Minister Morneau Takes Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, to Kelowna 

News release

March 26, 2019 – Kelowna, British Columbia – Department of Finance Canada

The Government's plan to grow Canada's economy has been clear: invest in the middle class, and the people working hard to join it. That plan is working—creating more good, well-paying jobs for Canadians, and giving more young people a real and fair chance at success.

Today, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau spoke with students at Okanagan College in Kelowna, British Columbia about Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class. Minister Morneau discussed new measures in this year's budget that will help young Canadians better afford their education, find and keep good jobs, and have more opportunities to find an affordable place to call home.

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

  • Providing more on-the-job learning opportunities for 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.
  • Lowering the interest rates on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans to make post-secondary education more affordable for all students.
  • Modernizing the Canada Student Loans Program and addressing long-standing challenges for vulnerable student loan borrowers, such as students with permanent disabilities or facing other major financial or life situations.
  • Creating 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.
  • Creating opportunities for young Canadians to work or study abroad and gain skills needed to succeed in a global economy through a new International Education Strategy.
  • Improving access to mentorship, learning resources and start-up financing to help bring business ideas to life and to market through Futurpreneur Canada.  
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 want the chance to work in a good job, invest in a home and build a better, fairer and more sustainable future—for themselves, their families and their communities. They need a plan to support them on that path, and a Government that makes sure their voices are heard. That's why Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, doubles down on investing in young Canadians so that they can have more opportunities—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 Kelowna and British Columbia by proposing to:

  • Bring high-speed internet to more rural, remote and northern communities.

  • Help Canada's forest sector continue to innovate and grow by investing up to $251.3 million over three years, starting in 2020–21. This means: 

    • Positioning the Canadian forest sector at the forefront of the emerging bioeconomy with up to $91.8 million over three years for the Forest Innovation Program. 
    • Supporting the industrial commercialization and adoption of innovative technologies and processes with up to $82.9 million over three years for the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program. 
    • Increasing and diversifying market opportunities for Canadian forest products in offshore markets, and expanding wood use in non-residential and mid-rise construction, with up to $64.0 million over three years for the Expanding Market Opportunities Program. 
    • Supporting forest-based economic development for Indigenous communities with up to $12.6 million over three years for the Indigenous Forestry Initiative. 
  • Provide $65 million to replace the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service's (STARS) aging helicopter fleet and acquire new emergency ambulance helicopters so that STARS can continue to provide emergency helicopter ambulance services to patients who are critically ill or injured in communities across the Prairies and parts of British Columbia.

  • Forgive and reimburse loans for modern treaty negotiations to support Indigenous communities' ability to invest in their own priorities. 

  • Improve emergency response on-reserve to help First Nations communities prepare for emergencies and better adapt to the threats of climate change. 

  • Create and expand tourism-related infrastructure and experiences in places like British Columbia with $10.8 million over two years for the creation of a Canadian Experiences Fund. 

  • Support businesses in western Canada by providing $100 million over three years, starting in 2019–20, to Western Economic Diversification Canada. 

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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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