The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan announces new measures to improve the quality of life and expand opportunities for older Canadians, with new budget measures including:
The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides support for Canadians and their families, with new budget measures including:
The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan announces additional support for culture and communities with new budget measures, including support for Aboriginal people, such as:
The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides funding to continue to protect Canada’s natural environment, address environmental risks, and improve Canada’s weather services, with new budget measures such as:
The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan recognizes the importance of keeping our communities safe by investing in crime prevention and the justice system, with budget measures including:
The health of families and the strength and safety of our communities are key to Canada’s economic potential and Canadians’ quality of life. Providing support for families and communities helps ensure that all Canadians benefit from the opportunities and wealth that long-term growth creates.
Since 2006, the Government has taken action to support families and help meet the needs of all Canadians, including:
The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan continues to focus on support for families, seniors and communities. The Government will take additional steps to eliminate barriers to participation for Aboriginal people and other groups that have difficulties integrating into the labour market, and will work to address the challenges facing these groups. It will support our communities, our heritage and our culture.
The Government will continue to improve public safety and protect victims’ rights through investments in security and the justice system. Providing help to those who need it most and ensuring the safety of communities is central to the Government’s role in promoting broader participation in the economy, and in building a stronger society for all Canadians.
Budget 2011 builds on the Government’s record with new initiatives for seniors, families and communities. By working closely with its provincial counterparts, the Government will move forward with legislative and regulatory changes necessary to improve the range of retirement savings options available to Canadians, and it will make investments to enhance the security of Canadians through crime prevention initiatives.
Canada’s seniors have worked hard to build a better country for future generations. Our seniors deserve a secure and dignified retirement that reflects the contributions they have made. For this reason, Budget 2011 builds on the supports in place for seniors by proposing new measures to improve the quality of life and expand opportunities for older Canadians.
Although Canada’s retirement income system has reduced the incidence of poverty among Canadian seniors, some seniors remain at risk. In particular, seniors who rely almost exclusively on Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement may still experience financial difficulties, for instance when home heating costs spike. In addition, women who have made a valuable contribution to their families, to their community and to society as a whole by working hard at home are particularly at risk as they may not have access to other sources of income. The Government recognizes the contributions seniors have made and is committed to ensuring that they continue to have a good quality of life.
Budget 2011 announces a new Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up benefit targeted to the most vulnerable seniors. Effective July 1, 2011, seniors with little or no income other than Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement will receive additional annual benefits of up to $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples. Single recipients with an annual income (other than Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement) of $2,000 or less, and couples with an annual income of $4,000 or less, will receive the full amount of the benefit. Above these income thresholds, the amount of the top-up will be gradually reduced and will be completely phased out at an income level of $4,400 for singles and $7,360 for couples.
This represents an investment of more than $300 million per year. This measure will further improve the financial security and well-being of more than 680,000 seniors across Canada. Over the coming months, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development will collaborate with provincial and territorial governments to ensure that the new top-up does not negatively impact services and benefits provided by these governments.
The New Horizons for Seniors Program provides funding to organizations that help ensure seniors can benefit from, and contribute to, the quality of life in their communities through active living and participation in social activities.
The program supports projects led or inspired by seniors that promote volunteerism, mentorship and the social participation of seniors. For example, the Literacy Program for Seniors: Preserving the French Language offers francophone seniors living in Yellowknife reading and writing activities in French to prevent erosion of language, culture and heritage. In Cape Breton, the Kiwanis Club of Cape Breton Golden K Ambassadors Program helps local seniors keep active and productive in their community by greeting passengers off cruise ships, visiting trade shows and supplying tourist information to many organizations.
The New Horizons for Seniors Program also provides funding for projects that expand awareness of elder abuse. This support includes funding for the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism Incorporated to increase the capacity of community-based organizations to raise awareness among seniors about fraud by creating a bilingual instructional toolkit that will train community organizations throughout the province on how to develop and deliver their own fraud awareness volunteer program.
Budget 2011 proposes to provide $10 million over two years to increase funding for the New Horizons for Seniors Program. This enhanced support will further the program’s objectives by funding a greater number of projects.
The Government is committed to ensuring that seniors continue to enjoy a high quality of life by providing support in a number of areas.
As a result of actions taken by the Government, seniors and pensioners
will receive about $2.3 billion in additional targeted tax relief for the
2011–12 fiscal year. In particular, since 2006, the Government has:
In 2011, a single senior can earn at least $19,064 and a senior couple at least $38,128 before paying federal income tax.
The Government’s record also includes important improvements to several specific retirement income supports:
The Government has also recently invested in several programs to help seniors:
The Government understands the importance of a secure and dignified retirement for people who have spent their lives building Canada through their hard work. The Government has worked with its provincial and territorial government partners and has consulted extensively with Canadians on retirement income adequacy and security. In June 2010, federal, provincial and territorial Finance Ministers agreed to explore three areas: pension regulation and tax changes to encourage more retirement savings, greater promotion of financial literacy, and a modest enhancement to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).
In December 2010, Finance Ministers agreed on a framework for defined contribution Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) to provide Canadians with a new, low-cost, accessible vehicle to meet their retirement objectives. Federal, provincial and territorial officials are working together to implement PRPPs as soon as possible.
The Government remains committed to improving financial literacy for Canadians, particularly to help those who are saving for retirement make informed decisions. The Government has received the recommendations of the Task Force on Financial Literacy, and a Financial Literacy Leader will soon be appointed to promote national efforts. Budget 2011 proposes to provide $3 million per year to undertake financial literacy initiatives.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments are continuing work on options for a modest enhancement to the CPP. Any changes would require a consensus among governments and reflect the need to protect Canada’s economic recovery. Finance Ministers will discuss options and concerns further at their next meeting.
Canadians are living longer, more active lives than ever before. Those who wish to remain active in the labour force should be able to do so for as long as they desire, enriching the workplace with their accumulated knowledge and experience.
The Government proposes to introduce amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canada Labour Code to prohibit federally regulated employers from setting a mandatory retirement age unless there is a bona fide occupational requirement. This would allow Canadians to choose how long they wish to remain active in the labour force. The Government will review other acts to further this objective.
Families are the cornerstone of our great country. Helping families care for their loved ones and save for the future helps reinforce our bonds as a society and ensures that the next generation is able to thrive. Budget 2011 builds on the Government’s record by proposing new measures for families, including tax support for caregivers and the Children’s Arts Tax Credit.
Since 2006, the Government has significantly increased support for families to better assist them with the costs of raising children:
Families are major beneficiaries of the substantial tax relief the Government is providing to all Canadians, such as the 2-percentage-point reduction in the Goods and Services Tax, broad-based personal income tax reductions and the new Tax-Free Savings Account, which helps Canadians meet lifetime savings needs.
The Government recognizes the sacrifices that many Canadians make to care for their children, spouses, parents and other family members with infirmities—often while caring for other family members and holding down a job.
Budget 2011 proposes to provide new tax support for caregivers of infirm dependent family members by introducing a new Family Caregiver Tax Credit. This 15-per-cent non-refundable credit on an amount of $2,000 will provide tax relief for caregivers of all types of infirm dependent relatives, including, for the first time, spouses, common-law partners and minor children.
Caregivers will benefit from the Family Caregiver Tax Credit by claiming an enhanced amount for an infirm dependant under one of the following existing dependency-related credits: the Spousal or Common-Law Partner Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the Eligible Dependant Credit, the Caregiver Credit or the Infirm Dependant Credit. It is estimated that over 500,000 caregivers will benefit from the Family Caregiver Tax Credit.
This measure will apply for the 2012 and subsequent taxation years. It is estimated to reduce federal revenues by $40 million in 2011–12 and $160 million in 2012–13.
Manon is a teacher with a young family. Manon’s mother, Claudine, is a low-income senior who lives with Manon’s family. Claudine is infirm and is dependent on Manon’s assistance for her personal needs. In addition to the tax relief that she receives through the existing Caregiver Credit, Manon will be able to claim the new 15-per-cent Family Caregiver Tax Credit on an amount of $2,000.
Fred has been spending more time at home with his wife Lucy, who is infirm, and he has been taking time off from work to take Lucy to appointments and to attend to her personal needs. There is currently no tax measure that specifically recognizes Fred’s role as a caregiver. Fred will now be able to claim the new 15-per-cent Family Caregiver Tax Credit on an amount of $2,000.
One of Tony and Vanessa’s children, Ryan, age 12, is infirm and is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. Because of his infirmity, Ryan requires significant assistance from his parents to attend to his personal needs. Either Tony or Vanessa will be able to claim the new 15-per-cent Family Caregiver Tax Credit on an amount of $2,000, in addition to other support they receive as parents of a child eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
The Family Caregiver Tax Credit will complement the significant action taken by the Government since 2006 to support persons with disabilities and their families. This support includes:
Budget 2011 proposes to provide further assistance to caregivers by ensuring that the extraordinary medical and disability-related expenses they incur for dependent relatives are fully recognized by the tax system.
The Medical Expense Tax Credit recognizes the impact of above-average, itemizable medical and disability-related expenses on an individual’s ability to pay tax. A taxpayer may claim the Medical Expense Tax Credit in respect of eligible expenses that exceed the lesser of 3 per cent of the taxpayer’s net income for the year and $2,052 (in 2011). There is no limit on the amount of eligible expenses a taxpayer can claim for himself or herself, a spouse or common-law partner or a dependent child under 18.
Caregivers who incur medical and disability-related expenses for an aging parent, sibling or other financially dependent relative are generally able to claim these expenses under the 15-per-cent Medical Expense Tax Credit. However, a $10,000 limit applies on the amount that can be claimed for such a relative. As a result, some caregivers who incur extraordinary medical and disability-related expenses do not receive full tax recognition for these expenses.
Budget 2011 proposes to better recognize the costs incurred by caregivers by removing the $10,000 limit on the amount of eligible expenses a taxpayer can claim under the Medical Expense Tax Credit in respect of a financially dependent relative.
This measure will apply for the 2011 and subsequent taxation years, and is estimated to reduce federal revenues by $1 million in 2010–11 and $3 million in each of 2011–12 and 2012–13.
The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is widely regarded as a major policy innovation and positive development in helping to ensure the long-term financial security of children with severe disabilities. The RDSP was introduced in Budget 2007 and became available in 2008. The Government supplements these plans by providing Canada Disability Savings Grants (CDSGs) and Canada Disability Savings Bonds (CDSBs), which provide up to $90,000 in additional support.
The RDSP rules are designed to promote long-term savings, to allow plan assets to grow sufficiently large to provide a future source of income for children with severe disabilities when their parents are no longer able to provide support.
When a withdrawal is made from the plan, all CDSGs and CDSBs received by an RDSP in the preceding 10 years must be repaid to the Government. While this encourages long-term savings, the 10-year repayment rule could prevent some beneficiaries with a shortened life expectancy from obtaining income support through RDSP withdrawals when they need it.
Budget 2011 proposes to allow annual RDSP withdrawals of up to $10,000 in taxable plan savings, as well as a pro-rated amount of plan contributions, in respect of a beneficiary with a life expectancy of five years or less, without requiring the repayment of CDSGs and CDSBs paid into the plan in the preceding 10 years.
This measure will be effective in 2011, with transitional rules applying for the first two years, and is estimated to cost $3 million in 2011–12 and $1 million in 2012–13.
In Budget 2008, the Government committed to review the RDSP program in three years to ensure that RDSPs are meeting the needs of Canadians with severe disabilities and their families. The review will be conducted in 2011, coinciding with the three-year anniversary of the introduction of RDSPs in 2008.
While there is broad agreement on the RDSP’s overall structure and eligibility conditions, the review will provide an opportunity to seek input from individuals, families, groups representing Canadians with disabilities and financial institutions on specific features, such as: the general requirement that grants and bonds paid into an RDSP in the previous 10 years be repaid if an RDSP withdrawal is made; the requirement that an RDSP be closed if an individual is no longer eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, which is of particular concern for those with periodic disabilities; and the difficulties in establishing a plan when the nature of an individual’s disability precludes him or her from entering into a contract. Further information on the review and consultations will be provided at a later date.
For people who are living with a life-threatening illness, no matter how old they are, appropriate palliative and end-of-life care ensures respect for the person nearing death and maximizes quality of life for the patient, family and loved ones.
The Government supports various programming and initiatives related to palliative and end-of-life care. Budget 2011 will provide one-time funding of $3 million to help support the development of new community-integrated palliative care models.
To promote physical fitness among children, Budget 2006 introduced the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, which became effective January 1, 2007. Like physical fitness, participation in artistic, cultural, recreational and developmental activities can positively contribute to a child’s development. At the same time, the costs of these activities can make them difficult for many parents to afford.
To better recognize the costs associated with children’s artistic, cultural, recreational and developmental activities, Budget 2011 builds on the Government’s record of helping families by proposing to introduce a 15-per-cent non-refundable Children’s Arts Tax Credit.
The credit will be available for a wide range of activities that contribute to a child’s development, and that are not eligible for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. The credit will be provided on up to $500 of eligible fees per child in respect of qualifying children’s programs, and will otherwise be based on eligibility conditions for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. In this regard, the credit will be available for children under the age of 16 years for registration costs associated with participation in qualifying supervised activities. In respect of children eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, the age limit will be raised by two years and an additional $500 non-refundable amount will be provided.
This measure will apply to eligible expenses paid starting in the 2011 taxation year. It is estimated to reduce federal revenues by $25 million in 2010–11, and by $100 million in each of 2011–12 and 2012–13.
Rick and Andrea have two young children, Adam and Chloe. Every year, Adam plays in a minor hockey league and attends a week-long music camp in the summer, while Chloe plays competitive soccer and takes art lessons. With the introduction of the Children’s Arts Tax Credit, Rick and Andrea may claim between them up to $500 for Adam’s music camp and up to $500 for Chloe’s art lessons—this is in addition to eligible expenses of up to $500 they may claim for Adam’s hockey and up to $500 for Chloe’s soccer under the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. As a result, in 2011, Rick and Andrea may claim a credit on up to $2,000 in expenses for their children’s activities.
The health, vibrancy and diversity of Canada’s communities are central to Canada’s strength. Supporting urban and rural communities and celebrating our culture will help keep Canada one of the best places in the world to live. Budget 2011 introduces additional support for communities, including support for Aboriginal people.
Volunteer firefighters play a critical role in serving their communities, often putting themselves at risk for the safety of their neighbours and the protection of their neighbours’ property. According to the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, almost 85,000 volunteer firefighters provide their services to protect the lives and property of Canadians living in both urban and rural communities across Canada.
Budget 2011 announces a 15-per-cent non-refundable Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit on an amount of $3,000 for volunteer firefighters. This credit will be available to volunteer firefighters who perform at least 200 hours of service for their communities during a year. Eligible volunteer firefighters who currently receive honoraria in respect of their duties as volunteer firefighters will be able to choose between the new tax credit and continuing to be entitled to the existing tax exemption of up to $1,000 for honoraria.
This measure will apply for the 2011 and subsequent taxation years. It is estimated to reduce federal revenues by $5 million in 2010–11 and $15 million in each of 2011–12 and 2012–13.
Paul is a volunteer firefighter at the Kensington Fire Department in Prince Edward Island. In 2011, Paul performed over 200 hours of volunteer firefighting services for the fire department. With the introduction of the Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit, Paul may claim a 15-per-cent non-refundable tax credit on an amount of $3,000.
Strengthening health care in Canada’s rural and remote communities is a priority for the Government of Canada. The Minister of Health recently announced support for more than 100 family medicine residents as they receive training and provide medical services in rural and remote communities across Canada.
To further combat the shortage of health care professionals in these communities, Budget 2011 proposes to build on this investment by forgiving a portion of Canada Student Loans for new family physicians, nurse practitioners and nurses that practise in under-served rural or remote communities, including communities that provide health services to First Nations and Inuit populations. Starting in 2012–13, practising family physicians will be eligible for federal Canada Student Loan forgiveness of up to $8,000 per year to a maximum of $40,000. Nurse practitioners and nurses will be eligible for federal Canada Student Loan forgiveness of up to $4,000 per year to a maximum of $20,000. This will complement initiatives that are underway in provinces and territories to expand the provision of primary health services to Canadians in under-served rural and remote communities.
In September 2010, the Government announced an additional $2 billion in support for seriously injured veterans. In addition to a wide variety of programs and services for veterans who suffered a service-related disability, the Government is also committed to supporting all Canadian Forces members as they transition from military to civilian life, through workshops, individual career counselling and job search assistance.
To further support this transition, the Government will partner with the Building and Construction Trades Department, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, to support the Helmets to Hardhats program in Canada. This initiative will connect releasing Canadian Forces members and veterans with career opportunities in the construction industry. This will help provide many benefits for our armed services personnel as well as the Canadian economy. Details will be announced in the coming months.
The charitable sector plays an essential role in the Canadian economy and society through the valuable services provided to Canadians, including to the most vulnerable in society. The Government recognizes that charities rely on the generosity of Canadians and has taken action to encourage it. Tax support for registered charities in Canada is considered to be among the most generous in the world, providing almost $2.7 billion in tax assistance in 2010. The Government also supported Motion 559, sponsored by the Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo and adopted by the House of Commons on March 2, 2011, which called for the House Standing Committee on Finance to study charitable donation incentives. The Government will ask the Committee to undertake this study in the first session of this Parliament.
Canadians have shown that they are willing to give generously to charities, but want to have confidence that donations of their hard-earned dollars support legitimate charities and are used for charitable purposes. While the vast majority of charities and qualified donees use tax-assisted donations in an appropriate manner, the generosity of the existing tax regime makes it an attractive target for abuse by some individuals. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), as administrator of the tax system, must have an effective set of compliance tools to safeguard the donations of Canadian taxpayers and act against any organization that does not follow the rules.
Accordingly, to ensure that tax assistance for this sector is as effective as possible and that the CRA has the means to ensure compliance, Budget 2011 will:
Budget 2011 also proposes to clarify existing legislation and limit unintended or excessive benefits. Further information is provided in Annex 3.
Some groups, such as the homeless, persistently unemployed, and at-risk youth, face complex and continual social challenges and often the best solutions to tackling these difficult problems are found locally. All across Canada, citizens, businesses, charities and other groups, such as the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance, are working together to develop innovative ways to address local challenges.
The Government will take steps to complement community efforts by encouraging the development of government/community partnerships, enabling communities to tackle local challenges and testing new approaches to improve performance. Details will be announced by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development over the coming months.
The Eastern Ontario Development Program, administered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, supports socioeconomic development in rural Eastern Ontario. The program promotes business development, job creation and sustainable, self-reliant communities. Budget 2011 provides $20 million over two years to renew the Eastern Ontario Development Program. Funding for this initiative will be provided by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
Harbourfront Centre is a not-for-profit organization that provides cultural and recreational programming and plays an important role in supporting the Government’s commitment toward the revitalization of the Toronto waterfront.
Budget 2011 provides $25 million over five years for Harbourfront Centre through the renewal of the Harbourfront Centre Funding Program.
2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede. Recognizing the significance of this historic milestone, Budget 2011 provides $5 million to the Canadian Tourism Commission to market the Stampede’s anniversary events in key tourism markets.
2012 will also mark the 100th Grey Cup anniversary. Budget 2011 provides $5 million to support pre-anniversary commemorations and festivals in communities across Canada, enabling Canadians to celebrate Canadian football and the significance of this national pastime to our collective identity.
The Government continues to support the Canadian sport system and Canadian athletes. Special Olympics Canada provides sport training and competition opportunities for approximately 34,000 athletes of all ages with an intellectual disability. The Government is proud to announce an increase of $800,000 a year to Special Olympics Canada to assist them with travel costs. This will be funded internally through Sport Canada’s existing budget.
The Canada Periodical Fund provides financial support to print magazines, non-daily newspapers such as ethnic papers, and digital periodicals to ensure that a diversity of Canadian content is available to citizens. Budget 2011 proposes to provide $15 million in ongoing funding to the Fund to continue to support the distribution of publications to Canadians, while providing long-term, stable program funding.
The Royal Conservatory of Music is a not-for-profit organization that has provided music and arts education for almost 125 years, having reached millions of Canadians. In recognition of its role in providing musical education, Budget 2011 provides the Conservatory with a one-time investment of $7.5 million to launch a national examination system in partnership with Carnegie Hall.
In addition, the Government continues to help Canada’s audiovisual industry modernize and make itself more globally competitive. Budget 2011 provides $100 million per year to the Canada Media Fund, created by the Government and Canada’s cable and satellite distributors, to produce and create Canadian content for the digital era. This investment is also announced under the Digital Economy Strategy (see Chapter 4.3). In addition, Budget 2011 provides $60 million to the CBC/Radio-Canada in 2011–12.
To further support the audiovisual sector, the Government lifted the moratorium on the signing of new co-production treaties, and negotiations are currently underway.
The Government has consistently shown its commitment to the Aboriginal people of Canada through significant investments and concrete actions to enable Aboriginal women, men and children to participate in, contribute to and benefit from Canada’s prosperity. This has included significant investments that seek to improve health outcomes for First Nations people and Inuit, as well as First Nations child and family services in concert with willing provinces and First Nations.
Strengthening and improving First Nations education is a priority for the Government. Building upon a Budget 2010 commitment, the Government, in collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations, has announced that a Panel of Experts will lead an engagement process to develop options for concrete and positive changes in First Nations education to bring greater success and opportunities for First Nations students.
Budget 2011 invests $22 million over two years to help First Nations ensure that the fuel tanks that power their essential community services, such as water and waste water treatment systems, schools and community buildings, meet new environmental safety standards. Many remote and rural First Nations communities that are off-grid rely to some extent on fuel tanks to power their essential infrastructure. This investment will assist First Nations to upgrade or replace their fuel tank infrastructure and contribute to a cleaner environment on reserve as well as to improved health and safety for on-reserve residents.
Budget 2011 is also proposing to provide $8 million over two years to promote the deployment of clean energy technologies in Aboriginal and Northern communities to reduce their reliance on non-renewable fuels over time.
The First Nations Land Management regime allows participating First Nations to make laws in relation to their reserve lands and resources. It allows First Nations to enact their own laws for the development, conservation, use and possession of reserve land, enabling these communities to better pursue and seize economic opportunities by permitting them to make decisions at the speed of business. This direct management over lands has demonstrated tangible economic benefits, including greater investment on reserve lands as well as employment opportunities for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. The Government is proposing to reallocate up to an additional $20 million over two years as part of its ongoing support for the regime.
The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan adds to the over $10 billion each year the Government of Canada invests in Aboriginal priorities and the significant investments since 2006 by this Government:
Protecting the health and environment of Canadians is a key government priority. Budget 2011 provides funding to continue to protect the environment, address environmental risks to the health of Canadians, and support critical weather services that Canadians and businesses rely on. With these investments the Government is allocating more resources to environmental objectives in 2011–12 than it did in 2010–11.
Greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants are harmful to Canadians’ health, degrade the environment and contribute to climate change. The Government is renewing funding for the Clean Air Agenda with an increased focus on regulatory actions as the cornerstone of Canada’s approach to climate change and clean air. This approach will achieve real emissions reductions, while maintaining Canada’s economic advantage and creating jobs for Canadians.
Building on work to date, Budget 2011 renews funding for the Clean Air Agenda by providing nearly $870 million over two years for the following activities:
The Great Lakes are fundamental to the well-being of millions of Canadians and Americans who live and work along their shores. Protecting water quality and ecosystem health in the Great Lakes is vital to ensuring that Canadians can continue to depend on this rich ecosystem for their drinking water, for recreation and for jobs. Building on the existing Great Lakes Action Plan and Action Plan for Clean Water, Budget 2011 announces an additional $5 million over two years to improve nearshore water and ecosystem health, and better address the presence of phosphorous in the Great Lakes.
Canada’s National Parks provide outstanding examples of our country’s natural landscapes, generate significant economic activity by attracting visitors from Canada and abroad, and provide Canadians with access to our natural heritage. Budget 2011 provides $5.5 million over five years for Parks Canada to establish the Mealy Mountains National Park in Labrador. The creation of this park, which will represent the East Coast Boreal Natural Region of the National Parks system, will protect a key habitat for a threatened caribou herd.
Chronic and acute exposure to certain chemicals can harm human health and the environment. Budget 2011 provides close to $200 million over two years for the renewal of the Chemicals Management Plan. This initiative is a government-wide approach that assesses and manages the risks from new and existing chemical substances, providing predictability for business and supporting public confidence.
Federal contaminated sites are a legacy of past practices that can pollute soil, air and water, threaten human health and the environment and hinder economic development. The Government has developed a long-term Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan to systematically assess, remediate and monitor sites for which the Government is responsible. Under Canada’s Economic Action Plan, thousands of sites across Canada have been evaluated and remediation action is underway or completed on more than 200 sites. Building on work to date, Budget 2011 provides $68 million over the next two years to renew support for the Action Plan, which will contribute to an improved environment as well as economic development and employment opportunities. Departments will undertake remediation work that is expected to reduce the federal liability by close to $550 million, focusing on the highest priority sites such as the Giant and Faro Mines in Northern Canada.
The Meteorological Service of Canada provides Canadians with the information they need to make informed decisions to protect their health, safety and security in the face of changing weather and environmental conditions. Accurate and timely forecasts and warnings are critical to the functioning of the Canadian economy, where businesses in many industries, including agriculture, tourism, transportation and forestry, are directly affected by weather conditions. Budget 2011 provides $27 million over two years to improve Canada’s weather services.
Budget 2011 takes important steps to keep our communities safe by investing in crime prevention and the justice system.
In its response to the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182, the Government committed to ensuring the continued security and efficiency of Canada’s aviation system. The Government recently completed a review of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). As a result of the review, operational improvements are being made that will modernize passenger and baggage screening processes and allow travellers to move through screening checkpoints as efficiently and conveniently as possible. The review also identified savings that will be used to enhance the air travel security system. In 2010, CATSA screened over 62 million pieces of luggage at more than 80 airports across Canada. Budget 2011 allocates $21 million over five years to upgrade CATSA’s checked baggage equipment.
The Government has shown leadership in preventing youth crime by intervening on the risk factors before crime happens and targeting specific priority crime issues such as drug-related crime, youth gangs and gun violence. The Government is committed to continuing support for effective youth crime prevention practices and programs by investing, in Budget 2011, $20 million over two years in youth crime prevention programs. These programs promote the provision of community-based educational, cultural, sporting and vocational opportunities to youth to allow them to make smart choices and resist gang involvement or exit gangs.
Promoting the safety and security of all Canadians, regardless of where they live, is one of the Government’s key priorities. First Nations communities present a number of unique policing challenges owing to their remoteness, large but sparsely populated geographical area and unique culture and traditions. Budget 2011 invests an additional $30 million over two years in the First Nations Policing Program. This program supplements existing policing services to provide First Nations communities with a police presence that is both culturally appropriate and accountable to their residents. This funding will contribute to the continued support of the over 1,000 officers across Canada who serve under this program through agreements negotiated with the provinces, territories and First Nations, and complements other funding being proposed in this budget for Aboriginal people.
This budget commits additional resources of $4.2 million over two years to support the hiring of additional judges and prosecutors to ensure timely access to justice for those in Nunavut. This investment will strengthen the justice system in Nunavut and support the priority of safe Northern communities.
The continued existence of modern conflicts requires ongoing efforts to ensure that Canada is not a refuge for persons responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. To do this, Budget 2011 provides $8.4 million annually, on an ongoing basis, for Canada’s War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Program.
The Government has long believed that victims of crime deserve to have a strong and effective voice in the federal justice and corrections systems. Budget 2011 provides $26 million over two years to support the Federal Victims’ Ombudsman, to promote access to justice and participation by victims in the justice system.
Budget 2011 provides funding of $20.9 million to continue to waive firearms licence renewal fees for all classes of firearms. From May 2011 until May 2012, no firearms owner will have to pay to renew a licence.
The Government recognizes the importance of security enhancements for not-for-profit community centres, provincially recognized educational institutions, and places of worship linked to a community with a demonstrated history of being victimized by hate-motivated crime. The Government will provide resources of $1.6 million annually, sourced through Public Safety Canada, to continue to support the Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Pilot Program.
|(millions of dollars)|
|Supporting Canada’s Seniors|
|Enhancing the GIS for low-income seniors||223||307||530|
|Enhancing the New Horizons for Seniors Program||5||5||10|
|Subtotal—Supporting Canada’s Seniors||228||312||540|
|Supporting Our Families|
|Improving tax support for caregivers||40||160||200|
|Enhancing recognition of medical expenses
caregivers incur in respect of dependants
|Increasing flexibility to access RDSPs
for beneficiaries with shortened life expectancies
|Palliative and end-of-life care||3||3|
|Introducing a new Children’s Arts Tax Credit||25||100||100||225|
|Subtotal—Supporting Our Families||26||149||264||439|
|Supporting Vibrant Communities|
|Introducing a Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit||5||15||15||35|
|Forgiving loans for new doctors and nurses in
under-served rural and remote areas
|Renewing the Eastern Ontario Development Program|
|Renewing the Harbourfront Centre Funding Program||5||5||10|
|100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede||5||5|
|100th Grey Cup celebrations||5||5|
|Supporting Special Olympics Canada|
|Supporting Canada’s cultural sector|
|Canada Periodical Fund||15||15||30|
|The Royal Conservatory of Music||8||8|
|Supporting Aboriginal people|
|Investing in on-reserve infrastructure||10||12||22|
|Supporting economic development on reserve lands|
|Subtotal—Supporting Vibrant Communities||5||123||56||183|
|(millions of dollars)|
|Protecting Canada’s Natural Environment|
|Renewing the Clean Air Agenda|
|Clean air regulatory agenda||122||131||252|
|Clean energy regulatory actions||43||43||86|
|Next generation of clean transportation initiatives||22||26||48|
|Climate change adaptation||25||33||58|
|International Climate Change Strategy||13||13||25|
|EcoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program||400||400|
|Enhancing environmental protection of the
|Expanding Canada’s National Parks system||0.3||1||2|
|Taking action on toxic chemicals||100||100||199|
|Cleaning up federal contaminated sites||34||34||68|
|Improving Canada’s weather services||10||16||27|
|Subtotal—Protecting Canada's Natural Environment||771||399||1,170|
|Public Safety, Security and Justice|
|Improving the security and efficiency of Canada’s
air travel system
|Youth crime prevention||10||10||20|
|Promoting safer Aboriginal communities||15||15||30|
|Nunavut justice system||2||2||4|
|War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Program||8||8||17|
|Federal Victims Strategy||13||13||26|
|Firearms licence fee waiver||17||4||21|
|Communities at risk|
|Subtotal—Public Safety, Security and Justice||65||53||118|
|Total—Supporting Families and Communities||31||1,336||1,084||2,450|
|Less funds existing in the fiscal framework||356||316||671|
|Net fiscal cost||31||980||768||1,779|
|Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.|