Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the details of his first budget.
It projects a $29.4 billion deficit this year, which is three times the shortfall the Liberals had been promising.
The budget includes 8.4-billion dollars in over five years for Aboriginal Peoples, $500,000 to help understand the role of foreign homebuyers in the country’s housing market.
Morneau also announced the new Canada Child Benefit. He says nine out of 10 families will get more help than they currently do under existing programs.
And the Metro Vancouver Mayor’s Council has confirmed that we can count on $370 million for transit improvements in the area.
Minister of Finance Bill Morneau delivered his budget speech in the House of Commons this afternoon.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Expected to hit $29 billion in 2016/17., with no road map to return to a surplus.
- $11.9 billion for infrastructure funding over 5 years for transit, affordable housing, and water and wastewater systems. No Phase 2 until 2021.
Breaks for the middle-class
- Extending Employment Insurance benefits in regions affected by the collapse in commodities, including parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northern Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador.
- New Canada Child Benefit , which Morneau says will help nine out of 10 families more than the current programs.
- More tax breaks for families: A single mom with one child under the age of six and earning $30,000 a year will receive an annual benefit of $6,400, tax-free. A family with two children earning $90,000 will receive $5,650, which is an increase of $2,500 from the current system.
WATCH the Minister Morneau’s full budget speech here:
Affordable Housing & Homelessness
- Double the amount the government provides to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s affordable housing initiative.
- Invest an additional $112 million over the next two years in the homelessness strategy.
- Over the next two years fund and support the construction or renovation of over 3,000 shelter spaces or transition homes for victims of violence.
First Nations prosperity
- $8.4 million over the next five years in First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities, including:
- Half to be invested in primary and secondary education, including language and cultural programs -and to build schools.
- Nearly $555 million over two years to improve housing
- Investments to repair and build nursing stations and residences for health care workers in Indigenous communities.
- Invest nearly $2 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure and drinking water monitoring over five years
Investment in youth
- Increase Canada Student Grant amounts by 50 per cent, from $2,000 to $3,000 per year for students from low-income families, and from $800 to $1,200 per year for students from middle-income families.
- 35,000 additional jobs for young Canadians in each of the next three years under the Canada Summer Jobs program.
- Additional $30 million per year to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
- Increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single seniors by up to $947 annually
- Additional funding to Veterans Affairs Canada to reopen service offices recently closed in Charlottetown, Sydney, Corner Brook, Windsor, Thunder Bay, Saskatoon, Brandon, Prince George and Kelowna. As well as opening a new office in Surrey, B.C., and expanding outreach in northern Canada.
- Increase the Disability Award for injuries or illnesses resulting from military service, and align it with other New Veterans Charter benefits by indexing it to inflation.
- Expand access to higher grades of the Permanent Impairment Allowance
- Increase the Earnings Loss Benefit to provide income replacement of 90 per cent of pre-release salary for injured veterans, and index benefit to inflation.
Status of Women
- Increase the funding of Status of Women Canada to increase the agency’s capacity to support gender-based analysis across the federal government and expand their regional presence to support local organizations working on women’s issues and gender equality.
- Reallocate funding for large-scale capital projects from the 2015-16 to 2020-21 period, to future years. This funding is being shifted into future years to align with the timing of major equipment acquisitions that will align with the new defence strategy.
Investments in World-Class Institutions and Research
- $95 million per year for discovery research through Canada’s granting council for universities, colleges and research institutions.
- $2 billion over three years for a new Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund to modernize on-campus research, commercialization and training facilities.
- $800 million over four years to support development of innovation and tech sector development.
National infrastructure investments
- $3.4 billion over five years to help maintain and upgrade national parks, harbours, federal airports, border infrastructure and support the clean-up of federal contaminated sites across the country.
Low carbon economy fund
- A new $2 billion low carbon economy fund investing to expand protected areas, develop new national parks and fund ocean and freshwater science.
Arts and Culture
- $1.9 billion over five years in the arts and culture sector, provided to, among others, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada, the National Film Board
- $675 million over five years to modernize and revitalize CBC/Radio-Canada in the digital era.
Refugee Resettlement & Immigration
- New funding to resettle an additional 10,000 government-assisted Syrian refugees over the course of 2016.
- Welcome 300,000 new permanent residents in 2016.
- Step up family reunification efforts with 20,000 admissions under the parent and grandparent program.
Thumbs up from economists
“We’re in a very good fiscal position.”
That from the former Chief Economist for the Bank of Montreal, who is satisfied with the first budget tabled by the Liberal government.
The government forecasts a $29.4 billion deficit in the first year, with the deficit shrinking over the next five years.
Sherry Cooper says despite government going into the red for the foreseeable future, Canada is in a good position financially.
“Interest rates are very low and our debt-to-GDP ratio beyond 2016 will continue to decline.”
Cooper says the $11.9-billion of infrastructure spending for the first year is right on par for what she was expecting and says they can’t quite be specific on how the money will be spent.