Budget 2015: Strong, Stable Leadership

Federal government delivers balanced budget that offers relief for St. Catharines families and seniors

Ottawa – The federal government has introduced a balanced budget that continues to grow the economy while offering measures to offset the challenges facing many seniors and families raising children.  As world economics continue to fluctuate, Canada remains a leader among G-7 nations with consistently sound and prudent financial management.

St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra calls the budget focused and intuitive.  “Finance Minister Joe Oliver has taken the time to examine all the factors influencing our national economy”, said Dykstra. “And he has produced a budget that addresses the demands of St. Catharines taxpayers, especially families with children and our large population of senior citizens.”

Budget Highlights

  • Lowering the amount of money St. Catharines’ 14,500 seniors over the age of 71 have to take out of their Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) annually
  • Putting more money back into the pockets of St. Catharines’ 24,000 families with children under the age of 18, with a typical two earner family experiencing about $6600 in tax relief in 2015
  • Increasing the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) annual contribution limit from $5500 to $10,000 annually
  • Introducing a new Retirement Income Security Benefit to provide additional financial security after the age of 65 for moderately to severely disabled veterans
  • Ensuring that part-time Reserve Force Veterans have access to the same level of income support as Regular and full-time Reserve Force Veterans
  • Providing $288 million for repair and maintenance of small craft harbours.
  • Providing an additional $750 million over two years, starting in 2017–18, and $1 billion per year ongoing thereafter for a new and innovative Public Transit Fund
  • Reducing the tax rate for small businesses from 11% to 9% by 2019

“It’s great to see the federal government recognizing that small business is the engine that drives our economy,” said Mike Gammon, Owner of Brock Office Automation. “This reduction in the tax rate will result in more opportunity for growth and job creation.”

“It’s great to see significant investment in small craft harbours”, said St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik. “It’s an area that we can look to for potential investment and solutions for our community.’

“This budget strikes exactly the right balance,” said Dykstra. “By supporting hard-working families and seniors and ensuring that we continue to grow our economy, St. Catharines residents will reap the benefits of this government’s solid fiscal leadership.”

In order to get the enhanced UCCB payment retroactive to January 1st, families who are not currently getting the UCCB must register by May 1st. Applications can be found online here: www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/uccb-puge/menu-eng.htmlor at Rick Dykstra’s Community office at 61 Geneva St.

Niagara Regional Chair Alan Caslin welcomed the federal budget that will produce meaningful results for Niagara residents. “This budget will have a positive impact on our Region’s families and business communities by keeping taxes low, supporting small businesses, and delivering important infrastructure dollars to Niagara.” said Chair Caslin.

More information on the Budget 2015 can be found here:http://www.budget.gc.ca/2015/home-accueil-eng.html

Praise for Economic Action Plan 2015

A wide and diverse group of economists, entrepreneurs, community groups, commentators, and experts are all applauding Economic Action Plan 2015 and its measures as the right plan for jobs, growth and Canada’s long-term prosperity:

Canadian Federation of Independent Business: “gives 2015 budget an “A”. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), small business owners across the country will be thrilled to see several small business friendly measures in the 2015 budget, particularly the 18 per cent reduction in the small business corporate tax rate over the next four years. This builds on earlier announcements of Employment Insurance premium relief, new measures to address credit card fees and balanced budget legislation.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities: “The transit investment in this budget is good news for Canadians and marks and important achievement on a key issue they face every day. This level of permanent, ongoing funding has the potential to be transformative for public transit across this country.”

Mayor John Tory: “a major step forward for Toronto and for the Country. Good news for Toronto and good news for cities across Canada. The Federal Government committed to establishing a dedicated fund to invest in public transportation.”

Canadian Taxpayers Federation: “applauded the government’s 2015-16 federal budget. Credit where due: the Harper government has shown the necessary discipline to get the books back into the black”

Canadian Cancer Society: “applauds the government for extending compassionate care benefits in today’s federal budget, calling it a critical step towards ensuring family caregivers in Canada get the financial support they need. The Canadian Cancer Society congratulates the government for this important commitment which will make the lives of family caregivers easier.”

LNG Canada: “The Government of Canada has once again demonstrated leadership by supporting the global competitiveness of Canada’s resource sector. The extension of the export permits for LNG projects sends a positive signal to the sector by providing a longer horizon in which to operate. Projects like LNG Canada in British Columbia can create jobs and economic opportunity for the province and the nation and create a new market for clean burning natural gas.”

Engineers Without Borders Canada: “welcomes today’s announcement that the Government of Canada will establish a Development Finance Initiative.”

Futurpreneur Canada: “appreciates the Government of Canada’s continued support for the bold and creative young Canadians who are starting small businesses and strengthening our economy”

Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada: “The university community welcomes these important and far-reaching investments in research, higher education and innovation. They will benefit Canada and Canadians now and for years to come.”

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada: “applauds funding for the Canada Revenue Agency to strengthen tax compliance and protect the country’s tax base. The budget proposes funding to combat the underground economy along with international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.”

Terrorism and Security Experts of Canada Network: “Budgetary support to the RCMP, CSIS and CBSA is a positive step in the right direction.”

BayCrest Health Sciences: “This historic commitment by the federal government positions Canada to take a leading international role in tackling health challenges and addressing the market demand related to aging and brain health.”

Investment Industry Association of Canada “Strongly endorses measures announced in today’s federal budget to strengthen Canada’s retirement savings programs, including an increase in the annual limit for contributions to Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) and a significant reduction in the Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) minimum annual withdrawal amounts.”

Chemistry Industry Association of Canada: “applauds the federal government’s announcement in today’s budget to support the chemistry industry with a 10 year extension of the accelerated capital cost allowance (ACCA) for new investments in machinery and equipment.”

Music Canada: “By proposing to extend the term of copyright in recorded music, Prime Minister Harper and the Government of Canada have demonstrated a real understanding of music’s importance to the Canadian economy.”

Musician Randy Bachman: “Thanks for term extension PM Harper, you really are taking care of business.”

Bruce Cockburn – “Extending the copyright term is an eminently sensible response to this new situation, and a welcome one!”

Cowboy Junkies – “We are thankful to the government for extending the commercial life of our music.”

Kardinal Offishall – “I’m glad that Canada has extended our copyright term, so we can continue to use the proceeds from classic Canadian recordings to invest in great Canadian talent.”

Intellectual Property Institute of Canada: “The Federal Government’s 2015 Budget proposes significant improvements in Canada’s intellectual property framework, protecting the confidential communications between innovators and their IP advisors from forced disclosure in litigation and providing the Canadian Intellectual Property Office with the ability to extend deadlines in cases of force majeure events.”

Canadian Chamber of Commerce: “The measures to support Canada’s manufacturing sector are timely. This sector is evolving rapidly and set to seize new opportunities. The budget will have a positive impact in a sector poised for new growth. We also appreciate the fact that the government took the needs of small business into account in this budget.”

Retail Council of Canada: “welcomes today’s federal budget, which continues to reduce taxes on Canadian merchants. The proposed measure boosting the small business deduction will help make Canada’s independent retailers more competitive in the face of strong Global competition. This budget builds on the government’s overall record of lowering the corporate income tax rate from 22 per cent to 15 per cent.”

The Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships: “we are pleased with the creation of a new Public Transit Fund that will provide a source of permanent funding for major transit projects starting in 2017 and will harness private sector expertise, including P3s. The Federal Government has demonstrated leadership today by continuing to invest in public transit infrastructure that is critical to the economic engine of our municipalities and to people’s quality of life.

Canadian Steel Producers Association: “Budget 2015 includes commitments that our industry has strongly supported as essential to strengthening our market and investment prospects. The Budget projects an imminent return to fiscal balance, an overarching feature that strengthens competitive basics for Canadian manufacturing.  In addition, it includes a number of more specific measures that are of special significance to the Canadian steel industry”

Canadian Gas Association: “These measures will help to provide more choices to consumers, improve the quality of life of Canadians, and make businesses and industry more competitive. All of this supports job creation, prosperity, and economic growth and natural gas utilities look forward to opportunities to work with the Government of Canada on these important initiatives”

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement: “welcomes the renewed federal funding of $14 million over two years, announced in Budget 2015. This commitment by the Government of Canada represents an investment in healthcare innovation that will improve care for patients and provide better value for taxpayers. This funding renewal ensures that CFHI can continue to develop and spread innovative solutions to pressing healthcare challenges – including best practices in palliative care – and improve the delivery of healthcare services for all Canadians.”

ALS Canada: “We thank the federal government for their commitment to the extension of the Compassionate Care Benefit. The increase of the Compassionate Care Benefit to 26 weeks from its original 6 weeks means our voices are being heard and we are making progress”

I-Sec Integrated Strategies: “The increases outlined in this year’s federal budget will deliver important enhancements to Canada’s national security capabilities. As importantly, it will ensure a significant boost to what is already an effective review mechanism (SIRC) – – now better capable to scale its activities in synch with the increased mandate flexibility of CSIS proposed under Bill C-51.”

Canadian Alliance of Student Association: “Canada’s post-secondary students are welcoming extensive new measures in the 2015 federal budget that will enhance access to post-secondary education and improve long-term employment prospects for Canadian youth. We are extremely pleased to see that government is taking students’ priorities seriously. The total contributions are $419 million over four years. Students have not seen this kind of investment in financial aid in several years.”

Polytechnics Canada: “welcomes today’s federal budget with its mix of new funding announcements and future commitments for skills and innovation. Specifically, the Budget recognized a number our recommendations for skilled tradespeople, for improving career information for students and employers, and for ongoing support for applied research and innovation at colleges and polytechnics. The promotion of the Blue Seal Certification Program and the creation of a one stop labour market information portal are two important steps to building a modern workforce for Canada.”

Tourism Industry Association of Canada: “Today’s federal budget promises to improve Canada’s global competitiveness in attracting US visitors, and strengthen the travel industry’s ability to create jobs and wealth for Canadians in every region”

Food & Consumer Products of Canada: “pleased that the federal government announced a 10-year renewal of the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance in today’s Budget. This is a win for Canadian food, beverage and consumer product manufacturers and it will have a positive impact on the economy.”

Progressive Contractors Association of Canada: “Today’s budget strikes an appropriate balance between fiscal responsibility and continued investment in the skilled trades, resources industry, manufacturing and other sectors at the heart of Canada’s economy”

Canadian Electricity Association: “applauds the Government’s intention to enhance funding and introduce legislation to heighten the protection of vital cyber systems, as announced today in the federal budget.”

Canadian Pork Council: “The Canadian swine industry is very supportive of expanding trade and cooperation activities that would help to improve the trading climate and competitiveness of Canadian Pork. The budget contained an ongoing demonstration of a commitment to agriculture and the hog industry market development efforts. ”

Canadian Meat Council: “Government policies and decisions, including several of the proposals contained in Budget 2015 impact directly on the competitiveness of Canada’s meat industry. We were particularly pleased with the 10-year investment incentive that will allow for a faster write-off for machinery and equipment by extending the accelerated capital cost allowance until the end of 2025.”

The Food & Consumer Products of Canada: “pleased that the federal government announced a 10-year renewal of the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance in today’s Budget. This is a win for Canadian food, beverage and consumer product manufacturers and it will have a positive impact on the economy. The concrete, long-term extension now provides businesses with more planning certainty for larger investment projects and encourages investment in the innovative technologies required to boost productivity.”