Canadian Social Research Links

Department of Finance Canada

Sites de recherche sociale au Canada

Ministère des Finances Canada

[ Page 1 : Agriculture and Agri-Food to Environment ]
[Page 2 - Finance ]
[ Page 3 - Fisheries to Veterans Affairs ]

Updated October 7, 2016
Page révisée le 7 octobre 2016


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The Federal Government section of Canad
ian Social Research Links comprises several separate pages of links : 
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*** Page 1 - Agriculture and Agri-Food to Environment
*** Page 2 - Finance
*** Page 3 - Fisheries and Oceans to Veterans Affairs

- Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) - info about Old Age Security, the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and other social programs - and where I worked... 
- Health Links - Canada/International - info about Health Canada and related stuff from the U.S. and elsewhere in the world
- Employment Insurance in Canada - selected reports and other related links

--------------------------

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http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/ei.htm

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Finance Canada
The Department helps the Government of Canada develop and implement strong and sustainable economic, fiscal, tax, social, security, international and financial sector policies and programs.

Selected Finance Canada site content:
(in reverse chronological order)

From the
Department of Finance Canada:
[ http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp ]

Canada Child Benefit

Government Introduces Legislation Advancing Plan to Support the Middle Class and Those Working Hard to Join It
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n16/16-140-eng.asp
October 25, 2016
The Government of Canada knows that a strong middle class means hard-working Canadians can look forward to a good standard of living throughout their lives and a better future for their children. With Budget 2016, the Government of Canada introduced a bold plan that puts people first and delivers the help middle class Canadians need to prosper and grow the Canadian economy.
(...)
Included in Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 is a measure that will ensure the new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) grows in line with inflation as of July 1, 2020 so that its real value is not eroded over the long term. Since July, nine out of ten Canadian families are receiving more than under the previous system of child benefits, and hundreds of thousands of children are being lifted out of poverty. The CCB is simpler, tax-free, better targeted and more generous than previous child benefits. The CCB will help parents with the high costs of raising their kids, whether this be for such things as buying healthy food or preparing their kids for winter.

Related Products:

Government Introduces Plan to Grow Canada’s Middle Class
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n16/16-054-eng.asp
April 20, 2016

Budget 2016: Growing the Middle Class
http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/docs/plan/toc-tdm-en.html
March 22, 2016

---

From the
Canada Revenue Agency:
[ http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html ]

Canada Child Benefit
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/ccb/menu-eng.html
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/t4114/t4114-e.html#cctb
The Canada child benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age. The CCB might include the child disability benefit and any related provincial and territorial programs. (...)
Benefits are paid over a 12-month period from July of one year to June of the next year. Benefit payments are recalculated every July based on information from a taxpayers' income tax and benefit return from the previous year.

Effective July 1, 2016, the Canada child benefit (CCB) replaced the Canada child tax benefit (CCTB), the national child benefit supplement (NCBS), and the universal child care benefit (UCCB).
Source :
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/cctb/bfrppl-eng.html

Related provincial
and territorial programs:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/t4114/t4114-e.html#P257_18104
- includes links to info about the following provincial and territorial child benefit and credit programs
*** Alberta child benefit
*** Alberta family employment tax credit
*** BC early childhood tax benefit
*** BC family bonus
*** New Brunswick child tax benefit
*** Newfoundland and Labrador child benefit
*** Northwest Territories child benefit
*** Nova Scotia child benefit
*** Nunavut child benefit
*** Ontario child benefit
*** Yukon child benefit

Canada Posts Budgetary Deficit of $1 Billion in 2015–16
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n16/16-123-eng.asp
October 7, 2016

The Department of Finance Canada today released the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 2015–16. The Government posted a budgetary deficit of $1.0 billion for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2016.

Quick Facts:

*** Revenues totalled $295.5 billion in 2015–16, $13.1 billion more than 2014–15, representing an increase of 4.6 per cent, largely reflecting growth in income tax revenues and other taxes and duties.

*** Expenses totalled $296.4 billion in 2015–16, $16.0 billion more than 2014–15, an increase of 5.7 per cent, reflecting increases in major transfers to persons and other levels of government and direct program expenses.
(...)

Related Products:

Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada—2015–2016
http://www.fin.gc.ca/afr-rfa/2016/index-eng.asp

Fiscal Reference Tables—October 2016
http://www.fin.gc.ca/frt-trf/2016/frt-trf-16-eng.asp

Frequently Asked Questions About the Annual Financial Report
http://www.fin.gc.ca/afc/faq/afr-rfa-16-eng.asp

Source:
Department of Finance Canada
http://www.fin.gc.ca/

The Fiscal Monitor for January 2016
http://www.fin.gc.ca/fiscmon-revfin/2016-01-eng.asp
January 2016: budgetary surplus of $1.1 billion
April 2015 to January 2016: budgetary surplus of $4.3 billion

Government of Canada Releases Economic and Fiscal Update
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-084-eng.asp
News Release
November 20, 2015
Finance Minister Bill Morneau today released the Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections (the Update). Minister Morneau marked the release of the Update by highlighting the Government’s realistic approach to fiscal management, based on the principles of sustainability, prudence and transparency. The Update reviews the federal government’s economic and fiscal outlook, which has deteriorated since Budget 2015.

Source:
Department of Finance

http://www.fin.gc.ca/

Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections 2015
http://www.budget.gc.ca/efp-peb/2015/pub/toc-tdm-en.html
November 20, 2015
Highlights
* The Government will pursue an approach to fiscal management that is realistic, sustainable, prudent and transparent.
* This Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections reviews the federal government’s economic and fiscal outlook, which has deteriorated since the previous Government presented the budget in April 2015.
* The Canadian economy contracted in the first half of 2015, with real gross domestic product (GDP) declining by 0.8 per cent in the first quarter and 0.5 per cent in the second quarter.
* These are the fiscal projections inherited by this Government. They do not include any measures adopted by this Government. Nor do they include any of the economic and fiscal benefits arising from the Government’s fiscal investments, including infrastructure and measures to invest in low- and middle-income families.

Source:
Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections

http://www.budget.gc.ca/efp-peb/2015/pub/chap01-en.html

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Related Products:

* Fiscal Monitor for September 2015
http://www.fin.gc.ca/fiscmon-revfin/2015-09-eng.asp

* Canada's Adjusted Growth and Investment Strategies
http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2015/11/15/prime-minister-announces-canadas-growth-and-investment-strategies

The Fiscal Monitor for June 2015 (Finance Canada)

June 2015: budgetary surplus of $1.1 billion
http://www.fin.gc.ca/fiscmon-revfin/2015-06-eng.asp
There was a budgetary surplus of $1.1 billion in June 2015, compared to a surplus of $1.6 billion in June 2014. Revenues increased by $0.6 billion, or 2.6 per cent, due mainly to higher revenues from excise taxes and duties. Program expenses increased by $1.6 billion, or 8.2 per cent, largely reflecting the accrual of benefits related to the expansion and enhancement of the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) for the April to June 2015 period following Royal Assent of enabling legislation in June. Public debt charges decreased by $0.5 billion, or 20.3 per cent, due mainly to lower Consumer Price Index adjustments on Real Return Bonds and a lower average effective interest rate on the stock of interest-bearing debt.

April to June 2015: budgetary surplus of $5.0 billion

For the April to June 2015 period of the 2015–16 fiscal year, the Government posted a budgetary surplus of $5.0 billion, compared to a surplus of $0.4 billion reported in the same period of 2014–15. Revenues were up $6.2 billion, or 9.2 per cent, largely reflecting increased revenues from income taxes, excise taxes and duties, and the gain realized on the sale of the Government’s remaining holdings of General Motors common shares in April 2015. Program expenses were up $2.2 billion, or 3.7 per cent, due mainly to an increase in major transfers to persons, reflecting in large part the accrual of benefits related to the expansion and enhancement of the UCCB for the April to June 2015 period. Public debt charges were down $0.6 billion, or 8.0 per cent, largely reflecting a lower average effective interest rate on the stock of interest-bearing debt.

The Fiscal Monitor for June 2015 (small PDF, 11 pages)
http://www.fin.gc.ca/fiscmon-revfin/pdf/2015-06-eng.pdf

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

Release of The Fiscal Monitor for February 2015
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-043-eng.asp
April 21, 2015
The Department of Finance reports a budgetary surplus of $4.6 billion in February 2015; the Government remains on track to balance the budget in 2015 as confirmed in Economic Action Plan tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday, April 21.

Report:

The Fiscal Monitor for February 2015
HTML version : http://www.fin.gc.ca/fiscmon-revfin/2015-02-eng.asp
PDF version (270KB) : http://www.fin.gc.ca/fiscmon-revfin/pdf/2015-02-eng.pdf ]
April 21, 2015
Finance Minister Joe Oliver today released The Fiscal Monitor for February 2015. There was a budgetary surplus of $4.6 billion in February 2015, down from the budgetary surplus reported for February 2014 of $5.2 billion. Revenues decreased by $0.6 billion, or 2.2 per cent, reflecting decreases in most tax revenue streams. Program expenses increased by $0.3 billion, or 1.7 per cent, reflecting increases in major transfers to persons and other levels of government.

Recent and Future Release Dates of The Fiscal Monitor
http://www.fin.gc.ca/pub/fm-rf-index-eng.asp
NOTE : includes links to each issue of the monthly Fiscal Monitor for 2014 and 2015 (so far).

Fiscal Monitor Archive
http://www.fin.gc.ca/pub/fm-rf/archives-eng.asp
NOTE : includes links to each issue of the monthly Fiscal Monitor from January 1996 to December 2013.

Research tip:
This archive is a valuable resource for anyone who's interested in the minutiae of federal budget surpluses and deficits over the period of 18 years ending in early 2015. NOTE that the figures for 2014 and 2015 appear under the "Future Release Dates of The Fiscal Monitor" link while those for 1996 to 2013 appear under the Archive link above.

Minister Oliver Meets With Private Sector Economists to Discuss Canada's Economy
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-038-eng.asp
April 9, 2015
By Gilles : What a crock of steaming hot manure.
It's as if The Harper Government™ didn't have its own phalanx of economists to consult on economic matters and to cook up some convenient numbers...
Minister Foxy feels the need to confer with more foxes from the private sector to come up with a new fox-proof design for the henhouse.

In a similar vein:

Harper Government to Propose Balanced Budget Legislation
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-036-eng.asp
April 8, 2015
"Our Government understands that balancing the budget is the only way to keep taxes low and to provide direct benefits to hard-working Canadians and their families."
[Yeah? So why did it take Harper eight years to finally table a balanced budget?]

Balanced budget legislation: is it about policy or politics?
http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thehouse/the-duffy-trial-1.3026536/balanced-budget-legislation-is-it-about-policy-or-politics-1.3026910
The 2015-16 budget is expected to be Harper's first balanced budget in eight years.

Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections
http://www.budget.gc.ca/efp-peb/2014/pub/toc-tdm-eng.html
November 12, 2014

---

Harper Government Introduces Legislation to Put More Money in the Pockets of Parents
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-029-eng.asp
March 27, 2015
Finance Minister Joe Oliver today introduced legislation in the House of Commons to implement the Harper Government’s latest tax relief and benefits for hard-working families. Together, these new measures will put money back into the pockets of every single family with children—about 4 million families in total. Today, the overall federal tax burden is at its lowest level in more than half a century.

---

Harper Government Tables Notice of Ways and Means Motion to Implement Tax Cuts for Families
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-027-eng.asp
March 24, 2015
Finance Minister Joe Oliver today tabled in the House of Commons a Notice of Ways and Means Motion (NWMM) to implement the Harper Government’s latest tax cuts for hard-working families, which were announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on October 30, 2014.

Related link
from the CBC:
[ http://www.cbc.ca/ ]

No budget yet, but Tories introduce bill to boost family income
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/no-budget-yet-but-tories-introduce-bill-to-boost-family-income-1.3012428
Bill C-57 formally implements the Family Tax Cut and increases universal child-care benefit payments.

By Gilles:
PressProgress
[ http://www.pressprogress.ca/ ], a project of the Broadbent Institute [ http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/ ] reminds us [ http://goo.gl/Od1ptI ] that the "Family Tax Cut" (originally called income-splitting) was panned (by the late Jim Flaherty, former federal Minister of Finance) because 85% of the Canadian population wouldn't receive a plug nickel from this measure. Harper's tinkering with enhancements to the UCCB are laughable, given that the monthly amount would cover one or two days in a day care centre for most working parents.

On Family Day, Minister Oliver Celebrates Tax Cuts for
Canadian Families by Highlighting Tax Cuts and Benefits for Families
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-015-eng.asp
News Release
February 16, 2015
Families across Canada are celebrating Family Day, Louis Riel Day, Heritage Day and Islander Day today, and to mark the holiday, Finance Minister Joe Oliver is celebrating the Harper Government’s latest action to cut taxes for every family with children.

Announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper last October, these measures include:

* an increase to the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) to $160 per month from $100 per month for children under the age of 6, effective as of January 1, 2015;
* an expansion of the UCCB to include a new benefit of $60 per month for children aged 6 through 17, effective as of January 1, 2015;
* a $1,000 increase to the Child Care Expense Deduction maximum dollar limits, effective as of the 2015 taxation year; and
* the Family Tax Cut, a new federal non-refundable tax credit, which would provide up to $2,000 in tax relief to couples with children under the age of 18, effective as of the 2014 taxation year.

On average, these measures will put about $1,140 per year back into the pockets of every family with children.

Source:
Finance Canada

http://www.fin.gc.ca/

---
By Gilles:
PressProgress
[ http://www.pressprogress.ca/ ], a project of the Broadbent Institute [ http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/ ] reminds us [ http://goo.gl/Od1ptI ] that the "Family Tax Cut" (originally called income-splitting) was panned (by the late Jim Flaherty, former federal Minister of Finance) because 85% of the Canadian population wouldn't receive a plug nickel from this measure. Harper's tinkering with enhancements to the UCCB are laughable, given that the monthly amount would cover one or two days in a day care centre for most working parents.

NOTE to Finance Canada from the Grammar Police:
Do you even read the titles that you slap on your news releases from time to time?

...as in the above example:
"On Family Day, Minister Oliver Celebrates Tax Cuts for Canadian Families by Highlighting Tax Cuts and Benefits for Families"
So the Minister celebrates tax cuts by highlighting tax cuts?
Sheesh.

---

- Go to the Children, Families and Youth Links (Government) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/chnbkmrk.htm

- Go to the Federal Finance Department Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/fedbkmrk3.htm

Harper Government Delivers Increased Tax Cuts and Benefits to Families
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-184-eng.asp
December 30, 2014
Finance Minister Joe Oliver today highlighted new tax cuts and increased benefits that would help hard-working Canadian families make ends meet, by making important priorities like child care and after-school sports more affordable in 2015.

Creating Jobs and Opportunities for Canadians in 2014
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-185-eng.asp
December 31, 2014
Finance Minister Joe Oliver today highlighted a range of significant economic achievements that the Harper Government has delivered throughout 2014 to support growth, jobs and long-term prosperity. The Canadian economy has posted one of the strongest job creation records in the Group of Seven (G-7) over the recovery, with over 1.2 million jobs created since July 2009.

Harper Government to Balance Budget in 2015: Government supporting a stronger economy in an
uncertain world by confirming that it is on track to fulfill its commitment to Canadians to balance the budget in 2015
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-001-eng.asp
January 2, 2015
Finance Minister Joe Oliver today highlighted how the Harper Government's commitment to Canadians to return to budget balance will help support jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians in 2015.

Related Products:

* Economic Action Plan 2014
http://www.budget.gc.ca/2014/home-accueil-eng.html
February 11, 2014

* Harper Government Releases Economic and Fiscal Update
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-162-eng.asp
November 12, 2014

Government Tables Notice of Ways and Means Motion to Implement Tax Relief Measures
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-151-eng.asp
October 20, 2014
The Government today tabled in the House of Commons a Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement tax measures from Economic Action Plan 2014, as well as other measures. Today's Notice of Ways and Means Motion includes the same measures tabled on October 10, 2014, in addition to a new measure that amends the trust loss restriction event rules to provide relief for investment trusts that meet specific conditions.

Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement certain provisions of the
budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures

http://www.fin.gc.ca/drleg-apl/2014/bia-leb-oct20-1014-eng.asp
October 20, 2014

Additional Links:

Harper Government Tables Notice of Ways and Means Motion to Implement Tax Measures in Economic Action Plan 2014
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-137-eng.asp
October 10, 2014

Economic Action Plan 2014
http://www.budget.gc.ca/2014/home-accueil-eng.html

---

Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement certain provisions
of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures (PDF - 1.8MB, 281 pages)
http://www.fin.gc.ca/drleg-apl/2014/bia-leb-1014.pdf
October 10, 2014

---

Prime Minister announces intention to double the Children's Fitness Tax Credit
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-136-eng.asp
Whitby, Ontario
October 9, 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced our Government’s intention to double the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit (CFTC) and make it refundable. The maximum amount of expenses that may be claimed under the credit will be doubled from its current limit to $1,000 for the 2014 tax year and subsequent tax years, and the credit will be made refundable effective for the 2015 and subsequent tax years.
(...)
Our Government tabled a Ways and Means Motion in the House of Commons today which provides additional information on the proposed enhancements.

[ See the first link at the top of this section.]

----------------------------------------

From the
Toronto Star:
http://www.thestar.com/

Tories’ self-serving copyright amendment trivializes important issue: Editorial
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2014/10/10/tories_selfserving_copyright_amendment_trivializes_important_issue_editorial.html
October 10, 2014
We need to have a discussion about Canadian copyright law in the digital age.
Too bad the government is approaching the issue in bad faith.

----------------------------------------

Canada Remains on Track to Balance Budget in 2015:
Minister of Finance reports smaller-than-expected deficit of $5.2 billion in 2013–14
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-131-eng.asp

October 6, 2014
News Release
Finance Minister Joe Oliver today released the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 2013–14 [ http://www.fin.gc.ca/afr-rfa/2014/index-eng.asp ] . The report shows a sharp downward trend in the Government’s annual deficit, reflecting Canada’s improving economic position. In 2013–14, the deficit fell to $5.2 billion, a $10.7-billion improvement from the projection in Economic Action Plan 2014. The 2013–14 deficit is down by more than 90 per cent from the $55.6-billion deficit recorded in 2009–10.

Related Products:

Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 2013–14
http://www.fin.gc.ca/afr-rfa/2014/index-eng.asp ]

Fiscal Reference Tables—October 2014
http://www.fin.gc.ca/frt-trf/2014/frt-trf-14-eng.asp

Backgrounder: Highlights From the Annual Financial Report for 2013–14
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/data/14-131_1-eng.asp

Frequently Asked Questions About the Annual Financial Report
http://www.fin.gc.ca/afc/faq/afr-rfa-eng.asp

Economic Action Plan 2014
http://www.budget.gc.ca/2014/home-accueil-eng.html

Harper Government Secures Commitment from Largest Banks to Offer No-Cost Accounts for Financially Vulnerable Canadians
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-073-eng.asp
May 27, 2014
By mid-January of 2015, no-cost accounts will be available to youth, students, seniors qualifying for the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and Registered Disability Savings Plan beneficiaries.
[Click the link above for more info about no-cost accounts.]

According to CTV News [ http://goo.gl/OfGxnr ] : "The initiative comes as a result of negotiations between the government and the banks following a commitment in last year's Throne Speech and in the most recent budget on cheap access to banking services. (...) Finance Minister Oliver said the changes will leave about $50 a year in the pockets of Canadians who can least afford to pay profitable banks charges on services."
(Woo-hoo --- an extra buck a week. We're in the money, Martha!)
If I were a cynical person, I'd say that the Harper Government™ is like the broken mantle clock in our living room - it's correct twice a day.
Because I'm not, though, I must say this is an uncharacteristically progressive (albeit modest) move by Mr. Harper.

Harper Government Begins Consultations on a Potential Target Benefit Pension Plan Framework
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-061-eng.asp
News Release
April 24, 2014
Harper Government Begins Consultations on a Potential Target Benefit Pension Plan Framework

---

Consultation Paper - Pension Innovation for Canadians: The Target Benefit Plan
http://www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/pic-impicc-eng.asp
The objective of this paper is to seek views on the approach and elements of a federal TBP framework. DC and DB plan sponsors, unions, the actuarial and legal professions, and retiree groups are invited to provide comments on these proposals.
(...)
Written comments should be sent by June 23 via email to: pensions@fin.gc.ca.

---

Frequently Asked Questions on Proposed Target Benefit Plan (TBP) Framework
http://www.fin.gc.ca/afc/faq/tbp-rpc-eng.asp

-------------------------------------------------------------------

From the
Toronto Star:

Ottawa unveils proposal for new Target Benefit Plans
http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/04/24/ottawa_unveils_proposal_for_new_pension_plans.html
April 24, 2014
By Madhavi Acharya
The federal government is adding more letters to the alphabet soup that spells out how Canadians save for retirement. Ottawa unveiled its proposal for the TBP, or Target Benefit Plan, on Thursday. The new voluntary plan would be open to those who work for Crown corporations or federally regulated businesses such as banks, railways, and airlines. TBPs would offer a minimum level of guaranteed benefits with an option to add on and contributions that are set within a specified range. Both could be adjusted over time based on market conditions and the plan’s performance.

---

Ottawa to propose risk-sharing pension scheme
http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/investing/2014/04/23/ottawa_to_propose_risksharing_pension_scheme.html
April 25, 2014
Minister of state for finance Kevin Sorenson is expected to announce a new risk-sharing pension proposal for federally regulated companies.

---

Canada Pension Plan needs shoring up now: Cohn
http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2013/12/14/canada_pension_plan_needs_shoring_up_now_cohn.html
April 25, 2014
Life is good. Until it isn’t, in retirement.

---

Canadians heading for a retirement income crisis
http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/04/11/a_pensioncrisis_primer.html
April 25, 2014
With too many Canadians heading into retirement without enough savings, the debate now centres on what needs to be done to fix this looming problem.

Source:
Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/

Jim Flaherty, former federal finance minister, dead at 64.
"My partner and my friend," Prime Minister Stephen Harper says of Jim Flaherty
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/jim-flaherty-former-finance-minister-dead-at-64-1.2605728
By Laura Payton
April 10, 2014

Source:
CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/news/

---

Selected media coverage/commentary:

‘Each of us should contemplate Jim Flaherty’s example’
Paul Wells remembers the formidable former finance minister
http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/a-light-goes-out-on-parliament-hill/
By Paul Wells
Source:
Macleans

http://www.macleans.ca/

---

Disability community ‘has lost a true champion’ in Jim Flaherty
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/disability-community-has-lost-a-true-champion/article17927703/
By André Picard
April 11, 2014
Outside of financial circles, Jim Flaherty is best remembered as a relentless champion of Canadians with disabilities. The former finance minister, who died Thursday at age 64, created, most notably, the registered disability savings plan (RDSP), a program designed to meet the needs of people with physical, developmental and psychiatric disabilities, that is unique in the world.
-
NOTE : If you feel that it's inappropriate to critique Jim Flaherty's legacy so soon after his passing, don't read the 24 comments about this story, nor the next article dating back to the announcement of his retirement. I feel that it *is* appropriate to critique his place as "one of Canada's best finance ministers in Canadian history", as one National Post editorialist stated. For Ontarians, Jim Flaherty was one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, along with Mike Harris, John Baird and Tony Clement, who, during the mid-1990s, cut welfare benefits across the board by 21.6% and slashed funding to municipalities and social agencies in Ontario , among other regressive measures.

If you do choose to read the 24 comments to the above article (see the link at the end of the article), you'll note that many of them are derisive counterpoints to the rosy view presented in the article regarding RDSP.

Source:
The Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

---

What's with all this praise for Jim Flaherty's record?
http://www.pressprogress.ca/en/post/whats-all-praise-jim-flahertys-record
March 19, 2014
Source:
PressProgress

http://www.pressprogress.ca/

---

CBC cuts show other side of Jim Flaherty
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/04/11/cbc_cuts_show_other_side_of_jim_flaherty_walkom.html
By Thomas Walkom
April 11, 2014
Jim Flaherty’s death is a reminder that good people can do bad things for the best of reasons.
(...)
The cutbacks in employment insurance, the decision to raise the age of eligibility for old-age security, the reductions in transfer payments to Ontario, the lessening of environmental enforcement — all were collective decisions of the Harper cabinet. All ministers bear responsibility for them.
(...)
Flaherty was also a willing and active participant in Harper’s dark experiment to remake Canada along Conservative lines. The omnibus budget bills that, to the dismay of the opposition, allowed this experiment to proceed were his.
They, too, are part of his legacy.
Like most people, Jim Flaherty was complicated.

Source:
Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/

Harper Government Supports Families Through New Health-Related Tax Relief:
No GST/HST on naturopathic doctors’ professional services

http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-049-eng.asp
April 4, 2014
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, on behalf of Finance Minister Joe Oliver, today highlighted the Harper Government’s support for families through new health-related tax relief. Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes a number of measures to reduce the tax burden on Canadians, including health-related tax relief such as an exemption from the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) on naturopathic doctors’ professional services. Changes to the tax treatment of these services and other GST/HST health-related measures announced in Economic Action Plan 2014 became effective on February 12, 2014.

Backgrounder: Health-Related Tax Measures in Economic Action Plan 2014
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/data/14-040_1-eng.asp

Department of Finance Releases Annual Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report
http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=tp&crtr.page=2&nid=819919&crtr.tp1D=1
February 27, 2014
News Release
The Department of Finance today released the 2013 Tax Expenditures and Evaluations report. This report provides estimates and projections of the revenue impacts of federal tax measures designed to support the economic and social priorities of the Government of Canada.It also includes a statistical perspective on flow-through shares as well as a paper on the taxation of small businesses in Canada.

The release of today’s report coincides with the tabling of the Main Estimates (see below) in the House of Commons by the President of the Treasury Board.

Economic Club of Canada Address Highlights Priorities of Economic Action Plan 2014
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-004-eng.asp
January 14, 2014
Toronto, Ontario
In a speech to Toronto’s business community, Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson today outlined the Harper Government’s key priorities in shaping Economic Action Plan 2014, its low-tax plan for creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Related Products:

* Canada Ends 2013 Among the Top Growing Economies of the G-7
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-173-eng.asp
December 31, 2013

* Finance Minister Highlights Canada’s Economic Achievements in 2013
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-171-eng.asp
December 31, 2013

* Balancing act: If Canada wants to prosper, it needs to stay on firm fiscal footing
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-167-eng.asp
December 12, 2013

Source:
Department of Finance

http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

Harper Government on Track for Balanced Budget in 2015
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-138-eng.asp
October 22, 2013
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 2012–13. The report shows the continued downward track of Canada’s annual deficit. In 2012–13, the deficit fell to $18.9 billion. This was down by more than one-quarter ($7.4 billion) from the deficit of $26.3 billion in 2011–12 and down by nearly two-thirds from the $55.6-billion deficit recorded in 2009–10.

Related Documents:

Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada: Fiscal Year 2012-2013
http://www.fin.gc.ca/afr-rfa/2013/index-eng.asp

Fiscal Reference Tables – October 2013
http://www.fin.gc.ca/frt-trf/2013/frt-trf-13-eng.asp

Frequently Asked Questions About the Annual Financial Report
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/data/13-138_1-eng.asp

Government of Canada Moving Forward With Its Plan for Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-117-eng.asp
September 13, 2013

The Department of Finance today released for consultation draft legislative proposals that would implement a number of tax measures from Economic Action Plan 2013.
The draft legislative proposals include tax measures in the following areas:
*
Personal Income Tax * Business Income Tax * International Taxation * Sales Tax

Related document:

Legislative Proposals Relating to the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act, and the Income Tax Regulations
http://www.fin.gc.ca/drleg-apl/ita-lir0913-eng.asp
September 2013

Department of Finance launches public consultation on international aid
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-172-eng.asp
Ottawa, December 20, 2012
The Department of Finance today launched a public consultation on the international assistance payments it administers. The consultation is a requirement under the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act for all federal departments and agencies with foreign aid responsibilities. The feedback from the consultation will help ensure future assistance remains effective by providing the public with an opportunity to comment on the Department’s contribution to global poverty reduction, its consideration of the perspectives of those who live in poverty, and its adherence to international standards on human rights.

The consultation ended on January 31, 2013.

Related links:

Backgrounder: Department of Finance Consultation
on Official Development Assistance, 2012

http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/data/12-172_1-eng.asp

With transfers growing from record highs, Finance Ministers
positioned to focus on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-166-eng.asp
December 17, 2012
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today presented Provincial and Territorial Finance Ministers with details on transfer amounts for 2013-14, as well as on technical improvements to the Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing (TFF) programs in the context of the renewal of these programs’ enabling legislation, which expires on March 31, 2014.

Related link: Go to the Canadian Social Research Links
Canada Assistance Plan/Canada Health and Social Transfer /Canada Social Transfer Resources page.

Harper Government pre-publishes second and final tranche of Pooled Registered Pension Plan Regulations
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-132-eng.asp
October 26, 2012
News Release

The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today announced that the Harper Government has pre-published for public comment the second and final tranche of regulatory proposals to address provisions of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act (Bill C-25).

“As soon as this last package of regulations is finalized, the federal Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act (PRPP Act) and regulations will be brought into force,” said Minister Menzies. “PRPPs will then be available to the millions of Canadians without access to a workplace pension option as soon as provinces and territories implement their respective sides of the framework.”

The proposed regulations will address provisions of the PRPP Act respecting:

* General requirements with respect to providing information;
* The circumstances in which a member may withdraw funds from their PRPP account;
* The circumstances in which a member may receive variable payments from the funds in their account;
* The transfer options available to members and the conditions on the vehicles to which a member’s funds may be transferred;
* The use of electronic means to satisfy requirements under the Act for communications with plan members; and
* Other technical rules related to the implementation of the framework.

Related Documents:

* Proposed Regulations Amending the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Regulations
http://www.fin.gc.ca/drleg-apl/tranche2-eng.asp

* Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/data/12-132_1-eng.asp


NOTE : All links to info regarding PRPPs have been moved to the
Pooled Registered Pension Plans Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/prpp.htm

Canada positioned to create more jobs and growth
with Royal Assent of the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act

http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-090-eng.asp
June 26, 2013
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, welcomed Royal Assent of Bill C-60, the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1, which brings into law key measures from Economic Action Plan 2013
(...)
Key elements of the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 that will position Canada for long-term success include:
--- Extending for two years the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance for new investments in machinery and equipment by Canadian manufacturers.
--- Reforming the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to ensure that Canadians are given the first opportunity at available jobs.
--- Promoting adoption by enhancing the Adoption Expense Tax Credit to better recognize the costs of adopting a child.
--- Introducing a new, temporary First-Time Donor’s Super Credit for first-time claimants of the Charitable Donations Tax Credit to encourage all young Canadians to donate to charity.
--- Improving the fairness of the tax system.

Related Documents:

Economic Action Plan 2013 (Budget 2013 Web site):
http://www.budget.gc.ca/2013/home-accueil-eng.html

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 (LEGISinfo)
http://parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6108103
- incl. links to the text of Bill C-60 and links related to the legislative process from first draft to Royal Assent on June 26, 2013.

---

- Go to the 2013 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets_2013.htm

FEDERAL BUDGET 2013 - March 21, 2013

ECONOMIC ACTION PLAN 2013*
JOBS, GROWTH AND LONG-TERM PROSPERITY
[* formerly known as the federal budget. ]
March 21, 2013
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today unveiled the next phase of the Harper Government’s plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013.

NOTE: For links to all 2013 budget papers and related Finance Canada documents, along with budget analysis and critique from almost two dozen media and NGO sources, go to the 2013 Canadian Government Budgets Links page of this website:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets_2013.htm

* Department of Finance Releases Annual Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-028-eng.asp
February 25
The Department of Finance today released the
2012 Tax Expenditures and Evaluations report:
[ http://www.fin.gc.ca/taxexp-depfisc/2012/taxexp12-eng.asp ].
This report provides estimates and projections of the revenue impacts of federal tax measures designed to support the economic and social priorities of the Government of Canada. (...) The release of this year’s Tax Expenditures and Evaluations report has been coordinated with the tabling in the House of Commons of the Main Estimates by the President of the Treasury Board [see the next link below], and will continue to be coordinated in this manner in future years.

Related link:

Government Expenditure Plan and Main Estimates, 2013-2014
http://tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/esp-pbc/me-bpd-eng.asp

Government of Canada to Start Fiscal Year off Right
with $4.9-billion Decline in Planned Voted Expenditures
http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=722679
News Release
February 25, 2013
Ottawa – The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today tabled Main Estimates for 2013-14 that reflect the Government of Canada's ongoing commitment to finding savings and returning to balanced budgets.

Department of Finance Releases Annual Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-002-eng.asp
News Release
January 9, 2012
The Department of Finance today released the 2011 Tax Expenditures and Evaluations report. This report provides estimates and projections of the revenue impacts of federal tax measures designed to support the economic and social priorities of the Government of Canada.The publication reflects tax relief measures from the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Harper Government’s low-tax plan for jobs and growth. (...) The report includes an analytical paper entitled “Distributional Impact of the Federal Personal Income Tax System and Refundable Credits: Analysis by Income, Sex, Age and Family Status” as well as an evaluation of the Public Transit Tax Credit, introduced in July 2006.

Related Document:

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations 2011
http://www.fin.gc.ca/taxexp-depfisc/2011/taxexp11-eng.asp
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface
Part 1—Tax Expenditures: Estimates and Projections
Introduction
Caveats
What's New in the 2011 Report
The Tax Expenditures
Part 2—Tax Evaluations and Research Reports
Distributional Impact of the Federal Personal Income Tax System and Refundable Credits: Analysis by Income, Sex, Age and Family Status
Evaluation of the Public Transit Tax Credit
[ PDF version of the complete report - 1MB, 67 pages:
http://www.fin.gc.ca/taxexp-depfisc/2011/taxexp11-eng.pdf ]

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

Related link:

Flaherty’s tax credits cost Ottawa billions
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/flahertys-tax-credits-costing-ottawa-billions/article2296695/
By Bill Curry
January 9, 2012
The myriad tax credits introduced by Jim Flaherty before the recession are now placing an added strain on Ottawa’s bottom line as the Finance Minister prepares to wrestle a $31-billion deficit. In his first few federal budgets, Mr. Flaherty created a wide range of tax breaks aimed at specific elements of the population. Groups on the receiving end of new deductions included construction workers, public transit riders, seniors and parents of sporty kids. The credits featured prominently in government advertising, allowing the Conservatives to target their message toward various segments of the population.
A Finance Canada report released Monday provides an update as to how much these and other credits – which the government officially calls “tax expenditures” – now cost the federal government in terms of lost revenue.

[ 765 comments:
http://goo.gl/4dnUR ]

Source:
Globe and Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Government of Canada Releases 2010-2011 Annual Financial Report
News Release
October 12, 2011
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 2010–11, which shows a 40-per-cent reduction in the deficit from 2009–10. The deficit was also $2.8 billion lower than forecast in the June 2011 budget due to higher revenues and lower program expenses than forecast.

Related Documents:

* Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada: Fiscal Year 2010–2011
* Fiscal Reference Tables - October 2011

---

< Begin 1st rant in awhile. .>

WTF? This is Progress?
In the good old days, that is, pre-Harper Government™ days, one could access all federal govt. news releases from a single, convenient page on the federal government website. In the New Order of Things, I accessed the Canada News Centre website earlier today looking for a particular news release from a few months ago.
WTF?
I f you click the link in the previous sentence, you'll find ONE release (as at 9am on November 13) about a telecommunications agreement with Mexico --- after all, the page *is* entitled "Today's National News and Information". If you're seeking something that predates TODAY, though, toughski shitski. There isn't a link or a button or even a brief instruction regarding what to do if you want something that predates today
(HINT : You can find links to earlier releases, but only by typing the name of the desired month into the search box in the top right-hand corner of the page.)
Thanks for the user-friendly interface, Government of Canada Canada News Centre web design shmucks.

< /End 1st rant in awhile. .>

Government launches Employment Insurance rate-setting consultations
News Release
August 18, 2011
(...) The consultations will focus on how the EI rate-setting mechanism can be further improved to ensure more stable and predictable rates, while:
* Ensuring the EI program breaks even over time;
* Avoiding large cumulative surpluses or deficits; and
* Maintaining a transparent rate-setting process.
(...) As previously announced, a web-based consultation process will invite written recommendations.

The Government committed to consulting on the EI rate-setting mechanism with last September’s announcement that it was limiting the potential increase in EI premiums to 5 cents per $100 of insurable earnings for 2011 and 10 cents for subsequent years.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Individuals interested in participating in the consultations
online are invited to do so through the main consultation link:
http://www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/eiprs-etcac-eng.asp

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Closing date of this consultation is November 30, 2011.
These consultations are open to anybody interested in participating.
Submissions can be emailed to ei-consultations-ae@fin.gc.ca

Related Document:

Employment Insurance Premium Rate Setting
NOTE: this link takes you to a section of the main consultation link above.

Major federal transfer payments to
provinces and territories for 2010-11 and for 2011-12:

Ensuring a Strong Retirement System, Support for Provinces
and Territories While Moving Towards Budget Balance

December 20, 2010
If you click the link above AND scroll down to the bottom of that page, you'll find a table showing major federal transfer payments to provinces and territories for 2010-11 and for 2011-12. See the "Federal Transfers" link below for information on the provincial-territorial programs that these major federal transfers cover.
Source:
Canada News Centre

Also from Finance Canada:

Federal Transfers to Provinces and Territories : There are four main transfer programs: the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), the Canada Social Transfer (CST), Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing (TFF).

 

Federal support for children investments over time
- includes a brief program description of, and some financial information about, the following federal programs:
* The Universal Child Care Plan (2006-2007), including the Universal Child Care Benefit and increased support for child care spaces
* The Early learning and Child Care Initiative (2005)
* Early Learning and Child Care Framework Agreement (2003)
* Support for First Nations and Aboriginal Children
* Provincial and Territorial Allocation of Funds
* Early Childhood Development Agreemen (2000)
Source:
Federal Transfers to Provinces and Territories
[ Part of Activities and Issues ]

---

Canada’s Finance Minister Highlights Tax Breaks for Canadians
News Release
October 18, 2010
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today highlighted the tax measures that the Government of Canada has implemented to reduce the tax burden on Canadians. (...)
Key tax breaks for Canadian families, individuals and small businesses include:
* All Canadians—even those who do not earn enough to pay personal income tax—are benefiting from the 2-percentage-point reduction in the Goods and Services Tax rate.
* All taxpayers are benefiting from the reduction in the lowest personal income tax rate to 15 per cent from 16 per cent.
* The Tax-Free Savings Account is improving incentives to save through a flexible, registered general-purpose account that allows Canadians to earn tax-free investment income.
* A reduction of the federal income tax rate applying to qualifying small business income to 11 per cent in 2008 and an increase in the amount of income eligible for this lower rate to $500,000 in 2009.

---

Economic Forecast Shows Federal Government Is on the Right Track
October 12, 2010
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released an update of the Government's economic and fiscal projections. The update clearly demonstrates that Canada remains on track to return to a balanced budget over the medium term. (...) Canada's Economic Action Plan has underpinned a solid and enviable economic recovery, and Canada has recouped virtually all of the output lost during the recession. As a result of this solid economic performance, nearly 423,000 jobs have been created in Canada since July 2009.

Related documents:

* Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections
* Speech by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance to the Mississauga Chinese Business Association
* Fiscal Reference Tables October 2010
* Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada Fiscal Year 2009–2010

----------------

Minister of Finance Introduces the Sustaining Canada’s Economic Recovery Act
News Release
September 30, 2010
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today continued the Government of Canada’s focus on the economy by introducing the Sustaining Canada’s Economic Recovery Act in the House of Commons. The Act, which includes measures from Budget 2010, represents a key component of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. (...)
The Act includes measures to:
Help Canadian Families Get Ahead
* Indexing the Working Income Tax Benefit
* Allowing Registered Retirement Savings Plan proceeds to be transferred to a Registered Disability Savings Plan on a tax-deferred basis
* Allowing a 10-year carry forward for Registered Disability Savings Plan grants and bonds
* Implementing Employee Life and Health Trusts
* Further strengthening federally regulated pension plans
Cut Red Tape
Close Down Tax Loopholes
Protect Consumers
Promote Clean Energy
More details on these and other measures from Budget 2010 are available at www.budget.gc.ca

-------------------------------------------

Selected media coverage:


From
Finance Canada:

Task Force on Financial Literacy in Canada

Harper Government Welcomes Task Force Report on Financial Literacy
News Release
February 9, 2011
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec), today welcomed the final report of the Task Force on Financial Literacy. The report, entitled Canadians and Their Money, makes recommendations for a cohesive national strategy to support initiatives across Canada aimed at improving financial literacy for all Canadians.
Source:

The Task Force report:

Canadians and Their Money:
Building a brighter financial future
Full Document:
HTML version
PDF version
(1.4MB, 106 pages)
Main report sections:
* Financial Literacy Challenges and Opportunities in Canada * National Strategy on Financial Literacy * Shared Responsibility * Leadership and Collaboration * Lifelong Learning (incl. Take-up of Government Benefits and Programs for Saving) * Delivery and Promotion * Accountability * Conclusion: The Way Forward
Appendix A: Summary of Recommendations

Summary (PDF - 1 MB, 4 pages)

Backgrounder: Task Force on Financial Literacy

-----------------------

Related links:

Task Force on Financial Literacy in Canada
In the 2009 budget, the Minister of Finance announced his intention to establish a national task force dedicated to the issue of financial literacy. Appointed in June 2009, the Task Force on Financial Literacy is comprised of 13 members, drawn from the business and education sectors, community organizations and academia.
- incl. links to : * Home * About the Task Force * Report of the Task Force * Consulting with Canadians* Media * Contact Us * Links

Financial Literacy and the Take-up of Government Benefits (PDF - 585K, 41 pages)
Research paper prepared for the
Task Force on Financial Literacy
By Richard Shillington
File dated February 4, 2011
- includes detailed information on the utilization of government benefits for saving, child-rearing, education and retirement in Canada
(Old Age Security - Guaranteed Income Supplement - Canada Pension Plan - Disability Benefits - Student Loans - more...)
Source:
Research Commissioned by the Task Force on Financial Literacy
- links to 13 research reports on various aspects of financial literacy

Money Management on a Shoestring:
A Critical Literature Review of Financial Literacy & Low-income People
(PDF - 654K, 102 pages)
Research paper prepared for the
Task Force on Financial Literacy
By Jerry Buckland, Menno Simons College (Winnipeg)
File dated February 4, 2011
This report examines evidence from the academic and policy literature about the financial literacy of low-income people. The purposes of the study are to provide a critical review of evidence about low-income people’s financial literacy measurement, the programs used to promote their financial literacy, and the information uncovered about the programs by evaluations. Finally, the study was to provide recommendations about how policies might be more supportive for building low-income people’s financial literacy.
- includes findings related to the measurement of financial literacy, drawing on results from several national surveys, including four from Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

-------------------------

Related articles
in the media:

Ottawa must honour millions in unclaimed pension benefits
February 11, 2011
When Canadians are neglecting to collect benefits to which they are entitled, governments should take that as a sign that there is a financial literacy gap and make an effort to close it. That means they should be doing more to contact the 150,000 people who qualify for, but are not receiving, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, which is only available to the lowestincome seniors. They need to find out why another 160,000 eligible seniors are not collecting their Old Age Security benefits.
Source:
Vancouver Sun

---

Evidence of financial illiteracy?
Thousands fail to collect government benefits

By Jonathan Chevreau
February 9, 2011
After 18 months, the Task Force on Financial Literacy has delivered a 106-page report (86 if you don’t count appendixes) to federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. (...) There are 30 main recommendations, beginning with the call to appoint a national Financial Literacy Leader reporting to Mr. Flaherty. It wants to make financial literacy an “essential skill” in the government’s Essential Skills Framework and wants all the provinces and school boards to jump aboard. (...) It also urges the creation of a “single source website for financial literacy” and recommends that financial firms and regulators intensify their efforts to combat fraud. (...)
Low take-up of government benefits
The report shows some interesting stats on the need for financial literacy when it comes to taking up government benefits. It says 160,000 eligible seniors don’t get Old Age Security ($1 billion worth); 150,000 don’t get the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and 55,000 aren’t getting the Canada Pension Plan. Also, the take up for the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) is just 40% while the median RRSP contribution represents only 6% of total eligible room. That’s my definition of being financially illiterate — failing to take free money when it’s available.
Source:
Financial Post

---

Billions in government benefits unclaimed by Canadians: task force
By Andrew Duffy
February 9, 2011
Billions of dollars worth of government benefits are going unclaimed by Canadians, according to a federal task force on financial literacy. The task force, which reported Wednesday, said the government should simplify its programs and application forms to ensure more Canadians benefit from the financial support to which they're entitled. (...) A research report prepared for the task force examined why some government programs have such poor "take-up" rates. Those rates are considered an important measure of financial literacy. The report concluded that language and poverty often present barriers, particularly when the programs or application forms are complex. "Lower-income Canadians face distinct financial literacy challenges in being aware of and accessing the very government programs that are targeted to them," concluded researcher Richard Shillington.
Source:
Vancouver Sun

 

Ottawa vows to be ‘fair and reasonable’ on stimulus deadline
By Bill Curry
September 27, 2010
The federal government is softening its use-it or-lose-it stand on federal stimulus cash, promising to be “fair and reasonable” in cases where projects are at risk of missing the March 31, 2011 deadline. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty made the comments Monday in Montreal, where he released the government’s latest update on federal stimulus spending. The government’s 149 page report gives itself top marks for following through on pledges to get stimulus money into the economy as promised.
Source:
Globe and Mail

---

Flaherty wavers on end date for stimulus spending
September 27, 2010
By Les Whittington and Richard J. Brennan
OTTAWA—Finance Minister Jim Flaherty for the first time appears to be wavering on his insistence that Ottawa’s economic bailout plan must come to a halt on March 31, 2011. Leaving the door open for additional measures to prop up the economy, Flaherty said today that “temporary stimulus measures” will be wound down “as the economy recovers.” He made the comment in Montreal as he released the government’s sixth report on implementation of its $48-billion, two-year bailout program
Source:
Toronto Star

---

September 13, 2010
OECD Lauds Canada's Good Economic and Fiscal Performance
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today issued the following statement on the release of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Economic Survey of Canada, which is published every two years:“I am pleased that the survey recognizes Canada’s inherent domestic strengths and policy actions that ensured that as a country we were in far better shape than any other major industrialized country. The survey lauds Canada’s economic and fiscal performance and policy initiatives..."
Source:
Department of Finance Canada

Related links:

Canada : Structural reforms key to boosting long-term growth
13-Sep-2010
Canada’s economic recovery is set to slow over the short term. Boosting jobs and competition and containing healthcare costs would help strengthen future growth, according to the OECD Economic Survey of Canada.

Overview of
OECD Economic Surveys: Canada, September 2010
(PDF - 3.3MB, 16 pages)
- incl. summary, assessment and recommendations, chapter summaries, highlights, links to additional information, and more...
Source:
OECD Economics Department
[ Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development - OECD ]

Looking for more Canadian content on the OECD website?
www.oecd.org/canada

... is a one-stop-shop for OECD reports and statistics on Canada. Browse the documents in chronological order or by topic (e.g. economy, trade, development, environment, energy, social issues).

---

Media:

Canada rode recession well but should cut health costs: OECD
September 12, 2010
MONTREAL — Canada's economic policies and conservative banking culture helped the country weather the global financial crisis, but the government should lower health care spending to stave off debt, a report said Monday.
Source:
AFP - International new

---

World Economic Forum Ranks Canadian Banks
Soundest in the World for the Third Consecutive Year

September 9, 2010
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty : "I am very pleased to see the World Economic Forum has ranked Canada’s banking system as the soundest in the world for the third consecutive year. Canada’s banks and other financial institutions are sound and well-capitalized, and were less highly leveraged than their international peers heading into the financial crisis. In contrast to many other countries, none of Canada’s banks required bailouts."
Source:
Department of Finance Canada

Related links:

From the
World Economic Forum:

The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011
Main page of the report --- includes links to all related materials: top ten rankings, the Global Competitiveness Index Analyzer, media coverage, video interviews with the study co-authors, country studies (incl. Canada) (PDF - 283K, 2 pages), and more...

The complete report:

The Global Competitiveness Report 2010–2011 (PDF - 5.1MB, 515 pages)

The news release:

United States Falls in Competitiveness Rankings
Beijing
9 September 2010
Switzerland tops the overall rankings in The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011, released today by the World Economic Forum ahead of its Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2010 in Tianjin. The United States falls two places to fourth position, overtaken by Sweden (2nd) and Singapore (3rd), after already ceding the top place to Switzerland last year.
[FYI - Canada slipped from 9th place to 10th place from 2009-2010 to 2010-2011, according to table 4 of the report.]
Source:
The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011

To put these numbers in perspective, Table 4 of the 2006-2007 Global Competitiveness Index rankings (PDF - 227K, 1 page) shows that the U.S. was #1 during that year and Canada was #12.
[ earlier competitiveness reports ]

Source:
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests. The World Economic Forum is under the supervision of the Swiss Federal Government.

- Go to the Federal Government Department Links (Agriculture to Finance) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/fedbkmrk.htm

----------------------------

At 3:19pm on Friday afternoon ("Maybe no one will notice, eh?"), Finance Canada sent out an email announcing a consultation on "draft legislative proposals to implement tax measures from Budget 2010 along with several previously announced tax initiatives."
The consultation ends September 27.

August 27, 2010
Government of Canada Releases Consultation Draft of Legislative Tax Proposals

Related Document:

Legislative Proposals relating to the Income Tax Act,
the Air Travellers Security Charge Act, the Excise Act, 2001, and the Excise Tax Act

The proposals released today include draft legislation to:
* Provide for the sharing of the Canada Child Tax Benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit in cases of shared custody.
* Allow Registered Retirement Savings Plan proceeds to be transferred to a Registered Disability Savings Plan on a tax-deferred basis.
* Implement disbursement quota reform for registered charities.
* Better target the tax incentives in place for employee stock options.
* Expand the availability of accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation.
* Adjust the capital cost allowance rate for television set-top boxes to better reflect the useful life of these assets.
* Clarify the definition of a principal-business corporation for the purposes of the rules relating to Canadian Renewable and Conservation Expenses.
* Introduce amendments consequential to the introduction in 2011 of new International Financial Reporting Standards by the Accounting Standards Board.
* Provide legislative authority for the Canada Revenue Agency to issue online notices where the taxpayer so requests.
* Implement a new reporting regime for aggressive tax planning, taking into account comments received during post-budget consultations.
* Replace the previous proposals relating to foreign investment entities with several limited enhancements to the current Income Tax Act and better target and simplify previous proposals relating to non-resident trusts, taking into account comments received during post-budget consultations.
* Counter schemes designed to shelter tax otherwise payable by artificially increasing foreign tax credits.
* Ensure that income trust conversions into corporations are subject to the same loss utilization rules that currently apply to similar transactions involving only corporations.
* Limit tax arbitrage opportunities by extending the application of the Specified Leasing Property rules to property that is the subject of a lease to a government or other tax-exempt entity, or to a non-resident.

The draft legislative proposals also include other previously announced measures identified in Budget 2010, as modified to take into account consultations and deliberations since their release, as well as an income tax amendment relating to the enactment of the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act:

* The Paperwork Burden Reduction Initiative for small excise taxpayers, announced by the Minister of National Revenue on March 31, 2009.
* Measures relating to the income taxation of shareholders of foreign affiliates, previously released in draft form on December 18, 2009.
* Rules to facilitate the implementation of Employee Life and Health Trusts, released in draft form on February 26, 2010.
* The introduction of a personal income tax credit in respect of Employment Insurance premiums paid by self-employed individuals.

References to “Announcement Date” are to be read as references to today’s date. Explanatory notes to the legislative proposals will be posted on the Department of Finance website shortly.

Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the draft legislative proposals by September 27, 2010.

-----------------------------

NOTE : I don't generally copy Finance Canada news releases into my site and newsletter, but whenever the Harper government releases something late on a Friday, I hear even louder alarm bells than usual...

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Minister of Finance Moves to Enhance Protection for Private Pension Plan Members
News Release
May 3, 2010
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today proposed changes to federally regulated private pension plans that will enhance protection for plan members, reduce funding volatility and modernize the rules for investments by pension funds.

Related Documents:

* Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement
* Regulations

---

Minister of Finance Releases Draft Proposals on Tax-Free Savings Accounts
News Release
April 30, 2010
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released for consultation a package of draft Income Tax Act amendments relating to Tax-Free Savings Accounts. These proposed amendments, when enacted, will implement the measures announced in the October 16, 2009 news release entitled Government of Canada Proposes Technical Changes Concerning Tax-Free Savings Accounts.

The accompanying explanatory notes provide additional details regarding the proposed legislative amendments.
Interested stakeholders have until May 31, 2010, to submit comments on the proposed amendments.

Related Documents:

* Draft Legislation
* Explanatory Notes

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

---

Government of Canada Support to Provinces and Territories at an All-Time High
December 18, 2009
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, announced today that total transfers to provinces and territories will increase by $2.4 billion in 2010-11, bringing total federal support to $54.4 billion, the highest level ever. “Our Government is pleased to be providing unprecedented and growing federal transfer support that will help to provide the services, programs and assistance that Canadians rely upon, particularly in these difficult economic times,” said Minister Flaherty. “Transfers in support of health care and social services are a top priority for our Government as we transition our economy through the current challenging economic times.” Equalization payments to provinces for 2010-11 will total $14.4 billion, an increase of $187 million. The overall program is growing in line with the economy, with provincial amounts reflecting changes in the ability of provinces to raise revenues.
- includes a table showing Transfer Payments to Provinces and Territories for 2009-2010 and 2010-11.
Source:
Department of Finance Canada

Related link from Finance Canada:

Federal Transfers to Provinces and Territories
There are four main transfer programs: the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), the Canada Social Transfer (CST), Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing (TFF).

- Go to the Canada Assistance Plan / Canada Health and Social Transfer / Canada Social Transfer Resources page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/cap.htm

---

Government of Canada Launches Consultations on the Second Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan
Québec City, December 11, 2009
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today launched national consultations in Québec City to give Canadians the opportunity to voice their views on how to best lead Canada to full economic recovery as the Government prepares its 2010 budget – the second phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan. Consultations in other cities will be announced later in December and January. (...)
The Government will be seeking responses from Canadians on a number of questions, including:
* To what extent has Canada's Economic Action Plan been effective in stimulating activity in their industry, sector or community?
* What suggestions do they have for improving the effectiveness of the Government's stimulus measures or the speed of their delivery?
* What steps should the Government take to improve the competitiveness of the Canadian economy and ensure that Canada continues to attract investment and create jobs once the recovery is achieved and the Economic Action Plan is wound down?
* Over what time period should the Government bring the budget back into balance?

Consulting with Canadians website
The Government is asking Canadians for their views on these issues as well as any other ideas they care to submit.

---

Canada's Economic Action Plan: A Fourth Report to Canadians
December 2, 2009
The Fourth Report to Canadians shows that 97 per cent of stimulus funding in Canada's Economic Action Plan has been committed to more than 12,000 infrastructure and housing projects. About 8,000 or 66 per cent of these projects have already begun in the 10 months since the two-year plan was launched.
[ News Release ]
[ Backgrounder ]
[ Speech on the release of the report - Winnipeg, Manitoba ]

Related links:

* A Third Report to Canadians - September 2009
* A Second Report to Canadians - June 2009
* A First Report to Canadians - March 2009

ActionPlan.gc.ca
- incl. links to:
* THE CHALLENGE * WHAT HAS BEEN DONE * THE PLAN * THE ROLLOUT * WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

---

Government of Canada Moves to Implement
Home Renovation Tax Credit and Other Outstanding Measures
September 14, 2009
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today tabled in the House of Commons a detailed Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement the Home Renovation Tax Credit as well as other measures, several of which are outstanding from Budget 2009. (...)
In addition to the Home Renovation Tax Credit, the Motion:
* Implements the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit.
* Enhances the benefits provided under the Working Income Tax Benefit.
* Extends the existing tax deferral available to farmers in prescribed drought regions to farmers who dispose of breeding livestock because of flood or excessive moisture, and describes the regions prescribed either as eligible flood or drought regions from 2007 to 2009.
* Amends the Customs Tariff to relax the conditions relating to temporarily imported shipping containers.
Related Documents:
* Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on January 27, 2009 and to implement other measures
* Explanatory Notes to Legislative Proposals Relating to Income Tax

---

Finance Ministers Indicate Canada Pension Plan is Financially Sound
May 25, 2009
Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Finance, as joint stewards of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), today announced the results of the program's triennial review at the close of their annual spring meetings at Meech Lake. The review confirms that the CPP, a key pillar of Canada's retirement income system, remains on a sound financial footing. "The CPP is well positioned to weather the current market turbulence," said the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance. "Canadians can count on an affordable CPP today and for the future." The CPP provides over 3.6 million retired Canadians with benefits of up to $909 per month.

Related document:

Information Paper: Proposed Changes
to the Canada Pension Plan
Proposed by Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Finance
Ottawa, May 25, 2009
(...) The proposed changes will provide greater flexibility for older workers to combine pension and work income if they so wish; modestly expand pension coverage; and improve fairness in the Plan’s flexible retirement provisions.
(...) The proposed changes will begin to come into force in 2011 following approval by the Parliament of Canada and provincial governments.

< COMMENT:
I think it's wonderful that one of the proposed changes to CPP will allow people to continue working while receiving their CPP benefits. But the economic downturn is happening NOW, not in 2011, when the CPP changes will "begin" to come into force. Any change to the CPP requires the support of two-thirds of the provinces and territories, so if all Canadian ministers of Finance support the changes, they can fast-track the process of changing the CPP much more expeditiously.
... and I don't think that most of them *wish* to keep combining pension and work income, by the way --- they have to.>

Related links:

Consultation on pensions in Canada
"Strengthening the Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Private Pension Plans
Subject to the Pension Benefit Standards Act, 1985
"
- launched January 2009
- closing date for input: May 31, 2009
- incl. links to two consultation documents from the Department of Finance

Responses/Submissions from the public
- links to dozens of responses (to the consultations documents) submitted to the consultation
by union representatives, pension plan representatives and employer pension representatives.

Ottawa plans to ease pension rules
Revamp will let early pensioners keep their jobs
May 26, 2009
Source:
Calgary Herald

---

From the
Toronto Star
:

$7M bonus as CPP loses $24B
May 29, 2009
OTTAWA–Four top executives of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board pocketed nearly $7 million in bonuses this year despite losing $24 billion of taxpayers' money in bad investments, according to the board's annual report released yesterday.

Reform pensions now, expert says
Canada should admit millions of its citizens will never get the retirement
May 29, 2009

Patchy pensions leave too many exposed
May 27, 2009
By Carol Goar
(...) Today, Canada has a half-built pension system. It serves a fortunate minority relatively well, but leaves many workers facing a bleak retirement. No one is utterly destitute. All seniors are entitled to a monthly old age security payment. And those who belonged to the workforce receive a Canada Pension Plan. But these public programs are designed to provide a modest base on which to build a private retirement income. And millions of workers simply can't. The lucky ones – 38.5 per cent of working Canadians – have a company pension. But their luck is running out...

[ more columns by Carol Goar ]
Source:
Toronto Star

-----------------------------

Government Implements Pension Measures
News Release
March 27 2009
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released regulations to provide temporary solvency funding relief for federally regulated defined benefit pension plans. The measures cover plans established for employees working in areas that fall under federal jurisdiction. These plans currently represent 7 per cent of all private pension plans in Canada, accounting for approximately 12 per cent of pension assets.
Related documents:
* Solvency Funding Relief Regulations
* Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement
(Click the above news release link to access these documents)

-----------------------------

Canadians Can Track Progress of Economic Action Plan
Website helps hold governments and parliamentarians accountable
News Release
Ottawa, March 11, 2009
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance today unveiled ActionPlan.gc.ca, a comprehensive new Government of Canada website that will allow Canadians to hold governments and public officials accountable for action on the economy. (...) ActionPlan.gc.ca includes details of Canada's Economic Action Plan, with links to specifics of initiatives and projects as they are announced. It also explains the roots of the global financial crisis and Canada's relative performance. The website will help Canadians to assess how well parliamentarians, provincial and territorial governments, businesses and others are contributing to positive action on the economy. The website will be updated regularly.

ActionPlan.gc.ca
- incl. links to:
* THE CHALLENGE * WHAT HAS BEEN DONE * THE PLAN * THE ROLLOUT * WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Canada's Economic Action Plan:
First Quarterly Report
News Release
March 10, 2009
Today the Harper Government released its first quarterly report on the progress of Canada’s Economic Action Plan – the Government’s broad and aggressive response to the global recession

Complete report
Foreword
Report in Brief
Chapter 1: Canada's Economic Action Plan
Chapter 2: Accountability Framework
Chapter 3: Working With Domestic and International Partners
Chapter 4: Progress Achieved to Date
Chapter 5: Conclusion and Next Steps

Related link from Finance Canada:

March 11 2009
International Monetary Fund Supports Stimulus Measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today welcomed an International Monetary Fund (IMF) statement of support for the fiscal stimulus in Canada's Economic Action Plan, which it called "large, timely and well-targeted." Noting the stimulus package is well above the Fund's benchmark of 2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), the IMF statement said the immediate focus should be to implement the budget to mobilize spending.

-----------------------------

Public pension consultations, March/April 2009:
Is this the beginning of the end of the "Cadillac" (indexed) pension for federal civil servants?

A real world solution for public pensions
By Mark Sutcliffe
March 7, 2009
"(...) What's good for the PS is good for Ottawa. But it's fair to ask whether a cherished benefit awarded to members of the public service should last forever. While the federal government begins looking at how to clean up the mess that has become of many private-sector pension funds, legislators at all levels may want to also consider this difficult question: Should we consider phasing out the defined-benefit, fully indexed pensions that are standard for government employees? (...) There's not much that can or should be done about existing public employees, who are contractually guaranteed their benefits. But could governments move toward establishing a defined-contribution plan, like those at most private-sector employers, for new public servants? Someday, should government workers carry as much of the burden for saving for their own retirement as everyone else? Thanks to union agreements, it won't be an easy process. But it's worth considering. Some may tremble at any element of uncertainty being introduced into public-sector pensions. Others would respond, welcome to the real world.
Source:
The Ottawa Citizen

---

Department of Finance Releases Schedule for Pension Consultations
News Release
March 4, 2009
The Department of Finance announced further details on the public consultations across Canada on the legislative and regulatory framework for federally regulated private pension plans, which are scheduled to begin March 13. The Government released a discussion paper [ PDF - 107K, 23 pages ] seeking views from Canadians on this issue on January 9. It followed up by announcing in Budget 2009: Canada's Economic Action Plan (January 27, 2009) that the national consultations will be chaired by Ted Menzies, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.
- click the news release link above to access the scheduled dates and locations for the consultations.
- consultations will be held in :
Ottawa (March 13) - Halifax (March 17) - Montréal (March 18) - Toronto (March 20) - Vancouver (April 14) - Whitehorse (April 15) - Edmonton (April 16) - Winnipeg (April 17)

The federal government regulates private pension plans that are subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985. These plans cover areas of employment under federal jurisdiction, including banking, telecommunications and interprovincial transportation. These plans currently represent 7 per cent of all private pension plans in Canada, accounting for approximately 12 per cent of pension assets. Canadians who wish to attend these consultations or send submissions on the discussion paper are invited to submit an e-mail to this address: pensions@fin.gc.ca

Related links:

Minister of Finance Launches National Consultations on Private Pensions
News Release
February 23, 2009

Budget 2009: Canada's Economic Action Plan - January 27, 2009

Minister of Finance Releases Discussion Paper on Private Pensions
News Release
January 9, 2009

Strengthening the Legislative and Regulatory Framework
for Private Pension Plans Subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985

[ PDF version - 107K, 23 pages ]
January 2009
- incl. contact information for anyone wishing to submit any comments on the discussion paper

The closing date for these consultations was April 17.

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

---

Budget 2009: Canada’s Economic Action Plan
January 27, 2009
-----------------------
NOTE : all links to the 2009 federal Budget appear on
the 2009 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets.htm

---

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations 2008 (PDF - 534K, 48 pages)
2008 (PDF file dated 12-08)
Tax Expenditures and Evaluations, is published on an annual basis. It provides estimates and projections for broadly defined tax expenditures as well as evaluations and descriptive papers addressing specific tax measures. This year’s edition includes an analytical paper entitled “Considerations in Setting Canada’s Corporate Income Tax Rate." [Excerpt from the Preface]
Source:
Government of Canada Tax Expenditures
Source of information for the analysis of the Canadian tax system. Provides information on the federal income tax system (corporate and personal) as well as the goods and services tax (GST).
- includes links to all editions of this report - including the 2008 report and one for each year going back to 1995 (but no link to a report for 1996).

---

January 2, 2009
Government helps Canadians maximize their savings with the new Tax-Free Savings Account
January 2, 2009
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture), and Mr. Peter Aceto, President and CEO of ING DIRECT Canada, today welcomed the availability of the new Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) introduced by the Government of Canada in the 2008 Budget.

---

Tax-Free Savings Account (Govt. of Canada website)
- incl. links to : * Home * TFSA and you * TFSA calculator * TFSA vs RRSP * TFSA and the economy * TFSA and seniors * Income-tested benefits * Things to know * More information

---

December 31, 2008
Canada’s Government Provides Individuals, Families and Businesses Important New Tax Relief for 2009
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty today took the opportunity to inform Canadians of new tax relief measures that will benefit them in 2009.
(...)
The following measures come into effect in 2009:
* The introduction of the Tax-Free Savings Account, which will allow Canadians to set money aside in eligible investments and watch those savings grow tax-free throughout their lifetimes;
* The reduction of the general corporate income tax rate to 19 per cent from 19.5 per cent. Overall, the general corporate income tax rate is being reduced from 22.12 per cent (including the corporate surtax) in 2007 to 15 per cent by 2012;
* The extension of accelerated capital cost allowance treatment for three years for investment in manufacturing or processing machinery and equipment; and
* As part of the fifth Protocol to the Canada-U.S. Tax Treaty, the reduction in the rate of withholding tax on interest payments from Canada to non-arm’s length U.S. lenders from 7 per cent to 4 per cent. The withholding tax on non-arm’s-length interest paid between Canada and the United States will be completely eliminated as of 2010.

* Backgrounder – Summary of Federal Tax Relief for 2008 and 2009

---

Government Launches National Consultation on Budget Actions to Protect Canada’s Economy
December 11, 2008

Related documents:

Federal Budget 2009 Consultations PART DEUX*
December 11, 2008
"The following ideas have been proposed as ways of providing stimulus in Budget 2009. Please rank them according to the priority they should have in the Government’s plan. If you’ve got another idea, rank that one as well. You will have the opportunity to spell out your ideas on the next screen."
Here are the six ideas you are asked to rank:
* Expedite Infrastructure Spending
* Invest in Housing
* Build strong sustainable labour markets and training incentives
* Support traditional and emerging industrial sectors
* Improve Access to Credit
* Your Idea: If you believe Budget 2009 should have a different stimulus priority, assign a ranking to this box. You will be able to explain this priority on the next screen

Fiscal Stimulus - Budget 2009 Consultations
Powerpoint-type presentation

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

<*Begin government consultation supporter rant: December 20, 2008>

Hey, Finance Canada website team --- here's a tip to make it easier for ordinary Canadians to participate in your pre-budget consultations:
QUIT CHANGING THE FRIKKIN' URL FOR THE CONSULTATIONS PAGE!!

On December 11, when Finance Canada launched its pre-budget consultation, the link was called:
Online Pre-Budget Consultations for Budget 2009

(I copied the link name and URL directly from the Finance Canada website)
Today (December 19), I received a friendly email from a visitor to my site to inform me that "my" link to the federal pre-budget consultation website was broken.
I clicked the link to see for myself (as you can, by clicking the link above) --- the click took me to a Finance Canada error page with two options : the Finance Dept. website search engine and the sitemap of the departmental website .
I selected the Finance Canada search engine option, entered "2009 budget consultation" in the search box and hit "Search Now". On the results page, I had to scroll down to the 14th link to find the "Fiscal Stimulus" presentation, and there was no other link (among the "best 63 results") to the 2009 budget consultation. PLEASE Fix your search engine so that it returns relevant results.
The sitemap of Finance Canada's website is the second option offered on the error page, and it's about as useful as the search engine. It offers links to federal budgets for 2005 to 2008 - not one word about the 2009 budget consultations.

Bottom Line:
If you *must* change your URLs after you've sent out emails to everyone on your list (which is not very swift in the first place), don't give people two options that are equally useless. Either TEST the options to ensure that they lead visitors to the correct information, or just tell people in your error message that they should start from the home page of the departmental website, where there is a clear link to the 2009 budget consultation page.

</End government consultation supporter rant.>

---

Government of Canada Releases Explanatory Notes for Tax Improvements Tabled on November 28, 2008
December 4, 2008
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released explanatory notes for the provisions included in the detailed Notice of Ways and Means Motion that was tabled on November 28, 2008. The Motion includes a number of tax initiatives outstanding from the 2008 budget as well as other tax changes, most of which were released in July 2008 in draft form for consultation (see News Release 2008-054). As proposed in the 2008 Economic and Fiscal Statement, the Motion also includes provisions to reduce by 25 per cent the minimum amount that an individual must withdraw from his or her Registered Retirement Income Fund in 2008. Under these provisions, if more than the new reduced minimum amount has already been withdrawn, the excess (up to the original minimum amount) can be re-contributed. Similar rules will apply to variable benefit money purchase Registered Pension Plans. The explanatory notes also include details of relieving refinements to the Department of Finance’s guidelines on the "normal growth" limits that apply to specified investment flow-through entities and partnerships.

Related document

* Explanatory Notes relating to the Income Tax
Act, the Excise Act, 2001 and the Excise Tax Act

---

Government of Canada Moves Quickly on Seniors’ Tax Relief and Other Outstanding Measures
News Release
November 28, 2008
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, acted today to implement the one-time tax relief for holders of Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) that was announced in the Government’s 2008 Economic and Fiscal Statement. The measure, along with several initiatives outstanding from the 2008 budget and a number of other separately announced tax changes, is included in a Notice of Ways and Means Motion tabled today in the House of Commons.

---

Government of Canada Maintains Strong and Responsible Economic Leadership
News Release
November 27, 2008
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced in his 2008 Economic and Fiscal Statement that the Government will take actions to restrain spending, protect Canada’s hard-won fiscal advantage and reinforce the stability of our financial system amid this period of global economic uncertainty.

Related Documents:

Economic and Fiscal Statement 2008
November 27, 2008
Overview
Complete report:
HTML - includes links to individual Chapters (1. Recent Economic Developments and Prospects - 2. Responsible Leadership: Actions to Strengthen Canada's Economic and Financial Fundamentals - 3. Fiscal Projections) and to Annexes (1. Canada's Total Government Fiscal Performance - 2. Draft Legislation and Explanatory Notes: Reduced 2008 Minimum Withdrawal Amount in respect of Registered Retirement Income Funds and Variable Benefits under a Registered Pension Plan)
PDF (2.2MB, 127 pages)

Backgrounder:
Reinforcing Financial System Stability

Related link:

Budget 2008 (February 26, 2008)

- Go to the Canadian Government Budgets Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets.htm

November 14, 2008
Government of Canada Holds Employment Insurance Premium Rate at Lowest Level in 15 Years
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today welcomed the Canada Employment Insurance Commission’s decision to hold the Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate for 2009 unchanged at $1.73, its lowest level in 15 years.

Finance Ministers Discuss Progress in Implementing Advantage Canada
News Release
May 30, 2008
(...) Over the past two years, the Government has acted on Advantage Canada by:
* Reducing the federal debt by over $38 billion;
* Lowering taxes for Canadians in 2007–08 and the following five years by $200 billion;
* Cutting corporate income taxes so that Canada will have the lowest statutory tax rate in the Group of Seven (G7) by 2012 and the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7 by 2010;
* Restoring fiscal balance between the federal government and the provinces and territories;
* Enhancing infrastructure funding and placing it on a long-term footing with investments of $33 billion;
* Investing in education and training, including long-term support of post-secondary education and a modernized Canada Student Loans Program; and
* Streamlining Canada’s immigration system to better respond to the needs of the Canadian labour market.

Related link:

Advantage Canada
(...) Advantage Canada is a strategic, long-term economic plan designed to improve our country’s economic prosperity both today and in the future.
Executive Summary
Complete report:
HTML version - table of contents and links to each section of the report
PDF version (996K, 82 pages)

Canada’s Government Delivers Broad-Based Tax Relief for Individuals, Families and Businesses
News Release
October 30, 2007
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today presented the Government’s 2007 Economic Statement, which proposes broad-based tax relief for all Canadians, including a further reduction of the goods and services tax (GST).

Economic Statement 2007: Strong Leadership. A Better Canada
October 30, 2007
Table of contents:
* Overview * Speech * Introduction
* Chapters:
1. Recent Economic Developments and Prospects
2. Fiscal Projections
3. Broad-Based Tax Reductions for Canadians
Annex
Tax Measures: Supplementary Information and Notices of Ways and Means Motions
* Notices of Ways and Means Motions

Overview
"...bold new steps to build a better Canada:
* Reducing taxes further for Canadians, including a further reduction in the goods and services tax (GST).
* Establishing a new era of declining business taxation.
* Reducing the federal debt by $10 billion this year."

Related links:

Government proposes $60B in tax cuts, with further GST drop
October 30, 2007
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has tabled a motion that calls for $60 billion in tax cuts over the next five years, including a further cut in the GST to five per cent, effective Jan. 1. News of the GST cut came in an economic statement delivered Tuesday afternoon by Flaherty. Normally, the statement contains little more than an update on the government's fiscal position. Not this time.
Source:
CBC

Flaherty offers little to working families
October 30, 2007
Ottawa — Finance Minister Flaherty is once again promising billions more in tax cuts which will provide little lasting benefit to working families, says CUPE National President Paul Moist.
Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees

Related Web/News/Blog links:

Google Search Results Links - always current results!
Using the following search terms (without the quote marks):
"Economic Statement 2007, Canada"
- Web search results page
- News search results page
- Blog Search Results page
Source:
Google.ca

----------------------------------------------------------

Canada’s New Government Introduces Draft Legislative
Proposals to Implement the Registered Disability Savings Plan

October 2, 2007
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today released draft legislative proposals to implement the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) announced in Budget 2007.
(...)
RDSPs are being introduced in response to the recommendations of the Minister of Finance’s Expert Panel on Financial Security for Children with Severe Disabilities, which tabled its report in December 2006.
(...)
Under the new measure, individuals who qualify for the disability tax credit, or their parents or other legal guardian, will be able to establish an RDSP. RDSPs will be eligible to receive payments of the new Canada Disability Savings Grants (CDSGs) and, for low- and modest-income beneficiaries, Canada Disability Savings Bonds (CDSBs).
(...)
Interested parties are invited to provide comments in writing on the draft legislative proposals. Comments can be sent jointly to the Tax Policy Branch, Department of Finance and the Office of Disability Issues, Human Resources and Social Development Canada at 140 O’Connor Street, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0G5 on or before October 23, 2007. Following this consultation period, the Government intends to introduce legislation, including regulations under the Canada Disability Savings Act, to implement the program as quickly as possible.

Related Document:

Legislative Proposals, Explanatory Notes and
Overview Relating to Registered Disability Savings Plans

------------------------------------------------------------

Canada’s New Government Continues to Reduce Taxes for All Canadians
October 2, 2007
"(...)Minister Flaherty today released draft legislation designed to implement tax measures proposed in Budget 2007 but not included in the Budget Implementation Act, 2007, which received Royal Assent on June 22, 2007. The legislation released today introduces a new Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB)...
(...)
The legislative proposals are being released in draft form so taxpayers and their advisors will have an opportunity to consider and comment on them before they are introduced in Parliament. Detailed explanatory notes on the proposals are also being released with the draft amendments.

Comments on the proposals are requested by October 23, 2007. Once the consultation period is over, the Government will work toward introducing these measures in Parliament at the earliest opportunity.

Related Document:

* Legislative Proposals and Explanatory Notes
to Implement Remaining Budget 2007 Tax Measures

NOTE: the draft legislation concerning the WITB is on pages 72-77 of the PDF file, and the detailed explanatory notes are on pages 235-245.

Related link:

The Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) and Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP):
With the Legislation unveiled, it is time to be heard
By John Stapleton
October 6, 2007
"(...) The Budget bills are important and they deserve discussion and comment. A very small window has been created to allow Canadians to respond. Download the Budget documents and the explanations. Read them carefully and make a submission by October 23, 2007. It is a unique opportunity for your voice to be heard by Members of Parliament, their staff and by the Public Service.

------------------------------------------------------------

Beginning Today Canada’s New Government Is Providing
Funding to the Provinces and Territories to Restore Fiscal Balance

News Release
June 28, 2007
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, confirmed that with the passage of Bill C-52, $39 billion in new funding over the next seven years will start flowing to the provinces and territories today.

Some context?

The following link takes you to Finance Canada's detailed and up-to-date presentation on federal transfers to provinces and territories for health and social programs; the whole section is worth exploring, but the link to the Equalization section is active so you can access information on how equalization works and the changes implemented by the 2007 federal budget.

Federal Transfers to Provinces and Territories
- incl. links to info about : Major Federal Transfers - Federal Transfers to Provinces and Territories - The Canada Health Transfer and the Canada Social Transfer - Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing - Other Transfers - Fiscal Balance - Multimedia - Related Links - Archive

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

Related links:

Equalization: Atlantic discord and federal fumbling
June 29
"(...) A serious, independent re-assessment of Canada’s financial arrangements – away from the heat of the present skirmishes – is urgently needed."
Source:
The ChronicleHerald.ca (Halifax)

Google News Search Results : "Equalization Program"

----------------------------------------------------------

Making a Strong Canadian Economy Even Stronger
News Release
June 20, 2007
Statement by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, on behalf of Canada’s New Government at the conclusion of meetings with his provincial and territorial counterparts.

June 12, 2007
Budget Implementation Bill Is Passed in the House of Commons
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, is pleased that key measures proposed in Budget 2007 were passed today by the House of Commons.
- incl. a summary of Budget 2007 measures

Canada’s New Government Funds Key Priorities for Canadians Through Targeted Tax Relief
March 1, 2007
The Department of Finance today released its annual Tax Expenditures and Evaluations report. The report provides details of the economic and social priorities that the Government of Canada funds through targeted federal tax credits and tax reductions. The revenue estimates and projections in the report reflect the substantial tax relief proposed in the Tax Fairness Plan and announced in Budget 2006. In the last year, this amounts to 29 new tax initiatives

Related document:

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations 2006
HTML version
PDF version
(719K, 75 pages)

Canada’s New Government Reduces Taxes for Canadian Fishers
February 23, 2007

Canada’s New Government Provides Real Tax Relief for Canadians
February 22, 2007
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, is pleased to announce that the entire $26-billion tax relief package included in Budget 2006 is now law, thereby guaranteeing its benefits for Canadian families, students, workers and seniors. The final budget bill, Bill C-28, has received Royal Assent.

International Monetary Fund Praises Economic Plan of Canada’s New Government
February 13, 2007
News Release
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today welcomed the release of an annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, which praises Canada’s strong economic performance, forecasts continued growth and welcomes Advantage Canada, the long-term economic plan of Canada’s New Government.

Related link:

Advantage Canada - Building a Stronger Economy for Canadians

IMF Report:

Canada: 2007Article IV Consultation - Staff Report;
and Public Information Notice on the Executive Board Discussion
(PDF file - 1.1MB, 35
February 13, 2007

IMF Executive Board Concludes 2007
Article IV Consultation with Canada

Public Information Notice No. 07/18
February 13, 2007
On January 12, 2007, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with
Canada.

February 7, 2007
Canada’s New Government Launches Nationwide Pre-Budget Consultations
"The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today launched online consultations, giving Canadians from coast to coast to coast an opportunity to participate in the development of Budget 2007. Canada’s New Government held federal online consultations for the first time during the development of last year’s budget."11
- includes an invitation by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, to Pre-Budget Web Consultations

Related Link:

Online Pre-Budget Consultations for Budget 2007
NOTE this consultation ends at midnight on February 28, 2007.

Remarks by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance
January 30

--------------------------------------------------------------

Canada’s New Government Is Providing Real Tax Relief for Canadians
News Release
December 22, 2006
Canadian families, students, workers and seniors will be able to keep more of their hard-earned money in 2006 and 2007. Canada’s New Government is providing substantial and immediate tax relief in every way the government collects taxes.
- includes a summary of all federal tax relief measures for 2006 and 2007

Canada's New Government Commits $526 Million
to Combat Homelessness and Extend Funding for Renovation Programs

December 19, 2006
Today, the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, announced $526 million for the new Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), a strategy aimed at combating homelessness in communities across Canada and extending CMHC's renovation programs. The new Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) will be funded at $270 million over two years.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Canada's New Government Establishes
Program Eligibility for the Children's Fitness Tax Credit

News Release
December 19, 2006
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released guidelines on the Children's Fitness Tax Credit, which is scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2007.The Minister confirmed that as recommended by the Expert Panel for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, the definition of eligible programs will support children’s participation in all programs that significantly contribute to their fitness. In addition, the Minister indicated that substantial additional support would be provided to children eligible for the disability tax credit to recognize the unique barriers they face in becoming more active.
- includes a backgrounder with more detailed info

Minister Flaherty Announces New
Collaborative Steps With Provincial and Territorial Finance Ministers

News Release
December 15, 2006
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, issued the following statement today at the conclusion of his meeting with provincial and territorial counterparts:
“We had a productive meeting, a healthy exchange of views, and made considerable progress on the issues before us. There was a great deal of support for the priorities set out in the Advantage Canada plan.

Canada's New Government Receives Recommendations
on Savings Measures to Help Children With Severe Disabilities
News Release
December 12, 2006
"(..) Government must better enable parents to set aside funds today to financially support a child with a severe disability, when they are no longer able to provide support."

Complete report:

A New Beginning -
The Report of the Minister of Finance's Expert Panel on Financial Security for Children with Severe Disabilities
December 2006
HTML version
PDF version
(325K, 82 pages)
Table of Contents:
Acknowledgements * Introduction * The Mandate of the Panel * The Composition of the Panel * The Constitutional Constraints * The Fiscal Policy Framework * Plan Concepts * Plan Definitions and Details * Federal-Provincial Issues * Costing the Plan * Future Directions * Recommendations * Appendices (incl. the July 31/06 news release announcing the appointment of a "Panel to Help Children with Severe Disabilities" and the Terms of Reference for the Panel)

Related Link:

Report recommends tax break for parents of disabled children
December 13, 2006
Parents of severely disabled children should be able to set aside up to $200,000 tax free for their care, in the same manner that parents can now create savings plans for the higher education of their children, a panel set up by the federal Finance Minister to investigate the issue has concluded. In a report presented yesterday to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the group also calls on Ottawa to provide parents of children with severe disabilities with cash grants of at least $1,000 annually over 20 years, and to double those payments to low-income families.
Source:
The Globe and Mail

Canada's New Government Reduces
Debt Burden to Lowest Level in Quarter Century

News Release
November 28, 2006
"The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today tabled in Parliament the Debt Management Report for 2005–06, which reports that Canada’s New Government has eliminated $13.2 billion in federal debt. 'This achievement will yield interest savings of approximately $650 million each and every year,' said Minister Flaherty. 'That’s money that can be used to provide priority programs or further reduce the tax burden on Canadian families and businesses.' The Government has reduced its debt to $481.5 billion from its peak of $562.9 billion in 1996–97, a reduction of $81.4 billion. Canada’s net debt burden is the lowest in the G7 and is well below the average of countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development."

Complete report:

Debt Management Report for 2005–06
HTML
PDF version
- 1.02MB, 91 pages
Outlines the key elements of current federal debt management strategy and describes various strategic and operational aspects of the government's debt program and cash management activities over the past year

Debt Management reports for Earlier Fiscal years - back to 1997

Related Links:

Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada
Fiscal Year 2005–2006

September 2006
PDF version - 663K, 31 pages
HTML version
- Table of Contents, incl. links to : Report Highlights - Budgetary Revenues - Total Expenses - The Budgetary Balance and Financial Source/Requirement - Federal Debt - Comparison of Actual Budgetary Outcomes to Budget Estimates -Report of the Auditor General on the Condensed Financial Statements of the Government of Canada - Condensed Financial Statements of the Government of Canada

Annual Financial Reports for Earlier Fiscal Years - back to 1995-96

Fiscal Reference Tables, September 2006
HTML version
PDF version
- 348K, 64 pages
The Fiscal Reference Tables provide annual data on the financial position of the federal and provincial governments. The data are presented on both a Public Accounts basis—corresponding to the accounting conventions used to report financial information to the respective legislatures—as well as on a National Accounts basis—as prepared by Statistics Canada and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Fiscal Reference Tables for Earlier Years - back to 1996

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Canada's New Government Releases Advantage Canada:
An Economic Plan to Eliminate Canada's Net Debt and Further Reduce Taxes

News Release
November 23, 2006
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released Advantage Canada: Building a Strong Economy for Canadians, a long-term, national economic plan designed to make Canada a true world economic leader. The plan, unveiled along with Minister Flaherty’s Economic and Fiscal Update, features a new national objective to eliminate Canada’s total government net debt in less than a generation and further reduce taxes for all Canadians.
- includes links to:
* The Economic and Fiscal Update 2006 (table of contents, links to all files)
* Advantage Canada - Building a Stronger Economy for Canadians

The Economic and Fiscal Update 2006

Canada's New Government Renews Inflation-Target Agreement With the Bank of Canada
News Release
November 23, 2006
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced that as part of its Advantage Canada plan to build a strong economy for Canadians, Canada’s New Government has reached an agreement with the Bank of Canada to renew Canada’s inflation-control target for a further five years to 2011.
“Maintaining low, stable and predictable inflation goes right to the bottom line of every household budget,” said Minister Flaherty. “It ensures affordable mortgage rates, allows more families to purchase new homes, secures the value of incomes and keeps the costs of purchases stable."

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

Related Link:

Canada's New Government Launches National
Web-Based Consultations on Advantage Canada Economic Plan

November 24, 2006

November 24, 2006
Online Consultations on the Advantage Canada Plan
"Invitation by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, to Participate in Advantage Canada Consultations:
To Canadians in every part of this country, I would like to say that I’m looking forward to seeing your ideas on how we can best implement Advantage Canada, our new long-term Plan to build a strong economy for Canadians and secure a better quality of life now and for future generations."

-------------------------------------------------

Canada’s New Government Announces Tax Fairness Plan
October 31, 2006
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance today announced a Tax Fairness Plan for Canadians. The plan will restore balance and fairness to the federal tax system by creating a level playing field between income trusts and corporations.

Related documents:

Backgrounder
HTML version
PDF Version
(78K, 12 pages)

Statement by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance

Notice of Ways and Means Motion to Amend the Income Tax Act

October 4, 2006
More Flexibility to Seniors in the Management of Their Life Income Funds
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced that the regulations to immediately remove the requirement to convert federally regulated life income funds (LIFs) to life annuities at age 80 have now come into
force. The regulations were published in the Canada Gazette. Seniors have asked for a greater degree of control over their retirement savings and this initiative will help give it to them," stated Minister Flaherty. A LIF is a special registered retirement income fund into which funds from pension plans or other locked-in retirement funds can be transferred.

Canada's New Government cuts wasteful programs,
refocuses spending on priorities, achieves major debt reduction as promised

September 25, 2006

Canada's New Government Is Getting Things Done by Providing Additional Funding for Transit, Housing and Education
September 25, 2006
- includes the following backgrounder:
One-Time Funding to Provinces and Territories --- "The 2005–06 Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada confirmed the availability of funds to provide for $3.3 billion in federal financial support to help provinces and territories deal with immediate pressures in post-secondary education, affordable housing and public transit, as well as over $320 million in support for international initiatives.

Notice of Ways and Means Motion Tabled
September 25, 2006 - includes a Notice of Ways and Means Motion to amend the Excise Tax Act and a Detailed Proposals on the Elimination of the GST Visitor Rebate Program.

Canada's New Government cuts wasteful programs, refocuses spending on priorities, achieves major debt reduction as promised
September 25, 2006 - includes backgrounders.

Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada Fiscal Year 2005-2006
September 25, 2006
Reviews the government's spending and revenue performance over the past fiscal year, and discusses the factors affecting these results

Fiscal Reference Tables - September 2006
September 25, 2006
Provides historical information on federal public finances and on broad fiscal indicators at the provincial level as well as international fiscal comparisons.

------------------------------------------------------------

Related Link (from Treasury Board Secretariat):

Backgrounder - Effective Spending
"Canadians want to know their hard-earned tax dollars are invested responsibly in effective programs that meet their priorities."
NOTE: this is where you'll find a detailed breakdown of the spending cuts.

Here are the "Lowlights" of the cuts --- the biggest losers in the social envelope:
[Cuts/savings shown below are for a two-year period]

Status of Women
- Status of Women Canada Administrative Savings: $5 million

Health
-
Elimination of Health Canada's Policy Research Program: $7.5 million
-
“Health Portfolio” efficiencies: $28 million (not sure what this is)

Social Development Partnerships
- Efficiencies in the administration of CMHC programs: $45 million (any clue what this will affect?)
- Reduction in Low Priority Grants and Contributions Related to Social Development Partnership Program: $13.8 million
- Elimination of Funding for Canadian Policy Research Networks: $3 million

Others

- Elimination of Funding for the Law Commission of Canada: $4.1 million
- Elimination of Court Challenges Program: $5.6 million

(These "lowlights" were prepared by Pedro Barata - merci, Pedro!)

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Related Links from sources other than government:

Federal cuts to literacy programs add to Canada’s low-literacy dilemma, says ABC CANADA
TORONTO, ON – September 26, 2006 – As part of the Conservative government’s spending cuts announced yesterday, $17.7 million, otherwise available to literacy organizations through Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD), will be slashed over the next two years. “ABC CANADA is disappointed that the resources available to literacy programs across this country have been significantly reduced,” says Margaret Eaton, ABC CANADA President. “At a time when there is an unprecedented need for funding to facilitate literacy skills upgrading in Canada, this is most unfortunate.” The cuts -- $5.8 million in 2006-2007, and $11.9 million in 2007-2008 – mean that local and regional literacy programs will no longer be funded by HRSD. The department’s new mandate is to concentrate on national and federal programs alone. This change jeopardizes the delivery of programs to many learners whose literacy challenges hinder their ability to function fully at home, in the community and in the workplace.
Source:
ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation
ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation is a national charity committed to promoting literacy to the general public and to the private sector. We are a partnership of business, labour, educators and government. We focus on public awareness programs, the development and execution of national literacy awareness campaigns; provide promotional support to local literacy groups; and conduct research to further the development of a fully literate Canadian population.

Related Link:

Backgrounder - Effective Spending
"Canadians want to know their hard-earned tax dollars are invested responsibly in effective programs that meet their priorities."
NOTE: this is where you'll find the official breakdown of the spending cuts, but it's still lacking in some of the specifics...
Source:
Treasury Board Secretariat

*********************************
Response to Cuts:
a Coalition of Canadian non-profits building a Communities Agenda

"Welcome to the site of the coalition of Canadian non-profit agencies building a communities agenda for Canada. Here you will find information and events in response to the Federal Government's announcement of cuts to programs. We want to hear from you! Send us stories of how your organisation and your community is affected to nchaland@ccednet-rcdec.ca"
- the list of coalition members so far includes the Canadian Community Economic Development Network - the Learning Enrichment Foundation - le Chantier de l’économie sociale - the Toronto Student Adult Association - Literacy Nova Scotia - the Canadian Women’s Community Economic Development Council - the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto
*********************************

Government's real priorities revealed
Media Statement
September 26, 2006
"OTTAWA, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - We are deeply concerned about the gutting of the only federal agency that addresses critical questions pertaining to equality and about what it suggests about what this government's true intentions are for equality matters in Canada. Announced Monday, the 5 million dollar cut to Status of Women Canada (SWC) is a serious attack on the lone federal department engaged in the development of gender responsive policy and in the fulfillment of Canada's human rights obligations to women at the international, domestic, and inter-governmental levels.
We now see the government's real priorities revealed. (...)"
Signed:
Canadian Council for Muslim Women
Canadian Federation of University Women
Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action
Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
DAWN Ontario: DisAbled Women's Network
MATCH International
Womenspace (website no longer accessible - March 2009)
YWCA Canada

-------------------------

Cuts to Status of Women and Court Challenges Program
Undermine Government’s Commitment to Women’s Equality

"(...) During the last federal election campaign, Stephen Harper promised to “take concrete and immediate measures…to ensure that Canada fully upholds its commitments to women.” These cuts are not consistent with Mr. Harper’s election promise,” said Shelagh Day, Co-Chair of the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)."
Source:
Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action

-------------------------

An important message from CPRN President Sharon Manson Singer
September 26
"You may have heard by now that CPRN is one of the casualties of the government’s search for one billion dollars in savings. It means that our new grant of $3 million a year will not be continued past the current year. We had no advance warning of this decision, nor was there any consultation..."
Source:
Canadian Policy Research Networks

-------------------------

If I had 13.2 billion dollars...
September 25, 2006
(With apologies to the Bare Naked Ladies)
OTTAWA - “If I had 13.2 billion dollars I’d restore funding to post secondary education, because an investment now secures a brighter future later. I would stop paying lip service to the environment and come clean with some good green..."
By Paul Moist, National President
Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees

Also from CUPE:

Current federal government cuts will seem like "small potatoes"
Oct 5, 2006
- incl. a good summary of the cuts that CUPE thinks will most severely affect Canada's communities, as well as a link to an editorial by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives economist Ellen Russell, who argues that "between the Tories promised tax cuts ($9.9 billion in the first budget), increases in defence spending ($4 billion) and other initiatives, the government is actually short $17 billion."

----------------------------------------------------------

Google Web Search Results:
"Canada, federal government, spending cuts"
Google News Search Results:
"Canada, federal government, spending cuts"
Source:
Google.ca

----------------------------------------------------------

Canada’s New* Government
Continues to Deliver on Its Tax Relief Plan
News release
August 31, 2006
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced that Canada’s new Government is keeping its promise to Canadians by delivering on its Tax Relief Plan. The measures below are part of the Government’s plan to deliver over $20 billion in tax cuts over the next two years, which is more than the last four budgets of the previous government combined. These measures were part of the income tax measures that were proposed in Budget 2006 but not included in the Budget Implementation Act, 2006, which received Royal Assent on June 22, 2006.
These measures are:
* The new Canada Employment Credit.
* The new Textbook Tax Credit.
* The new tax credit for public transit passes.
* The new deduction for tradespeople’s tool expenses.
* A complete exemption for scholarship income received in connection with enrolment at an institution which qualifies the student for the education tax credit.
* A doubling, to $2,000 from $1,000, of the amount on which the pension income credit is calculated.
* An extension of the $500,000 lifetime capital gains exemption, and various intergenerational rollovers, to fishers.
* The new Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit.
* A reduction of the current 12 per cent small business tax rate to 11.5 per cent for 2008 and to 11 per cent thereafter.
* An increase, to $400,000 from $300,000, of the amount that a small business can earn at the small business tax rate, effective January 1, 2007.
* A reduction of the minimum tax on financial institutions.

Related Document

- Legislative Proposals and Explanatory Notes to Implement Remaining Budget 2006 Income Tax Measures

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

----------------------------------------------------------------------

*See Canada's New Government Countdown Contest

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Canada’s New Government Launches National Web-Based Consultations on Fiscal Balance
News Release
August 8, 2006
"The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, on behalf of Canada’s new government, today launched online consultations to give Canadians the opportunity to provide their views on restoring fiscal balance."

The Consultations page:

Online Consultations on
Restoring Fiscal Balance in Canada

- The fiscal balance consultation closed on September 8, 2006

Related Links:

Restoring Fiscal Balance in Canada - from the 2006 federal Budget (May 2)

Consultation on Post-Secondary Education and Training in Canada - (from Human Resources and Social Development Canada)
- The post-secondary education and training consultation closed on September 8, 2006

Restoring Canada’s Fiscal Balance: Consultations on Immediate and Long-Term Funding Support for Infrastructure
- from Infrastructure Canada
- The funding for infrastructure consultation closed on September 8, 2006

Canada's New Government Provides Substantial Tax Relief Beginning July 1
June 30, 2006
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, reminded Canadians of tax changes that will take effect July 1, 2006. "In Budget 2006, Canada’s new government introduced more than $26 billion in tax relief over the next two years, of which over 90 per cent will go to individuals," Minister Flaherty said.
Effective July 1:
* About 655,000 low-income Canadians will be removed from the tax rolls altogether.
* The GST will be reduced to 6 per cent from 7 per cent. This will put almost $9 billion into the pockets of Canadians over the next two years.
* Working Canadians will become eligible for the Canada Employment Credit on up to $500 of annual employment income to help pay the additional costs of employment—costs for things like uniforms, computers or safety gear. Next year, the amount of employment income eligible for the credit will increase to $1,000.
* The lowest personal income tax rate will be permanently reduced to 15.5 per cent.
* The basic personal amount—the amount that an individual can earn without paying federal income tax—will increase each year and remain above previously legislated levels for 2005, 2006 and 2007.
* Canadians who buy monthly transit passes will get a tax credit. A person who buys passes costing $80 a month will receive about $150 a year in federal tax relief. That will save commuters $370 million over the next two years.
* Excise duty on Canadian wine produced with 100 per cent Canadian agricultural products is eliminated, a reduction of 62 cents a litre.
* Excise duties are reduced on the first 75,000 hectolitres of Canadian-produced beer. All Canadian brewers will enjoy excise duty savings of about $2.30 on a 24-pack of 341 ml bottles on their first 2,000 hectolitres of production per year.
* The minimum tax on financial institutions will be modified as of July 1, 2006, which will reduce government revenues by $15 million in 2006–07.

Review Finds Canada Pension Plan Is Financially Sound
News release
June 27, 2006
"Federal and provincial Ministers of Finance, as joint stewards of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), today announced the conclusion of their triennial financial review of the CPP. The review confirms that the CPP is on sound financial footing. "Our analysis suggests that the 9.9 per cent contribution rate will be sufficient to sustain the Plan into the foreseeable future," stated the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance. "We have therefore agreed that the contribution rate will remain unchanged." By providing over 3 million retired Canadians with maximum benefits of up to $844 per month, the CPP represents a key pillar of Canada’s retirement income system. With assets projected to grow to $250 billion in the next 10 years, the Plan has been recognized internationally as an affordable model for securing adequate retirement income in the face of population aging and economic change."
- incl a backgrounder: "Proposed Changes to the Canada Pension Plan"

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Report Says Canada’s Economic Outlook Very Favourable
News Release
June 16, 2006
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today welcomed the release of an annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) report that forecasts continued growth for the Canadian economy. 'I am glad to see the IMF staff highlight how Canada’s macroeconomic and policy performance has continued to ‘outshine’ that of most other industrial countries,' Minister Flaherty said."
Source:
Department of Finance Canada

Complete report:

Canada: 2006 Article IV Consultation—Staff Report;
Staff Supplement; and Public Information Notice on the Executive Board Discussion
(PDF file - 1.07MB, 66 pages)
IMF Country Report No. 06/230
June 2006
"Canada’s macroeconomic and policy performance has continued to outshine most other industrial countries and its outlook remains favorable."
[Executive Summary, p.3]

Related Link:

Canada: Selected Issues (PDF file - 648K, 24 pages)
IMF Country Report No. 06/229
June 2006
"background documentation for the periodic consultation with the member country"
- incl. Regional Dimensions of the Canadian Economy- Canadian Inflation Targeting and Macroeconomic Volatility in Retrospect and Prospect - Conclusion and Policy Implications - Efficiency Gains from Reducing the GST Versus Personal Income Taxation in Canada - more..

Source:
Canada and the IMF
[ International Monetary fund ]
"The IMF is an organization of 184 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty."

2006 Indexation Adjustment for Personal Income Tax System
News Release
December 9, 2005
"All personal income tax amounts will be adjusted by 2.2 per cent in 2006 to ensure that inflation does not cause people to pay more income tax.
Restoration of full indexation of the personal income tax system was announced in Budget 2000 and took effect that same year. Since that time, personal income tax amounts have been indexed to inflation every year using Consumer Price Index data, as reported by Statistics Canada."
- includes Backgrounder : How Tax Parameters Are Indexed

The Economic and Fiscal Update
November 14, 2005
Everything you wanted to know about the Economic and Fiscal Update, including:

Economic and Fiscal Update: Strong Growth, Healthy Finances and a New Plan to Promote Long-Term Prosperity
News Release

Flash presentation of Update 2005
- includes 2005 Tax Savings Calculator (Flash v.8 plugin required)

Overview
HTML version
PDF version
(157K, 10 pages)

Speech
HTML version
PDF version
(89K, 16 pages)

Complete report:

The Economic and Fiscal Update
Background Material to the Presentation
(PDF file - 1.9MB, 214 pages)
November 2005

Table of Contents
- select individual chapters or annexes to read in HTML format
:
1. Overview
2. Economic Developments and Prospects
3. Canada’s Fiscal Progress
4. Private Sector Five-Year Economic and Fiscal Projections
5. A Plan for Growth and Prosperity
Annexes
1. Risks and Uncertainties in Fiscal Projections
2. Perspective: Long-Term Track Record of Fiscal Forecasting
2.b Details on Differences by Fiscal Year
3. National Accounts–Public Accounts Reconciliation
4. Detailed Descriptions of Tax Measures

Google Web Search Results : "Economic and Fiscal Update, Canada"
Google News search Results : "Economic and Fiscal Update, Canada"
Source:
Google.ca

Also from Finance Canada:

Minister of Finance Tables Notice of Ways and Means Motion for Remaining Budget 2005 Income Tax Measures
November 17, 2005
- Includes a Backgrounder and Notice of Ways and Means Motion to Implement Certain Provisions of the Budget Tabled in Parliament on February 23, 2005.

Minister of Finance Proposes Amendments Concerning the Income Tax Treatment of Certain Expenditures
November 17, 2005
- Includes Backgrounder and Notice of Ways and Means Motion to Amend the Income Tax Act

Proposed GST/HST Amendments Relating to the Financial Services Sector
November 17, 2005
- Includes Legislative Proposals, Draft Regulations and Explanatory Notes Relating to the Excise Tax Act

Treasury Evaluation Program Framework
Describes the objectives and process of the Treasury Evaluation Program (TEP) of the Department of Finance.

Immediate Income Tax Relief: Notice of Ways and Means Motion Tabled to Implement Update 2005 Measures
November 14, 2005
- Includes Notice of Ways and Means Motion and Explanatory Notes

Economic and Fiscal Update: Strong Growth, Healthy Finances and a New Plan to Promote Long-Term Prosperity
November 14, 2005
- includes The Economic and Fiscal Update 2005

-----------------------

The Economy in Brief - September 2005
"Overview
* In the second quarter of 2005 real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.2%, following a 2.1% increase in the first quarter.
* Final domestic demand remained solid, rising 2.9% following a gain of 6.2% in the first quarter. Residential investment rebounded from a first-quarter decline.
* Increased domestic demand was met through domestic production as real imports fell 3.5% after an 11.0% jump in the first quarter. Real exports rose 0.8% following a 5.5% gain in the first quarter.
* The current account registered its 24th consecutive quarterly surplus. It widened by over $5 billion to $18.7 billion or 1.4% of nominal GDP.
* Since the end of 2004 the Canadian economy has created over 137,000 net new jobs, all of them full-time. The unemployment rate remained at 6.8% in August, near its lowest level since 1976."

Source:
Economy in Brief 2005
- includes similar analyses for March and June of 2005 - [ earlier years, back to 1996 ]

-----------------------

Minister of Finance Releases Draft Legislative Proposals Implementing Remaining Budget 2005 Income Tax Measures
August 15, 2005
"Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale today released a package of draft amendments to the Income Tax Act to implement measures originally proposed in Budget 2005.
These measures include:
* Introducing a new tax credit for adoption expenses such as adoption agency and legal fees.
* Improving the disability tax credit and making it more widely available.
* Further changes to improve the tax treatment of persons with disabilities and those who care for them, for example, by doubling the amount of disability-related and medical expenses that can be claimed by a caregiver, and expanding the list of expenses eligible for the medical expense tax credit and the disability supports deduction.
* Helping agricultural cooperative corporations through a new tax deferral in respect of certain patronage dividends."

Related Documents:
* Legislative Proposals Relating to Certain Income Tax Measures Announced in Budget 2005
* Explanatory Notes to Legislative Proposals Relating to Certain Income Tax Measures Announced in Budget 2005

-----------------------

Review of Canadian Federal Fiscal Forecasting
Processes and Systems
By Tim O’Neill
June 2005
HTML version
PDF version
(764K, 169 pages)

-----------------------

The Economy in Brief - December 2004
December 23, 2004
Source:
The Economy in Brief 2004
[ Department of Finance Canada ]

-----------------------

Minister of Finance Welcomes Positive IMF Report on Canada
News Release
December 20, 2004
"Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale welcomed the annual Statement of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Mission on Canada, which was released today. The report lauds Canada, especially its fiscal performance, which it describes as the best among the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialized countries. 'This report is a further vindication of the sacrifices made by Canadians to get our nation’s finances back on track over the past decade,' said Minister Goodale."
Source:
Department of Finance Canada

Related Link:

2005 Article IV Consultation with Canada
Preliminary Conclusions of the IMF Mission
December 1, 2004
"Describes the preliminary findings of IMF staff at the conclusion of certain missions (official staff visits, in most cases to member countries). Missions are undertaken as part of regular (usually annual) consultations under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, in the context of a request to use IMF resources (borrow from the IMF), as part of discussions of staff monitored programs, and as part of other staff reviews of economic developments."
[The IMF will release its full report on Canada next year.]

Two observations of relevance to social researchers among these preliminary findings:

"The Employment Insurance system remains an uneasy combination of unemployment insurance and social assistance. Funding the latter function through general revenues would be more efficient and transparent, and every effort should be made to reinforce the insurance principle of the program through experience rating of employers and employees. Care will be needed to resist further eroding the mid-1990s reforms and to ensure that the premium rate can be set at a low rate that balances the system over the cycle and avoids the need for annual adjustments.

Reforms in other social programs could help increase labor utilization and efficiency. Even with recent gains in labor participation, there remains room to further improve labor supply by reducing incentives for early retirement in the public pension system—such as by amending benefit calculations and curbing excessive use of disability benefits—and by lowering "welfare walls" in the social transfer system*."

Source:
International Monetary Fund

*NOTE: "lowering welfare walls in the social transfer system" can of course be interpreted differently, depending on who's doing the interpreting.

Organizations like the IMF, the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development view the welfare wall within an economic framework, i.e., the disincentives that prevent people from leaving welfare. These disincentives include a range of non-cash benefits, generally health-related, that are available to households on welfare but not to low-wage workers' families. (It should be noted - but it often isn't in 'Canada-wide' reports - that this non-cash coverage for welfare households varies considerably among the provinces and territories, each of which is responsible for the design and delivery of its welfare program.) The IMF, World Bank and OECD would reduce the welfare wall to "make work more attractive than welfare" or "to make work pay more than welfare" by reducing or freezing welfare benefits and making it more difficult for households to qualify for welfare in the first place.

On the other hand, we have the social advocacy community - Canadian *and* international - reminding us that the welfare wall grew over the years not because welfare benefits were so generous, but because minimum wages and other employment standards have taken a nosedive since the 1970s. Social justice groups suggest that a better way to reduce that welfare wall would be to improve minimum wages and working conditions, including the extension of special health coverage to everyone in the low-wage sector of the Canadian economy. An increase in welfare dependency isn't generally traceable to an overly-generous system - it's a symptom of dysfunction in the low end of the labour market. It's like saying, "Yeah, the health care system is strained because of the demand, so we'll have to trim back on the health system" (vs. fixing the problems that are causing the increase in demand).
It's the labour market, Stupid.
[End of rant. For now.]

-----------------------

Speech by the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Finance, to the
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal Challenge and Opportunity in the Canadian Federation

December 14, 2004
Montréal, Quebec

-----------------------

Minister of Finance Tables Debt Management Report for 2003-04
News Release
December 8, 2004
"Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale today tabled in the House of Commons and the Senate the Government of Canada’s Debt Management Report for fiscal year 2003–04. The report notes that the federal government has reduced its debt to $501.5 billion on a full accrual accounting basis, down $61.4 billion from its peak in 1996–97."
Complete report:
Debt Management Report 2003–2004
HTML version
PDF version (470K, 85 pages)

-----------------------

Minister of Finance Tables a Notice of Ways and Means Motion to
Implement Budget 2004 Measures

News Release
December 6, 2004
"Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale today tabled in the House of Commons a detailed Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement measures proposed in Budget 2004. Among others, these measures include:
* introducing income tax relief for Canadian Forces personnel and police deployed to international high-risk operational missions—including additional missions announced on April 14, 2004;
* improving tax fairness for persons with disabilities and those who care for them;
* accelerating to 2005 from 2006 the increase in the small business deduction limit to $300,000;
* extending the carry-forward period for business losses to 10 years;
* eliminating the deductibility of fines and penalties;
* introducing a new regulatory regime for registered charities; and
* reducing the Air Travellers Security Charge."

- incl. links to the following related documents:
* Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement certain
provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 23, 2004

* Explanatory Notes on Relating to the Air Travellers Security Charge,
the First Nations Good and Services Tax, Income Tax and Other Related Measures

Economic and Fiscal Update: Stronger Growth and Balanced Budgets for Canada
News Release
November 16, 2004
"Stronger economic growth, balanced budgets and improved management of taxpayer dollars were the main messages delivered today by Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale in his first Economic and Fiscal Update presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance."

-----------------------

The Economic and Fiscal Update 2004
- incl. links to : Overview Pamphlet - Speech - Powerpoint slide presentation used by the Minister

Annexes:
Foreword
1. Canada's Fiscal Progress.
2 - Economic Developments and Prospects.
3 - Private Sector Five-Year Economic and Fiscal Projections.
4 - Private Sector Five-Year Fiscal Projections: National Accounts – Public Accounts Reconciliation.

------------------------------------------------------
Google.ca News Search Results: "Economic and Fiscal Update, Canada"
Source:
Google.ca
------------------------------------------------------

Tax Expenditures: Notes to the Estimates/Projections (2004)
November 4, 2004
Sets out the approach used in developing the estimates and projections contained in the main report, and also provides a description and presents the objective of each tax expenditure.

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations - 2004
November 4, 2004
Provides estimates and projections for broadly defined tax expenditures.

Department of Finance Releases Transfer Estimates
News Release
October 12, 2004
"The Department of Finance today issued revised estimates of transfers to the provinces for 2002–03, 2003–04 and 2004–05. These transfers include equalization, the Canada Health Transfer, the Canada Social Transfer and the Health Reform Transfer. Revised estimates were also issued for the Territorial Formula Financing (TFF) program."

Government of Canada Records Seventh Consecutive Surplus
News Release
October 13, 2004
"Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale announced today that the Government of Canada recorded a surplus of $9.1 billion for fiscal year 2003–04. Consistent with generally accepted accounting principles, the $9.1 billion has been applied to reduce Canada’s federal debt. This marks the seventh consecutive annual surplus, the first time such a record has been achieved in Canada’s history."

Related documents:

Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada - Fiscal Year 2003–2004
Fiscal Reference Tables - October 2004

Statement prepared for the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the International Monetary Fund
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Finance of Canada
October 2, 2004


Statement prepared for the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Finance of Canada
October 2, 2004

NOTE: For more links to info about the 2004 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group Boards of Governors,
go to the Globalization Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/global.htm

Minister of Finance Tables Debt Management Strategy for 2004-05
News Release
March 30, 2004
"Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale today tabled in the House of Commons and the Senate the Government of Canada’s Debt Management Strategy for fiscal year 2004-05. The document provides details on federal borrowing and investment policies for the coming fiscal year."

Related document:
Debt Management Strategy - 2004-2005

The Fiscal Balance in Canada: The Facts
Revised March 9, 2004
"The argument by provincial governments that the money is in Ottawa while the needs are in the provinces does not withstand the test of facts, or take into account the reality that sound fiscal management by the federal government through balanced budgets or better benefits all Canadians."
NOTE: Go to the Canadian Social Research Links Council of the Federation or the Medicare Debate Links page for the view from the provinces and territories on fiscal balance

Federal-Provincial Relations and Social Policy Branch
Economic and Fiscal Update: Balanced Books Despite Slower Growth
News Release
November 3, 2003
"The Government is on track to keep its books balanced or better despite the economic shocks that battered the Canadian economy in 2003, John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, said today in his latest Economic and Fiscal Update."

Economic and Fiscal Update 2003
- incl. links to Overview and Presentation (both appear below) - Powerpoint slide presentation used by the Minister - Annexes (1. Canadian Economic and Fiscal Progress: The Last Ten Years. 2. Canada’s Recent Economic Developments and Outlook. 3. Private Sector Five-Year Economic and Fiscal Projections.) - News Release

Overview
HTML version
PDF version - 516K, 8 pages

Minister's Speech
HTML version
PDF version
- 309K, 100 pages --- includes all three annexes noted above

International Monetary Fund Praises Canadian Economic and Fiscal Policies
News Release
March 10, 2004
"Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale welcomed the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) strong endorsement of Canada’s economic, fiscal and monetary policies, contained in its most recent report released today."

Minister of Finance Tables Notice of Ways and Means Motion in Respect of the 100-Per-Cent GST Rebate for Municipalities
News Release
March 9, 2004
"Municipalities—large and small—need stable, reliable and predictable funding to deliver a better quality of life for all Canadians," said Minister Goodale. "As announced in the Speech from the Throne on February 2, 2004, the full rebate will provide municipalities with an additional benefit of roughly $7 billion over the next 10 years, including $580 million in the first year alone."

Minister Introduces An Act Respecting Equalization and
Authorizing the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments Related to Health

News Release
February 12, 2004
"Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale introduced legislation in the House of Commons today to protect the continuity of payments to Canada’s Equalization-receiving provinces and to allow for the payment of $2 billion to the provinces and territories for health care from 2003–04 revenues, as announced at the January meeting of first ministers."

Speech by the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Finance, to the Toronto Board of Trade
January 27, 2004
Toronto, Ontario
"(...) There may have been a time when business could concern itself solely with managing its own affairs. But no longer. Today’s reality requires businesses to be engaged in the public life of this country not only on taxes and regulations, but also with respect to the social issues and the international considerations which are inextricably connected."

Government Takes Action to Control Spending (includes a detailed backgrounder)
December 16, 2003
- freeze on major capital projects
- freeze on reclassifications
- freeze on the size of the public service
- review of all Government of Canada spending by the Cabinet's Expenditure Review Committee.
Sources:
Department of Finance Canada
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Related Link:

Investing in Canada's Health Care System (from the 2003 Federal Budget)
[Excerpt]
"Effective April 1, 2004, the federal government will create two new transfers:
A Canada Health Transfer in support of health.
A Canada Social Transfer in support of post-secondary education, social assistance and social services, including early childhood development.
The existing CHST (cash and tax transfer) will be apportioned between the Canada Health Transfer and Canada Social Transfer. The percentage of cash and tax points apportioned to the Canada Health Transfer will reflect the percentage of health spending within overall provincial spending in the health and social sectors supported by federal transfers. The remaining cash and tax points will be allocated to the Canada Social Transfer in support of post-secondary education, social assistance and social services, including early childhood development.
Current estimates are that health represents 62 per cent of programs supported by federal transfers, while the proportion related to post-secondary education and social assistance is 38 per cent. The precise apportionment will be determined when legislation is tabled." (Emphasis added)


Department of Finance Releases Tax Expenditure Report
News Release
September 11, 2003
Tax Expenditures and Evaluations 2003
"The Department of Finance released today its annual tax expenditure report, entitled Tax Expenditures and Evaluations—2003. The report provides estimates and projections of all federal tax expenditures. Tax expenditures, such as credits and deductions, are designed to meet economic, social and other goals of the government generally by reducing the amount of federal tax otherwise payable by individuals and businesses.
Projections in this year’s report have been adjusted to account for recent tax changes, such as:
- increases to the National Child Benefit supplement;
- the introduction of the Child Disability Benefit; and
- increases to registered pension plan (RPP) and registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) limits."
Complete report - [HTML] table of contents, incl. links to individual sections of the report


Employment Insurance Premium Rate-Setting Mechanism
Public Consultation
Feb-Jun/03
Source:
Consulting with Canadians - "Good planning starts with listening."
[Finance Canada]


Federal-Provincial Review of The Canada Pension Plan
News Release
January 9, 2003
"The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is financially sound and is on track to provide retirement pensions in the future, federal and provincial ministers of finance announced today following the conclusion of their financial review of the CPP."

Backgrounder


Minister of Finance to Consult on Disability Tax Credit Proposals
News Release
November 29, 2002
"...proposals to amend the Income Tax Act released on August 30, 2002 regarding the disability tax credit (DTC) are no longer under consideration and new consultations are being launched to develop revised proposals. (...) Minister Manley said that the purpose of the review is not reduce the Government’s support for persons with disabilities, but rather to ensure that support continues to be provided to those most in need. The DTC recognizes that people with a severe and prolonged impairment incur disability-related expenses that reduce their ability to pay tax. The credit reduces an individual’s federal income tax by up to almost $1,000 a year. In total, the DTC provides $400 million a year in federal tax assistance to about 450,000 eligible Canadians.
Written submissions will be accepted until January 17, 2003."




Departmental Performance Report 2001-2002
- Department of Finance
- includes information on transfers to the provinces and territories, e.g., a graph showing the increase in CHST cash and tax points from 1994-95 to 2005-2006, including the $21.1 billion increase over five years announced in September 2000.
PDF version - 494K, 71 pages
Online version - table of contents + links to individual sections of the report
Strategic Outcome Information - Dept. of Finance
Source: Treasury Board Secretariat

Related Links:

Links to 86 Departmental/Agency Performance Reports on one page
Previous Departmental Performance Reports (back to 1996)
Result-Based Management


Tax Expenditures and Evaluations 2002 (October 25, 2002)
"...provides estimates and projections for broadly defined tax expenditures as well as evaluations and descriptive papers addressing specific tax measures.
This year’s edition includes two papers, 'The Impact of the Canada Child Tax Benefit on the Incomes of Families With Children'* and 'Special Federal Tax Assistance for Charitable Donations of Publicly Traded Securities,'which provide additional information on these two tax measures."
- incl. links to : Estimates and Projections of Tax Expenditures - What’s New in the 2002 Report - Description of New Tax Expenditures - The Tax Expenditures (Personal and Corporate Income Tax Expenditures, GST Tax Expenditures).
- the above link takes you to the table of contents with links to the whole report in HTML and PDF formats

The Impact of the Canada Child Tax Benefit on the Incomes of Families With Children
October 2002
Fifteen-page study of the CCTB and its effect on family incomes in 1996, 1999 and 2004 - a number-cruncher's delight...

News Release - October 25, 2002
"(...) The report provides estimates and projections of the revenue consequences of all tax expenditures. Tax expenditures, which take the form of exemptions, deductions, rate reductions, rebates, deferrals, credits and carry-overs, reduce federal tax payable and provide benefits to individuals and businesses on the basis of economic, social or other tax policy objectives. (...) Since this year’s projections extend to 2004, the calculations account for the full effect of the general corporate tax rate reduction that was legislated in June 2001 as part of the government’s five-year $100-billion tax reduction plan. This plan provides for a reduction in the corporate rate from 28 per cent to 21 per cent in 2004."


*Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada : Fiscal Year 2001-2002
October 2002
"A budgetary surplus of $8.9 billion was recorded in 2001-02. This marks the fifth consecutive year in which the federal government has recorded a surplus – the last time this occurred was in the period up to 1951-52."

*Fiscal Reference Tables
October 2002
"The Fiscal Reference Tables provide annual data on the financial position of the federal and provincial governments."

*These two reports will no doubt interest social policy number-crunchers everywhere.
The second report includes an extensive longitudinal study of government expenditures, some going as far back as 1961, right up to 2002.
For example...
Major transfers to other levels of government (Table 11) shows the evolution, from 1961-62 to 2001-02, of federal transfers to provincial and territorial governments for the following categories of programs : Canada Health and Social Transfer - Fiscal transfers - Insurance and medical care - Education support - Canada Assistance Plan* - Medical Equipment Fund - Alternative Payments for Standing Programs.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
According to the figures in Table 11, total annual major transfers for health, post-secondary education and social assistance and services from the federal government to provincial/territorial governments appear to be just $300 million less in 2001-02 than they were at their peak in 1993-94 ($26.6B v. $26.9B). Does this mean we'll hear the end of the provincial/territorial Premiers' calls for "a return to pre-CHST funding levels by the federal government"?
------
*[Table 11 even includes amounts paid by Ottawa to the provinces and territories prior to CAP (1966-67) for categorical allowances for blindness, disability and unemployment, as well as final settlements paid to each province and territory between 1996 and 2000 as CAP was settling accounts with each jurisdiction]


Canada's Banks
Updated August 2002
"As of July 2002 the banking industry included 14 domestic banks, 33 foreign bank subsidiaries and 20 foreign bank branches operating in Canada. In total, these institutions managed over $1.7 trillion in assets."
...and other interesting tidbits.


Response to Conference Board of Canada Report on Vertical Fiscal Imbalance
August 20, 2002
Source : Department of Finance Canada
"The provincial and territorial Ministers of Finance commissioned the Conference Board of Canada to produce 20-year fiscal projections for the federal government and the aggregate of the provinces and territories. The resulting report shows large and growing federal surpluses over the next two decades while the provincial-territorial sector records small deficits. The report thus concludes that a vertical fiscal imbalance exists in Canada. (...) Interestingly, the new report’s methodology and results are inconsistent with a previous Conference Board report - published in October 2001 - that projected that the provinces would record surpluses over the next 20 years under reasonable assumptions."
Related Links:
Fiscal Prospects for the Federal and Provincial-Territorial Governments
(July 2002, PDF file - 299K, 57 pages)
The Future Cost of Health Care in Canada, 2000 to 2020
- Balancing Affordability and Sustainability
(October 2001, PDF file - 562K, 84 pages)
Source : Conference Board of Canada

Related Link:

A New Study by the Conference Board Confirms the Existence of an important Fiscal Imbalance in Canada
(News release from the 43rd Annual Premiers' Conference - July 31 to August 2, 2002)
Source : Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat

Canada Pledges $30 Million to Governance Centre
News Release
July 23, 2002
"John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and Karen Redman, MP for Kitchener Centre, announced today that the Government of Canada will provide a $30-million grant to help fund the creation of a world-class research centre on international governance in Waterloo, Ontario.
The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) will research issues concerning the stability and security of the international economic and financial system. The grant will match the $30-million contribution to be made by the Centre’s founder, Jim Balsillie, Chairman and Co-CEO of Research In Motion Limited."

Statement by the Honourable John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance
June 19, 2002
- incl. commentary on economic and fiscal performance, the "reasons why" and the challenges ahead

April 26, 2002
Report on Operations Under the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act - 2001
"Annual general summary detailing operations that directly affect Canada"
Report on Operations Under the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Agreement Act - 2001
"Annual general summary of all actions, including their human rights aspects and sustainable development aspects, taken under the authority of the Act"

2002-03 Estimates : Report on Plans and Priorities
March 21, 2002
Summary of departmental key plans, priorities and strategies


International Monetary Fund Praises Canada’s Economic and Fiscal Policies
News Release
December 19, 2001
Canada remains in a good position to weather the current economic slowdown despite the fallout from the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated in a report released today.
- includes the full text of the Statement of the IMF Mission (December 7, 2001)

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations: 2001
July 31, 2001

Report on Operations under the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act - 2000
Prepared by:
International Trade and Finance Branch
Finance Canada
March 2001
-Links to information about : International Monetary Fund - Overview - Benefits of Membership - Canada's Priorities at the IMF - Efforts to Promote International Financial Stability - Poverty Reduction and Debt Relief - Lending Developments in 2000 - Managing Canada's Interests at the IMF - Canada's Office at the IMF - Canada's Financial Participation - Challenges Ahead. World Bank - Overview -World Development Report 2000-2001 - Supporting Country-Led Development and Poverty Reduction Strategies - Global Public Goods - Consultation and Information Disclosure - Improving Co-ordination With Other Agencies - Other World Bank Operations in FY 2000 - International Development Association - IDA Priorities - Canada’s Priorities at the World Bank - Managing Canada’s Interests at the World Bank - Canadian Procurement at the World Bank - International Finance Corporation - Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency - Learning About Opportunities - Canada’s Financial Participation - Future Challenges. Joint Issues - Overview - Strengthening Financial Sectors - Multilateral Debt Relief - World Bank and IMF Participation in the United Nations Financing for Development Conference. Don't miss the six annexes...

Federal Tax Cuts Take Effect in January 2001*
Finance Canada
December 14, 2000
All Canadians will receive a tax cut effective January 1, 2001, Finance Minister Paul Martin stated today. The new round of tax cuts is part of the Government’s $100-billion Five-year Tax Reduction Plan – the largest tax relief package in Canada’s history.
*January 2001 Tax Savings website (December 15/00)
Here, you can calculate your family's tax savings using the tax savings calculator. Includes links to the following : Tax Savings for Individuals and Families - Permanent Inflation Protection - Timely Relief for Heating Expenses - Education Tax Credit - Helping Canadians With Special Needs - Canada Child Tax Benefit.

Economic Statement and Budget Update
October 18, 2000
Finance Canada
The Government's Four-Part Plan : A Strong Economy - Sound Financial Management - Paying Down the Debt - Investing in Canada's Social Fabric.
Reducing Taxes for Canadians.
Tax Relief to Encourage Entrepreneurship, Jobs and Growth.
Strengthening Education, Research and Innovation.
Investing in a Clean Environment.
News Release
Economic Statement and Update (short)
Overview - more detailed information on the Economic Statement
Tax Calculator

Federal Government Moves to Implement its $23.4-Billion Commitment for Health and Social Funding
Press Release
Finance Canada
October 4, 2000
The $23.4-billion funding commitment will be provided as follows:
- An additional $21.1 billion over five years through increased funding for the Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST) for health, post-secondary education and social assistance and services. Of this increase, $2.2 billion is provided to support early childhood development.

Government Budgets - Links to the most recent budget in each Canadian jurisdiction

Transfers and Ontario - Frequently Asked Questions
April 4, 2000

Federal Support for Health in Canada
March 29, 2000
Incl.- The federal role in health today - History of federal transfers for health - Recent federal investments in health - Why the 11 cents is wrong…

 


The Federal Government section of Canad
ian Social Research Links comprises several separate pages of links : 

- Federal Government Links - sites of general interest (to social researchers), e.g., government information or research sites; also includes links to directories of federal programs and services for specific target groups like youth and seniors 
- Canada's Economic Action Plan - includes links to federal government annual reports and analysis/critique of federal budgets since 2009 from various sources.
- Federal Departments and Agencies (three pages) - links to the websites of almost two dozen federal departments and agencies involved with social programs (includes links to selected content on each of those sites) 
*** Page 1 - Agriculture and Agri-Food to Environment
*** Page 2 - Finance
*** Page 3 - Fisheries and Oceans to Veterans Affairs

- Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) - info about Old Age Security, the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and other social programs - and where I worked... 
- Health Links - Canada/International - info about Health Canada and related stuff from the U.S. and elsewhere in the world
- Employment Insurance in Canada - selected reports and other related links

--------------------------

NOTE : For links to resources on the subject of
Employment Insurance,

go to the Employment Insurance Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/ei.htm



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