With the end of the federal government’s new $25,000 tax credit, and with young people having their incomes capped at $19,600 a year, it’s unclear what the future holds for Canada’s youth.
But the new government’s promise to phase out the $25K cap is a welcome signal of what could be in store for the future.
The $25 million will be available for three years, starting in 2020.
The cap, which is part of the government’s budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, was introduced to slow the growth of health spending, but some experts say it’s not going to be enough to meet the nation’s growing needs.
The new cap is part the $7 billion in government spending that is earmarked for the next two years for the provinces and territories, the territories, and the federal Liberal government.
The provinces and the territories have been asked to contribute the money as part of their respective health plans, while the federal Liberals plan to give provinces and localities $7.2 billion to fund health care.
Under the current plan, $7,811 million in federal funding will go to the provinces, $2.7 billion to the territories and $1.8 billion to each territorial government.
But experts say there’s little that the federal governments spending plan can do to stem the growth in health care costs for young Canadians.
While some experts expect the federal Conservatives to continue with its plan, others say the provinces will be able to take some of the blame.
“The provinces, particularly in British Columbia, are going to have to shoulder a lot of the burden,” says Mark St. John, a professor of public health at the University of British Columbia.
“They’ll have to continue to grow their populations.”
That means more young people will have to pay more for health care, St. Johns says.
The plan is part to provide an alternative for the federal health system to deal with a ballooning population and a growing cost base for health services, he says.
“We don’t want to make it difficult for young folks, but we also want to try to give them a way to manage the cost.”
The federal government says the plan will allow provinces and territorial governments to spend up to $25.5 billion over five years to ensure that young Canadians have access to the best health care possible.
In order to be eligible for the tax credit and receive the additional funding, provinces and municipalities must spend $2 billion a year on health care services, which include prescription drug and surgical services, and $2 million for primary care services.
The federal Liberals are also encouraging young people to go to school and work.
The government says it will spend $5.6 billion over three years on job training and apprenticeship programs for young workers.
The Liberals have also committed $1 billion over two years to the First Nations Health Initiative, which will provide financial support for First Nations communities to hire and train young people.
The funding will be earmarked to build on the $2,500 apprenticeship training grant for young youth that was announced by the previous Conservative government.
“This is a really good way to ensure we have the workforce that is ready for the workforce of the future,” said Conservative MP Charlie Angus.
“It will create jobs and that will help young people succeed.”
Angus, who sits on the House of Commons public health committee, says the government has a number of ways it can help young Canadians in the future, including by providing more funding to aboriginal health care providers.
“There is no reason why the federal NDP or Liberal government shouldn’t be doing this,” he says, “and if they can do it, we should be doing it too.”
He points to a report published earlier this year by the Fraser Institute, which found the federal program was effective at helping youth to move out of poverty, improve their health, and become self-sufficient.
Angus says there’s a growing perception that young people are being left behind by the federal Conservative government and that there is no evidence to support that claim.
“That’s absolutely wrong,” Angus says.
In a news release this week, Angus also praised the provincial health ministers for supporting their territories and territories for their support of youth, and praised the Liberals for their leadership in meeting the youth health challenge.
But he also said the federal plan was a “burden for young leaders” and a “disaster for youth.”
“They don’t have the financial capacity to meet these needs, so we’ve got to get them out of it,” Angus said.
Angus said he is concerned about the amount of money that the provinces are expected to contribute to the program, and what will happen to the money if provinces and cities don’t contribute their share.
The Trudeau government has also been criticized for being slow to address the rising costs of health, particularly for older Canadians.
Health Minister Jane Philpott said in a statement that the Liberals have put in place “a new system that is simpler, more efficient, and