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Federal Budget highlights

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The Trudeau government has released its first federal budget, and it’s a big one.

The Liberals blew its campaign promise of a 10 billion dollar deficit out of the water; in 2016-17 the federal government will be $29.4 billion in the red.

The budget is highlighted by big spends in infrastructure, public transit, first nations spending and more.

During his budget speech in the House of Commons, Finance Minister Bill Morneau followed through on a campaign promise that will make veterans in Prince George happy.

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“With this budget we are providing additional funding to Veterans Affairs Canada so it can reopen affairs offices recently shuttered in Charlottetown, Sydney, Corner Brook, Windsor, Thunder Bay, Saskatoon, Brandon, Prince George and Kelowna.”

Morneau was drowned out in applause following the announcement.

Other highlights include;

-A $23 billion tax-free Canada Child Benefit, which will replace both the tax-free Canada Child Tax Benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit. The government says the program will lift 330,000 children out of poverty by next year.
-$11.9 billion investment for public transit
-$8.4 billion over five years for indigenous people and communities
-$3.4 billion in new funding for Parks Canada
-$112 million over two years on a homeless strategy
-New investments in postsecondary research, and $2 billion to modernize campuses
-$675 million in new funding over five years for the CBC

The federal government backed away from a campaign promise that would have seen a reduction in the small business tax rate to 9%, instead it will drop just 0.5% to 10.5%.

There is also no return to a balanced budget in Minister Morneau’s five year forecast, despite a campaign promise to have the books balanced by 2019.

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