Mandate letter results so far: Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos - InfoNews

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Mandate letter results so far: Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos speaks to reporters at a Liberal cabinet retreat in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
November 03, 2017 - 12:00 PM



Along with Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos helped develop the Canada Child Benefit and return the age of eligibility for old age security payments to 65. Duclos also successfully negotiated a child care deal with the provinces and territories.

Working on it

The 2017 budget committed $11.2 billion towards affordable housing, but the majority of the money is not slated to appear until after 2022. Many of the details will be in the national housing strategy, which is coming sometime this fall. Duclos is also still consulting on the promised national poverty reduction strategy. The Liberals also committed to allowing people to begin maternity leave earlier or extend parental leave to 18 months — at a lower benefit rate — but have not yet introduced legislation to make the change. In 2016, Trudeau shifted responsibility for reforming the employment insurance regime to Duclos. That work continues.

Not at all, or at least not yet

The mandate letter says the Infrastructure Bank would support the construction of new, affordable rental housing. The Infrastructure Bank is not yet up and running, but its mandate to attract private investment for projects that would create a profit suggests social housing would not be in the mix. Duclos was also asked to work with Morneau on modernizing the RRSP Home Buyers' Plan so that Canadians affected by "sudden and significant" changes in their lives could buy a house without paying a tax penalty, but nothing has come of it yet.

Will it matter?

The Liberals ran on the promise to help out the middle class and many of the accompanying pledges fall within the mandate given to Duclos. The minister has achieved progress on some key areas, but some of the major programs promised to those who are "working hard to join" the middle class, as the Liberals say, are still on the horizon. It remains to be seen whether those voters will feel as if they've been given what they need.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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