Budget 2017 puts people first and delivers the help that Quebecers – and all Canadians – need now, not a decade from now. It is an essential step to restore prosperity to the middle class.
With Budget 2017, a number of key measures are specifically focused on Quebec, including:
(1) A major transfer of $22.7 billion in 2017-18, an increase of $1.3 billion from the previous year. Of this, Quebec will receive:
– $11.1 billion through Equalization, an increase of $1.1 billion from the previous year;
– $8.5 billion through the Canada Health Transfer, an increase of $213.4 million from the previous year; and
– $3.1 billion through the Canada Social Transfer, an increase of $79 million from the previous year.
(2) Making ambitious investments in public transit projects that will shorten commutes, decrease air pollution, and allow Canadians to spend more time with their families – through an investment of 20.1 billion, over 11 years, in partnership with the provinces and territories. Projects that could be supported by funding and the new Canada Infrastructure Bank include:
– the Réseau Électrique Métropolitain, in Montreal, proposes to connect Montreal’s South Shore, North Shore and downtown area to the city’s West Island and its international airport – a total of nearly 70 kilometres of rail, with 27 stations.
(3) Providing more – and better – home care and mental health supports for Canadians who need it – through an investment of 11 billion, over ten years. This arrangement recognizes the unique circumstances of and the asymmetrical relationship with the Province of Quebec. More specifically, the Government will provide Quebec with an additional $2.5 billion in the next decade, of which:
– $1.4 billion will be dedicated to better home care – including addressing critical home care infrastructure requirements; and
– $1.1 billion will be allocated in support of mental health initiatives.
(4) Creating a new Strategic Innovation Fund that will attract, support, and grow Canadian business in dynamic and emerging sectors, such as agri-food, digital, cleantech and advanced manufacturing – through an investment of $1.26 billion over five years.
(5) Strong support for business-led innovation “superclusters” – in key sectors such as digital and clean tech – that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth, through an investment of up to $950 million over five years, starting in 2017–18.
(6) Establishing a Federal Strategy to Address Gender-Based Violence that will help the government make informed decisions to advance the goals of gender equality, fairness, and stronger workforce participation – through an investment of $100.9 million over five years, beginning now, and $20.7 million per year thereafter.
(7) Supporting a Community Heroes benefit that will give the much-needed help to families of public safety officers who have fallen in the line of duty – through an investment that will be announced in 2018-19.
(8) Launching a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy for research to retain and attract top academic talent and increase the number of post-graduate trainees and researchers studying artificial intelligence – through an investment of $125 million. The Strategy will promote collaboration between Canada’s main centres of expertise in Montréal, Toronto-Waterloo, and Edmonton and it will position Canada as a world-leading destination for companies seeking to invest in artificial intelligence and innovation.
(9) Investing in a broad range of infrastructure projects that meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities – through an investment of $2 billion over 11 years.
(10) Providing support for the continued safe and reliable operations of Eastern ferry services, including between Îles de la Madeleine, Quebec, and Souris, Prince Edward Island – through an investment of $278.3 million over 5 years, starting in 2017-18.
(11) Creating cultural and recreational infrastructure to strengthen Canadian neighbourhoods and communities – through an investment of $1.8 billion over 10 years, $80 million of which will be invested in community educational infrastructure in official language minority communities.
(12) Supporting early-stage mineral exploration – through an extension of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for flow-through share investors for an additional year, until March 31, 2018.
(13) Setting an ambitious target to grow Canada’s agri-food sector to $75 billion/ year in 2025 – through an investment of $10.1 billion over 10 years – to expand Canada’s export gateways and grow investments in value-added processing through the Strategic Innovation Fund.
(14) Creating a new Agricultural Policy Framework that will grow the agri-food sector – through an investment of $1.5 billion in 2018.
(15) Working closely with our American counterparts to forge a new softwood lumber trade agreement that will be fair and helpful to consumers and businesses on both sides of the border.
(16) Strong support for business-led innovation “superclusters” – in key sectors such as digital and clean tech – that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth, through an investment of up to $950 million over five years, starting in 2017–18.