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Politics, News

Canada Budget 2017: Innovation, education, and infrastructure

Politics, News

Canada Budget 2017: Innovation, education, and infrastructure

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Jenni Sheppard Mar 22, 2017 7:21 am 764

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has announced the Canadian federal budget for 2017, with a heavy focus on innovation, education, and infrastructure.

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, Morneau said the budget was about creating good middle class jobs, now and in the future.

“Economically, our talented, skilled, educated, diverse, and innovative workforce gives us tremendous potential for growth,” said Morneau.

“And as we prepare for the global economy of tomorrow, we will put our best foot forward.”

The budget made history, by being the first to contain a Gender Statement, which analyzes how the budget would affect men and women differently.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the measures announced in Budget 2017:

Jobs and Education

  • $2.7 billion for Labour Market Transfer Agreements over six years, providing funding for provincial and territorial job programs
  • Expanded eligibility for Canada Student Grants for part-time students as well as those with dependent children
  • $300 million over three years to test how to help working adults, who wish to return to school, qualify for student financial assistance
  • Ensure EI program allows Canadians to pursue training but maintain their EI status
  • $221 million over five years for 10,000 work-integrated learning placements through Mitacs for Canadian post-secondary students and graduates each year
  • $50 million over two years to support organizations delivering digital skills training to girls and boys from kindergarten to grade 12

Innovation

  • Establishes Innovation Canada, a new platform intended to help consolidate and simplify dozens of innovation programs situated across many departments.
  • $950 million over five years for innovation “superclusters,” focusing on clean technology, advanced manufacturing, digital technology, health/bio-sciences, clean resources, agri-food, infrastructure and transportation.
  • Extra $400 million over three years for a new Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative that will increase late-stage venture capital available to Canadian entrepreneurs
  • $2.2 billion for to support clean technology research, development, demonstration and adoption as well as to accelerate the growth of clean technology companies.

Infrastructure

  • Launch of Smart Cities Challenge, where local governments will be invited to work with citizens, businesses and civil society to submit their best ideas as part of a nationwide, merit-based competition.
  • $10.1 billion over 11 years to modernize Canada’s transportation system, protect our oceans and waterways and address the requirements of existing federally funded transportation assets such as VIA Rail Canada Inc.
  • $20.1 billion for public transit projects through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories.
  • $21.9 billion in green infrastructure, including initiatives that will support the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Childcare

  • Option to receive EI parental benefits during parental leave over an extended period of up to 18 months at a lower benefit rate of 33% of average weekly earnings
  • Women can opt to claim EI maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date—expanded from the current standard of 8 weeks—if they so choose.
  • $7 billion to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across the country
  • Eliminates $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment processing fee for families with less than $150,000 annual income seeking to hire foreign nannies

Housing

  • $11.2 billion in a range of initiatives designed to build, renew and repair Canada’s stock of affordable housing and help to ensure that Canadians have adequate and affordable housing that meets their needs.

Taxes

  • Pledge to close tax loopholes and tax planning schemes that disproportionately favour the wealthy
  • Extra $523.9 million over five years to prevent tax evasion and improve tax compliance
  • Replacement of the Caregiver Credit, Infirm Dependant Credit and Family Caregiver Tax Credit with a single new, non-refundable credit: the Canada Caregiver Credit.
  • The 15% public transit tax credit will be eliminated from June 30, 2017

Healthcare

  • $11 billion over 10 years in new health funding agreements with all provinces and territories to provide home care and mental health support for Canadian families
  • Pledge to improve access to prescription medications, lower drug prices, support health innovations, and respond to the ongoing opioid crisis

You can read the full Budget website and download all the documents here: budget.gc.ca/2017


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Jenni Sheppard
Senior Staff Writer at Daily Hive. Happy Vancouverite. Traveller, snowboarder, foodie, film fan, feminist, geek, cheesemaker, curler. Have a story to tell? Email [email protected]

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