Budget in Brief
Innovation starts with skilled, talented and creative people. Canada is already home to one of the best-educated workforces in the world, but in an increasingly competitive global economy, more needs to be done to ensure that Canadians can learn, adapt and have good jobs throughout their working lives. The Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan will create opportunities for lifelong learning, so that the next job is also a better job.
To help Canada realize its potential as a global leader in innovation, the Government must ensure that its services best meet the needs of Canada’s innovators and job creators.
The Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan advances an agenda to make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation, to help create more good, well-paying jobs, and help strengthen and grow the middle class.
Key Growth Industries
The global economy is becoming increasingly digital and the world is moving towards more sustainable ways of feeding people and providing energy to those who need it. Budget 2017 supports innovation in key growth industries—clean technology, digital and agri-food—with new measures that will improve access to financing, encourage investment, support the demonstration of technologies and build the capacity necessary for Canadians to take advantage of growth opportunities and create good, well-paying jobs.
Early Learning and Child Care
The lack of affordable, high-quality child care means difficult choices—some parents may have to sacrifice retirement savings to pay for child care, while others may leave their careers. Increasing the current number of affordable child care spaces for low- and modest-income families helps give our kids the best possible start in life, and makes it more affordable for parents to continue learning, or return to work after having a child.
An Inclusive National Housing Strategy
Without a safe, affordable place to call home and raise a family, Canadians feel less secure, making it harder to accomplish every other goal—from raising healthy children to pursuing education, jobs and opportunities. As part of a new National Housing Strategy, the Government will invest more than $11.2 billion in a range of initiatives designed to build, renew and repair Canada’s stock of affordable housing and help to ensure that Canadians have adequate and affordable housing that meets their needs. This includes $225 million to improve housing conditions for Indigenous Peoples not living on-reserve.
Clean Growth Economy
A clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand. To advance Canada’s efforts to build a clean economy, the Government will invest $21.9 billion in green infrastructure, including initiatives that will support the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Funding will flow through three distinct streams: integrated bilateral agreements, the Canada Infrastructure Bank and a series of national programs. Investments will be made in priorities such as clean electricity grid interconnections, electric vehicle charging stations and projects to safely manage wastewater.
Cracking Down on Tax Cheats
When some choose not to pay their fair share, it places an unfair burden on the tax system and leaves less money for health care, housing, child benefits, and other essential services and programs. As such, the Government of Canada is cracking down on tax cheats and will invest an additional $523.9 million—over five years—to prevent tax evasion and improve tax compliance.
Tax Relief for Individuals and Families
The Government committed to undertake a wide-ranging review of tax expenditures. The review’s objective is to eliminate poorly targeted and inefficient tax measures, and will allow the Government to identify opportunities to reduce tax benefits that unfairly help the wealthiest Canadians rather than the middle class and those working hard to join it.
The Government is also making changes to simplify the tax system and make existing tax relief for individuals and families more effective and accessible.
Maintaining a Resilient Financial Sector
Financial stability and security are part of the Government of Canada’s plan to strengthen the middle class and grow the economy for the long term. A strong and trusted financial sector provides the confidence businesses need to thrive, grow and invest. It also helps Canada attract new businesses and international investments that help create well-paying, middle class jobs. Our financial sector is among the strongest and most resilient in the world and the Government of Canada intends to keep it that way.
Canada’s publicly funded, universal health care system is a source of great pride for all Canadians. It is an essential foundation for a strong, fair and prosperous nation. To date, the Government of Canada has reached new health funding agreements with 12 provinces and territories to provide more—and better—home care and mental health support for Canadian families.
Support for Canada’s Veterans
Canada’s veterans have dedicated their lives to the defence of our country, and they deserve our unwavering support for the sacrifices they have made. The Government is committed to ensuring that it delivers the programs and services our veterans—and their families—need for a seamless and successful transition from military to civilian life.
Equal Opportunity for Women and Men
Budget 2017’s Gender Statement sets a new bar for openness and transparency by examining the ways in which public policies affect women and men differently. With this Statement, the Government is building on its existing use of gender-based analysis to ensure that: its decisions deliver results that are more equitable and fair; there is a continuing conversation around the need for more equal wages and a more diverse workforce; there is greater representation of women in positions of leadership in both the public and private sectors; and there is a reduced risk and occurrence of gender-based violence.