Federal budget 2016: A look at Liberal campaign promises
OTTAWA – The federal budget focused attention on whether the Liberals would make good on various campaign spending promises.
Here is a look at some they made during the campaign compared to what made it into the budget.
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— During the campaign: Changing the rules to allow people to dip into their RRSPs more than once to buy a home. Not in the budget.
— During the campaign: Bringing in a new, tax-free child benefit to replace the Conservative universal child benefit. In the budget.
— During the campaign: Providing a refundable tax benefit of up to $150 for teachers who spend their own money on school supplies. In the budget.
— During the campaign: Steps to increase federal infrastructure investment to almost $125 billion, from the current $65 billion, over the next decade. In the budget: $120 billion over ten years.
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— During the campaign: Provide $1.5 billion for public transit in Calgary as well as unspecified financing for flood control measures in the city. The budget promises to cover half the costs of transit projects eligible under the Public Transit Infrastructure fund, but does not list specific projects. It makes no mention of flood control measures for Calgary.
— During the campaign: Help fund a Montreal rapid transit expansion, as well as a light-rail project on the Champlain Bridge linking Montreal to the suburban South Shore. The budget promises to cover half the costs of transit projects eligible under the Public Transit Infrastructure fund, but does not list specific projects.
— During the campaign: Spend $3 billion over four years on home care and improve access to and reduce the cost of prescription medications through bulk purchasing. Not in the budget.
— During the campaign: Establish a pan-Canadian expert advisory council on mental health. Not in the budget.
— During the campaign: Spend $40 million over four years on the Nutrition North program, which is designed to help defray the high cost of nutritious food in the North. In the budget: $64.5 million over five years, and $13.8 million per year ongoing to expand the program.
— During the campaign: Increase the northern residents deduction by 33 per cent to a maximum of $22 a day. In the budget.
— During the campaign: Scrap the purchase of the F-35 fighter jet and instead buy cheaper planes. Spend the savings on navy vessels. In the budget: a review of military procurement, with capital spending pushed out to 2020.
— During the campaign: Spend $300 million a year to reform veterans’ benefits and delivery of services to vets. In the budget: $781.1 million over five years for veterans’ services and $5.6 billion worth of benefits over six year.
— During the campaign: Give $500 million to the provinces for skilled trades training, and devote $200 million for federal training programs. Set aside another $50 million to help aboriginal people improve their skills and job prospects. In the budget: $85.4 million over five years to develop a new framework to support union-based apprenticeship training. Also, $15 million over two years for aboriginal skills training pilot project.
— During the campaign: Spend about $1.5 billion over four years on a youth job strategy to help 125,000 young people find a job. In the budget: $165.4 million in 2016-2017 with investments for later years to be announced at a future date.
— During the campaign: Reduce EI premiums to $1.65 per $100 earned from $1.88. That’s less than the $1.49 rate that the Tories committed to in the 2015 budget, but the extra money would be reinvested, with $500 million going to the provinces for skills training. In the budget: The EI premium rate is set to decrease to $1.61 per $100 earned in 2017.
— During the campaign: Reinstate $40 million cut from the ocean science and monitoring program at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. In the budget: $197.1 million over five years to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to increase ocean and freshwater science, monitoring and research activities and to provide support for the Experimental Lakes Area in Northwestern Ontario.
— During the campaign: $2.6 billion over four years for First Nations education. Add another $500 million over three years for education infrastructure and $50 million more a year for a program that helps aboriginals in post-secondary education. In the budget: $2.6 billion over five years for education, $969.4 million over five years for education infrastructure.
— During the campaign: Provide $380 million in additional funding for the arts beginning in 2017 and undo Conservative funding cuts to the CBC. In the budget: Between this year and 2021, $1.9 billion in cultural funding and $675 million for the CBC.