Major transfers will total $3 billion in 2018-19, an increase of $142 million from the previous year:
- $1.9 billion through Equalization, an increase of $113.6 million from the previous year;
- $792 million through the Canada Health Transfer, an increase of $22.5 million from the previous year; and
- $291 million through the Canada Social Transfer, an increase of $5.9 million from the previous year.
Budget 2018 Measures
Introducing the Canada Workers Benefit
In Budget 2018, the Government proposes to strengthen the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) by making it more generous, and making the benefit more accessible. This strengthened benefit will be named the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) and will take effect in 2019.
In Budget 2018, the Government proposes to increase maximum benefits under the CWB by up to $170 in 2019 and increase the income level at which the benefit is phased out completely. The Government also proposes to increase the maximum benefit provided through the CWB disability supplement by an additional $160. This enhancement is expected to directly benefit about 38,000 New Brunswick workers annually.
As a result of recent enhancements, a low-income worker earning $15,000 a year could receive up to nearly $500 more from the program in 2019 than she received in 2018.
Moving forward, the Government will continue to work with interested provinces and territories to harmonize benefits and help support the transition from social assistance and into work.
Improving Access to the Canada Workers Benefit
At the same time, the Government recognizes that not all low-income workers are receiving the CWB (previously WITB) payment that they are entitled to. The Government is proposing amendments that will allow the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to automatically determine whether these tax filers are eligible for the benefit. An estimated 300,000 additional low-income workers will receive the new CWB for the 2019 tax year as a result of these changes. Specifically, the Government estimates that approximately 8,000 additional low-income New Brunswick workers will receive the Benefit for the 2019 tax year.
CWB enhancements, combined with new investments to make sure that every worker who qualifies actually receives the benefit, will mean that the Government is investing almost $1 billion of new funding for the benefit in 2019, relative to 2018. The Government estimates that enhancements and improved take-up in 2019 will directly benefit more than 2 million working Canadians, many of whom were not benefitting from the WITB. This will help lift approximately 70,000 Canadians out of poverty.
It is estimated that New Brunswick low-income workers will be provided with about $66.1 million more in CWB during the 2018-19 to 2022-23 period as a result of Budget 2018 actions.
Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare
Every year, almost one million Canadians give up food and heat to afford the medicine they need. And those who can pay for their drugs face some of the highest costs among the world’s most advanced countries. The unaffordability of many medications leads to Canadians being less healthy, with significantly higher health care costs for us all.
As part of Budget 2018, the Government is announcing the creation of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, which will begin a national dialogue that will include working closely with experts from all relevant fields as well as with national, provincial, territorial and Indigenous leaders. The Advisory Council will report to the federal Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance and will conduct an economic and social assessment of domestic and international models, and will recommend options on how to move forward together on this important subject.
Supporting a Healthy Seniors Pilot Project in New Brunswick
Budget 2018 proposes to provide $75 million in 2018-19 through the Public Health Agency of Canada to support the Healthy Seniors Pilot Project in New Brunswick. The Healthy Seniors Pilot Project will support a range of research initiatives to examine how governments can better support seniors in their home, communities and care facilities. This project will help us better understand the gendered impacts of an aging population, improve the quality of life for our senior citizens, and help us lay the groundwork for the dissemination of best practices in supporting healthy aging for all Canadians.
Regional Development Agencies
Budget 2018 proposes to provide an additional $511 million over five years on a cash basis, starting in 2018-19, to the regional development agencies to support the Innovation and Skills Plan across all regions of Canada, including $35 million to help workers and communities in the West and Atlantic regions adapt to Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Of the $511 million, $48 million would be allocated to Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, of which $8 million will be for nationally coordinated, regionally tailored, support for women entrepreneurs.
Renewing Canada’s Network of Small Craft Harbours
Safe and accessible small craft harbours are essential to Canada’s fisheries industry as well as its coastal communities. Expanding fisheries operations and the increasing size of fishing vessels require deeper and wider harbours. Budget 2018 proposes to provide $250 million on a cash basis over two years, starting in 2018–19, to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to renew its network of small craft harbours and work with municipalities where investments and divestitures can enhance local communities.
Protecting Marine Life
To advance efforts to protect and recover endangered whale species in Canada, Budget 2018 proposes to provide $167.4 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada. This includes funding for science activities to help better understand factors affecting the health of whale populations, as well as actions to help address the threats arising from human activities.
Supporting RCMP Frontline Operations
Budget 2018 proposes to invest $9.6 million over five years, with $1.7 million per year ongoing, for the RCMP to renew radio systems in New Brunswick. This renewal will help ensure the RCMP continues to have reliable and secure voice communications and greater interoperability with other first responders.
Protecting Jobs in Eastern Canada’s Forestry Sector
Budget 2018 proposes to take action alongside Atlantic provinces and the forest industry, and makes available up to $74.75 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, based on a 60:40 federal to provincial and industry cost-sharing basis, to prevent the spread of spruce budworm. Federal contributions will be provided through Natural Resources Canada.
Ensuring the Safe Operation of Tankers
Budget 2018 proposes to provide $9.6 million over three years, starting in 2018-19, to Transport Canada to continue to inspect 100 per cent of foreign-registered oil tankers on their first visit to Canada and once annually thereafter.
Developing the Next Generation of Rural Broadband
To enable the development of technologies that could extend and improve access to broadband in Canada’s most remote areas, Budget 2018 provides $100 million over five years to the Strategic Innovation Fund with a particular focus on supporting projects that relate to low Earth orbit satellites and next generation rural broadband.
Sustainable Aquaculture Program
Budget 2018 proposes to provide $21.6 million over two years, starting in 2018-19, to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to renew the Sustainable Aquaculture Program in support of an improved regulatory system. This funding will continue to support regulatory aquaculture science, work related to regulatory reform and governance, and public reporting on the environmental and economic performance of Canada’s aquaculture sector.
Making Employment Insurance More Responsive and Effective
Since 2005, a series of EI Working While on Claim pilot projects were implemented to encourage labour force attachment and allow claimants to earn higher amounts of employment income while on claim. The current pilot project, which expires in August 2018, allows claimants to keep 50 cents of their EI benefits for every dollar they earn, up to a maximum of 90 per cent of the weekly insurable earnings used to calculate their EI benefit amount. Budget 2018 proposes to provide $351.9 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, and $80.1 million per year ongoing, to amend the Employment Insurance Act to legislate the current EI Working While on Claim pilot rules. The legislation will include a provision to allow claimants who have chosen, under the current pilot, to revert to rules of a previous pilot introduced in 2005 to continue to do so for up to an additional three years, until August 2021. The EI Working While on Claim rules will also be expanded to EI maternity and sickness benefit claimants to allow them to keep 50 cents of EI benefits for each dollar of earning.
In addition, to ensure that support is provided to workers in seasonal industries who have exhausted their EI benefits, and cannot find alternative employment before the new season begins, Budget 2018 proposes to provide $80 million in 2018-19 and $150 million in 2019-20 through Labour Market Development Agreements with key provinces to co-develop and test local solutions to support workforce development. Employment and Social Development Canada will also reallocate $10 million from existing departmental resources in 2017-18 to provide income support and training in the short term to workers in seasonal industries until LMDA enhancements can be developed with applicable provinces.
Expanding the Medical Expense Tax Credit for Psychiatric Service Dogs
The Government recognizes that psychiatric service dogs can play an important role in helping Canadians cope with conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. Through Budget 2018, the Government proposes to expand the Medical Expense Tax Credit to recognize costs for these animals for the 2018 and future tax years.
Strengthening the Canada Child Benefit
To ensure that the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) continues to help Canadian families over the long term, the 2017 Fall Economic Statement proposed to index CCB benefits, starting in July 2018, to keep pace with the cost of living. Indexing the CCB will provide an additional $5.6 billion in support to Canadian families over the 2018-19 to 2022-23 period. Specifically, families in New Brunswick will receive $114.0 million in additional support over the 2018-19 to 2022-23 period.
Home Care and Mental Health
New Brunswick is expected to receive $18 million for home care and mental health in 2018-19. Budget 2017 committed $11 billion over 10 years to provinces and territories to improve access to mental health and addictions services, as well as home and community care services. New Brunswick’s share is estimated to be $228 million. In December 2017, New Brunswick reached an agreement with the Government on Canada on how it will dedicate its share of the funding for the first five years. The province received $6 million in 2017-18.
Early Learning and Child Care Update
As part of new 11-year federal investments in Early Learning and Child Care, a bilateral agreement has been concluded between the Government of Canada and the Government of New Brunswick. This agreement will transfer $30 million over three years (2017-18 to 2019-20) to New Brunswick for regulated early learning and child care programs and services. As many as 300 facilities will be transformed into designated early learning centres, resulting in some 9,900 children benefitting from low-fee child care.
Infrastructure Project Implementation
The Government has announced an infrastructure plan that will provide over $180 billion to communities across the country.
This plan is underway and is supporting new infrastructure projects and economic activity in Canada. To date, Infrastructure Canada has announced funding of $421 million for 143 projects in New Brunswick. For example:
- The Government contributed almost $2.4 million through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund for the purchase of eight new buses that will benefit residents of Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview. This investment was part of the funding announced in Budget 2016. An additional eleven buses were bought through a $2.7 million contribution from the Provincial Territorial Infrastructure Component – National and Regional Projects program. Built to current environmental standards with clean diesel technology, the new buses will use less fuel and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Public transit riders in these communities will also benefit from more accessible and reliable public transit services.
As part of the infrastructure plan, New Brunswick will receive $673.2 million through an integrated bilateral agreement with the federal government, which the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities is working to put in place this year. This agreement will support new investments in public transit; green infrastructure; community, cultural and recreational infrastructure; and rural and northern communities.
Innovation Superclusters Initiative
On February 15, 2018, the Government announced Canada’s five superclusters. This includes the Ocean Supercluster, which is based in Atlantic Canada and will use innovation to improve competitiveness in Canada’s ocean-based industries, including fisheries, oil and gas, and clean energy.