On Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 the Honorable Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau tabled the Government of Canada’s second federal budget titled, “Building a Strong Middle Class”.
Canada is home to a well-educated and highly skilled workforce, but as the demands of the workplace change, so too must the education and skills that workers bring to their jobs. The changes in the economy—both here at home and around the world—present incredible opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
With its strong focus on innovation, skills, partnerships and fairness, Budget 2017 takes the next steps in securing a more prosperous future for all Canadians.
Here are just a few highlights:
Skills and Training:
- $2.7 billion over six years to boost skills training and employment supports for unemployed and underemployed Canadians under the Labour Market Transfer Agreements
- $29.5 million over five years for a program to support initiatives that teach basic digital skills
- $50 million over two years to support a K-12 program to teach coding to youth
- $11.2 billion over 11 years for an inclusive National Housing Strategy
- $7 billion over 10 years to create high-quality affordable childcare spaces
- $1.26 billion to create a five-year Strategic Innovation Fund to consolidate existing programs and expand to emerging sectors such as clean technology and agri-food
- Establish Innovation Canada to help coordinate programs available to businesses
- $59 million over four years and $17 million per year ongoing to expand eligibility for the Canada Student Loans and Grants to help part-time students
- $395 million over three years in the Youth Employment Strategy
- $221 million over five years towards creating $10,000 work-integrated learning placements for post-secondary students and graduates each year
A Fair and Efficient Tax System:
- $523 million over five years to prevent tax evasion and improve tax compliance, with a potential revenue of $2.5 billion over the next five years
- $310 million in new tax relief for caregivers over the next five years
- A new simplified Canada Caregiver Credit
- Amend the definition of a taxi business under the Excise Act to level the playing field and ensure that ride-sharing businesses are subject to the same GST/HST rules as taxis.
Home Care and Mental Health:
- $6 billion over 10 years for home care
- $5 billion over 10 years for mental health initiatives
- $886 million over five years to make EI, caregiving, paternal and maternity benefits more flexible
- Amendments to the Canada Labour Code so that federally regulated workers can request more flexible work arrangements
- $454 million over four years to expand eligibility for student financial assistance for part-time students and students with dependent children, and to launch a pilot project to make it easier for adult learners to qualify for financial assistance
- $27.5 million over five years for a Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers to help integrate new citizens in our communities
- First ever Budget that assessed how gender was considered in its measures
- $100 million over five years to establish a National Strategy to Address Gender-Based Violence
“Budget 2017 is about jobs. It’s about creating good middle class jobs today, while preparing Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow. The next step in our plan for Canada’s economy is making the smart, responsible investments we need to be innovative and competitive, while improving the health of our communities, ensuring a better future for our kids and grandkids.” said Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
Raj Grewal, Member of Parliament, Brampton East said “Budget 2017 puts Canada’s skilled, talented and creative people at the heart of a more innovative future economy. By investing in skills and training, innovation, and infrastructure, Budget 2017 will deliver long-term economic growth and improve the lives of all Canadians, including the residents of Brampton East.”