The big picture

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau government’s first budget is much like its infrastructure plan. It repairs some of the damage from Harper’s decade in power, but it doesn’t yet set a clear direction forward for the economy, particularly in terms of generating good jobs for working people. 

There are positive measures that go a substantial way to undoing the damage and neglect from the Harper years. But we will need much more to rebuild a stronger diversified and sustainable economy, generate more good quality jobs, improved public services and a better standard of living for all Canadians. A lot of the important measures needed to achieve this have been left for following years. 

Major priorities for CUPE are public investment to rebuild our economy with diversified sustainable growth and good jobs; decent pensions for all through an improved Canada Pension Plan; affordable public early childhood education and care; a new health care accord that delivers improved public health care; and greater tax fairness. 

The budget is a good first step in rebuilding, but it is future budgets that will demonstrate if the Trudeau government is committed to real progressive positive change over the long term.