Full text of federal budget 2019 and Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s speech to parliament

Full text of federal budget 2019 and Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s speech to parliament
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Last week, I was back home in Toronto—where I had a chance to visit with some young people at the Boys and Girls Club in Regent Park.

It was March Break last week, so they were pretty focused on having fun, like kids their age should be.

But it was also clear to me from their questions, from their simple interactions, how much they cared about each other. About their community, and the world beyond it.

It was a good reminder of what’s at stake—and of who is counting on us to get the big things right.

Today, I am happy to share our Government’s fourth budget: Investing in the Middle Class.

The title should come as no surprise, Mr. Speaker, because investing in the middle class began with our first day in office … and it’s what we’ve been doing every single day since.

Investing in the middle class means good, well-paying jobs today, and the promise of a better future—even in a world filled with change.

It means building a better Canada—a stronger, more connected country.

It means delivering the real change that Canadians sent us here to do.

And alongside all of this is the most important relationship our country will ever have—the one with Indigenous Peoples.

As we look ahead, Mr. Speaker, I think it’s worth spending a moment remembering where we came from.

When we came into government in the fall of 2015, unemployment was stubbornly high, wages were stagnant, and consumer confidence in decline.

Those are the facts, Mr. Speaker.

When the time came to make a choice about what kind of country they wanted to raise their families in, and grow older in, and leave to their children and grandchildren, Canadians chose a positive approach.

One that was confident, and ambitious. One that would invest in the middle class and offer real help to people working hard to join it.

And that’s exactly what our Government has done—year after year, budget after budget.

One of the very first things we did as a government was ask the wealthiest one per cent to pay a little bit more, so that we could cut taxes for the middle class.

And then, with our first budget in 2016, we got rid of the old system that sent child benefit cheques to millionaires, and introduced the new Canada Child Benefit, to help more families with the high cost of raising kids.

Thanks to these two measures alone, a typical middle class family of four is now $2,000 better off every year, compared to the summer of 2015.

Let’s think about what this has meant for Canadian children most in need of help.

In just two years, Mr. Speaker—between 2015 and 2017—the CCB helped lift close to 280,000 children out of poverty. That’s 280,000 kids that now have a better start in life and a brighter future ahead of them.

But we didn’t stop there, Mr. Speaker.

To help make our hometowns better places to live, we made significant and historic investments in infrastructure. More than 33,000 projects have been approved in the years since—the vast majority of them already underway and creating good, middle class jobs in communities right across the country.

To help students get ahead, we increased Canada Student Grants.

To help our most vulnerable seniors, we boosted the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up.

To help Canadians feel more confident about the future, we strengthened the Canada Pension Plan—giving Canadian workers greater income security when it’s their turn to retire.

To make it easier for small businesses to succeed and create more jobs, we cut taxes for small businesses—twice.

And to help protect the health of our planet, we put a price on pollution—and to make a cleaner economy more affordable for Canadians, we’re giving back all the money we collect directly from the price on pollution. Every cent.

Mr. Speaker, these are just the highlights of three and a half years spent working hard, every day, to strengthen and grow the middle class, and make life more affordable for hard-working Canadian families.

And Mr. Speaker, compared to where we were just a few years ago, our economy is doing very well.

Since November 2015, hard-working Canadians have created more than 900,000 new jobs—most of them full-time.

In the last year alone, of all the new jobs created, more than half—54 per cent—went to Canada’s talented, hard-working, ambitious women.

That’s what can happen when you invest in the middle class, Mr. Speaker.

You get an unemployment rate at its lowest levels in more than 40 years …

You get Canadian families who are $2,000 better off this year—and every year—than they were back in 2015 …

And you get a country where the middle class is strong and growing, with an economy that works for everyone—not just the wealthiest.

But we have to keep those strong numbers in perspective, Mr. Speaker.

If you are a young person still struggling to find meaningful work, a low unemployment rate probably doesn’t mean that much. You just want a chance to make a decent living doing work that matters to you.

Or at the other end of the spectrum, maybe you’re someone with a few decades of work experience, but you’re worried that the good job you have today might not exist in another five or ten years. Good GDP numbers don’t mean a lot when the job you need to feed your family is on the line.

There’s a growing sense of uncertainty taking root around the world, Mr. Speaker, and Canada is not immune to those worries.

A good job, the ability to make ends meet, the chance to build a life that’s at least as good as the one your parents had—that’s what we all want, Mr. Speaker.
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