May 20th, 2024

Here’s what the Liberals have already promised will be in today’s federal budget

By Nojoud Al Mallees, The Canadian Press on April 16, 2024.

OTTAWA – Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to present the federal budget on Tuesday after a countrywide tour that teased many of the housing and affordability measures to be included in the document.

Here’s what the federal Liberals have already promised.

Housing plan

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government’s plan to tackle the housing crisis, which he promised will build nearly 3.9 million homes by 2031.

The plan builds on a string of announcements made over the last few weeks and since the fall, pledging billions of dollars in low-cost loans, infrastructure spending and homelessness support.

Ottawa is promising to:

– increase the capital cost allowance rate for apartments from four to 10 per cent, which will increase how much builders can write off from their taxes;

– extend the mortgage amortization period to 30 years for first-time homebuyers purchasing new builds;

– make more public lands available for home construction, while leasing lands to developers rather than selling them off.

National defence spending

The Liberal government plans to boost military spending to 1.76 per cent of GDP by 2030.

That includes setting aside another $8.1 billion over the next five years and spending $73 billion by 2044.

Artificial intelligence

Ottawa is setting aside $2.4 billion in the upcoming budget to build capacity in artificial intelligence.

The bulk of that – $2 billion – is going into a fund that will aim to provide access to computing capabilities and technical infrastructure.

School food program

Ottawa will propose $1 billion over five years to set up a national school food program, with the aim of delivering meals to 400,000 additional children.

Youth mental health fund

The Liberal government has pledged to set up a $500-million fund to help community health organizations give more mental health care for young people.

During the 2021 election campaign, the Liberals promised a similar fund for post-secondary institutions to help with the mental health of students.

Loans for child-care centres

The Liberal government plans to provide more than $1 billion in low-cost loans, grants and student loan forgiveness to expand child care across Canada.

Tax credit for firefighters

The federal budget will propose to double the Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit and Search and Rescue Volunteers Credit.

The federal government says the tax credit will rise from $3,000 to $6,000 and save volunteer firefighters up to $900 per year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2024.

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