The Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan is supporting Canadian families with a range of targeted measures that will help Canadians keep and find good, high-paying jobs and improve Canadians' quality of life in big and small communities across the country.
Rural and remote communities often lack the services of urban communities. The Government proposes to strengthen health care in rural communities by helping health care providers who make the choice to go to underserved, rural communities.
The Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan will forgive a portion of the federal share of Canada Student Loans for new family physicians, nurse practitioners and nurses who practise in underserved 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.
By getting doctors and nurses into our rural communities, we are helping all Canadians get the health care services they expect in Canada.
The Government's top priority is helping create jobs and economic growth. Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. That's why we are giving them a leg up to increase hiring and support our economic recovery.
The Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan invests in further support for small businesses through the temporary Hiring Credit for Small Business, which will provide a one-time credit of up to $1,000 against a small firm's increase in its 2011 Employment Insurance (EI) premiums over those paid in 2010. This new credit will be available to approximately 525,000 employers whose total EI premiums were at or below $10,000 in 2010, reducing their 2011 payroll costs by about $165 million.
During the global recession, many companies had a tough choice to make: lay off workers or face the possibility of closing their business altogether. To help give businesses a better choice, the Government offers a work-sharing program. The work-sharing program protects jobs and avoids layoffs by offering EI benefits to workers willing to work a reduced work week while their company gets back on its feet. The program has helped stabilize Canada's job market over the last two years, with more than 277,000 workers participating in work-sharing agreements.
The Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $10 million in additional support to assist employers that continue to face challenges by making available an extension of up to 16 weeks for active or recently terminated work-sharing agreements.
While Canada's job market is recovering, there are still too many Canadians looking for work. That's why the Government is renewing special EI measures to help Canadians as they search for new work.
The Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan will provide $420 million to renew two special EI measures for 12 months. First, the Working While on Claim measure will allow EI claimants to earn additional money while receiving income support. It will be renewed until August 2012. Second, the Best 14 Weeks measure, which allows claimants in 25 regions of higher unemployment to have their EI benefits calculated based on the highest 14 weeks of earnings over the year preceding a claim, will be renewed until June 2012.
The Government wants to help Canadians make energy efficient choices—both to reduce their energy bills and help the environment. The Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan invests $400 million to extend the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program into
This program provides home and property owners with grants of up to $5,000 per unit to offset the cost of making energy efficiency improvements. Grants would apply to a variety of measures that reduce energy consumption by, for example, replacing heating systems, cooling systems, doors or windows.
We want Canada's youth to be ready for tomorrow's jobs with the best education and training. That's why the Government wants to make it easier for young Canadians to pursue post-secondary education.
The Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan enhances and expands eligibility for Canada Student Loans and Grants for full- and part-time post-secondary students by:
It will also reduce the in-study interest rate for part-time students from prime rate plus 2.5 per cent to zero, bringing them in line with full-time students and saving them approximately $5.6 million per year.
With these new investments, low- and middle-income part-time students will be better positioned to pursue their skills and education.
The next phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan
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Budget measures are subject to parliamentary approval