Hon. Percy Downe:
Last week I asked a question about the Canada Child Benefit program and the positive impact it was having in Prince Edward Island. Senator Harder took it under advisement and promised he would follow up with information. Can he advise us of the good news?
Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his original question. I indeed am able to give him details with respect to the Canada Child Benefit and its effect in the province of Prince Edward Island.
The Canada Child Benefit in this fiscal year, 2016-17, is $96 million of investment which, of course, people will know is tax-free. In addition, I would point out that the Government of Canada reached a bilateral agreement with Prince Edward Island as announced in August which provides an additional $10.5 million for three years as part of the Early Learning and Childhood Bilateral Agreement. This will result in expanded spaces, particularly for infants. It will support children with unique needs as well as vulnerable Canadians and families in Prince Edward Island.
Our program here reflects the commitment of the government to giving Canadian children the best start in life to reach their full potential. I believe when we look back on this program historically, it will be added to the pantheon of outstanding Canadian programs that have made a real difference to a whole generation of young children.