March 25, 2019 – Calgary, Alberta – Department of Finance Canada
Nearly four years ago, Canadians chose a plan to invest in the middle class and offer real help to people working hard to join it.
Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, is the next step in the Government’s plan—one that will keep Canada’s economy strong and growing, and make life more affordable for Canadians. Today, at an event hosted by the Economic Club of Canada in Calgary, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau spoke with business leaders about how this year’s budget will build on past successes, while making new investments that will build a better future for all Canadians.
Budget 2019 proposes to help Canadian businesses and middle class families by:
- Helping workers gain new skills with the creation of the new Canada Training Benefit, a benefit that will give workers money to help pay for training, provide income support during training, and, with the cooperation of the provinces and territories, offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in-demand.
- Making homeownership more affordable for first-time buyers by implementing the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, a shared equity mortgage program that would reduce the mortgage payments required to own a home; and by providing greater access to their Registered Retirement Savings Plan savings to buy a home.
- Preparing young Canadians for good jobs by helping make education more affordable through lowered interest rates on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans, making the six-month grace period interest-free after a student leaves school, and providing funding to create up to 84,000 new student work placements per year by 2023-24.
- Helping Canadians with the cost of prescription drugs by taking steps towards a national pharmacare plan, starting with creating a new Canadian Drug Agency that could lower Canadians’ drug costs by billions of dollars per year over the long term, developing a national formulary for prescription drugs, and a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases.
- Supporting Canadian seniors who choose to stay in the workforce by enhancing the Guaranteed Income Supplement earnings exemption so that they can keep more of their hard-earned money.
- Supporting municipalities’ local infrastructure priorities by doubling the federal municipal infrastructure commitment in 2018–19 to $2.2 billion. This will help municipalities and First Nations communities with the funds needed to pay for crucial repairs and other important local projects. This includes $229.5 million for Alberta.
- Ensuring access to high-speed internet so all Canadian homes and businesses have access to download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) no matter where they are located.
- Lowering Canadians’ energy costs by partnering with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to increase energy efficiency in residential, commercial and multi-unit buildings.
- Making it easier and more affordable for Canadians to choose a zero-emission vehicle by expanding the network of zero-emission vehicle charging and refuelling stations and creating new incentives for people and businesses to purchase zero-emission vehicles.
- Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples by helping improve the quality of life for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in Canada and advance self-determination with investments to improve water quality; preserve, revitalize and promote Indigenous languages; improve the quality of education and health care for Indigenous children in a culturally relevant way; and promote Indigenous business and entrepreneurship.
With Budget 2019, the Government is continuing to invest in people and growing the economy for the long term, in a fiscally responsible way—ensuring that Canada’s federal debt-to-GDP ratio continues on a steady downward track.
“Investing in the middle class means building a better Canada and a stronger Alberta—where more people can find good jobs, own their home and save for retirement. The investments in this year’s budget, combined with our efforts since 2015, will help give Canadians confidence that they’ll still be able to provide for themselves and their family, even in a rapidly changing world.”
– Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
Budget 2019 proposes to support Calgary and Alberta by:
Working with our western partners to protect water and soil in the Prairies, and providing $100 million to the Clean Resource Innovation Network to support clean energy business growth.
Supporting Alberta’s businesses by providing $100 million over three years, starting in 2019–20, to Western Economic Diversification Canada.
Replacing the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service’s (STARS) aging helicopter fleet and acquiring new emergency ambulance helicopters so that STARS can continue to provide rapid and specialized emergency helicopter ambulance services to patients across western Canada.
Expanding the Rental Construction Financing Initiative and launching a new Housing Supply Challenge to boost housing supply and provide more affordable options for home buyers and renters.
Investing in Alberta’s hospitals, child care centres and social services by increasing major transfers to $6.4 billion, an increase of $260.4 million from the previous year.
Providing reliable, efficient transit in Calgary by supporting the second phase of the 17 Avenue S.E. Bus Rapid Transit line. This includes building three bridges dedicated to transit vehicles, and a multi-use path for cyclists and pedestrians.
Supporting the Calgary Green Line LRT, allowing future Green Line construction to occur more efficiently.