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Archived - Investing for Tomorrow

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To succeed in the future, Canada must invest in its best and brightest people so they can excel, building a more competitive economy and a better home for their families, their communities and those who follow in their footsteps. Budget 2008 invests in all Canadians to make our country a world leader.

Investing in People With:

  • $350 million for a new, consolidated Canada Student Grant Program reaching 245,000 college and undergraduate students in the fall of 2009, and rising to $430 million by 2012–13.
  • $123 million over four years to streamline and modernize the Canada Student Loans Program.
  • Enhanced flexibility for Registered Education Savings Plans, increasing the time limits they may remain open to 35 years from 25 years.
  • $25 million over two years to establish a new scholarship award for top Canadian and international doctoral students, dedicated to the memory of former Governor General Georges Vanier.
  • $3 million over two years for Canadian recipients of Canada Graduate Scholarships who wish to study abroad.
  • $21 million over two years to establish up to 20 Canada Global Excellence Research Chairs to strengthen the ability of Canadian institutions to attract and retain top science leaders.
  • $20 million to the Gairdner Foundation to enhance the Canada Gairdner International Awards for exceptional achievement in health research.
  • $22 million over the next two years, growing to $37 million per year, towards a modern competitive immigration system with faster processing of permanent resident applications and shorter wait times.
  • $60 million per year to fully exempt the first $3,500 of earned income from the Guaranteed Income Supplement calculation to support seniors.

Budget 2008 includes funding to expand online services for students—and enable them to manage their student loan account online—from application through to repayment.

Investing in Knowledge With:

  • $80 million per year to Canada’s three university research granting councils in support of industrial innovation, health priorities, and social and economic development in the North.
  • $140 million for Genome Canada to ensure Canada remains at the forefront of genomics research.
  • $250 million over five years to support the Automotive Innovation Fund for strategic, large-scale research and development projects by the automotive sector in developing innovative, greener and more fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • Enhanced Export Development Canada guarantee programs to support the automotive and manufacturing sectors.

Investing in Communities and Traditional Industries With:

  • $90 million to extend the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers to 2012.
  • A further $1 billion in support for Canada’s manufacturing sector with an additional three years of accelerated capital cost allowance treatment for new investment in machinery and equipment.
  • $72 million over two years for farm programs and to improve access to $3.3 billion in cash advances.
  • $22 million over two years to streamline and improve the environmental regulation of aquaculture.

This new assistance is above and beyond the $1-billion Community Development Trust announced in January of this year.

Investing in Infrastructure by:

  • Making the Gas Tax Fund, which will be $2 billion in 2009–10, a permanent measure, allowing municipalities to better plan and finance their long-term infrastructure needs.
  • Setting aside up to $500 million to support capital investments in public transit.
  • Announcing the establishment of PPP Canada Inc. to support public-private partnerships.

Supporting People in Need With:

  • $110 million to the Mental Health Commission of Canada to support innovative demonstration projects to develop best practices to help Canadians facing mental-health and homelessness challenges.
  • $282 million over this and the next two years to expand the Veterans Independence Program to support the survivors of veterans.

Investing in the Health and Safety of Canadians With:

  • $113 million over two years to support Canada’s Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan.
  • $33 million over two years to ensure greater safety of natural health products.
  • $25 million over two years to provide Canadians with better information on the links between pollution and illness.
  • New tax compliance and enforcement measures to reduce the availability of contraband tobacco products.
  • The broadening of the Medical Expense Tax Credit.
  • A Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) exemption to help individuals cope with disabilities or disorders, such as autism, and an expanded list of GST/HST-free medical and assistive devices.

Investing in Aboriginal Communities With:

  • $70 million over two years for measures to foster Aboriginal economic development.
  • $70 million over two years to improve First Nations education outcomes.
  • $147 million over two years to stabilize current First Nations and Inuit health programs and promote closer integration with provincial systems for better health outcomes.
  • $43 million over two years for prevention-based models of child and family services on reserve.
  • $330 million over two years to improve access to safe drinking water for First Nations.

Investing in a New North With:

  • An increase in the Northern Residents Deduction to attract skilled workers to northern Canada.
  • $34 million over two years for geo-mapping of natural resources.
  • A one-year extension of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit.

Investing in a Cleaner, Healthier Environment With:

  • $66 million over two years to establish the regulatory framework for industrial air emissions.
  • $250 million for research and demonstration of carbon capture and storage.
  • Expanded tax incentives for clean energy generation.
  • An increase to the capital cost allowance rate for carbon dioxide pipelines, a component of carbon capture and storage systems.
  • $21 million over two years to make environmental law enforcement more effective..

  • $24 million over two years to enhance the Government’s excellence programming for summer athletes..
  • $9 million over two years to capital infrastructure projects to support Canada’s National Museums.

Investing in Security With:

  • $400 million to encourage provinces and territories to recruit 2,500 new front-line police officers.
  • $122 million over two years to ensure the federal correctional system achieves better public safety results.
  • $32 million over two years to enhance the work of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
  • $30 million per year to the National Crime Prevention Strategy.
  • Stable, predictable new funding to support the Canada First Defence Strategy with annual increases in defence spending of 2 per cent starting in 2011–12, providing an additional $12 billion over 20 years.
  • $43 million over two years to the Communications Security Establishment to keep pace with rapid advancements in information and communications technologies.
  • $75 million over two years to ensure the Canada Border Services Agency has the resources it needs to effectively manage the border.
  • $6 million over two years to help provinces and territories introduce enhanced driver’s licences in partnership with U.S. states..
  • $26 million over two years to facilitate the processing of visa applications and enhance border security through the use of biometric data.
  • New electronic passports for Canadians, to be introduced in 2011, which will be valid for 10 years.
  • $29 million over the next two years to meet priorities under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.
  • $15 million over two years to establish a permanent facility to enhance the security of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway region.

How Can I Get More Information on Budget 2008?

Information is available on the Internet at or by phoning:

1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232)
(TTY for the speech and hearing impaired/deaf)

You can also obtain copies of this brochure and other budget documents from the:

Distribution Centre
Department of Finance Canada
Room P-135, West Tower
300 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G5
Phone: 613-995-2855
Fax: 613-996-0518

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