The President of the AMBM and Reeve of the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie, Mr. Ivan Normandeau, issued the following statement on the tabling of the 2023 Federal Budget:
For the AMBM, the highlight of this budget is without a doubt the $1 billion enhancement to the next Action Plan for Official Languages (APOL).
Specifically, we acknowledge:
- $679.2 million in funding over five years, starting in 2023-24, for the Department of Canadian Heritage to support equal access to services of equal quality in education by working with provinces and territories to make high-quality minority-language education, opportunities for second-language learning, and bilingual government services more readily available across Canada. We look forward to the imminent release of the new APOL, which we hope will include clear measures to support the delivery of municipal services in both official languages, as well as support for government leadership and increased collaboration between all orders of government (municipal, provincial and federal) with respect to official languages.
- $123.2 million to boost Francophone immigration (recruitment, support for employers, support for immigrants). A measure that we hope will effectively support the implementation of the Strategy to Support Economic Immigration in Manitoba’s Bilingual Municipalities, as well as the tremendous work in Francophone immigration and employability done by the Economic Development Council of Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM), a subsidiary of the AMBM.
We are pleased to see that the federal government recognizes official languages as a tool for economic development (education, entrepreneurship, labour), notably by providing funding of $208 million over five years, starting in 2023-2024, and $54 million per year thereafter to Employment and Social Development Canada to support local official language minority community organizations to deliver employment assistance services. This recognition is directly related to the raison d’être of the entire AMBM Group, which focuses on the added value of French in the strength of official bilingualism, a vector of economic development that contributes to the vitality and sustainability of our bilingual communities.
As the Canadian economy heads into a slowdown and possible recession, the federal government is choosing to focus on Canada’s competitiveness in the context of the green economic transition.
Specifically, we welcome the measures taken to accelerate the transition to carbon neutrality:
- Injecting $10 billion into clean power and at least $10 billion into green infrastructure through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
- Increasing federal support for the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) by 75% to more than $168 million in 2023-2024.
- Investing $51.8 million to support clean energy for rural and remote communities.
- Proposing a series of tax credits worth up to $82.7 billion over the next decade to attract investment in the clean energy sector.
We hope that these investments will allow for the maintenance and growth of funding programs that support municipalities and their populations in their energy transition. Through such measures, our green economy subsidiary, Eco-West Canada, will be able to leverage its business network and expertise in helping Canadian municipalities accelerate their transition to a carbon-neutral economy and acquire the best clean technologies.
While this $490 billion budget plan plunges Canada into a $40 billion deficit for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, the Trudeau government is promising better spending controls to reduce the deficit to $14 billion in 2027-2028.
Information: Office of the Chief Executive Officer (O-CEO), 204-289-4077, [email protected].