Budget 2024: How Canada is continuing its commitment to safe and inclusive communities

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: April 19, 2024

Safe and inclusive communities are a major part of living a comfortable life in Canada. This is particularly important for newcomers to Canada, as well as all Canadians.

Accordingly, as part of its recently released 2024 Budget, the Canadian government has included a list of ongoing actions it is taking to maintain and increase Canadian’s level of confidence that their families will be able to live and thrive in safe and inclusive communities.

Note: The following is not an exhaustive list of Canada’s spending on inclusion and safety. For a complete look at Canada’s spending, click here to view the full chapter on Canada’s commitment to safer and healthier communities in Budget 2024.

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Canada’s commitment to inclusivity

Canada is a country that has long prided itself on its diversity.

Specifically, as noted in the most recent federal budget, “Canada has welcomed newcomers from around the world [for generations. These newcomers] have worked hard to build a new life in their new country. That's why the government is making our communities more inclusive, welcoming, and resilient for all Canadians.”

Note: Click here for more on how Budget 2024 is expected to impact Canadian immigration

To that end, the following actions were outlined in the 2024 budget as steps that the government is taking to preserve and improve diversity and inclusion across this country.

Supporting gender equality

  • An investment of over $190 million “to enhance accountability and combat abuse, harassment, and maltreatment in sport.” According to the federal government, this investment will simultaneously support “gender equality in [sports] and [address] barriers to participation, including for racialized people and other equity-deserving groups.”

Fighting racism in Canada 

  • Since 2018-19, Canada has invested over $260 million towards Canada's Anti-Racism Strategy, Canada's Action Plan on Combatting Hate, and the Canada Race Relations Foundation “to fight racism and hate and ensure that our society continues to be strengthened by Canada's remarkable diversity.”

Supporting Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ community 

  • Investing nearly $150 million over 10 years to support Canada's first Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan, a movement designed to “prioritize and sustain 2SLGBTQI+ community action, … advance and strengthen 2SLGBTQI+ rights … and … embed 2SLGBTQI+ issues in the work of the Government of Canada.”

How Canada is making its communities safer

Part of what makes Canada a premier newcomer destination on the global stage is the perception of Canada as a safe place to visit, explore and live – both as a Canadian and a foreign national.

In fact, back in late 2023, Canada was ranked as the world’s safest country for travel in 2024.

Advancing that commitment to safety, for visitors and residents alike, the government of Canada indicated that it is taking the following actions to continue making Canada’s communities as safe as possible moving forward.

Protecting children

  • A $52 million investment over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $2.1 million in remaining amortization, towards “[protecting] children, and all Canadians, by subjecting large online platforms to a duty to act responsibly, ensuring that the platforms are reducing a user's exposure to harmful content online.”

Note: According to the government of Canada, this investment will also help form a Digital Safety Commission “to ensure this duty is being adequately met”, according to the 2024 budget, which will include the establishment of “a Digital Safety Ombudsperson to be a resource and advocate for users and victims of online harm.”

  • A $2.5 million investment in 2024-25 to Public Safety Canada. This investment will “support … the Canadian Centre for Child Protection in preventing and responding to online child sexual exploitation.”
  • An investment of $7.5 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to the Public Health Agency of Canada in support of Kids Help Phone (KHP). This will help KHP “[provide] mental health, counselling, and crisis support to young people.”

Protection against hate crimes

  • In 2023, the federal budget invested $49.5 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, and an additional $10 million was reallocated by Public Safety Canada in fall 2023. This portion of the federal budget will be put towards “[helping] communities at risk of hate-motivated violence with security infrastructure at their gathering places.”

Reducing workplace harassment

  • An investment totalling $30.6 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, will allow Justice Canada “to continue funding legal advisory and education services for victims of workplace sexual harassment.”

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