Children will benefit from some of the new initiatives included in the 2019 Federal Budget. But the lack of a coherent policy framework means that children will also continue to fall through the cracks of a patchwork of programs. Each one addresses a part of what children need to develop their full potential; there is nothing to ensure they work together for strong outcomes.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau stated that this budget was designed to reduce anxiety, including worry about the next generation. Helping millennials get into the housing market and increasing youth employment opportunities will benefit some young adults. Teaching more children coding skills is a good thing. Public education on gender equity is a good thing. “Each of the individual programs is a good piece,” said Kathy Vandergrift, Chair of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of the Children; “ the outcomes would be better if the pieces fit together in a coherent policy framework for children in Canada.” An analysis of the budget from a children’s rights perspective highlights some new initiatives that could address gaps in policy, such as a food policy to prevent food insecurity; it also identifies continuing gaps and the need for a stronger focus on outcomes for children to ensure real progress for children in Canada.