Corriere Canadese

Photo: MP. Sorbara and Frank Fazzri, CA 

Vaughan - Francesco Sorbara, MP Vaughan-Woodbridge held a post-budget meeting yesterday with entrepreneurs, taxation experts, accountants and other professionals from his constituency where he discussed the key measures of the latest budget. Frank Fazzari from Fazzari and Partners, Charter Accountants explained some of the implications and look-fors in the budget.

Summarized below are the key points of the 2017 spring budget as provided by Mr. Sorbara's office:

Budget 2017 puts people first and delivers the help that Ontarians – and all Canadians – need now, not a decade from now. It is an essential step to restore prosperity to the middle class. With Budget 2017, a number of key measures are specifically focused on the Greater Toronto Area, including:

✓ A major transfer of $21.1 billion in 2017-18. Of this, Ontario will receive: • $1.3 billion through Equalization; • $14.3 billion through the Canada Health Transfer, an increase of $433.8 million from the previous year; and • $5.3 billion through the Canada Social Transfer, an increase of $160.5 million from the previous year.

✓ Providing more – and better – home care and mental health supports for Canadians who need it – through an investment of $11 billion, over ten years. More specifically, the Government will provide Ontario with an additional $4.2 billion in the next decade, of which: • $2.3 billion will be dedicated to better home care – including addressing critical home care infrastructure requirements; and, • $1.9 billion will be allocated in support of mental health initiatives.

✓ Ensuring our children are equipped with the digital skills they need to succeed in the future, including supporting K-12 programs that teach kids to code – through an investment of $50 million over two years, starting in 2017-18.

✓ Strong support for business-led innovation “superclusters” – in key sectors such as digital and clean tech – that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth, through an investment of up to $950 million over five years, starting in 2017–18.

✓ Reducing barriers and supporting newcomers as they work to put their skills to use in the Canadian economy, under the Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers – through an investment of $27.5 million over five years, starting in 2017-18. ✓ Creating a new Strategic Innovation Fund that will attract, support, and grow Canadian business in dynamic and emerging sectors, such as agri-food, digital, cleantech and advanced manufacturing – through an investment of $1.26 billion over five years.

✓ Launching a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy for research to retain and attract top academic talent and increase the number of post-graduate trainees and researchers studying artificial intelligence – through an investment of $125 million. The Strategy will promote collaboration between Canada’s main centres of expertise in Montréal, Toronto-Waterloo, and Edmonton and it will position Canada as a world- leading destination for companies seeking to invest in artificial intelligence and innovation.

✓ Making ambitious investments in public transit projects that will shorten commutes, decrease air pollution, and allow Canadians to spend more time with their families – through an investment of 20.1 billion, over 11 years, in partnership with the provinces and territories.

✓ Eliminating the $1000 Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) fee for bringing in medical caregivers into Canada, as well as the LMIA fee for caregiversfor middle-class families making less than $150,000 in family income.

✓ Establishing a National Strategy to Address Gender-Based Violence that will help the government make informed decisions to advance the goals of gender equality, fairness, and stronger workforce participation – through an investment of $100.9 million over five years, beginning now, and $20.7 million per year thereafter.

✓ Supporting a Community Heroes benefit that will give the much-needed help to families of public safety officers who have fallen in the line of duty – through an investment that will be announced in 2018-19.

✓ Improving access to primary care and mental health services, home and palliative care, and greater support for maternal and child health for First Nations and Inuit – through an investment of $828.2 million over five years.

✓ Supporting post-secondary scholarships for over 12,000 Indigenous students – through an investment of $25 million over five years from Indspire, with additional leveraging from the private sector of $15 million.

✓ Delivering a mandate to provide advice on, develop, and coordinate the Government’s LGBTQ2 agenda, in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 – through an investment of $3.6 million over three years, starting in 2017-18.

✓ Taking action to help clean tech firms in Canada grow – through an investment of nearly $1.4 billion in new financing, deployed over three years, starting in 2017-18.

✓ Attracting top-tier international scholars and researchers to Canada under a new Canada 150 Research Chairs program – through an investment of $117.6 million over eight years.

✓ Expanding and enhancing the creative spaces and hubs that will be home to the next generation of artists and innovators, under the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund – through an investment of $300 million over 10 years.

✓ Supporting projects that build greener buildings, including those that increase the use of wood as a substitute material in infrastructure projects – through an investment of $39.8 million over four years, and an investment of $67.5 million, over the same amount of time, to support energy efficiency projects.

About the Author

Luciano Lista

Luciano Lista