Government’s Plan to Strengthen and Grow the Middle Class Receives Royal Assent

News release

June 21, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada is investing in Canadians. Thanks to those investments, and because of the hard work of Canadians, Canada’s economy is strong and growing, with more jobs and more opportunities for the middle class and people working hard to join it. Budget 2018 is the next step in the Government’s plan to build a strong middle class, by making sure that every person has an equal chance to contribute to—and share in—Canada’s success. 

Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau welcomed Royal Assent of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1, which implements a number of important measures announced in Budget 2018.

The Act introduces the new Canada Workers Benefit (CWB), a strengthened, and more generous replacement for the Working Income Tax Benefit. The new CWB will allow low-income workers to take home more money while they work—encouraging more people to join and stay in the workforce, and offering real help to more than two million Canadians. The CWB will take effect in 2019. By making this benefit more generous, it is expected that the CWB will lift about 70,000 Canadians out of poverty by 2020.

Today’s legislation also strengthens the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) by indexing the benefits annually to keep pace with the rising cost of living starting this July—two years earlier than originally planned. A strengthened CCB will continue to help families with the high cost of raising their children, helping to pay for things like healthy food, summer camps, and back-to-school clothes.

The Budget Implementation Act also reduces the small business tax rate to 10 per cent, effective January 1, 2018, and to 9 per cent, effective January 1, 2019. This will make it easier for Canada’s hard-working small business owners to invest, grow, and create more good, well-paying jobs.

Other measures enacted into law today include:

  • Amendments to the Employment Insurance Act to make the current Employment Insurance (EI) Working While on Claim pilot rules permanent, and extend them to EI maternity and sickness benefits. This will allow claimants who have earnings while in receipt of benefits to keep more of their EI benefits when they need them most.
  • Further steps to strengthen the Canada Pension Plan, to provide greater benefits to parents whose income drops after the birth or adoption of their child, to persons with disabilities, to spouses who are widowed at a young age, and to the estates of lower-income contributors. These improvements will take place without raising contribution rates.
  • The creation of a federal carbon pollution pricing system through the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. Pricing carbon pollution is the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, providing incentives for businesses and households to innovate more, and pollute less.
  • Implementation of a coordinated federal-provincial-territorial taxation framework for cannabis.
  • Consolidation of the Government of Canada’s cyber security expertise under one roof through the creation of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security as part of the National Cyber Security Strategy.


“Our Government is investing to secure a strong economic future for all Canadians, and this Budget Implementation Act is an important next step in our plan to strengthen and grow the middle class. It includes more help for Canadian families and Canadian workers, including low-income workers; more support for small businesses; more support for retired Canadians; and a sensible path forward on a cleaner environment for us all.”

Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

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Media may contact:

Daniel Lauzon
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General Enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230

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