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March 20, 2019

Canada issues Federal Budget 2019/20: Investing in the middle class

Executive summary

On 19 March 2019, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled his fourth budget. In keeping with this Government’s previous themes, this budget focuses on continued economic growth, job creation, upskilling Canadians for the changing economy, support for first-time home buyers, investments in cleaning up the environment, improving relations with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, and a new national pharmacare initiative — all with the aim of supporting and building Canada’s middle class.

In his budget speech, Morneau stated, “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.”

However, he acknowledged the inevitable changes in the economy brought on by digital innovations, among others, and the challenges they pose for Canadian workers of all ages.

“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 5 or 10 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.”

This Alert summarizes the key budget provisions.

Download the PDF file for a detailed discussion of the federal budget.

For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), Toronto
  • Linda Tang |
  • Mark Kaplan |
  • Phil Halvorson |
  • Terry McDowell |
Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), Montréal
  • Albert Anelli |
  • Angelo Nikolakakis |
  • Nicolas Legault |
  • Nik Diksic |
Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), Calgary
  • Mark Coleman |
Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), Vancouver
  • Eric Bretsen |
Ernst & Young LLP, Canadian Tax Desk, New York
  • Trevor O’Brien |



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