Middle Class Jobs a Shared Priority at Finance Ministers Meeting
December 10, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada
Canada’s economy is strong and growing, and Canadians expect governments to work together to continue to build on this success—taking on immediate challenges, planning for long-term growth, and staying focused on building an economy that works for everyone.
Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial Finance Ministers gathered in Ottawa today for their semi-annual meeting, where they discussed the importance of securing more good, well-paying jobs for the middle class, and for people working hard to join the middle class. The Ministers heard from the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen S. Poloz, who provided an update on the state of Canada’s economy and Canadian monetary policy. Mark Machin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, also talked about the preparations by the Board to get ready for the enhancements to the Plan coming into effect in January 2019.
During the meeting, Finance Minister Bill Morneau underlined that despite short-term uncertainty facing some sectors of the Canadian economy, Canada’s growth prospects remain strong, thanks in part to the recently renewed trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. He also spoke about the importance of competitiveness and trade diversification—key themes in the Government’s recent 2018 Fall Economic Statement.
Together, the Ministers had a productive discussion about a number of factors of importance to the Canadian economy. These included removing internal barriers to trade, addressing the current discount on Canadian oil, monitoring the coordinated approach to cannabis taxation, and improving information availability on who owns which corporations in Canada in order to better counter tax evasion, money laundering and other crimes.
In advance of the meeting, the Finance Minister also confirmed that the Government of Canada will be providing a record $78.7 billion in major transfer funding to provinces and territories in 2019–2020.
“I want to thank my provincial and territorial colleagues for taking the time to participate in this meeting, and for the important contributions they made throughout the day. At a time when some prefer to point out divisions and differences, it’s critical that we work together to support Canadians and strengthen Canada’s economy. Together, we can continue to strengthen and grow the middle class, offer real help to those working hard to join it, and build an economy—and a country—where every Canadian has a real and fair chance at success.”
– Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance