Government of Canada

Government of Canada

March 19, 2007 22:42 ET

Budget 2007: A Stronger, Safer, Better Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 19, 2007) - Canada's New Government tabled a balanced budget March 19 that restores fiscal balance, cuts taxes for working families, invests in priorities such as health care and the environment, and reduces our national debt.

"Our budget cuts taxes for working families, cracks down on corporate tax avoiders, and invests in key priorities that make Canada great, including the preservation of the environment and the improvement of our health care system," said the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry.

Budget 2007 builds a stronger, safer, better Canada by delivering the following benefits for Canadians:

- Restoring fiscal balance by providing $39 billion in additional funding that will allow provinces and territories to better provide services and infrastructure that matter to Canadians. For Quebec, this means $15.2 billion in federal support in 2007-08.

- Under a new and strengthened equalization system, Quebec will receive payments of almost $7.2 billion in 2007-08, an increase of more than $1.6 billion from 2006 to 2007.

- The province will also receive $5.2 billion in Canada Health Transfer funding this fiscal year, along with $2.2 billion through the renewed and strengthened Canada Social Transfer and $97.5 million for the creation of child-care spaces.

- Stable base funding amounting to $17.6 billion will be provided through the four-year extension of the Gas Tax Fund beyond 2010-11 and the increased GST rebate for municipalities. In 2007-08 this amounts to an estimated $344 million for Quebec for infrastructure projects.

- Budget 2007 provides $1 billion in commitments to farmers for improvements to national farm income programs, including $600 million to kick-start contributory-style producer savings accounts and a direct payment of $400 million to producers to help address high production costs. Farmers in Quebec will receive approximately $90 million under these initiatives.

- In 2008-09, all provinces and territories will benefit from an additional $250 million in ongoing Canada Social Transfer funding for the creation of child-care spaces, as well as an additional $800 million for post-secondary education. Combined, this will provide Quebec with $245 million, growing annually through a 3-percent escalator.

- Further tax relief for working families with the Working Families Tax Plan that includes a new, $2000-per-child tax credit, saving Quebec parents an estimated $297.2 million.

- Budget 2007 also puts an end to the marriage penalty by increasing the spousal amount available to one-earner couples or a single parent, saving Quebec residents an estimated $55.7 million.

- This budget also helps parents save for their children's education by strengthening the RESP program, and supports seniors by raising the age limit for RPPs and RRSPs to 71 from 69.

- Further debt reductions will result in savings for Canadians. After paying down $13.2 billion on Canada's national debt in September 2006, Budget 2007 further reduces the debt by $9.2 billion. Thanks to the government's Tax Back Guarantee, the interest savings on this year's debt repayment will be returned to Canadians in the form of further tax cuts.

- Strengthening social programs by providing $400 million for the Working Income Tax Benefit, with benefits for Quebec workers of $106.7 million, and $140 million to establish a National Disability Savings Plan.

- Preserving the environment by creating the new Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change to provide support to all provinces and territories to co-fund major projects that will result in real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. Canada's New Government intends to provide Quebec with almost $350 million for this initiative. Budget 2007 also provides rebates on fuel-efficient vehicles as an incentive to get older polluting cars off the road and develops a new National Water Strategy, which includes $39 million over two years to fund fisheries science programs to strengthen fisheries management and resource conservation.

- Strengthening our culture by allocating $52 million over two years for the 2008 Francophonie Summit in Quebec. Canada's leadership role in La Francophonie reflects the vitality and importance of French culture in the country. This budget also provides an additional $30 million over the next two years to the Action Plan for Official Languages for cultural and after-school activities and community centres. These activities will help enrich the benefits of bilingualism among youth, including through exchanges and youth programming.

- Improving infrastructure by providing a new $2.1 billion national fund for gateways and border crossings such as those in Quebec to improve access to foreign markets and position Canada as a competitive, exporting nation. Canada's New Government will also contribute financially towards the completion of Autoroute 30, which will provide a much-needed by pass around the Island of Montreal.

- Improving health care by investing $900 million in the Canada Health Infoway and providing the provinces with $300 million for a cervical cancer immunization.

- Creating a safer Canada by strengthening front-end screening of first-time firearms licence applicants. This will ensure that over 20 000 first-time applicants will be interviewed, along with their references, and help prevent guns from getting into the hands of those who should be legally ineligible. Budget 2007 provides $14.3 million over two years for this enhanced screening.

- Supporting science and technology by providing $350 million over three years, starting this year, to strengthen the operations of centres of excellence in commercialization and research, including $15 million in 2007-08 for the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University and $15 million in 2007-08 for the National Optics Institute in Quebec.

- Helping Aboriginal peoples by providing $20 million over the next two years to ensure that First Nations in the Gaspe region have the capability to more efficiently manage and maximize their existing access to the commercial fishery. Canada's New Government will also extend and more than double funding for the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership, increasing it by $105 million over the next five years.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of Industry
    Isabelle Fontaine
    1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232)
    or 1-800-926-9105 (TTY for the speech- and hearing-impaired)