Four years ago, we were clear with Canadians about the things we believe in. That hasn’t changed.
We know that a country can’t cut its way to prosperity. Cuts don’t help people. Austerity doesn’t grow the economy. And putting the interests of wealthy people ahead of the middle class is not how you keep a country like Canada moving forward.
>We Believe That A Strong Economy Starts With A Strong Middle Class.
That’s why one of the first things we did as a government was raise taxes on the wealthiest one percent, so that we could cut taxes for the middle class. And it’s why, in our very first budget, we introduced the Canada Child Benefit – to help families with the high cost of raising their kids.
We Believe In Investing In People And In Our Communities.
Not only because it makes good economic sense, but because it’s the right thing to do. Our investments in young people and families are helping to make life more affordable, and giving more of our kids a good start in life.
Our investments in seniors are helping more people have a secure and dignified retirement. And our historic investments in infrastructure are helping to build communities that are better places to live today, and better prepared for a changing climate tomorrow.
We Believe That Everyone Deserves A Real And Fair Chance At Success.
In 2015, after years of austerity and cuts, the economy was slowing down – and people were feeling it. Especially those whose real needs didn’t line up with aggressive plans to eliminate the deficit, like people living in poverty, Indigenous Peoples, women, young people, racialized people, people living with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ2 communities, and our most vulnerable seniors.
Because we believe that everyone deserves a real and fair chance at success, we took a different approach, investing in people with a plan that is targeted, measured, and fiscally responsible.
What we’ve delivered
This plan to invest in people – combined with Canadians’ hard work – helped to move our economy forward.
Canadians created more than one million new jobs in just four years. Stronger wage growth is helping more Canadians get ahead, but further progress is needed. With an economy that is strong and growing, and with steadily declining debt relative to the size of our economy, Canada now has the best balance sheet in the G7. And together, we’ve helped to lift 900,000 people out of poverty.
At the same time, we know that we need to be prepared for whatever challenges come our way. In 2019, there are events taking place around the world that are creating a real sense of global economic uncertainty, and we need to be ready to respond.
Moving our Economy Forward
We Will Continue To Reduce The Government’s Debt As A Function Of Our Economy Each And Every Year.
Our net debt-to-GDP ratio – currently at 30.9 percent – is on a downward track, and we have laid out a new fiscal track that will see this fiscal anchor continue to decline even further.
That puts Canada in an enviable position, especially compared to other G7 countries. Our net debt-to-GDP ratio is less than half of the EU average, and less than a third of where the United States is right now.
That relatively low level of debt is a serious competitive advantage. And our government is fully committed to maintaining that advantage in an increasingly volatile and unpredictable world.
We Will Continue To Build Confidence In Canada’s Economy, Making Sure That The World Continues To See Us As A Great Place To Invest.
Canada has a “triple A” credit rating from the three most recognized credit rating agencies. Of other countries in the G7, only Germany can boast of a similarly strong record.
This strong rating reflects the confidence that ratings agencies have in Canada’s economic strength. We will preserve this rating.
More importantly, these ratings show what many people already understand: that even though there is more work to be done, our economy is strong and growing.
We Will Continue To Invest In People And In The Things That Give People A Better Quality Of Life.
The last four years have shown what can happen when we put people first and invest in the things that make their lives easier: more money for families to help grow the economy, more good jobs
and more liveable communities, and 900,000 fewer people living in poverty.
While others seek to move our country backward balancing the books at all costs, on the backs of hard-working Canadians – we will move forward with the investments that we know make a real difference.
We Will Keep Our Economy Moving Forward.
Even though Canada’s economy is doing well, we need to be ready to respond to whatever challenges might arise, with the right tools at our disposal so that we can react quickly and appropriately when we need to.
Our new fiscal track recognizes the challenging economic realities we may face in the years ahead. It recognizes what the Parliamentary Budget Officer has affirmed – that current government spending is sustainable over the long term – and gives us the room we need to invest for long-term growth.
New Revenue: Making Taxes More Fair
To ensure that we continue to have the resources needed to invest in people and keep our economy strong and growing, we will move forward with a transparent and publicly reported review of several existing tax measures and will take action to make taxes more fair. This includes taking steps to crack down on corporate tax evasion and avoidance, and asking the wealthiest Canadians to pay a little bit more.
- undertake a new comprehensive review of government spending and tax expenditures, to ensure that wealthy Canadians do not benefit from unfair tax breaks (a similar review, which we committed to in 2015, identified more than $3 billion a year that could be reinvested in the middle class);
- modernize anti-avoidance rules to stop large multinational companies from being able to shop for lower tax rates by constructing complex schemes between countries;
- enhance our existing whistleblower programs, based on the best practices in other countries, including the United States;
- crack down on corporate tax loopholes that allow companies to excessively deduct debt to artificially reduce the tax they pay;
- introduce a new 10 per cent tax on luxury cars, boats, and personal aircraft over $100,000; and
- make sure that multinational tech giants pay corporate tax on the revenue they generate in Canada. We will also work to achieve the standard set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to ensure that international digital corporations whose products are consumed in Canada collect and remit the same level of sales taxation as Canadian digital corporations.
To limit the housing speculation that can drive up home prices, we will also put in place a consistent national tax on vacant residential properties owned by non-Canadians who don’t live in Canada
New Investments: Choosing Forward
In 2015, we promised to help Canadians make informed choices during elections, by adding the costing of party platforms to the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s mandate. We followed through on that promise.
Recognizing the resource limits that the Office has placed on each of the parties, we focused on working with the Office on the largest and most complex commitments, particularly those where costing may be uncertain due to a lack of available public information.
We also referred to the Office all proposals related to changes to personal or corporate income taxes.