Minister Morneau Takes Government's 2019 Budget,  Investing in the Middle Class, to Halifax

News release

March 22, 2019 - Halifax, Nova Scotia - Department of Finance Canada

For nearly four years, middle class Canadians have been at the centre of Canada's economic growth. Supported by the Government's plan to invest in the middle class, Canadians have created more than 900,000 new jobs—helping to create a growing economy where everyone has a real and fair chance at success.

Today, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau spoke to members of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce about investments in Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class. Minister Morneau discussed how Budget 2019 introduces new measures that will help build a better Canada—with better opportunities for people today and the promise of a better future.

To help people and businesses succeed, Budget 2019 proposes to:

  • Make 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Prepare 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.
  • Support 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 $58.5 million for Nova Scotia.
  • 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.
  • Lower Canadians' energy costs by partnering with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to increase energy efficiency in residential, commercial and multi-unit buildings.
  • Make 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.
  • Enhance 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, already the lowest in the G7, continues on a steady downward track.


"Investing in the middle class means more help for those who need it, and less for those who don't. It means better opportunities for people today, and the promise of a better future, even in a world filled with change. With Budget 2019, the Government is taking steps to create those opportunities for people, making sure that everyone can feel the benefits of Canada's economic growth."

– Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • The Government's plan is helping Nova Scotia families by:

  • Supporting Nova Scotia's hospitals, child care centres and social programs by increasing 2019–20 major federal transfers to the province to $3.4 billion, an increase of $131.4 million from the previous year. Since 2015, major federal transfers to Nova Scotia have grown by $503.3 million.

  • Maintaining safe and reliable ferry services by proposing to extend Transport Canada's Ferry Services Contribution Program until 2022, and procuring a new ferry to replace the MV Holiday Island operating between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

  • Improving access to Nova Scotia's mental health and addictions services, as well as home and community care services, by investing $288 million over 10 years.

  • Bringing faster and more reliable transit to Nova Scotia with the purchase of 29 new buses by Halifax Transit, investing $365 million.

  • Giving kids the best start in life with investments in Nova Scotia's early learning and child care supports, receiving almost $35.1 million over three 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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