Government's Plan to Build a Strong Middle Class Receives Royal Assent

June 22, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

The Canadian economy is growing stronger, creating more opportunities for Canada's middle class. Budget 2017 is the next phase in the Government's ambitious plan to give every Canadian the chance to succeed in the new economy and be part of a strong middle class.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau today welcomed Royal Assent of the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, which implements many of Budget 2017's measures, including preparing Canadians for the jobs of the future, strengthening Canada's health care system to meet the needs of Canadian families, and keeping Canada on the path to building a fairer, more inclusive country that reflects the priorities of Canadians.

With the passage of the Act, the following priorities will be implemented:

  • Immediate down payment on 2017–18 funding for home care and mental health services to provinces and territories that have accepted the federal offer of $11 billion over 10 years;
  • Establishment of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, an arm's-length organization that will work with provincial, territorial, municipal, Indigenous and private sector investment partners to transform the way infrastructure is planned, funded and delivered in Canada. The Canada Infrastructure Bank will be responsible for investing at least $35 billion in revenue-generating infrastructure projects that are in the public interest, and attracting private sector capital to those projects so that more infrastructure can be built across Canada;
  • Expansion of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to offer more flexibility for families with different needs by allowing parents to choose to receive EI parental benefits over an extended period of up to 18 months, and allowing women to claim EI maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date, if they so choose;
  • Greater support for Canada's veterans and their families to support a successful transition from military to civilian life, including the creation of a new Education and Training Benefit, and greater assistance for the families of disabled veterans;
  • Simplification of the existing system of tax relief for caregivers by replacing three existing tax credits with the single Canada Caregiver Credit, which will better support those who need it most, apply to caregivers whether or not they live with their family member, and help families with caregiving responsibilities;
  • Expansion of the range of courses eligible for the Tuition Tax Credit to include occupational skills courses that are undertaken at a post-secondary institution in Canada. In addition, the full amount of bursaries received for such courses would qualify for the scholarship exemption (where conditions are otherwise met);
  • Support for a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy to retain and attract top academic talent, and to increase the number of post-graduate trainees and researchers studying artificial intelligence and deep learning; and
  • Strengthening of the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) by making it truly independent, recasting the head of the PBO as an officer of Parliament, supported by a team that is separate from the Library of Parliament, and with the authority to report directly to Parliament.

Quote

"I am pleased to see the implementation of this next phase of our government's long-term plan for growth and a strong middle class. By making these smart and responsible investments, we will ensure that all Canadians can succeed in the economy of tomorrow, with good, well-paying jobs and opportunities."

– Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

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Media may contact:

Annie Donolo
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
annie.donolo@canada.ca
613-769-7187

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada
fin.media-media.fin@canada.ca
613-369-4000

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