The 8 biggest winners of Budget 2018

From science labs to rental housing to ‘feminist’ international aid, here are the individual measures that got more than $1 billion under the budget

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President and CEO of CCRM Michael May, right, gives Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Ontario Research, Innovation and Science Minister Reza Moridi and Toronto Mayor John Tory a tour of the Vector Institute at the MaRS Discovery District, in Toronto on Thursday, March 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

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There weren’t a lot of big ticket items in this year’s federal budget, however some initiatives did see large sums of taxpayer money directed their way. Here are the eight individual measures set to receive $1 billion in the budget over the next five years.

1. Federal science labs: $2.8 billion

The government has big plans to build new interdisciplinary science and technology labs across Canada, and its spending $2.8 billion over the next five years, starting in fiscal 2018-19 to get the job started. Finance Minister Bill Morneau made no mention of the plan in his speech, and the budget itself had no details about how many new labs would be built, or where.

READ: Big money for innovation, but questions about the strategy behind it all

2. ‘Feminist” international aid: $2 billion

Through Global Affairs Canada, the government boosted international aid under its “Feminist International Assistance Policy” with a particular focus on helping women and girls.

3. Government dot-com: $2 billion

Under the banner of “enabling digital services” the government earmarked $2 billion over five years to modernize its IT services and improve cyber security.

4. Insurance claims for returning soldiers and government workers: $1.8 billion

All budgets contain fine print. Some of the finest print in Budget 2018 was earmarked to cover a greater-than-expected increase in insurance claims from soldiers returning from Afghanistan, as well as a jump in claims from the broader public service.

5. Indigenous health: $1.5 billion

6. Indigenous child services: $1.4 billion

As part of the Trudeau government’s focus on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the budget includes nearly $1.5 billion for health care on reserves, as well as another $1.4 billion in services for Indigenous children.

READ: How First Nations are fighting back against the foster care system

7. More rental housing: $1.4 billion

To encourage the construction of more rental housing, Ottawa is putting more money towards the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rentral Construction Finance Initiative.

8. “Use it or lose it” parental leave: $1.2 billion

One of the headline measures from Budget 2018, the parental leave changes give new parents five weeks of additional paid leave when both parents share in the childcare. The new rules are expected to roll out in June 2019.