Minister Morneau in Saint John to Talk About Budget 2019:  Investing in the Middle Class

News release

March 21, 2019 – Saint John, New Brunswick – Department of Finance Canada

The Government's plan for Canada's economic growth has been clear: invest in the middle class, and the people working hard to join it. That plan is working, and now the Government is in a position to ensure the benefits of that growth are being felt by all Canadians.

Today, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau spoke with students at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John about investments in Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class. Minister Morneau discussed how Budget 2019 proposes new measures that will help build an economy that works for everyone—including young people. 

Young Canadians are the most educated, connected and diverse generation this country has ever seen. They want the chance to work in a good job, invest in a home and build a better future, for themselves, their families and their communities.

To help young Canadians and middle class families, Budget 2019 proposes to:  

  • Make homeownership more affordable for first-time buyers by implementing a 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.
  • Provide more on-the-job learning opportunities to young Canadians by helping 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 still in school and develop the skills employers need.
  • Lower the interest rates on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans to make post-secondary education more affordable for all students.
  • Modernize the Canada Student Loans Program to address long-standing challenges for vulnerable student loan borrowers, such as students with permanent disabilities or facing other major financial or life situations.
  • Create meaningful service opportunities through the Canada Service Corps to equip young Canadians with new skills and leadership experiences that help instill a culture of service across the country.
  • Develop an International Education Strategy to increase opportunities for young Canadians to work or study abroad and gain skills needed to succeed in a global economy.
  • Improve access to mentorship, learning resources and start-up financing to help bring business ideas to life and to market through Futurpreneur Canada.  
  • Help 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.
  • Ensure 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.

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.


"Young Canadians are ambitious, talented, and well-educated, but many are worried about whether they will be able to succeed amid the many challenges facing them, such as a changing global workforce or a competitive housing market. With Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, we're doubling down on investing in young Canadians, so that they can have more opportunities to build a better future for themselves and their families—whether that's going to school, starting a good career, or owning a first home."

Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • Budget 2019 supports New Brunswick by proposing to:

  • Bring high-speed internet to every rural and remote community in Canada.

  • Support New Brunswick's local infrastructure priorities by doubling the federal municipal infrastructure commitment in 2018–19 to $2.2 billion, which includes $47.7 million for New Brunswick. This will provide municipalities and First Nations communities with the funds needed to pay for crucial repairs and other important local projects.

  • Invest up to $251.3 million over three years, starting in 2020–21, to help Canada's forest sector continue to innovate and grow, including:

  • Up to $91.8 million over three years for the Forest Innovation Program to position the Canadian forest sector at the forefront of the emerging bioeconomy.

  • Up to $82.9 million over three years for the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program to support the industrial commercialization and adoption of innovative technologies and processes.

  • Up to $64.0 million over three years for the Expanding Market Opportunities Program to increase and diversify market opportunities for Canadian forest products in offshore markets, and expand wood use in non-residential and mid-rise construction, including within Canada.

  • Up to $12.6 million over three years for the Indigenous Forestry Initiative, to support forest-based economic development for Indigenous communities across Canada.

  • Maintain safe and reliable ferry services by providing funding to Transport Canada's Ferry Services Contribution Program, linking Saint John, New Brunswick, to Digby, Nova Scotia, and extending Transport Canada's Ferry Services Contribution Program until 2022.

  • Support New Brunswick's hospitals, child care centres and social programs by increasing 2019–20 major federal transfers to the province to $3.2 billion, an increase of $185.2 million from the previous year. Since 2015, major federal transfers to New Brunswick have grown by $498.5 million, from $2.7 billion to $3.2 billion.

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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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