2007 Canadian federal budget

2007 Canadian federal budget

Infobox Canadian budget
year = 2007
presented = March 19, 2007
passed = June 22, 2007
parliament = 39th
party = Conservative
minister = Jim Flaherty
spending = $4.8 billion
tax_cut = $5.7 billion
debt_payment = $9.2 billion
bill = C-52
bill_link = http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=2817841&Language=e

The Canadian federal budget for the 2007-2008 fiscal year was presented to the Canadian House of Commons by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on March 19, 2007. The federal budget included $14 billion in new spending and $5.7 billion in tax cuts. This is the current Conservative government's second budget.

Since the government holds a minority, the budget needs support of at least one opposition party. On March 29, 2007, Bill C-52, the enabling legislation to implement the budget, received First Reading in the House of Commons with the support of the Bloc Québécois. The New Democratic Party and Liberal Party voted against.

Many politicians believe that the changes to equalization disregard the Atlantic Accord. There was speculation that some Atlantic government members would vote against the Budget, but only Bill Casey did, and was subsequently removed from Caucus.

On June 22, 2007, the Senate passed the budget with a vote of 45-21, with only liberal senators from Atlantic Canada and Saskatchewan voting against. As well, the then Conservative senator Anne Cools voted against it, which in turn led to her removal from the Conservative caucus. The bill went to Governor-General Michaëlle Jean and was given royal assent about two hours after the vote. [ [http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/06/22/senate-budget.html Senate passes Tory budget ] ]

Areas of direction

Some of the key items in the budget are: [cite press release | title=Budget 2007: A Stronger, Safer, Better Canada | publisher=Department of Finance | date=2007-03-19 | url=http://www.budget.gc.ca/2007/news/newse.html | accessdate=2007-06-16]
* $39 billion in transfers to provinces for public services and infrastructure
* $2000/child tax credit
* Increase age limit for RRSPs
* $9.2 billion in debt reduction
* $550 million/year to combat the welfare trap
* $140 million to establish a Registered Disability Savings Plan
* Subsidies up to $2000 on low-emissions automobiles and a Gas-guzzler tax up to $4000
* $1.5 billion in transfers to provinces for projects that combat climate change and air pollution [cite press release | title=Prime Minister unveils new Canada ecoTrust | publisher=Office of the Prime Minister | date=2007-02-12 | url=http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=1532 | accessdate=2007-06-16]
* $400 million to implement national electronic health records
* $612 million to reduce hospital wait times
* $300 million for HPV vaccines
* $60 million increase in Canadian Forces wages
* $600 million for farmer savings plans
* $400 million to offset agriculture production costs

These expenditures and cuts have led to some belief that this is pre-election budget, aimed at enticing voters. [http://thechronicleherald.ca/Canada/565500.html "Federal budget could be prelude to election" Halifax Chronicle-Herald.ca,]

Opposition

The Liberals and the New Democrats announced shortly following the presentation of the budget that they will not support in its current form.

Nova Scotian politicians have criticized the new equalization plan, as it cuts back payments on the assumption that various offshore programs will result in increased revenues. Nova Scotia premier Rodney MacDonald has stated that this situation is caused the by the few Nova Scotian seats in the Federal Cabinet. [http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2007/03/20/ns-fedbudget.html "Equalization Plan unfair, Macdonald says", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.ca] This is expected to be a cut of approximately 5 million dollars. [ http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/565615.html "No fiscal fairness for N.S.", Halifax Chronicle-Herald ] Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams criticized the budget as being a "betrayal" and a violation of the terms of the 2005 Atlantic Accord. Bill Casey, Conservative Member of Parliament for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, voted against the budget, because of the unfair equalization formula for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, and the effective cancellation of the Atlantic Accord. [http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2007/06/04/budget-casey.html "Tory MP says he'll vote against budget over offshore flip-flop", CBC.ca] He has since been removed from the Conservative caucus.

Parti Québécois leader Andre Boisclair spoke in opposition to the budget, saying that the new money for Quebec was part of an effort to buy votes for the federalist Liberal Party of Quebec before the March 26 2007 provincial election. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070320/wl_canada_nm/canada_quebec_election_col_4 "Ottawa's cash stirs up Quebec election campaign", Reuters]

The Mayor of Toronto, David Miller, also criticized the budget for its alleged lack of funding for cities.

Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May stated in an interview that, if her party were to hold seats in Parliament, they would not support the budget as it does not adequately address the issue of climate change.

References

:* [http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/budget2007/index.html CBC's report on the budget.]

See also

* 2004 Canadian federal budget
* 2005 Canadian federal budget
* 2006 Canadian federal budget
* Domestic policy of the Harper government


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