Minister Morneau Takes Investing in the Middle Class Budget to Vancouver 

News release

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

Since 2015, hard-working Canadians have proven what has long been understood: a strong economy starts with a strong middle class. Under the Government's economic plan, they have created more than 900,000 new jobs, including about 200,000 in British Columbia. But more needs to be done to make sure Canadians can feel secure about their future.

Today, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau spoke with members of the Business Council of British Columbia to discuss how Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class takes further steps in the Government's plan to build an economy that works for everyone today, and in the long term.

Minister Morneau highlighted how Budget 2019 introduces new measures that will make life more affordable for Canadians, better equip them to find and keep good jobs, and make sure that Canada's strong and growing economy works for everyone.

Through Budget 2019, the Government of Canada proposes to support Canadian business 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 $278.6 million for British Columbia.
  • 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.  


"Investing in the middle class means the promise of a better future in a world filled with change, and Budget 2019 is focused on making life better for the middle class. The Government is taking important steps to ensure that more Canadians can afford a safe place to call home, that workers are prepared for an evolving job market, that families have access to the medicine they need and that seniors can retire free of financial worries."

- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance 

Quick facts

  • Budget 2019 supports Vancouver and British Columbia by proposing to:

  • Boost supply in Canada's housing and rental markets by expanding the Rental Construction Financing Initiative to provide low-cost loans for the construction of new rental housing for modest- and middle-income Canadians. With this increase, the program would support 42,500 new units across Canada, particularly in areas of low rental supply, such as Vancouver.

  • Help address factors that limit housing supply in Vancouver by supporting the new Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability, which was launched in conjunction with the province of British Columbia in March 2019. The Budget proposes that Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation invest $4 million over two years to support the work of the Panel and $5 million over two years for state-of-the-art modelling of housing supply to help ensure that funding by all levels of government is put to its best possible use. 

  • Improve the monitoring of purchases of Canadian real estate with investments of $1 million to inform the work of the British Columbia-Canada Working Group on Real Estate, created in the fall of 2018. This would support the Group's enforcement efforts on tax compliance and anti-money laundering. The funding would be provided through Statistics Canada.

  • Improve anti-money laundering compliance in Canadian real estate and casinos with a special focus on the province of British Columbia, by strengthening the operational capacity at the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada as part of a wider strategy to strengthen Canada's anti-money laundering regime 

  • Enhance the federal response to the opioid crisis through additional funding of $30.5 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, with $1 million per year ongoing. Funding will support efforts to expand access to a safe supply of prescription opioids, protecting people with problematic opioid use from the risks of overdose and death, including in the province of British Columbia, which has been at the forefront of the opioid crisis. It will also support better access to opioid overdose response training and to Naloxone in underserved communities. 

  • Support TRIUMF, a world-class sub-atomic physics research laboratory located in Vancouver, with funding of $195.9 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, for a combined total of $292.7 million in federal support over this five-year period. This funding supports core operating costs of the laboratory, which is home to the world's largest cyclotron particle accelerator.

  • Help build an Indigenous Legal Lodge at the University of Victoria by providing $9.1 million over three years, starting in 2019–20. This would help deliver on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Call to Action 50, which calls upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal organizations, to fund the establishment of Indigenous law institutes for the development, use, and understanding of Indigenous laws.

  • Increase economic development support in western Canada by providing $100 million over three years (on a cash basis), 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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