Finance Ministers Meet to Advance Progress for the Middle Class

From: Department of Finance Canada

Finance Ministers Meet to Advance Progress for the Middle Class

News release

December 9, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

Canada’s Finance Ministers understand the importance of working together to strengthen and grow the middle class, and build an economy that works for everyone.

Since 2015, Finance Ministers from across the country have successfully reached agreements to enhance the Canada Pension Plan, put in place a coordinated taxation framework for cannabis, and strengthen corporate ownership transparency in order to counter tax evasion and other financial crimes.

Building on this track record of success, federal, provincial and territorial Finance Ministers will meet today and tomorrow in Ottawa to advance shared priorities, and continue efforts to deliver real progress for the middle class, and for people working hard to join the middle class.

The semi-annual meeting will include discussions on:

  • The state of the Canadian and global economy—including a presentation by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen S. Poloz;
  • Trade and competitiveness—including measures announced in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement to diversify trade and support Canada’s competitiveness;
  • Preparations by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) ahead of the enhancement to the Plan that will begin in January 2019—including a presentation by Mark Machin, President & Chief Executive Officer of the CPPIB;
  • The effectiveness of the coordinated approach to cannabis taxation; and
  • The ongoing efforts to ensure appropriate authorities know who owns which companies in Canada, in order to effectively counter tax evasion and money laundering.

In advance of the meeting, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau also confirmed that the Government of Canada will be providing a record $78.7 billion in major transfer funding to provinces and territories in 2019–20.

“Canada’s economy is strong and growing, but there is more work to be done. I look forward to meeting with my provincial and territorial colleagues as we work together to deliver on the things that matter most to Canadians: good, well-paying jobs; more help for hard-working families; and an economy that offers every Canadian a real and fair chance at success.”

– Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • Canada’s Finance Ministers typically meet twice a year to discuss shared priorities.

  • The Government of Canada provides significant financial support to provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis. There are four main transfer programs:

    The Canada Health Transfer, which provides long-term predictable funding for health care and supports the principles of the Canada Health Act.

    The Canada Social Transfer, a federal block transfer in support of post-secondary education, social assistance, social services, early childhood development and learning as well as child care.

    Equalization, which addresses fiscal disparities among provinces and enables less prosperous provincial governments to provide their residents with public services that are reasonably comparable to those in other provinces, at reasonably comparable levels of taxation.

    Territorial Formula Financing, which provides territorial governments with funding to support public services, in recognition of the higher cost of providing programs and services in the North.

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