Archived - Harper Government Welcomes Royal Assent of the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1

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Passage advances Government's Balanced-Budget, Low-Tax Plan for Jobs, Growth and Security

June 24, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance

Finance Minister Joe Oliver today welcomed the Royal Assent of the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1, which legislates key elements of Economic Action Plan 2015. These elements include measures to support jobs and growth, help communities prosper and ensure the security of Canadians.

Highlights include:

Balancing the Budget:

  • Balanced budget legislation enshrines in law the Harper Government’s responsible fiscal management policy that is creating jobs and putting more money back into the pockets of Canadians.
  • A balanced budget allows the Government of Canada to cut taxes further for Canadian families, individuals and businesses.

Supporting Jobs and Growth:

  • Reducing the small business tax rate to 9 per cent by 2019—lowering taxes for job-creating small businesses and their owners by $2.7 billion between now and 2019–20.
  • Providing manufacturers with a 10-year accelerated capital cost allowance to encourage productivity-enhancing investment in machinery and equipment.
  • Increasing the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption to $1 million for owners of farm and fishing businesses.
  • Extending the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit until March 31, 2016.
  • Improving access to financing for Canadian small businesses through the Canada Small Business Financing Program.

Helping Families and Communities Prosper:

  • Increasing the Tax-Free Savings Account annual contribution limit to $10,000, effective for 2015 and subsequent years.
  • Implementing the Family Tax Cut, a federal tax credit that will allow a higher-income spouse to, in effect, transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket, effective for the 2014 tax year.
  • Increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) for children under age 6. As of January 1, 2015, parents are eligible for a benefit of $160 per month for each child under the age of 6—up from $100 per month.
  • Expanding the UCCB to children aged 6 through 17. As of January 1, 2015, under the expanded UCCB, parents are eligible for a benefit of $60 per month for children aged 6 through 17.
  • Increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction dollar limits by $1,000, effective for the 2015 tax year. The maximum amounts that can be claimed will increase to $8,000 from $7,000 for children under age 7, to $5,000 from $4,000 for children aged 7 through 16, and to $11,000 from $10,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
  • Reducing the minimum withdrawal factors for Registered Retirement Income Funds to permit seniors to preserve more of their retirement savings to better support their retirement income needs.
  • Supporting seniors and persons with disabilities by introducing the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to help with renovation costs to make their homes safer and more accessible, so that they can live independently and remain in their homes.
  • Ensuring veterans and their families receive the support they need by: providing a new Retirement Income Security Benefit to moderately to severely disabled veterans; expanding access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance for disabled veterans; and creating a new tax-free Family Caregiver Relief Benefit to recognize caregivers.
  • Extending Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits from six weeks to six months to better support Canadians caring for gravely ill and dying family members.

Ensuring the Security of Canadians:

  • Providing support for security on Parliament Hill for the protection of visitors, parliamentarians and staff, while maintaining access to the home of our democracy.
  • Enacting the Prevention of Terrorist Travel Act to establish a mechanism to protect the sensitive information used in decisions to cancel, refuse or revoke passports on national security or terrorism grounds.

Quick Facts

  • The deficit has been reduced from $55.6 billion at the height of the Great Recession to a projected surplus of $1.4 billion for 2015–16.
  • The Harper Government paid down $37 billion in debt before the Great Recession, a reason why Canada’s total government net debt burden is the lowest of any Group of Seven (G-7) country and among the lowest of the advanced G-20 countries.
  • A typical two-earner Canadian family of four will receive tax relief and increased benefits of up to $6,600 in 2015 as a result of actions taken by the Harper Government since 2006.
  • The Government has lowered taxes every year since coming into office. In fact, the overall federal tax burden is now at its lowest level in more than 50 years.
  • Over 1.2 million more Canadians are working now than at the end of the recession in June 2009. The majority of these net new jobs have been full-time positions in high-wage, private-sector industries.
  • Canada has demonstrated one of the best economic performances among G-7 countries over the recovery.
  • Real gross domestic product is significantly above pre-recession levels—the best performance in the G-7.


"Under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our Government made an important promise to Canadians during the dark days of the Great Recession. We said we would set a course towards balanced budgets. Rather than raising taxes to achieve that goal, we would control spending and rein in costs. With today’s Royal Assent, I am proud to say that we have delivered on our promise, and invested in job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians."

- Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance

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Melissa Lantsman
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Office of the Minister of Finance

David Barnabe
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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