The Middle Class

A strong economy starts with a strong middle class. When you have an economy that works for the middle class, you have a country that works for everyone.

When the middle class thrives, it creates more than just good jobs and opportunity; it can drive real change.

Child Benefit

Restoring Hope for the Middle Class


Canada Child Benefit

The Government will introduce a new Canada Child Benefit that will be simpler, tax-free, more generous and better targeted than the existing system of federal child benefits. About 9 out of 10 Canadian families will receive higher benefits under the new system, and hundreds of thousands of children will be lifted out of poverty.

Budget 2016 proposes to replace the current system with the Canada Child Benefit, which will provide 9 out of 10 families with more generous benefits, and lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.

CCB Calculator

The Middle Class Tax Cut

A strengthened middle class means hard-working Canadians can look forward to a good standard of living and a bright future for their children.

On December 7, 2015, as one of its first actions, the Government cut taxes for nearly 9 million Canadians by reducing the second personal income tax rate to 20.5 per cent from 22 per cent. Single individuals who benefit will see an average tax reduction of $330 every year, and couples who benefit will see an average tax reduction of $540 every year.

Helping Young Canadians Succeed

The Government is committed to supporting opportunities for young Canadians by ensuring that they have the skills and experience they need to succeed.

Budget 2016 will ensure that post-secondary education remains affordable for students from low- and middle-income families and that debt loads are manageable.

In addition to doubling the size of the Canada Summer Jobs program, the Government is investing in young Canadians by making it easier for them to join the workforce through enhancements to the Youth Employment Strategy and investments to strengthen co-op and on-the-job learning opportunities.

Employment Insurance

The Government is taking immediate action to improve the Employment Insurance (EI) system to make sure Canadians get the help they need, when they need it.

To reduce the period of time that out-of-work Canadians are without income, Budget 2016 proposes to reduce the EI waiting period from two weeks to one week, effective January 1, 2017. Improvements to EI service delivery will also ensure that Canadians get their benefits as quickly as possible.

Certain regions have been particularly hard hit by the falling commodity prices, and unemployment in those areas has increased sharply. Budget 2016 will help workers and their families while they seek new jobs by temporarily extending EI benefits in those regions.

Creating Jobs and Prosperity for the Middle Class

Investing in infrastructure creates good, well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper today. In Budget 2016, the Government will implement an historic plan to invest more than $120 billion in infrastructure over 10 years, to better meet the needs of Canadians and better position Canada’s economy for the future.

Phase 1 of the Government’s long-term infrastructure plan provides $11.9 billion over five years to immediately invest in the infrastructure Canadians need—to modernize and rehabilitate public transit, water and wastewater systems, provide affordable housing, and protect infrastructure systems from the effects of climate change.

Helping Young Canadians Succeed

Summary of Proposed Measures to Make Post-Secondary Education More Affordable
Current Program Proposed Changes1 Impact
Enhancing Canada Student Grants
  • $2,000 per year for students from low-income families
  • $800 per year for students from middle-income families
  • $1,200 per year for part-time students
  • $3,000 per year for students from low-income families
  • $1,200 per year for students from middle-income families
  • $1,800 per year for part-time students

These changes will help students cover the costs of their education without increasing student debt.

Further enchancements to expand eligibility for Canada Student Grants will be in place for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Introducing a Flat-Rate Student Contribution Students must estimate their financial assets and income earned while studying to determine eligibility for Canada Student Loans and Grants. Students will be required to contribute a flat amount each year towards the costs of their education, and financial assets and student income will no longer be considered. This change will allow students to work and gain valuable labour market experience without having to worry about a reduction in their level of financial assistance. It will also benefit adult learners, many of whom may work while studying or have significant financial assets.
Making Student Debt More Manageable Loan repayment threshold under the Repayment Assistance Plan is $20,210. Loan repayment threshold under the Repayment Assistance Plan will be $25,000. This change will ensure that no student will have to repay their Canada Student Loan until they are earning at least $25,000 per year.
1All proposed changes to be implemented for the 2016-2017 academic year, with the exception of the flat-rate contribution, which will be implemented for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Strengthening The Middle Class

An Innovative and Clean Economy

New ideas drive economic growth. That’s why Budget 2016 defines a new vision for Canada’s economy as a centre of global innovation. Protecting the environment and growing the economy go hand in hand.

Investments in Budget 2016 will start Canada on the right path, through support for leading-edge research and for innovative and job-creating businesses.


Enhancing Canada’s Knowledge Advantage

Budget 2016 provides $2 billion over three years, starting in 2016–17, for a new Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. This initiative will support up to 50 per cent of the eligible costs of infrastructure projects at post-secondary institutions and affiliated research and commercialization organizations, in collaboration with provinces and territories.

Strengthening Innovation Networks and Clusters

Connections between knowledge producers and users—including researchers and firms—and collaboration within supply chains driven by market opportunities create value through innovation and support economic growth. To help address these challenges, Budget 2016 will make available up to $800 million over four years to support innovation networks and clusters, including support for initiatives delivered under the Industrial Research Assistance Program.

Supporting the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change

Budget 2016 will provide $2 billion over two years, starting in 2017–18, to establish the Low Carbon Economy Fund. The Fund will support provincial and territorial actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Investing in Ocean and Freshwater Research

Oceans and waterways are vital to Canada’s economy. They connect us to the world and are a resource for coastal and Indigenous communities. Budget 2016 will provide up to $197.1 million over five years, on a cash basis, to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to increase ocean and freshwater science monitoring and research activities and to provide support for the Experimental Lakes Area in Northwestern Ontario.

An Innovative and Clean Economy

An Inclusive and Fair Canada

Canada’s strength lies in its diversity. That is why the Government set out an agenda to help all Canadians to build better lives and contribute to and share in the prosperity of the country.

Budget 2016 delivers on this agenda, with investments for those who need it most, including seniors, Indigenous peoples and veterans. 



Canada’s veterans have dedicated their lives to the defence of their country, and they deserve our gratitude, respect and support. Budget 2016 will give back to those who have given so much in service to all Canadians by restoring critical access to services for veterans as well as ensuring the long-term financial security of disabled veterans.


By making significant new investments that support seniors in their retirement years through increased benefits, the Government is ensuring that Canadian seniors have a dignified, comfortable and secure retirement.

Indigenous Peoples

Strong families and communities are fundamental to the economic success of Indigenous peoples. The Government is committed to working in partnership with Indigenous peoples to break down the barriers that have for too long held back individuals and communities from reaching their full potential.

Health Care

Canada’s publicly funded, universal health care system is a source of national pride. It reflects Canadian values, and Canadians’ generous nature and commitment to helping each other in times of need. Budget 2016 strengthens the health care system so that it may better meet the needs of patients, and support the shift in the delivery of care into homes and communities.

Investing in Arts and Cultural Organizations

Investing in Canadian cultural and creative industries allows Canadian artists to share their stories at home and abroad. Budget 2016 provides $1.9 billion over five years to Canada’s cultural sector, which will help to create jobs, strengthen the economy, and ensure the unique Canadian perspective is shared with the world.

An Inclusive and Fair Canada

Canada in
the World

Canada’s diversity and connections to the world are among its greatest assets and contribute to growing the middle class.



Canadians welcome those who want to come to Canada and contribute to our country’s success. To make immigrants feel more welcome, Budget 2016 proposes to reduce processing times to prioritize family reunification, and increase funding for settlement programs to better welcome newcomers to their new home in Canada.

International Aid

The Government is committed to strengthening Canada’s place in the world by ensuring that Canada’s international assistance priorities are focused on poverty reduction and by promoting peace and security.

Peace and Security

The Government is steadfast in its commitment to providing greater security for Canadians. Budget 2016 supports those who defend Canada and promote peace by ensuring that Canadian Forces members are equipped to do their jobs and by improving facilities where they live, work and train.

Canada in the World

Open and Transparent Government

Making government more open, enhancing tax fairness and investing for long-term growth


Open and Transparent

Canadians expect their government to be open, honest and accountable. They expect their government to represent their interests and deliver the services they need quickly and effectively. Above all, Canadians expect their government to deliver real, meaningful results, while ensuring that their tax dollars are spent fairly, efficiently and responsibly.

Tax Fairness

As a matter of fairness for all taxpayers, the Government is committed to preventing underground economic activity, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. That is why Budget 2016 provides increased resources to ensure more effective administration and enforcement of tax laws. Budget 2016 also proposes actions to improve the integrity of Canada’s tax system on both the international and domestic fronts, to give Canadians greater confidence that the system is fair to everyone.

Canada’s Fiscal Strength

The Government will make necessary investments in growing and strengthening the middle class, and help those working hard to join it. The Government has the capacity and the willingness to act, and there is growing international support for its approach.

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