Last election we offered an ambitious new plan for a strong middle class, a sustainable environment and a prosperous future for all Canadians. Budget 2016 delivers on that promise by offering immediate help to those who need it the most and by laying the groundwork for sustained, inclusive economic growth.
Over the last 30 years the richest one percent of Canadians have seen their incomes double while the incomes of the majority of Canadians have remained stagnant. Meanwhile the cost of living continues to rise. Residents of Vancouver Quadra and the Greater Vancouver area also face skyrocketing housing costs which demands real action from the Federal government. Budget 2016 includes investments in affordable social housing as well as 500 million for stats Canada research on housing markets. Addressing inequality means protecting our most vulnerable; Budget 2016 includes investments that will lift hundreds of thousands of children and seniors out of poverty.
We know that the environment and the economy go hand in hand but unfortunately this principle has not been applied over the last ten years. Budget 2016 makes important investments in a sustainable environment that will restore Canadian`s confidence in a better and prosperous future. Our government is investing $3.4 billion over 5 years to address a range of climate issues including air pollution, ecological protection, and to restore public trust in the environmental assessment process. We will invest $81 million to boost Canada`s marine and coastal protected areas from 1% today to 10% by 2020. Furthermore, $40 million has been reinstated for ocean science and research that will protect fish stocks such as British Columbia`s wild salmon. Finally we have re-opened Kits Coast guard with a strengthened mandate to protect the local ecosystem and respond to potential spills.
The Canadian government has a sacred obligation to our veterans who have dedicated their lives to serving our country. Budget 2016 restores critical access to services and ensures long term financial security for disabled veterans. We are providing additional funding to Veteran`s Affairs Canada so it can re-open service offices recently shuttered in Charlottetown, Sydney, Corner Brook, Brandon, Windsor, Thunder Bay, Saskatoon, Prince George, and Kelowna, and so it may open a new office in Surrey.
Budget 2016 makes essential investments that ensure an environmentally sustainable, prosperous and hopeful Canada for generations to come.