Key Items in Budget 2018

Gender Equality and a Strong Middle Class

A new Gender Results Framework will guide Government of Canada decisions and measure Canada’s progress on improving gender equality.  Furthermore, legislation will be introduced to ensure future governments employ the same gender lens, entitled Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+), that was used to build this budget.

Equal opportunities in education and skills development. To improve opportunities for education and skills development the government is doubling work placements for youth through the Canada Summer Jobs program in 2019–20 and adding new funding to the Youth Employment Strategy. It is also introducing five-year pilot project to provide a new Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women. This, in combination with the Apprenticeship Completion Grant, would provide up to $8,000 to women who complete their apprenticeship training in those often better-paid trades.

Changes to Employment Insurance will extend Working While on Claim provisions to maternity and sickness benefits for mothers dealing with illness and injury.

Economic equality through Pay Equity:

The Government of Canada will move to address Canada’s pay equity gap by first addressing its own jurisdiction. Legislation is promised for the fall that will affect the 1.2 million Canadians working in federally regulated jobs.

Equal opportunities in leadership and economic influence:

The government will publicly recognize, through a new award, corporations that promote women to senior management positions and boards of directors.

Helping Middle Class Families Do A Little Better

Employment Insurance Parental Sharing Benefit.

An additional five weeks of parental leave when couples agree to share the leave. This will encourage new dads to take parental leave and provide more flexibility to moms seeking to return to work sooner. This will also benefit adoptive parents and same-sex parents. The estimated cost is $1.2 billion over 5 years and an addition $345 million every additional year after that.

Social Infrastructure Funding to Help Build Affordable Housing: With the objective of spurring the construction of 14,000 new rental units across Canada, government will increase the amount of loans provided by the Rental Construction Financing Initiative from $2.5 billion to $3.75 billion over the next three years. Government will also provide $113.6 million over five years, beginning in 2018–19, to expand Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rental Construction Financing Initiative.

Expanded tax credits for very low-income earners:

To help raise more Canadians out of poverty, the budget includes measures to introduce a new Canada Workers Benefit (CWB), which replaces the Working Income Tax Benefit, designed to help low-income workers pay less tax.

Canada Child Benefit

The government will strengthen the Canada Child Benefit beginning in July 2018 to ensure it keeps up with the cost of living, and it will increase outreach efforts to ensure Indigenous Canadians who qualify for the benefit are receiving it.

Helping SMEs Do A Little Better and Compete Internationally

A new eligibility mechanism for the small business tax rate and passive investment income:

After announcing it would cut the small business tax, the government pledges in Budget 2018 to use a new eligibility mechanism to ensure the small business tax rate is not used as a tax advantage for wealthy Canadians. The new mechanism will ensure the amount of income eligible for the small business tax rate would be gradually reduced once a corporation and its associated corporations earn more than $50,000 in passive investment income. Once those earnings reach $150,000, zero dollars would be eligible for the small business rate.

Note, the budget document indicates capital gains from the sale of active investments or investment income incidental to the business will be excluded from this calculation.

Driving the Innovation Agenda

Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)

Budget 2018 is changing the profile of the Strategic Innovation Fund to focus on larger development projects over $10 million that can lead to significant new employment.  The fund will move away from smaller projects, and also expand its role in advancing collaboration between academia, not-for-profits and the private sector. The SIF will also assume responsibility for the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) and the Business-led Networks of Centres of Excellence programs

Doing More for the Environment

Meeting Canada’s international goal of protecting 17 per cent of its land and fresh water by 2020.

Budget 2018 includes $1.3 billion over five years for conservation of land and water. $500 million of that funding will help leverage private sector dollars by creating  a new $1 billion Nature Fund in partnership with corporate, not-for-profit, provincial and territorial partners. Funds will also be used to protect species at risk, expand and strengthen national wildlife areas, national parks and other conservation areas in partnership with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners.

Helping Local Media Survive

Funding for Non-Profit Organizations who will Support Local Journalism:

Budget 2018 will provide $50 million over five years to one or more independent non-governmental organizations that will support local journalism in underserved communities. The government will also explore new business models including charitable status and not-for-profit.

Canada Media Fund

Budget 2018 will invest $172 million over five years with $42.5 million per year ongoing, in the Canada Media Fund to maintain the level of funding the 2016–17 level.

Doing More to Support Scientific Research

Granting Councils

In Budget 2018 will increase funding to granting councils for fundamental research by $1.2 billion with the aim of providing increased support and training opportunities for 21,000 researchers and students.

Canada Research Chairs

$210 million in new funding over five years, with $50 million ongoing, will be made available to Canada Research Chairs to align programs with researchers’ priorities and to support early-career researchers. Objectives include increasing diversity and the number of women nominated for Canada Research Chairs.

National Research Council

Budget 2018 aims to make it easier for Canadian businesses to tap into innovation at the National Research Council by reducing the financial burden on the private sector and providing an additional $540 million over five years, with $108 million ongoing.

Doing More for Cyber-Security

To implement a National Cyber Security Strategy, Budget 2018 includes investments of $507.7 million over five years, and $108.8 million in ongoing annual funding.

The budget also includes $155.2 million over five years, and $44.5 million annually on an ongoing basis, to the Communications Security Establishment to create a new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, which will consolidate cyber expertise from across the federal government.

To further support the strategy, the government will also provide another $236.5 million over five years, and an additional $41.2 million per year in subsequent years.

Support for Indigenous Community/Economic Development

Indigenous Housing Plan for Budget 2018

  • Budget 2018 includes an additional $600 million over three years to support housing on reserve as part of a 10-year First Nations Housing Strategy;
  • $400 million over 10 years to support an Inuit-led housing plan in the Inuit regions of Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and Inuvialuit; and
  • $500 million over 10 years to support the Métis Nation’s housing strategy.

$1.5 billion for Indigenous Health

Clean Drinking Water on Reserves

Budget 2018 will provide an additional $172.6 million over three years to improve access to clean and safe drinking water on reserves.

Natural Resources

Tax Support for Clean Technologies

With existing accelerated deduction of assets parameters scheduled to expire in 2020, the government is making changes in Budget 2018 to extend benefits to property acquired before 2025. This represents a sum of $123 million between 2017–18 and 2022–23. Government expects 900 clean technology businesses will benefit from the changes, and they will keep an average of $27,000 annually over the next five years.

Veterans’ Affairs

Service Delivery for Veterans

Budget 2018 provides $42.8 million over two years to increase service delivery capacity at Veterans Affairs Canada.

Health Canada

Planning and consultation for a national pharmacare plan: The Liberal government announced the establishment of an Advisory Council, chaired by former Ontario health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins, that will consult with Canadians and experts to provide options for a national drug program.

$231.4 million to combat the opioids crisis:

Followed by an $13.5 million per year ongoing, for additional measures to help address the opioid crisis.

$62.5 million for a public education on Cannabis

Budget 2018 provides $62.5 million over 5 years to reduce harmful health, social and economic consequences Canadians related to the legalization of cannabis.