Liberals looking at creating use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is looking at creating a use-it-or-lose-it funded leave for new dads.

Trudeau says making it easier for non-birthing parents, like fathers, to take time off to care for a newborn would help remove barriers women face in the workforce related to expectations that they be primarily responsible for child-rearing.

Trudeau’s musings at a forum with students at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India, comes just eight days before his government is due to unveil its latest budget.

The idea Trudeau is floating would be similar to the paternity leave policy in Quebec, which is the only province that provides funded leave for new fathers.

Experts have been pushing the Liberals to create dedicated paternity leave in the budget and increase the value of benefits paid out for parents who opt for an 18-month parental leave that became available late last year.

There have also been calls to make such a leave available to anyone who isn’t considered a primary caregiver, such as a grandparent.

The Canadian Press