Ottawa, March 2, 2005

Archived - Budget 2005 Delivers on Key Commitments While Reducing the Debt

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Budget 2005 delivers on the Government's commitments while continuing to pay down the federal debt, Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale said today in Québec.

In his remarks to the Chambre de commerce de Québec, Minister Goodale stated that Budget 2005 commits substantial new funding to cities and communities, child care, the environment and national defence, while providing greater tax relief for low- and modest-income earners and new measures to support Canada's business community.

Among the key initiatives in the budget are:

  • Implementation of the Government's commitment to provide Canada's communities with a share of federal gas excise tax revenues. As a result, communities in Quebec will receive approximately $1.1 billion in new funding over the next five years.
  • $5 billion over five years for the development of a new Early Learning and Child Care initiative.
  • An increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement benefit for low-income seniors of $2.7 billion over five years.
  • Enhanced tax assistance for persons with disabilities and caregivers through expanded eligibility for the disability tax credit and other measures.
  • $735 million over five years to address the urgent needs of First Nations communities.
  • $398 million over five years to improve immigration settlement programs and client services for new Canadians.
  • An increase in the amount of income that all Canadians can earn tax-free to $10,000 by 2009.
  • The elimination of the 30-per-cent foreign property limit on pension and registered retirement savings plan investments, and increasing the annual contribution limit to $22,000 by 2010.
  • The elimination of the corporate surtax in 2008 and a 2-percentage-point reduction in the corporate income tax rate by 2010 to maintain Canada's tax rate advantage over the U.S.
  • $5 billion over five years to help fund new strategies to address climate change and protect Canada's natural environment.
  • $12.8 billion over five years (on a cash basis) in support of the Canadian Armed Forces, a portion of which will directly benefit CFB Valcartier.
  • $3.4 billion over five years to boost Canada's international assistance, with the goal of doubling assistance from its 2001-02 level by 2010-11.

Minister Goodale said that Canada has achieved an outstanding fiscal turnaround since 1993, citing a balanced budget for the eighth consecutive year. He reiterated the Government's ongoing commitment to reducing the debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio from 39 per cent this year to 25 per cent by 2014-15.

Canada is also the only Group of Seven (G-7) country to record a total government budget surplus in 2004 and is projected to be the only G-7 country in surplus again in 2005 and 2006, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Further information on Budget 2005 can be obtained by visiting the Department of Finance Web site or by phoning 1 800 O-Canada (1 800 622-6232) or 1 800 465-7735 (TTY for the speech and hearing impaired).

For further information:

David Gamble
Public Affairs and Operations Division
Department of Finance
(613) 996-8080

Pat Breton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
(613) 996-7861

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