Canada's Finance Ministers Take New Steps to Build an Economy That Works for Everyone
December 17, 2019 – Ottawa, Canada – Department of Finance Canada
Canada's economy is strong and growing, but more work needs to be done to build an economy that truly works for everyone, from coast to coast to coast. Canadians expect governments to work together to make sure that more people can benefit from Canada's continuing economic growth.
Canada's federal, provincial and territorial Finance Ministers gathered in Ottawa today for their semi-annual meeting and made good progress on a number of shared priorities.
As part of the meeting, Finance Minister Bill Morneau listened to the concerns raised by his provincial and territorial colleagues, and announced the Government's intention to take a close look at the Fiscal Stabilization Program, with a view to considering any appropriate adjustments. Minister Morneau indicated that any changes to the program would take into consideration what is best for all Canadians.
Federal and provincial ministers also agreed, as part of the triennial review of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), to look at possible improvements to the CPP to reflect the reality of today's working families and those of the future, while considering the impact this could have on CPP premiums for workers and businesses.
Building on the consensus at the joint meeting with Canada's ministers responsible for anti-money laundering in June 2019, Finance Ministers also discussed launching consultations on creating a publicly accessible beneficial ownership registry. This registry would make information on who owns which corporations in Canada more transparent, and would help appropriate authorities to better counter financial crimes, including money laundering and tax evasion.
In advance of the meeting, Minister Morneau also confirmed that the Government of Canada will provide a record $81.6 billion in major transfer funding to provinces and territories in 2020–2021.
"I want to thank my colleagues for coming to Ottawa today, and for being part of this very productive meeting. Canada works best when the people Canadians elected to serve work together. Meetings like this one are a chance for us to take stock of what has been accomplished, and more importantly, to look ahead at what needs to be done to make sure our economy continues to grow, for the benefit of all Canadians."
- Bill Morneau
Minister of Finance
"Making life more affordable is central to ensuring the prosperity of the middle class, and so is working with provinces and territories. The federal government's approaches need to reflect the various realities of the different regions of the country. I thank the provincial and territorial ministers for sharing their ideas. I look forward to working with them to promote strong economic growth across the country, improve affordability, and provide greater economic security to all Canadians."
- Mona Fortier
Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance
The Fiscal Stabilization Program enables the federal government to provide financial assistance to provinces that face significant year-over-year declines in their revenues resulting from extraordinary economic downturns. It has provided benefits at some point in time to every province in Canada.
As co-stewards of the CPP, federal and provincial Ministers of Finance are required under legislation to review the financial state of the Plan every three years to determine if changes to contributions and/or benefits are necessary.
Finance Ministers have been working together since 2017 to make it easier to find out "who owns what" in Canada, by improving beneficial ownership transparency. This past summer, Canada's ministers responsible for anti-money laundering agreed to move forward towards establishing a beneficial ownership public registry. The upcoming consultations will examine the benefits and challenges associated with such a registry.
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Department of Finance Canada
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