Minister Morneau Discusses Budget 2019:  Investing in the Middle Class in Ottawa

News release

March 20, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

In 2015, Canadians chose a plan to invest in the middle class and offer real help to people working hard to join it. Over the next three years, that plan gave more help to those who need it, and less for those who don't. It invested in building a better Canada—a stronger, more connected country. It created better opportunities for people today, and promised a better future.  

Today, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau spoke with members of the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa about how investments in Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, will expand that plan. Minister Morneau discussed how Budget 2019 proposes new measures that will help build an economy that works for everyone. He also highlighted new measures that form the next step in the Government's plan to make sure everyone feels the benefits of Canada's economic growth.

Through Budget 2019, the Government of Canada proposes to support Canadian businesses and people by:  

  • Making homeownership more affordable for first-time buyers by implementing the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, a shared equity mortgage program that would reduce the mortgage payments required to own a home; and by providing greater access to their Registered Retirement Savings Plan savings to buy a home.
  • Helping workers gain new skills with the creation of the new Canada Training Benefit, a benefit that will give workers money to help pay for training, provide income support during training, and, with the cooperation of the provinces and territories, offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in-demand.
  • Providing more on-the-job learning opportunities to young Canadians by providing funding to create up to 84,000 new student work placements per year by 2023-24 so that more students can gain relevant, real-world work experience while they are still in school, and develop the skills employers need.
  • Preparing young Canadians for good jobs by helping make education more affordable through lowered interest rates on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans, and making the six-month grace period interest-free after a student loan borrower leaves school.
  • Supporting municipalities’ local infrastructure priorities by providing a one-time top-up of $2.2 billion, doubling the federal municipal infrastructure commitment in 2018–19. This will help municipalities and First Nations communities with the funds needed to pay for crucial repairs and other important local projects. This includes $819.4 million for Ontario.
  • Ensuring access to high-speed internet so all Canadian homes and businesses have access to download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) no matter where they are located.
  • Lowering Canadians' energy costs by partnering with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to increase energy efficiency in residential, commercial and multi-unit buildings.
  • Making it easier and more affordable for Canadians to choose a zero-emission vehicle by expanding the network of zero-emission vehicle charging and refuelling stations and creating new incentives for people and businesses to purchase zero-emission vehicles. 
  • Enhancing support for innovation by improving the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program for growing innovative firms. 

With Budget 2019, the Government is continuing to invest in people and growing the economy for the long term, in a fiscally responsible way—ensuring that Canada's federal debt-to-GDP ratio continues on a steady downward track.


"Across the country, Canadians are seeing real progress through faster and more reliable public transit, more affordable housing and post-secondary education, new trade agreements that will create more good, well-paying jobs for the middle class, and a cleaner environment for us all. Budget 2019 builds on this progress and delivers real hope for a brighter future. The Government's investments in the middle class, along with the hard work of Canadians, will help to create more good, well-paying jobs and keep the economy strong and growing for the long term."

Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • Budget 2019 supports Ottawa by proposing to:

  • Reduce barriers to homeownership for first-time home buyers by implementing the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, a shared equity mortgage program, and increasing the Home Buyers' Plan withdrawal limit.

  • Expand the Rental Construction Financing Initiative and launch a new Housing Supply Challenge to boost housing supply and provide more affordable options for home buyers and renters.

  • Improve important interprovincial crossings between Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec to ensure that they remain open for residents and visitors, by:

  • Replacing the Alexandra Bridge, which will provide long-lasting economic benefits to the communities on each side of the Ottawa River and more broadly to the region as a whole;

  • Addressing the demonstrated need for an additional National Capital Region crossing by refreshing existing studies and developing a long-term integrated interprovincial crossing plan with both provincial governments and the cities of Gatineau and Ottawa; and

  • Supporting the rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance of National Capital Region crossings, including the Chaudière and Macdonald-Cartier bridges, by providing up to $80.4 million over 10 years.

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Media may contact:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert 
Director of Media Relations
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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