Introduction

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Since coming into office, the Government has focused on investing in the economy so that it works for the middle class, and those working hard to join it. The investments we’ve made in people, in communities and in the economy have put more money in the pockets of those who need it most, are creating more well-paying jobs and are giving Canadians greater confidence in their future.

Today, Canada is the fastest growing economy in the Group of Seven (G7). The Government’s plan is working.

The new Canada Child Benefit and historic investments in early learning and child care mean a better future for our children, and more money in the pockets of parents who are struggling to make ends meet. They mean families have more money for things like skating lessons, camps or healthier food, and parents have more flexibility when they choose to go back to work after starting or growing their family.

A stronger retirement income system through increases in Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, as well as a strengthened Canada Pension Plan, means more money for seniors now, and will ensure workers today and in the future can look forward to a more secure retirement.

Investments in skills and innovation, a focus on post-secondary education and an immigration system focused on attracting top talent are positioning Canada and Canadians to lead in the rapidly changing global economy. This will create more Canadian jobs, and help students and workers get the tools and knowledge they need to advance throughout their career.

Historic investments in infrastructure projects like light rail transit, roads, bridges and clean water initiatives will help keep our people and our cities moving, support jobs now, and make our communities more efficient in the future.

A strong commitment to a clean growth economy—in partnership with all provinces and territories—means that Canada will continue to do its part to support a more sustainable, low-carbon economy, and provide new jobs and opportunities for Canadians in the process.

A renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples sets the foundation for greater opportunity, stronger communities with basic necessities such as clean drinking water and more economic success.

The Government’s approach has been to focus on smart, targeted investments designed to create good, well-paying jobs now and to strengthen the economy over the long term, while preserving Canada’s low-debt advantage. Tax cuts for the middle class—including a proposed reduction in the small business tax rate—an historic agreement to strengthen the Canada Pension Plan, and boosts to Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement and student grants, combined with transformative investments in infrastructure, have increased consumer confidence and investment. It’s an approach that’s working for the middle class, and those working hard to join it.

“To support the economy, the government introduced tax cuts for the middle class, expanded family benefits, and raised infrastructure spending...[This agenda] has succeeded in revitalizing the economy after a tough year in 2015.”

International Monetary Fund

The Government’s plan includes a responsible approach to fiscal management that is appropriate for the current economic cycle and focused on long-term economic growth and fiscal sustainability. This approach has been effective, and the economy is outperforming expectations.

As the economy strengthens, the Government is adjusting its fiscal strategy to adapt to the better-than-expected economic outlook. The current fiscal track shows steady improvements in the Government’s budgetary position along with a decline in the federal debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio. 

The Government will maintain this downward deficit and debt ratio track—preserving Canada’s low-debt advantage for current and future generations.

The Government will continue to make decisions with a clear understanding of their impacts on different groups of women and men, and reduce barriers to individuals’ success. The Budget 2017 Gender Statement was an important step in bringing gender equality to the forefront of budget decision-making, and is contributing to the broader integration of gender and diversity considerations in Government policy-making. The Government will build on this work by ensuring that all future budget decisions are informed by clear and rigorous gender-based analysis, for a budget plan that promotes greater gender equality and inclusiveness.

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