2007 Canadian federal budget
|Presented||March 19, 2007|
|Passed||June 22, 2007|
|Finance Minister||Jim Flaherty|
|Total revenue||C$242.4 billion|
|Total expenditures||C$232.8 billion|
|Program Spending||C$199.5 billion|
|Tax cuts||C$5.7 billion|
|Debt payment||C$33.3 billion|
|Website||http://www.budget.gc.ca/2007/pdf/bp2007e.pdf Aspire to a Stronger, Safer, Better Canada|
The Canadian federal budget for the 2007–2008 fiscal year was presented to the Canadian House of Commons by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on March 19, 2007. The federal budget included $14 billion in new spending and $5.7 billion in tax cuts. This was the second budget of the 39th Canadian Parliament.
Since the government held a minority, the budget needed support of at least one opposition party. On March 29, 2007, Bill C-52, the enabling legislation to implement the budget, received First Reading in the House of Commons with the support of the Bloc Québécois. The New Democratic Party and Liberal Party voted against it.
Many politicians believe that the changes to equalization disregard the Atlantic Accord. There was speculation that some Atlantic government members would vote against the Budget, but only Bill Casey did, and was subsequently removed from Caucus.
On June 22, 2007, the Senate passed the budget with a vote of 45–21, with only liberal senators from Atlantic Canada and Saskatchewan voting against it. Conservative senator Anne Cools voted against it too, which in turn led to her removal from the Conservative caucus. The bill was given royal assent by the Governor-General, Michaëlle Jean, about two hours after the vote.
Areas of direction
Some of the key items in the budget are:
- $39 billion in transfers to provinces for public services and infrastructure
- $2000/child tax credit
- Increase age limit for RRSPs
- $9.2 billion in debt reduction
- $550 million/year to combat the welfare trap
- $140 million to establish a Registered Disability Savings Plan
- Subsidies up to $2000 on low-emissions automobiles and a Car tax up to $4000
- $1.5 billion in transfers to provinces for projects that combat climate change and air pollution
- $400 million to implement national electronic health records
- $612 million to reduce hospital wait times
- $300 million for HPV vaccines
- $60 million increase in Canadian Forces wages
- $600 million for farmer savings plans
- $400 million to offset agriculture production costs
- Increase in tobacco tax to offset GST reduction
These expenditures and cuts have led to some belief that this is pre-election budget, aimed at enticing voters.
The Liberals and the New Democrats announced shortly following the presentation of the budget that they will not support in its current form.
Nova Scotian politicians have criticized the new equalization plan, as it cuts back payments on the assumption that various offshore programs will result in increased revenues. Nova Scotia premier Rodney MacDonald has stated that this situation is caused the by the few Nova Scotian seats in the Federal Cabinet. This is expected to be a cut of approximately 5 million dollars. Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams criticized the budget as being a "betrayal" and a violation of the terms of the 2005 Atlantic Accord. Bill Casey, Conservative Member of Parliament for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, voted against the budget, because of the unfair equalization formula for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, and the effective cancellation of the Atlantic Accord. He has since been removed from the Conservative caucus.
Parti Québécois leader Andre Boisclair spoke in opposition to the budget, saying that the new money for Quebec was part of an effort to buy votes for the federalist Liberal Party of Quebec before the March 26, 2007 provincial election.
- "Canada's Economic Action Plan: Budget 2009". Department of Finance Canada. January 27, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2009.
- "Senate passes Tory budget". CBC News. June 22, 2007. Archived from the original on 25 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- "Budget 2007: A Stronger, Safer, Better Canada" (Press release). Department of Finance. March 19, 2007. Archived from the original on 2 June 2007. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
- "Prime Minister unveils new Canada ecoTrust" (Press release). Office of the Prime Minister. February 12, 2007. Archived from the original on 22 June 2007. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
- http://thechronicleherald.ca/Canada/565500.html "Federal budget could be prelude to election" Halifax Chronicle-Herald.ca,
- http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2007/03/20/ns-fedbudget.html "Equalization Plan unfair, Macdonald says", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.ca
- http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/565615.html "No fiscal fairness for N.S.", Halifax Chronicle-Herald
- http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2007/06/04/budget-casey.html "Tory MP says he'll vote against budget over offshore flip-flop", CBC.ca
- http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070320/wl_canada_nm/canada_quebec_election_col_4 "Ottawa's cash stirs up Quebec election campaign", Reuters