Here’s what you need to know right now – further analysis to follow.
Projected deficits through 2021/22. The deficit in 2016/17 will be $21.8 billion, diminishing year-over-year to $15.3 billion in 2021/22.
Innovation and Skills Development is the centrepiece of the Budget. A series of policies intended to spur economic growth and job creation, by increasing Canada’s capacity for innovation, were announced. The plan will target six industrial sectors, namely: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital industries, health/bio sciences, and clean resources. Major components include:
- Creation of a streamlined and expanded Strategic Innovation Fund, consolidating the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative, Technology Demonstration Program, Automotive Innovation Program, and Automotive Supplier Innovation Program. The newly consolidated fund will be capitalized with $1.26 billion over five years;
- Creation of a Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative, funded by $400 million on a cash basis from the Business Development Bank of Canada, for late-stage venture capital investment;
- Expansion of eligibility and funding under the Labour Market Transfer Agreements, Student Loans Program and Youth Employment Strategy;
- Implementing the Global Skills Strategy announced in the 2016 Fall Fiscal Update; and
- Creation of a new federal strategic procurement program, Innovative Solutions Canada, to support innovative Canadian companies, services, and products.
Ongoing implementation of the Liberal Infrastructure program, including:
- A plan to propose legislation to create a Canada Infrastructure Bank, to be operational by late 2017. The Bank will invest at least $5 billion each in transport infrastructure, green infrastructure, and trade infrastructure;
- Creation of a National Trade Corridors Fund, capitalized with $2 billion over 11 years;
- Allocation of $21.9 billion over 11 years for social infrastructure; and
- Allocation of $11.2 billion over 11 years to build, renew, and repair Canada’s affordable housing stock, including $5 billion for a dedicated National Housing Fund.
Environmental policy: The Government will create a Federal Carbon Pricing Backstop, which provinces that do not implement their own carbon tax will be subject to. The Government will soon release a consultation paper to develop the technical parameters of the Federal Backstop.