Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Highlights from Federal Budget Tabled Tuesday by Finance Minister Bill Morneau

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Highlights from Federal Budget Tabled Tuesday by Finance Minister Bill Morneau

Article excerpt

Highlights from Tuesday's federal budget

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OTTAWA - Highlights from the federal Liberal budget tabled Tuesday by Finance Minister Bill Morneau:

-- "Proactive" pay equity legislation, as well as $3 million over five years for a "pay transparency" measure, to close the wage gap among federal workers and in federally regulated sectors, impacting some 1.2 million people.

-- The "Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare," to be headed by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins, which will explore ways to establish a national drug program.

-- $3.2 billion over five years for Canadian science and research, including money for granting councils and Canada Research Chairs, upgrading outdated laboratory facilities and harnessing the power of "Big Data."

-- $2.6 billion over five years for a wide array of measures to encourage and foster scientific innovation and gender equality in the field, including encouraging female entrepreneurs and business leaders, revamping procurement and expanding access to broadband internet.

-- A federal deficit of $18.1 billion, including a $3-billion "risk adjustment," down from $19.3 billion last year, that's projected to decline slowly over the next several years, reaching $12.3 billion ($9.3 billion without the $3-billion cushion) by 2022-23.

-- About $1.4 billion over six years to support Indigenous children in foster care and promote family reunification, plus $400 million over 10 years to upgrade and expand Inuit housing and $500 million for Metis housing.

-- Plans to "eventually move away" from the disastrous Phoenix pay system for civil servants, including $431.4 million over six years to help address current pay problems, $5.5 million over two years for the Canada Revenue Agency to handle and process related tax queries and returns and $16 million over two years for efforts to find a suitable replacement system.

-- Higher excise taxes on tobacco products, including a $1 increase on a carton of 200 cigarettes and an adjustment that would see taxes increase with inflation every year, rather than every five years.

-- $1. …

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