Throughout its history, Canada has served as a shining example of what is possible. The Government is resolved to uphold this heritage by protecting our sovereignty at home and projecting our values abroad. By focusing our efforts and acting decisively, the Government is restoring Canada’s influence in world affairs.
Protecting Canadians and Canada is a fundamental responsibility of government. With the Canada First Defence Strategy, clear priorities will be in place to guide future actions. This is why Budget 2008 is:
Canadians are a compassionate and generous people. Budget 2008 provides the resources and direction required to enable Canada to reassert its influence in global affairs by:
The Government is providing leadership in global efforts to assist developing countries. It will also provide leadership closer to home in the Americas and in global affairs more generally. These efforts include:
Our borders have to facilitate trade, travel and commerce while protecting us from external threats. This is why Budget 2008 is investing in borders by:
Canadians make a difference every day and serve as an example of what energy, innovation and determination can accomplish. They are proud of their nation’s history of compassion and courage, and look to their government to ensure this hard-earned reputation is strengthened.
The Government is resolved to uphold this heritage by protecting our sovereignty at home and by projecting our values abroad. By focusing our efforts and acting decisively, the Government is restoring Canada’s influence in global affairs.
Budget 2008 follows through on the priorities identified in the Speech from the Throne: supporting the United Nations–sanctioned mission led by NATO in Afghanistan; playing an active role in the Americas; and promoting our trade and investment interests around the world through increased diplomatic resources abroad. The Government is bringing a long-term vision to the defence of our nation through reinvestments and predictable funding for the Canada First Defence Strategy, as well as investments in the Communications Security Establishment. The Government is delivering on its commitments to increase international assistance, while getting the most out of our aid dollars. It is designing innovative approaches to development assistance. And, in an uncertain world, the Government is bolstering security for Canadians at home and abroad through secure borders, world-class travel documents and a strengthened North American partnership.
In an unpredictable and volatile world, protecting Canadians and Canada is a fundamental responsibility of the Government. The foundation for building the Canadian Forces of tomorrow was laid with the $5.3-billion, five-year Canada First defence plan announced in Budget 2006. Significant progress has already been made, with several major procurement projects announced and being implemented.
Building on this foundation, the Government is developing a long-term Canada First Defence Strategy. The strategy will set long-term objectives and make a long-term commitment of support for the Canadian Forces. This is a new and innovative approach to rebuilding the military where predictable long-term funding will support the modernization and growth of the Forces. The result will be a stronger, more flexible and high-tech military for Canada.
The Canada First Defence Strategy will also strengthen Canada’s industrial and technological advantages by setting the foundations for a new relationship with industry. A stable, predictable and long-term investment program will create new, significant and long-term opportunities for communities and businesses across Canada. Canadian industry will have the opportunity to position itself as high-tech leaders, invest proactively in research, and develop technologies that can be used at home and exported to foreign markets.
This budget provides the funding stability and predictability that will allow for the successful implementation of the Canada First Defence Strategy by increasing the automatic annual increase on defence spending to 2 per cent (from the current 1.5 per cent) beginning in 2011–12. Over the next 20 years, this is expected to provide the Canadian Forces with an additional $12 billion.
The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) plays a key role in safeguarding Canada’s national security. CSE is Canada’s national cryptologic agency and provides the Government with foreign signals intelligence services and information technology security. It also provides technical and operational assistance to federal law enforcement and security agencies.
Budget 2008 provides $43 million over the next two years in order for CSE to make the necessary investments to keep pace with rapid technological advancements in information and communication technologies.
Canadians are a compassionate and generous people. We are proud of our commitment to help the poorest and most vulnerable at home and abroad. Canadians expect their government to lead by example in the area of international assistance by delivering on its promises, ensuring aid is effective and implementing innovative approaches to development cooperation.
Budget 2008 provides the resources and direction required to enable Canada to reassert its influence in global affairs.
Canada committed to double international assistance by 2010–11 from 2001–02 levels. Budget 2008 delivers on this promise. It ensures that the funding is in place to bring Canada’s total international assistance to $5 billion by 2010–11.
Canada also promised, along with its Group of Eight (G8) partners, to double its aid to Africa. Canada will double its aid to Africa in 2008–09 from its 2003–04 levels, making it the first G8 country to deliver on this commitment, more than a year ahead of other countries.
Additionally, Canada agreed to provide long-term predictable financing for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This important initiative has demonstrated results in addressing some of the world’s most serious communicable diseases, which kill over 6 million people each year, primarily in developing countries. Canada has been instrumental in the success of the Global Fund, providing over $500 million to date. The Government is pledging a further $450 million over the next three years. These resources will be sourced from existing international assistance funding.
Afghanistan is a central focus of our international assistance, and Canada is committed to helping rebuild a free, democratic and peaceful country. To this end, the Government is providing an additional $100 million for reconstruction and development, bringing Canada’s 2008–09 assistance budget for Afghanistan to a projected $280 million. Additional resources will help the Afghan people, including through the provision of more training to the Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army to allow them to take increasing responsibility for security in Kandahar and throughout the country. These additional funds are above and beyond the commitment to double international assistance by 2010–11, and will increase Canada’s total aid commitment to Afghanistan to $1.3 billion over 10 years.
Canadians are eager to help the poorest of the poor, but they want assurances that their tax dollars are making a real difference in the lives of the people they are intended to help. Budget 2007 set out a three-point agenda to reform Canada’s aid program to make it more focused, more efficient and more accountable.
Since then, the Government has been developing a concrete plan to transform how Canada delivers aid around the world. The Minister of International Cooperation has led its development and will soon articulate the details of this plan.
Delivering on our promises builds the credibility needed for leadership. But leadership also requires finding innovative solutions to the challenges of development. Through Budget 2007, Canada helped to pioneer an Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for vaccines expected to save close to 6 million lives. The AMC is one creative example of how international aid can spur the development and production of needed vaccines for the poorest countries.
Budget 2008 builds on our expertise in AMCs to further position Canada as a leader in the design and implementation of innovative approaches to development cooperation.
When Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolated insulin in 1921, they transformed the lives of Canadians and people around the world. Similarly, today, scientific innovation has the potential to improve the lives of the world’s poor. For example, new vaccines and cures could save millions of lives lost to tropical diseases. Higher-yield, drought-resistant crops could prevent future famines. And lower-emission energy sources could power industrial development and job creation with a minimal carbon footprint.
Budget 2008 provides an initial $50 million over the next two years for a new Development Innovation Fund, sourced from planned growth in international assistance. The fund will support the best minds in the world as they search for breakthroughs in global health and other areas that have the potential to bring about enduring changes in the lives of millions of people in poor countries.
The fund will be implemented by strategic partners in the research community working with the International Development Research Centre.
Budget 2007 introduced a tax incentive for corporations that make donations of medicines for use in the developing world. To ensure that donated medicines benefit recipients in developing countries to the greatest extent possible, Budget 2008 proposes that the eligibility of charities that may accept donations of medicines for the purpose of this tax incentive be determined by the Minister of International Cooperation. The Minister of International Cooperation will implement a process, to be developed by the Canadian International Development Agency, to ensure that eligible charities have relevant experience and appropriate policies and practices with respect to the delivery of international development assistance, and that they operate in a manner consistent with the principles and objectives of the World Health Organization Guidelines for Drug Donations. This will ensure appropriate oversight and accountability of those charities.
Budget 2008 also proposes that eligible gifts must be donated at least six months prior to the expiration date of the medicines.
These changes will apply to eligible donations of medicines made on or after July 1, 2008.
The Government is providing leadership in global efforts to assist developing countries. It will also provide leadership in global affairs more generally, and will concentrate its efforts in areas where Canada can make a lasting difference.
The Government has committed to play an active role in the Americas for the long term, ensuring that it works side by side with the citizens and governments of other countries in the hemisphere to advance our shared interests and values.
The Government has also invested in a comprehensive Global Commerce Strategy to ensure that Canadian businesses can take on the world and succeed. This renewed focus on trade and investment has already produced results, with Canada concluding free trade agreements with the European Free Trade Association countries and with Peru—the first new agreements in more than six years.
To be effective, we have to be on the ground. Accordingly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will ensure that Canada’s diplomatic resources are positioned to advance Canada’s priorities abroad. The Minister has already begun a transformative process that will reduce headquarters staff at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and reinvest in new positions abroad. This will enhance services to Canadians when travelling abroad.
To be effective, we must also be focused. These new overseas positions, along with resources already on the ground, will be focused on a limited number of priorities that reflect changing international realities, emerging trade interests and important Canadian objectives. The Minister will also add new embassies and missions to Canada’s overseas network, beginning with investments to increase Canada’s commercial presence in rapidly-growing markets and to support Canadian investment abroad.
Budget 2008 reinvests $89 million over two years to support this strategy. Along with the Global Commerce Strategy investments of Budget 2007, this brings the total investment towards making Canada’s foreign service as modern and agile as any in the world to $189 million over the next two years.
Our two-way trade with the world is equivalent to approximately two-thirds of our gross domestic product, and one out of five jobs is directly linked to trade. On a typical day, 266,000 people, 18,200 trucks, 77,900 courier shipments and 5,000 marine containers enter into Canada. These numbers reflect the increased mobility of people and goods in today’s world. This openness brings important benefits to Canada’s economy and society, but it also presents a number of risks.
Given the importance of trade to our continued prosperity, our borders have to facilitate trade, travel and commerce, while protecting us from external threats. This is why Budget 2008 is investing in initiatives to:
Better borders start with a stronger on-the-ground presence. The CBSA provides a critical front-line contribution to the prosperity and security of Canada by managing the access of people and goods to and from the country. Budget 2008 commits $75 million over the next two years to ensure that the CBSA has the resources it needs to deliver efficient and secure border services at more than 1,200 domestic and international locations. These funds will increase the number of on-site border services officers at key border installations in order to meet evolving operational demands resulting from increased trade and travel.
Better borders also require better travel documents that address concerns over document vulnerability. Budget 2008 takes the steps needed to introduce a higher-security electronic passport by 2011. The validity period of the new passport will be doubled to 10 years. Canada will join other countries that have taken steps to strengthen the security of their passports.
Budget 2008 also invests $14 million over the next two years to expand the joint Canada/United States NEXUS program by adding dedicated infrastructure, increasing the number of users from 160,000 to 350,000 and better targeting frequent travellers. The NEXUS program has been successful in reducing border transit times. Expediting crossings for low-risk frequent travellers will also free up resources to improve the clearance of regular traffic, thereby improving border security and reducing border congestion.
Finally, Budget 2008 provides $6 million over the next two years for federal activities to support provinces and territories planning to introduce enhanced driver’s licences. Enhanced driver’s licences are optional licences that denote citizenship and are expected to be recognized as a valid travel document for land entry into the United States under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The United States is the primary travel and business destination for many Canadians who do not hold a passport, and many Americans visit and tour Canada every year without carrying a passport. The development of enhanced driver’s licences by provinces, territories and U.S. states is intended to provide Canadians and Americans who do not hold a passport with an accessible and convenient alternative. British Columbia and the state of Washington are currently deploying and testing enhanced driver’s licences. Other provinces and U.S. states are also in the process of developing enhanced driver’s licences for their citizens.
Taken together, these investments will facilitate the secure movement of Canadians across international borders by providing access to reliable and accessible travel documents, in line with evolving international standards. These investments will also ensure a smooth transition to the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
Canada continues to be a destination of choice for millions of individuals seeking to stay temporarily to travel, work or study. While our economy and society are enriched by the movement of people across our borders, it also poses a number of risks.
Border security remains a priority for Canadians. Criminals are increasingly more sophisticated and well funded, including those who engage in document fraud to illegally move people or goods across borders. Further to biometric field trials in Canada that were successfully completed in 2007, the Government will introduce the use of biometric data, such as fingerprints and live photographs, in its visa-issuing process to accurately verify identity and travel documents of foreign nationals who enter Canada. This initiative will enhance the integrity and efficiency of the border by preventing criminals from entering Canada, and facilitating the processing of legitimate applicants. Budget 2008 provides $26 million over two years for this initiative. Canada will join other countries such as Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, which have recognized the value of using biometrics in their immigration and border processes.
The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway region is a key economic region with several international bridges and tunnels. It is a high marine security priority for both Canada and the United States. This area is also heavily travelled by both small pleasure craft and large commercial vessels.
In 2005, an interim Marine Security Operations Centre in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway region was established. Budget 2008 provides $15 million over two years to establish a permanent facility. The operations centre will help departments and agencies work collaboratively to collect, analyze and share information on marine and transborder traffic that is important to the security of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway region. A permanent operations centre will also allow representatives from provincial/municipal and United States law enforcement agencies to participate.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has helped make North America one of the most dynamic and prosperous economic regions in the world. Advantage Canada, the Government’s long-term economic plan, recognizes that Canadian companies must continue to profit from the commercial benefits of NAFTA, particularly as they strive to compete in North American and world markets.
In August 2007, the Prime Minister met with the Presidents of the United States and Mexico in Montebello, Quebec, to discuss priorities under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. The Government is addressing these priorities by allocating $29 million over the next two years towards:
These investments will address consumer needs, increase business competitiveness and enhance North American security. They will be sourced from the Security and Prosperity Partnership allocation made in Budget 2006.
(millions of dollars)
|Afghanistan reconstruction and development||100||100|
|Improving Canada’s Borders|
|Strengthened front-line capacity||25||50||75|
|World-class travel documents|
|10-year electronic passport by 2011||9||9|
|Expansion of the NEXUS program||7||7||14|
|Enhanced driver’s licences||5||1||6|
|More secure borders||11||15||26|
|Marine security—Great Lakes/|
|St. Lawrence Seaway||5||10||15|
|A stronger North American partnership||14||15||29|
|Less existing source of funds||-14||-15||-29|
|Subtotal—Improving Canada’s Borders||52||93||145|
|Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.|