Ottawa, June 14, 2011

Archived - Minister Flaherty Introduces the Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada’s Economy Act

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today introduced in Parliament Bill C-3, the Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada’s Economy Act, which implements key measures from Budget 2011—the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan: A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth.

“While Canada has seen over 560,000 net new jobs created since July 2009 and seven straight quarters of economic growth, too many Canadians are still looking for work and the global economic recovery remains fragile,” said Minister Flaherty. “That is why we need to stay the course with our prudent, low-tax plan with the Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada’s Economy Act.”

Among the important measures included in the Act are those to:

Help vulnerable seniors

  • Enhancing the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for seniors who may be at risk of experiencing financial difficulties. This measure will provide a new top-up benefit to more than 680,000 seniors across Canada (up to $600 per year for single seniors and $840 per year for couples).

Support provinces during the fragile economic recovery

  • Supporting provincial front-line delivery of health care and social programs by extending the temporary Total Transfer Protection to 2011–12, representing nearly $1 billion in support to affected provinces.

Encourage young entrepreneurs

  • Providing $20 million to help the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.

Enhance federal assistance for part-time students

  • Reducing the in-study interest rate for part-time students to zero, bringing them in line with full-time students.

Improve the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

  • Increasing flexibility to access RDSP assets for beneficiaries with shortened life expectancies.
  • Ensuring that individuals can appeal, in every case, a determination concerning their eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit.

Support Canada’s veterans

  • Providing GST/HST relief for Royal Canadian Legion purchases of Remembrance Day poppies and wreaths.

Maintain Canada’s leadership in genomics research

  • Providing $65 million for Genome Canada to launch a new competition in the area of human health, and sustain the operating costs of Genome Canada and Genome Centres.

Reinforce the stability of Canada’s housing finance system

  • Strengthening the Government’s oversight of the mortgage insurance industry.

“Canada’s most vulnerable seniors are counting on the GIS top-up to come into effect on July 1, 2011 as promised. This can only happen with the swift passage of the Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada’s Economy Act,”added Minister Flaherty.

More details on these and other measures from Budget 2011 are available at

For further information, media may contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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