Insurance program, which will extend to them maternity, parental, sickness, and compassionate care benefits, collectively called special benefits. As a result, self-employed Canadians will no longer have to choose between their business and their family.

The Government of Canada is also improving the well-being and quality of life of its growing seniors' population. As there are more women than men in Canada aged 65 and over, women will especially benefit from recent measures to help all seniors, including increases in the age and pension credit amounts, as well as the possibility for senior couples to split their pension income when calculating their income taxes. Furthermore, the new Tax-Free Savings Account permits seniors' savings to grow without affecting their income-tested benefits. In Budget 2010, the Government of Canada proposed to provide $10 million for the New Horizons for Seniors Program to support projects that focus on volunteering among seniors, and announced that it will support legislation to establish Seniors Day.

Internationally, as president of the G-8 in 2010, Canada is championing a major initiative to improve the health of women and children in the world's poorest regions. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced this initiative to fight maternal and infant mortality in poor regions around the globe.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request. 

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office