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‘Feminist’ Canada funds women to grow businesses: Minister Chagger 

By Bhavana Akella
Toronto, July 17 (IANS) A “feminist” Canada is investing nearly $2 billion Canadian dollars (about Rs 10,000 crores) as seed capital in businesses led by its women entrepreneurs, said a senior woman minister here.

“As is committed to encourage women to grow businesses, we have allocated nearly $2 billion in the fiscal 2018-19 budget for investing in businesses run by women entrepreneurs,” Canadian Small told IANS in an interview here.

The Canadian government, led by Justin Trudeau, has also a women’s strategy in the budget to assist women-led ventures grow and help their nation prosper.

Though born and raised in Canada, Chagger, 38, is of Indian origin, as her parents are Indians, who migrated from in the 1970s and settled here.

The of government in the as a (MP) from Waterloo in Ontario, Chagger also holds the tourism portfolio since 2016.

Echoing Trudeau’s viewpoint that cannot tap its potential full if half of its 36-million population was left behind, Chagger said her government was focused on investing in the people, especially refugees and immigrants who came from the worldover for a better life in this country, bordering the US in the North.

“We are a feminist government that practises gender balance to empower all our people and give them equal opportunities to grow,” said Chagger, a at the three-day Dell Women’s Network (DWEN), organised by the American here since Sunday.

As only 16 per cent of Canadian businesses are owned or run by women, the is working on doubling it to 32 per cent by 2025.

The is focused equally on women to build a stronger without discriminating them as immigrants or refugees, said Chagger.

Referring to her Indian origins, Chagger said her Indian grandfather would not have imagined migrating to this country and his grand-daughter getting elected to become a

“But Canada stands for providing equal opportunities for everyone regardless of their origin and regions,” she said.

With more diversity under Trudeau’s leadership, lawmakers’ decisions ensure that voices of women, immigrants and other minorities are heard, she said.

“Unless one is indigenous, almost everyone is an immigrant in Canada. We have elected people on the Cabinet who came to Canada as refugees, those served in armed forces, etc. Canada has been a welcoming country and will continue to be for migrants from the world over,” Chagger said.

The Liberal Party’s Cabinet, touted as the “most diverse” globally, has Indian-origin Harjit Sajjan, the first Sikh to become Canada’s Defence Minister, and Carla Qualtrough, a former athlete, as Minister of

The 30-member has equal number of men and women in it.

With 1.3-million (13 lakh) people of Indian origin, Canada is also looking for stronger ties with India, especially in trade and tourism.

“We have established links in February between Communitech, a hub for in Waterloo region, and the T-hub at in Telangana, to foster in both regions. We are looking for more such opportunities in both countries,” Chagger said.

recognised Punjabi as the third most-spoken language, after English and French, said Chagger.

Canada is also investing in developing skills of people for the growth of its

“We are working on lowering taxes on the middle class, which is the backbone of our We want to give benefits to those who need them most and are asking the wealthy to forego them,” added Chagger.


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