Shared Priorities on the Agenda as Finance Ministers Meet

News release

December 16, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

Canadians expect governments to work together to build a strong middle class, create good jobs, make life more affordable, and keep the economy strong and growing. 

Following the release of the 2019 Economic and Fiscal Update, which shows that Canada's economy continues to grow at a solid pace, Canada's federal, provincial and territorial Finance Ministers will meet today and tomorrow in Ottawa.

The semi-annual meeting will include discussions on shared priorities, including:

  • The prosperity of the middle class, which is key to making sure that the economy is strong and growing.
  • The housing market in Canada, and how different orders of government can work together to ensure everyone has a good, affordable place to call home.
  • The ongoing efforts to counter money laundering and terrorist financing, two threats to the integrity of the economy and to Canadians' safety, security and quality of life.
  • The triennial review of the Canada Pension Plan, so that it can continue to respond to the needs of retirees, workers and employers.
  • The Fiscal Stabilization Program, which enables the federal government to provide financial assistance to provinces that face significant year-over-year declines in their revenues, resulting from economic downturns.
  • The coordinated approach to cannabis taxation, which ensures that 75 per cent of the revenue from the federal cannabis excise duty goes to provinces and territories that have entered into an agreement with the Government of Canada.

The semi-annual meeting will also include a discussion on the global economy and Canadian monetary policy with Bank of Canada Governor Stephen S. Poloz.

Ahead 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.

Quotes

"Canada's economy continues to do well, but there is more work to be done to make sure that everyone benefits from that growth. Tomorrow's meeting with our provincial and territorial colleagues is an important part of that work. I'm confident that by working together, we can build an economy that truly does work for everyone, in all regions of this country."

- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

"As a government, we're committed to working with the provinces and territories to improve the quality of life for all Canadians, no matter where they live, and to making sure that the middle class and people working hard to join it have more opportunities to succeed and prosper. I'm looking forward to working with our colleagues from the provinces and territories to continue to deliver on the things that we know matter to Canadians, like more good, well-paying jobs and more affordable places to call home."

- Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • Canada's Finance Ministers typically meet twice a year to discuss joint priorities.

  • The Government of Canada provides significant financial support to provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis. There are four main transfer programs:

    • The Canada Health Transfer, the largest federal transfer to provinces and territories, provides long-term predictable funding to support the provision of health care services.
    • The Canada Social Transfer supports post-secondary education, social assistance and social services as well as early childhood development and child care. 
    • Equalization provides support to provinces that have a lower-than-average ability to raise revenues. Provincial governments with an above-average fiscal capacity do not receive payments or pay into the program.
    • Territorial Formula Financing enables territorial governments to provide public programs and services comparable to those offered by provinces, at comparable levels of taxation. 

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Contacts

Media may contact:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Director of Media Relations
Office of the Minister of Finance
pierre-olivier.herbert@canada.ca
613-369-5696

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada
fin.media-media.fin@canada.ca
613-369-4000

General Enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230
E-mail: fin.financepublic-financepublique.fin@canada.ca


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