Federal Budget Highlights

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, introduced the federal budget on Tuesday. The budget, Canada's Economic Action Plan for 2014, focused on measures for returning to a balanced budget by 2015.

The federal budget referenced several initiatives of interest to local governments, including:

  • Investing $305 million over five years to extend and enhance broadband internet service in rural and Northern communities.
  • Providing $391.5 over five years to the Parks Canada Agency to make improvements to highways, bridges, and dams located in national parks.
  • Investing $33 million over two years to support the divestiture of regional ports to local interests and the continued operation and maintenance of federally owned ports.
  • Providing $10 million over two years to improve and expand snowmobile and recreational trails across the country.
  • Investing $325.4 million over two years to continue the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan.
  • Providing $200 million over five years to establish a National Disaster Mitigation Program, $40 million over five years for disaster mitigation in First Nations communities, and $11.4 million over five years to upgrade the earthquake monitoring system.
  • Introducing a Search and Rescue Volunteers Tax Credit to volunteers that perform 200 hours of service during the tax year.
  • Providing $40 million over two years for repair and maintenance at small craft harbours.
  • Further reducing barriers to international trade and the domestic flow of goods.
  • Freezing the operating expenses of federal departments.
Absent from the budget were any targets, timelines or commitment to a long-term housing plan.  The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has been advocating for measures that would address housing affordability.

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