Budget 2018: Equality and Growth for a Strong Middle Class

February 27, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

Making sure every Canadian has a real and fair chance at success is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Canada's future prosperity depends on it.

To face the challenges of today and tomorrow, the Government of Canada will need the hard work and creativity of all Canadians. In return, it needs to ensure the benefits of a growing economy are felt by more and more people—with good, well-paying jobs for the middle class and everyone working hard to join it.

Over the last two years, Canada's economic growth has been fuelled by a stronger middle class. Canadians' hard work, combined with the Government's historic investments in people and in communities, helped to create more good jobs—while more support for those who need it most has meant more money for people to save, invest, and spend in their communities.

To build on this progress, Finance Minister Bill Morneau today tabled Budget 2018—Equality + Growth: A Strong Middle Class—which supports the Government's people-centred approach. Guided by a new Gender Results Framework, Budget 2018 proposes measures to ensure that every Canadian has a real and fair chance at success.

Through Budget 2018, the Government is taking the next steps towards building an equal, competitive, sustainable, and fair Canada—where science, curiosity, and innovation spur economic growth. Budget 2018 also renews the Government's commitment to building a new relationship together with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. Furthermore, it remains focused on Canada's future and the things that truly matter to Canadians, with investments that protect our environment, support a sustainable low-carbon economy, and promote equality and prosperity for those who need it most at home and around the world.

Canada's strong fiscal fundamentals—anchored by a low and consistently declining debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio—mean that the Government has the confidence to make the investments that will strengthen and grow the middle class, and lay a more solid foundation for our children's future.

Budget 2018 further builds on historic investments included in previous federal budgets and proposes to:

  • Put more money in the pockets of those who need it the most, by improving access to the Canada Child Benefit and introducing the Canada Workers Benefit, a stronger and more accessible benefit that will replace the Working Income Tax Benefit.
  • Make significant progress towards equality of opportunity, by taking leadership to address the gender wage gap, supporting equal parenting, tackling gender-based violence and sexual harassment, and introducing a new entrepreneurship strategy for women.
  • Support the next generation of researchers, by providing historic funding to increase opportunities for young researchers and provide them the equipment they need, while strengthening support for entrepreneurs to innovate, scale up, and reach global markets.
  • Advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, by helping to close the gap between the quality of life of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, providing greater support to keep First Nations children safe and supported within their communities, accelerating progress on clean drinking water, housing, and employment, and supporting recognition of rights and self determination.
  • Protect the environment for future generations, by making historic investments to preserve our natural heritage, ensuring a price is put on carbon pollution across Canada, and extending support for clean energy projects.
  • Uphold Canada's shared values and support the health and wellness of Canadians, by partnering with provinces and territories to address the opioid crisis, taking action to advance national pharmacare, and bolstering support for Canada's official languages.

By building on the Government's plan to invest in the middle class, Budget 2018 takes significant steps to ensure everyone has the opportunity to fully contribute to the economy, leading to economic growth that works for all Canadians.

Quote

"With this budget, built by and for all Canadians, we are tackling the challenge of equality head-on—asking tough questions, and beginning to provide solutions. We will continue to double down on our plan to invest in the middle class and everyone working hard to join it. It's a plan that puts people first, builds on the hard work of Canadians, and keeps us squarely focused on the future—so that our children have better opportunities to follow their dreams, find good jobs, and give back to their community."

- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

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Media may contact:

Chloé Luciani-Girouard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
chloe.luciani-girouard@canada.ca
613-462-5469

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

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