Minister Morneau in Edmonton to Talk Budget 2019: Investing in the Middle Class
March 27, 2019 – Edmonton, Alberta – Department of Finance Canada
Nearly four years ago, Canadians chose a plan to invest in the middle class and offer real help to people working hard to join it. Since that time, the Government's plan has meant investments in building a better Canada—a stronger, more connected country with better opportunities for people today, and the promise of a better future.
Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, is the next step in that plan—one that will keep Canada's economy strong and growing, and make life more affordable for Canadians. Today, at an event hosted by the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau spoke with business leaders about how this year's budget will make new investments that will build a better future for all Canadians.
Following the event, Minister Morneau, along with Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi, participated in a roundtable discussion with local business leaders, including representatives from the housing, manufacturing, hospitality and financial sectors.
As part of his visit to Edmonton, Minister Morneau will also be meeting with representatives of the McMurray Métis.
Budget 2019 proposes to help Canadian businesses and middle class families by:
- Helping workers gain new skills with the creation of the new Canada Training Benefit, a benefit that will give workers money to help pay for training, provide income support during training, and, with the cooperation of the provinces and territories, offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in-demand.
- Making homeownership more affordable for first-time buyers by implementing the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, a shared equity mortgage program that would reduce the mortgage payments required to own a home; and by providing greater access to their Registered Retirement Savings Plan savings to buy a home.
- Preparing young Canadians for good jobs by helping make education more affordable through lowered interest rates on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans, making the six-month grace period interest-free after a student leaves school, and providing funding to create up to 84,000 new student work placements per year by 2023-24.
- Helping Canadians with the cost of prescription drugs by taking steps towards a national pharmacare plan, starting with creating a new Canadian Drug Agency that could lower Canadians' drug costs by billions of dollars per year over the long term, developing a national formulary for prescription drugs, and a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases.
- Supporting Canadian seniors who choose to stay in the workforce by enhancing the Guaranteed Income Supplement earnings exemption so that they can keep more of their hard-earned money.
- Supporting municipalities' local infrastructure priorities by providing a one-time top-up of $2.2 billion, doubling the federal municipal infrastructure commitment in 2018–19. This will help municipalities and First Nations communities with the funds needed to pay for crucial repairs and other important local projects. This includes $229.5 million for Alberta.
- Ensuring access to high-speed internet so all Canadian homes and businesses have access to download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) no matter where they are located.
- Lowering Canadians' energy costs by partnering with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to increase energy efficiency in residential, commercial and multi-unit buildings.
- Making it easier and more affordable for Canadians to choose a zero-emission vehicle by expanding the network of zero-emission vehicle charging and refuelling stations and creating new incentives for people and businesses to purchase zero-emission vehicles.
- Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples by helping improve the quality of life for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in Canada and advance self-determination with investments to improve water quality; preserve, revitalize and promote Indigenous languages; improve the quality of education and health care for Indigenous children in a culturally relevant way; and promote Indigenous business and entrepreneurship.
With Budget 2019, the Government is continuing to invest in people and growing the economy for the long term, in a fiscally responsible way—ensuring that Canada's federal debt-to-GDP ratio continues on a steady downward track.
"The world is changing rapidly, and many Canadians still worry about their ability to find and keep good jobs, support their families and save for retirement. Budget 2019 takes real action to address those worries—helping students and workers of all ages train for good jobs, assisting families as they take their first step toward homeownership, lowering energy costs for Canadians, and investing in the infrastructure local communities need. This budget is the next step in our Government's plan to deliver meaningful results for middle class Canadians and people working hard to join them."
- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
Budget 2019 proposes to support Edmonton and Alberta by:
- Protecting water and soil in the Prairies with $100 million to the Clean Resource Innovation Network to support clean energy business growth.
- Supporting Alberta's businesses by providing $100 million over three years, starting in 2019–20, to Western Economic Diversification Canada.
- Providing rapid and specialized emergency helicopter ambulance services to patients across western Canada by replacing the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service's aging helicopter fleet and acquiring new emergency ambulance helicopters.
- Expanding the Rental Construction Financing Initiative and launching a new Housing Supply Challenge to boost housing supply and provide more affordable options for home buyers and renters.
- Investing in Alberta's hospitals, child care centres and social services by increasing major transfers to $6.4 billion, an increase of $260.4 million from the previous year.
- Budget Plan
- Budget Speech
- Backgrounder: The Canada Training Benefit
- Backgrounder: An Affordable Place to Call Home
- Backgrounder: Moving Forward on Implementing National Pharmacare
- Backgrounder: A Secure and Dignified Retirement for Canadians
- Backgrounder: Advancing Reconciliation With Indigenous Peoples
- Backgrounder: Building a Better Canada: Universal High-Speed Internet
- Backgrounder: Strong Communities, Affordable Electricity and a Clean Economy
- Gender Report
- Investing in Young Canadians
- The Fiscal Monitor (Financial Results for January 2019)
Media may contact:
Director of Media Relations
Office of the Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada