As the Liberals seem set to spend once again like a drunken sailor in budget 2019, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) may be the smartest domestic investment made during its entire mandate.
Since 2016, by giving more than $25 billion in tax credits each year to qualifying families it has reduced child poverty in Canada to its lowest level since 2006.
But what the world’s poorest children need to get out of poverty is not a tax credit, but parents free of disease who are able to provide for their families. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has saved more than 27 million lives since its inception in 2002.
In its next replenishment to be held next fall, the Global Fund is asking for $14 billion (US) just to maintain existing programs for 2020-2022. The estimated economic gains due to reduced health care costs and increased productivity would be $266 billion (US). Canada has been a strong supporter since the start. Our traditional 5.5 per cent share amounts to $1 billion. Like the CCB, this is too smart of an investment not to make.
Stephen St. Denis