Minister Morneau in Toronto to Talk Budget 2019: Investing in the Middle Class

News release

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

Since 2015, hard-working Canadians have proven what the Government has long understood: a strong economy is built by a strong middle class.

Nearly four years ago, Canadians chose a plan to invest in the middle class and offer real help to people working hard to join it.

Investing in the middle class means investing in people—with more help for those who need it, and less for those who don't. It means building a better Canada—a stronger, more connected country—and it means better opportunities for people today, and the promise of a better future.

Today, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau spoke with members of Canadian Club Toronto about investments in Budget 2019: Investing in the Middle Class. Minister Morneau discussed how Budget 2019 introduces new measures that will help build an economy that works for everyone today, and in the long term. He also highlighted new measures that form the next step in the Government's plan to keep Canada's economy strong and growing, and make life more affordable for Canadians.

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. 


"The central idea of the budget is this: middle class Canadians helped grow the economy, so they should benefit from that growth. They need a plan that makes long-term and responsible investments in their success. A plan that builds stronger and healthier communities, creates good well-paying jobs and leaves all Canadians better off. Budget 2019 represents an important piece of that plan—and I hope that when Canadians hear about what we've laid out, they'll be more optimistic and confident in their future, and the future of Canada."

- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance 

Quick facts

  • Budget 2019 supports Toronto by proposing to:

  • Provide $32.5 million over 5 years, starting in 2021–22, to support Harbourfront Centre as it delivers arts, cultural and recreational programming on the Toronto waterfront. 

  • Provide permanent funding of $185.4 million per year on a cash basis, starting in 2024–25, to the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario to boost economic growth in local communities and create good, middle class jobs in one of Canada's most vital economic hubs.

  • 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.

  • Increase fairness and transparency in Canada's real estate markets by strengthening the rules for buying or renting housing, and compliance with them—and ensuring they are applied equally across Canada to support a healthy, stable and competitive housing market. 

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Media may contact:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Acting 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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