The Government is inspired by our past as it invests in our future. Budget 2008 invests in the highest priorities of Canadians, including health, opportunity, security and well-being for all citizens, no matter where they live and work.
With Budget 2008, the Government is committed to helping those who need the care and support of their fellow Canadians by:
Budget 2008 sets aside funds for important initiatives to protect the health and safety of Canadians.
The Government has made significant progress in supporting Aboriginal Canadians over the past two years with a new practical approach that is paying off. Advantage Canada recognized the most effective way to close the gap in socio-economic conditions faced by Aboriginal Canadians is to increase their workforce participation. Budget 2008 takes action toward this goal by:
Budget 2008 implements the Government’s vision for a new North with new measures that will protect and secure Canada’s sovereignty and create more economic opportunities in the North. These include:
Budget 2008 includes new measures to strengthen and ensure the effective implementation of Canada’s ecoACTION plan by:
In 2010, Vancouver and Whistler will host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. To support these celebrations and help our summer athletes prepare for future Olympics, Budget 2008 is:
In addition, to sustain our cultural institutions, the budget is allocating:
The Speech from the Throne identified tackling crime and strengthening the security of Canadians as a priority. Budget 2008 provides funding to enhance protection for Canadian families and communities, including:
The Government will continue to show leadership in Budget 2008 by focusing on priorities outlined in the 2007 Speech from the Throne that help Canadian families meet their needs.
Budget 2008 invests in measures to support those with mental health disorders, survivors of veterans, seniors and Aboriginal Canadians. It modernizes and strengthens the safety system for food, health and consumer products. It invests in better economic opportunities in the North. It takes action to ensure a cleaner, healthier environment. It provides support for celebrating Canadian athletes and sustaining Canadian National Museums. Budget 2008 also enhances security for Canadian families and communities.
The Government is committed to supporting those Canadians less able to help themselves. Budget 2008 builds upon the measures announced in the last two budgets with additional significant investments to support a series of demonstration projects led by the Mental Health Commission of Canada in the area of mental health and homelessness. It enhances support for the survivors of World War II and Korean War veterans. It builds on previous investments in the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation’s No Child Without program, and provides support to help meet the challenge of elder abuse.
The Government is committed to supporting those Canadians less able to help themselves. Budget 2008 and recent federal initiatives to support the vulnerable provide assistance to those Canadians faced with difficult and unique challenges:
The most vulnerable Canadian citizens should be able to live a full and active life with dignity. Among the most vulnerable people are those who face complex challenges related to mental health disorders, and as a result often lack basic necessities such as adequate housing.
Budget 2007 provided funding to establish the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The Commission acts as a catalyst for the reform of mental health policies and improvements in service delivery. The Commission is also a facilitator and supporter of a national approach to mental health issues and works to diminish the stigma and discrimination faced by Canadians living with mental illness. The Honourable Michael Kirby, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, has proposed a number of innovative demonstration projects in selected communities across the country. A project in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside would focus on people who are living with a mental illness and who also have a substance abuse problem.
Other projects in Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal and Moncton, will focus on different aspects of the issues related to mental health and homelessness. These projects will contribute to our knowledge base and to the development of best practices.
Budget 2008 provides the Commission with $110 million to support the proposed demonstration projects.
The Government recognizes Canada’s obligation to ensure that the men and women who fought for our freedom have the programs and services they need. Budget 2007 provided for five new Operational Stress Injury Clinics to be located across the country to assist Canadian Forces members and veterans dealing with stress injuries related to their military service, as well as additional funding for family support services. In that budget, the Government demonstrated its ongoing commitment to veterans and their families by appointing a Veterans Ombudsman, who is responsible to ensure that the services delivered by the Department of Veterans Affairs meet the standards of service set out in the Veterans Bill of Rights. Budget 2007 also provided additional ongoing funding to enhance services to veterans as well as to respond to any issues identified by the new Ombudsman.
Today, many of our World War II and Korean War veterans have passed away. They are survived by their families, some of which require our support and help. To recognize the important role and the sacrifices made by these survivors, Budget 2008 provides $282 million over this and the next two years to ensure that survivors in need receive the help they require to remain independent in their own homes. The Veterans Independence Program will provide a housekeeping and grounds maintenance benefit of up to $2,400 per year to survivors of war veterans who would have qualified for the Veterans Independence Program, where the survivor needs the services to remain independent in their own home and is either in financial need or is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
The Canadian MedicAlert Foundation is the leading provider of emergency medical information services linked to customized bracelets for Canadians with medical conditions and special medical needs. In November 2006, the Foundation announced a new No Child Without program, which provides MedicAlert bracelets without charge to children who suffer from serious medical conditions such as peanut allergies, childhood diabetes or asthma.
To accelerate the Foundation’s goal of implementing the No Child Without program in all elementary schools in Canada, Budget 2008 provides a one-time payment of $3 million, building on previous investments.
Budget 2007 increased resources for the New Horizons for Seniors program from $25 million to $35 million per year to address, among other things, the safety and security of seniors, working with seniors’ organizations to identify the best ways to promote awareness and reduce the incidence of elder abuse. Budget 2008 is investing an additional $13 million over three years to help seniors and others recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and to provide information on what support is available.
Budget 2008 builds on the 2007 Speech from the Throne commitment to introduce measures on food and product safety to ensure that families have confidence in the quality and safety of what they buy. The measures will modernize and strengthen Canada’s safety system for food, consumer products and health products, increase access to safe natural health products, enhance the safety of Canada’s laboratories, and inform Canadians about the health risks associated with environmental contaminants.
Canadians have been concerned about several recent high-profile safety issues concerning food and consumer products. On December 17, 2007, the Prime Minister announced Canada’s Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan. The Action Plan will modernize and strengthen Canada’s safety system for food, consumer products and health products. Budget 2008 provides funding of $113 million over the next two years for the Action Plan.
The challenge of ensuring access to safe, effective and high-quality natural health products is a shared responsibility of industry, consumers and government. Budget 2008 provides funding of $33 million over the next two years to implement a new approach to the regulation of natural health products and ensure the safety of Canadians.
To undertake important research, many laboratories in Canada work with viruses and bacteria. Currently, there are inconsistent regulatory frameworks for these laboratories. Budget 2008 provides funding of $9 million over the next two years to enhance safety through a new regulatory framework that will cover all Canadian laboratories and ensure the same standards. Enhanced inspections will be undertaken to monitor compliance with the new framework.
Budget 2008 provides funding of $25 million over the next two years to help Canadians make environmentally healthy decisions. An Environmental Health Guide, modelled after Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, will be launched to describe the actions that Canadians should take to protect themselves and their families. Also, the Canadian Health Measures Survey will be expanded. The focus will be on the relationship between environmental contaminants and congenital anomalies and childhood developmental disorders, and on examining the links between environmental contaminants and the risk of illness.
The Government is committed to improving the health of Canadians by taking action to discourage tobacco consumption. The Government’s comprehensive national strategy includes prevention, product regulation and cessation programs, and aims to reduce the prevalence of smoking from 19 per cent of Canadians to 12 per cent by 2011.
A key part of the Government’s plan to discourage smoking is to reduce the availability of contraband tobacco products. Budget 2008 announces actions to achieve this objective by:
Budget 2008 also proposes other changes to the excise duties on certain tobacco products to support the health goal of reducing smoking. Details on the measures related to excise duties on tobacco products that are proposed in Budget 2008 are provided in Annex 4.
These measures are expected to increase federal tax revenues by $5 million in each of 2008–09 and 2009–10.
Budget 2008 proposes a number of changes to the tax treatment of health-related goods and services in order to reflect the evolving nature of the health sector and the health care needs of Canadians, including:
The changes to the METC are expected to reduce federal tax revenues by $5 million per year in 2008–09 and 2009–10. The changes to the GST/HST health-related measures are expected to reduce federal tax revenues by $15 million per year in 2008–09 and 2009–10. More details on these and other health-related tax measures proposed in Budget 2008 are provided in Annex 4.
The Government has made significant progress on Aboriginal issues over the past two years, working with willing partners to achieve tangible results. This new, practical approach of working with Aboriginal governments and organizations, provinces and territories, and the private sector to address clear priorities in an effective and targeted manner is paying off and producing results. Budget 2008 takes important action to build upon this approach, largely funded from the money committed to Aboriginal priorities in Budget 2006.
Advantage Canada recognized that the most effective way to address the gap in socio-economic conditions faced by Aboriginal Canadians remains increasing their participation in the Canadian economy.
There are extraordinary economic opportunities across the country. In particular, the mining and resource sectors could provide new and historic possibilities for many Aboriginal Canadians to move out of poverty and dependency to become full participants in the labour force and the economy. The Government is committed to fostering partnerships involving the private and public sectors that help Aboriginal people get the skills and training they need to take advantage of the opportunities in the North and across Canada.
Budget 2008 takes another important step to help Aboriginal people make the most of these opportunities by committing to establish a new framework for Aboriginal economic development by the end of 2008.
The Government will work with Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders to develop a framework that will be partnership-based and opportunity-driven and that will ensure that federal investments help Aboriginal Canadians benefit from viable economic opportunities. Budget 2008 dedicates $70 million over the next two years for Aboriginal economic development measures to support the new framework.
Concurrently, the Government will continue to engage Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders on a successor approach to the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy, expected in 2009. The new approach will better place the skills and training available for individuals in the context of employer and labour market demands.
Better education outcomes are crucial for First Nations students, their families and their communities. Progress on outcomes depends on increased accountability throughout First Nations school systems and better integration with provincial education systems.
The Government will work with provincial governments, First Nations organizations and educators to develop new and more effective tools and approaches to First Nations education.
Budget 2008 dedicates $70 million over the next two years to support tripartite agreements with willing First Nations and provinces, that will set joint goals, share expertise and establish accountability benchmarks to ultimately enhance education outcomes for First Nations students. The focus will be on improving financial and performance management systems and implementing community-based school success plans. The Government will also continue to review its First Nations and Inuit post-secondary education programs to ensure they are coordinated with other programs and that they provide the support that First Nations and Inuit students need to stay in school and complete their education.
Over the last two years, provinces and First Nations groups have indicated a willingness to discuss integration of the First Nations and Inuit health programs with provincial health systems to allow more effective and efficient delivery, recognizing the comparative advantage of each level of government.
Budget 2008 provides funds to lay the groundwork for a transition to this new approach. It will build on recent success in British Columbia by continuing to pursue innovative partnerships with willing provinces and First Nations groups leading to integration agreements.
Budget 2008 commits $147 million over the next two years to stabilize current programs and put in place concrete improvements aimed at better health outcomes for First Nations and Inuit. Funds will support improvements in health care delivery through greater integration with provincial and territorial health systems.
In April 2007, the Government announced a partnership with the Province of Alberta and Alberta’s First Nations to shift on-reserve child and family services in Alberta to a prevention-based approach. This approach has had success in providing families with better access to early intervention, family engagement and referrals to community resources to help them before a crisis occurs.
Budget 2008 commits $43 million over the next two years to fund similar agreements in other provinces.
The Government’s Plan of Action for Drinking Water in First Nations Communities has significantly decreased the number of First Nations communities with high-risk communal water systems. More communities now have oversight of water systems by certified operators in place.
To continue this progress and improve access to safe drinking water in First Nations, Budget 2008 invests over $330 million over the next two years to extend the Plan of Action. The Government will undertake consultations with First Nations and provincial and territorial governments on the development of a regulatory regime to oversee water quality on reserve.
A vast region of awe-inspiring beauty and abundant resources, the North is at the very heart of Canada’s identity.
The Government’s comprehensive northern strategy implements its vision of a new North that realizes its full social and economic potential and secures its future, for the benefit of all Canadians. The strategy is focused on strengthening Canada’s sovereignty, promoting economic and social development, protecting our environmental heritage, and improving and devolving governance, so that northerners have greater control over their destinies.
The Government of Canada is committed to helping the North realize its true potential as a healthy and prosperous region within a strong and sovereign country.
The Government envisions a new North where:
Since 2006, the Government has made important investments to support the objectives of the northern strategy:
Budget 2008 implements the Government’s vision for a new North by proposing measures that will protect and secure Canada’s sovereignty and create more economic opportunities.
To further assist in drawing skilled labour to northern and isolated communities, Budget 2008 proposes to increase the maximum daily residency deduction from $15 to $16.50. This increase will bring the maximum annual amount of the residency deduction to $6,022.50 ($16.50 multiplied by 365 days) from $5,475 ($15 multiplied by 365 days) for residents of the Northern Zone and to $3,011.25 from $2,737.50 for residents of the Intermediate Zone.
This measure will be effective as of January 1, 2008. It is estimated that this change will reduce federal revenues by a small amount in 2007–08, and by $10 million in each of 2008–09 and 2009–10.
The development of energy and mineral resources is the primary source of economic growth in Canada’s North. Exploration for new mineral resources is an inherently risky but potentially rewarding economic activity, leading to new job opportunities and contributing to the viability of many resource-dependent communities. Publicly available geoscience maps help companies target new exploration activity to the areas of highest mineral potential. Budget 2008 provides $34 million over the next two years to Natural Resources Canada for geological mapping, primarily focused in Canada’s North, and for logistical support for mapping activities provided by the Polar Continental Shelf Project. Resources allocated for geological mapping in southern Canada will be cost-shared with the provinces.
The temporary 15-per-cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit is an incentive available to individuals who invest in flow-through shares that are used to finance mining exploration. Budget 2008 proposes to extend the credit, which is intended to assist companies to raise capital for exploration, for an additional year, until March 31, 2009. Extension of the credit will support continued exploration for new mineral reserves in the North and other regions of Canada. The net fiscal cost of this extension is estimated at $120 million over the next two fiscal years.
Over the last 10 years, Nunavut’s offshore fishery for shrimp and turbot has grown into a harvest of over $50 million annually. More untapped inshore fishing opportunities could be pursued; however, the Nunavummiut need infrastructure and supporting services to take advantage of these opportunities. In Budget 2008, the Government is proposing that a commercial harbour be built in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. This initiative will be supported by fishery science and resource management to assess and manage the adjacent fish stocks, as well as by additional Canadian Coast Guard navigational aids to ensure the safety of fishermen and fisherwomen. This initiative will augment the current limited capacity for the marine shipment of goods during open-water season and increase the safety of vessels offloading their catch. It will also enable the community to further develop its economic potential, encourage the development of tourism in the region and create local employment. Budget 2008 provides $8 million over the next two years for the construction, operational and management costs associated with this initiative.
The Canadian Coast Guard’s most capable Arctic icebreaker, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2017. As such, the Government will replace this vessel with a new polar class icebreaker that has greater icebreaking capabilities. Budget 2008 provides $720 million for the procurement of this vessel.
Canada must complete comprehensive mapping of its seabed in both the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans to support the submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf by the end of 2013. Budget 2008 provides $20 million over the next two years to carry out data collection activities and legal work to enable Canada to present an effective submission to the Commission.
The Government’s comprehensive ecoACTION plan is making progress on preserving and enhancing the environment, improving air and water quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the health effects of environmental contaminants.
A key element of the plan is the regulatory framework for industrial air emissions, which will impose binding national regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants across all major industrial sectors. The ecoACTION plan also includes a mandatory fuel-efficiency standard for new cars and light trucks for the 2011 model year and standards and regulations for other forms of transportation, renewable fuels, and the energy efficiency of consumer and commercial products.
Budget 2008 includes new measures to strengthen and ensure effective implementation of Canada’s ecoACTION plan. It provides funding to implement regulations that will lead to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and improvements in air quality, and proposes additional incentives that will advance progress on cleaner energy generation and use. It will also improve Canada’s capacity to enforce environmental laws and support conservation.
Canada’s regulatory framework for industrial air emissions will require reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants from Canadian industry. The greenhouse gas regulations, which enter into force in 2010, provide for market-based mechanisms that will help establish a price for carbon and support the development of carbon trading in Canada, which in turn will drive private sector investments in clean technology needed to reduce emissions.
Budget 2008 provides $66 million over two years to set up key features of the regulatory regime, including an electronic tracking system for units traded in the carbon market, a single-window reporting system for industry, an industry-supported technology fund to invest in emission reduction projects, an offset system to finance emission reduction projects in non-regulated sectors, and better modelling of air quality.
Carbon capture and storage presents an opportunity for Canada to develop world-leading technology than can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is a process consisting of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from certain large industrial and power generation facilities and placing it in long-term storage. Coal-fired power plants can reduce air pollutants and produce a CO2 emissions stream that is more readily captured by introducing clean coal technologies. Reducing the carbon emitted from these facilities will make a significant contribution to achieving Canada’s greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives.
Saskatchewan has been a leader in the development of carbon capture and storage technology, and has proposed to put in place a full-scale commercial demonstration of carbon capture and storage in the coal-fired electricity sector. Budget 2008 provides $240 million in trust in 2007–08 to Saskatchewan for this initiative, which will be matched by the province and used to partner with industry. The results of the demonstration will be made available to the Government of Canada, other provinces and industry to diffuse this important technology. Funding will be paid into a third-party trust, once legislation has been passed.
Although the Western Sedimentary Basin has geological formations that have been extensively studied and are ideal for the storage of CO2, less is known about storage in other geological formations. Budget 2008 is providing $5 million in 2007–08 which, along with complementary investment by the province of Nova Scotia, will support geological research examining the potential for carbon storage in the province.
The report of the Canada-Alberta ecoENERGY Carbon Capture and Storage Task Force was released on January 31, 2008, and identified a number of regulatory, economic, and technological issues that need to be resolved to accelerate deployment of carbon capture and storage technologies. Budget 2008 provides $5 million in 2007–08 to the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy at the University of Calgary to work with a broad range of stakeholders on these outstanding issues.
Capital cost allowance (CCA) rates are generally set so that the cost of a capital asset is deducted for tax purposes gradually over its useful life to ensure neutral treatment across business assets. As part of the Government’s ongoing review of CCA rates, Budget 2008 proposes the following modifications to better reflect the useful life of CO2 pipelines, which are expected to be the primary means of transporting CO2 from industrial facilities to geological storage locations:
This measure is not expected to have a significant fiscal cost over the next two fiscal years.
Since 2007, the Government has announced a number of other significant measures in support of renewable fuels. These measures include:
Renewable fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, are cleaner fuels that reduce air pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions. In December 2006, the Minister of Natural Resources announced a regulation requiring a 5 per cent average renewable content in Canadian gasoline by 2010, and the intent to develop a regulation for diesel fuel and heating oil to contain 2 per cent average renewable fuel content by 2012.
Budget 2008 provides $10 million over two years for scientific research and analysis on biofuels emissions to support the development of regulations, and demonstration projects to verify that new blended renewable diesel is safe and effective for the Canadian climate and conditions.
E85 fuel is a renewable fuel containing 85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent gasoline. Flex-fuel vehicles burning E85 fuel instead of regular gasoline emit about 40 per cent less carbon dioxide over any given distance. To improve access to E85 fuels, Budget 2008 provides up to $3 million over two years to Natural Resources Canada for a pilot program to demonstrate E85 fuelling infrastructure and promote the commercialization of E85 fuels.
Budget 2007 announced funding for a two-year ecoAUTO Rebate program for consumers who purchase fuel-efficient vehicles. The program offers rebates from $1,000 to $2,000 to people who, beginning March 20, 2007, buy or enter a long-term lease (12 months or more) for a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Consumers will continue to be able to collect the rebate through March 31, 2009, on eligible 2006, 2007 and 2008 model year vehicles purchased by December 31, 2008. A list of vehicles eligible for the rebate can be found at http://www.tc.gc.ca/programs/environment/ecotransport/eligiblevehicles.htm. The program will not be available beyond the 2008 model year.
The Government has taken other actions that reduce emissions from passenger vehicles. Budget 2007 provided $63 million over this and the next two years to help get older polluting vehicles off the road. Budget 2008 will accelerate consumer access to cleaner E85 fuel with a new demonstration program.
In addition, the Government is introducing a new $250-million program, highlighted in Chapter 3, to support research and development projects in the automotive sector for greener and more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Interest in nuclear energy is increasing as a result of growing demand for energy worldwide, rising fossil fuel prices and concerns about climate change. Canada has played a leading role in nuclear science and technology for over 50 years through Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). AECL specializes in a range of advanced nuclear-energy products and services that are an important component of clean-air energy programs on four continents.
Budget 2008 provides an additional $300 million to AECL in 2008–09 for its operations, including the development of its next generation nuclear power reactor, the Advanced CANDU Reactor, and to maintain the safe, reliable operations of the Chalk River Laboratories. Combined with a renewed management team that ensures strong leadership, these investments will help position AECL for success in the growing market for clean energy.
Accelerated CCA for clean energy generation equipment is provided through CCA Class 43.2 at a rate of 50 per cent per year. The class covers a variety of stationary equipment that generates electricity or heat by using renewable or waste sources, or by using fossil fuel efficiently.
Budget 2008 proposes to expand eligibility for accelerated CCA under Class 43.2 to several additional applications:
These enhancements will promote investment in technologies that help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants and increase the diversity of Canada’s energy supply by converting waste materials into energy.
These measures are expected to reduce federal revenues by approximately $5 million over the next two fiscal years.
Wind and solar energy represent clean and sustainable alternative sources of electricity, helping to reduce air pollutants and address climate change.
Budget 2008 proposes to expand GST/HST relief currently available in respect of land leased to explore for or exploit mineral, peat, forestry, water or fishery resources to include land leased to situate wind or solar power equipment for the production of electricity, applicable to lease payments due on or after February 26, 2008. This proposed change will result in consistent tax treatment of leases for wind and solar power and those for other natural resources.
Further details on the tax measures in Budget 2008 are set out in Annex 4.
Environmental laws alone are not enough to guarantee a cleaner, better environment. These laws also need to be enforced. In Budget 2007, resources were provided to hire more than 100 new officers to bolster enforcement capacity. Budget 2008 provides $21 million over two years to Environment Canada to increase the effectiveness of enforcement officers with better forensic laboratory support, data collection, analysis and management systems.
Budget 2008 also provides up to $12 million over two years to Parks Canada for the implementation of an enhanced law enforcement program within Canada’s National Parks.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has recognized 13 regions in Canada that demonstrate a balanced approach to conservation and economic development. These biosphere reserves are geographical regions in which community-based initiatives protect the natural environment, while ensuring the continued growth of the local economy in an ecologically sustainable way. The Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association is a not-for-profit organization that provides networking and expert support to communities in the designated biosphere reserves. Budget 2008 provides $2 million over two years to Environment Canada to support the operations of the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association.
While many of our athletes compete in various sporting events around the world, the Olympic and Paralympic Games are a special competition which represent the pinnacle of accomplishment. In 2010, Vancouver and Whistler will be hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. As part of the preparations for these Games, Budget 2008 provides funding for the community torch relay celebration program. In the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics this year, and building on current federal investments of over $140 million per year for amateur sports, Budget 2008 provides additional support for our summer athletes to help them prepare for these and future Olympics.
The Government has already made significant investments in the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics. It is a time for celebration. The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay will pass through over 350 communities from November 2009 to February 2010, reaching over 80 per cent of the Canadian population. The relay route will be announced in the fall of 2008, and it is expected that there will be up to 12,000 torch bearers and escorts. Canada’s 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays will provide an opportunity to connect and inspire all Canadians.
Budget 2008 provides $25 million to make the Torch Relays the centrepiece of the Government’s outreach to communities across the country, building community and national pride as part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Canada’s Olympians and Paralympians are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, and their accomplishments on the world stage make all Canadians proud.
The Government of Canada is the single largest investor in Canada’s sport system. Through Sport Canada, it helps our athletes by providing funding for such things as coaching and equipment. Following the award of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to Vancouver, the Government announced significant financial support for our Winter Olympians and Paralympians.
The Government is also committed to ensuring that our summer athletes have the support they need to perform at the top levels of international competition. Budget 2008 provides funding of $24 million over the next two years and $24 million per year ongoing to support the Road to Excellence . This funding will enhance the Government’s excellence programming for summer athletes, increasing the number of coaches, training camps and opportunities for our athletes to compete internationally.
The Government is committed to making investments in the renewal of its four National Museums (the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canada Science and Technology Musuem and the Canadian Museum of Nature) to address operating and infrastructure pressures. The Government is reinvesting $9 million over two years from strategic review savings to address these pressures. These investments will assist in strengthening Canada’s cultural institutions and protecting its cultural heritage for future generations.
The Government’s five-year Action Plan for Official Languages was launched in 2003. A cross-country consultation process, led by Mr. Bernard Lord, has recently been concluded on the future of official languages programming in Canada. Over the next year, the Government will build on previous investments through the development of a new Action Plan on Official Languages that will respond to Canada’s evolving demographic reality, to promote and protect linguistic duality across the country.
The Speech from the Throne identified tackling crime and bolstering the security of Canadians as a priority. Budget 2008 provides funding to protect Canadian families and communities, building on the important investments this government has made in previous budgets.
A paramount responsibility of government is to protect the right to safety and security. A Safer Communities strategy will be implemented, in part through effective law enforcement. The Government takes this responsibility seriously to help ensure every Canadian is safe and secure.
Budget 2008 provides funding to provinces and territories to support them in recruiting 2,500 new front-line police officers. It sets aside up to $400 million in 2007–08 to be paid into a third-party trust for provinces and territories, allocated proportionately, to meet this objective.
Funding will be paid into the trust, once legislation has been passed, for those provinces and territories that have publicly committed by March 31, 2008 to participate in a national effort to hire an additional 2,500 police officers across the country and thus make communities safer. Provinces and territories will have the flexibility to draw down the funding as they require over the next five years. Provincial and territorial governments are encouraged to report directly to their residents on the expenditures financed and outcomes achieved with the funding provided through the Police Officers Recruitment Fund.
Over the past decade, the federal corrections system has been facing tough new challenges. In April 2007, the Government established an independent panel chaired by Mr. Rob Sampson to review the federal corrections system. The panel’s report, which was published in December 2007, sets out a vision for transforming the federal corrections system based on an increased emphasis on offender responsibility and accountability; the elimination of drugs from prisons; the provision of more employment and employability skills for offenders; and the modernization of physical infrastructure based on more efficient and effective design, construction and operations. This vision requires a fundamental transformation of federal corrections to achieve better public safety results. It will require a long-term commitment and a phased approach.
Building on the significant funding provided in Budget 2007, Budget 2008 invests in this new vision by addressing some of the panel’s key recommendations and by setting the foundation for changes to the federal corrections system. Budget 2008 stabilizes funding for Correctional Service of Canada while detailed planning for the transformation is undertaken. In addition, Budget 2008 provides funding for the first critical stage of transformation to allow Correctional Service of Canada to increase control of its institutions through enhanced safety and security, by dealing more effectively with the growing number of offenders with gang affiliations, and by detecting and eliminating drugs in penitentiaries. These investments will provide correctional staff with the tools and training they need to do their jobs safely and more effectively.
Budget 2008 commits $122 million over the next two years to ensure that the federal correctional system is firmly on track to respond comprehensively to the recommendations of the independent panel led by Mr. Sampson.
Getting tough on crime does not end with greater investments in enforcement. The whole criminal justice system must work together to ensure those who are charged with offences are brought to trial in a timely fashion. The Public Prosecution Service of Canada is responsible for prosecuting offences under more than 50 federal statutes and for providing prosecution-related legal advice to law enforcement agencies.
To support the ongoing work of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, Budget 2008 provides $32 million over the next two years to prosecute drug cases more effectively and to provide greater support for Crown agents across Canada.
Budget 2008 provides $60 million over the next two years, for the National Crime Prevention Strategy, in addition to the existing annual investment of $33 million. National Crime Prevention Strategy efforts are focused on priorities established in partnership with community-based not-for-profit organizations. Priorities for funding include providing support for vulnerable families and children at risk, preventing youth gang and drug-related crime, and preventing recidivism among high-risk groups.
As part of the strategy on tackling crime, the Government is committed to effective gun control and action against those who use firearms for criminal purposes. Effective gun control requires the licensing of all individuals who legally possess guns. The Government will bring forward a short-term action plan which will include measures to facilitate compliance and the extension of the waiver on firearms renewal fees until May 2009.
Leadership at Home
(millions of dollars)
|Supporting the Vulnerable|
Mental Health Commission of Canada
|Veterans: enhancing support for survivors||259||12||11||282|
|Canadian MedicAlert Foundation||3||3|
|Protecting seniors from abuse||5||6||10|
|Subtotal—Supporting the Vulnerable||369||20||17||406|
Protecting the Health and Safety
Modernizing and strengthening Canada’s
safety system for food, consumer
and health products
Ensuring safe, effective and high-quality
natural health products
|Enhancing the safety of our laboratories||3||6||9|
Understanding the impact of the environment
on our health
|Medical Expense Tax Credit eligibility||5||5||10|
|GST/HST health measures||15||15||30|
Subtotal—Protecting the Health and Safety
With Aboriginal Canadians
|New framework for economic development||20||50||70|
|Enhancing education outcomes||20||50||70|
|Strengthening First Nations and Inuit health||111||36||147|
|Expanding First Nations child and family services||21||22||43|
|First Nations water and wastewater action plan||165||165||331|
With Aboriginal Canadians
|Less existing source of funds||-202||-188||-390|
With Aboriginal Canadians
|A Vision for a New North|
|Northern Residents Deduction||10||10||20|
|Mineral Exploration Tax Credit||145||-25||120|
|Pangnirtung, Nunavut, commercial harbour||4||4||8|
|Subtotal—A Vision for a New North||175||28||203|
|Ensuring a Cleaner, Healthier Environment|
|Curbing greenhouse gas emissions||35||31||66|
|Carbon capture and storage||250||250|
|Accelerating access to renewable fuels|
|Investing in nuclear energy||300||300|
|Tax incentives for clean energy generation||5||5|
|Effective environmental law enforcement||7||14||21|
Enhance law enforcement in Canada’s
Promoting conservation and sustainable
Subtotal—Ensuring a Cleaner,
|Investing in Culture and Sports|
|2010 Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays||25||25|
|Supporting our athletes: summer sport excellence||8||16||24|
|Subtotal—Investing in Culture and Sports||8||41||49|
|Tackling Crime and Bolstering Security|
|Police Officers Recruitment Fund||400||400|
|New Vision for the Correctional Service of Canada||12||110||122|
Strengthening the Public Prosecution
Service of Canada
|Strong National Crime Prevention Program||30||30||60|
|Firearms Action Plan||14||2||16|
|Subtotal—Tackling Crime and Bolstering Security||400||70||159||630|
|Total—Leadership at Home||1,019||848||567||2,434|
|Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.