Budget 2008
March 10, 2021
On February 26th, our Government tabled a balanced, focused, and prudent budget to strengthen Canada and Ontario amidst current global economic uncertainty. Budget 2008 continues our Government’s efforts to reduce debt and taxes, as well as focusing government spending, while providing additional support for sectors of the economy that are presently struggling.

In 2008, the Federal Government is injecting $21 billion of stimulus into the Canadian economy as a result of all our tax relief measures. As a share of the economy, this is significantly greater than the stimulus package offered by the United States.

Budget 2008 also provides Canadians with the most important federally-driven personal finance innovation since the introduction of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP): the Tax Free Savings Account. This flexible, registered, general-purpose account will allow Canadians to watch their savings – including interest income, dividend payments and capital gains grow tax-free. The initiative is the first of its kind in Canadian history and will offer Canadians a powerful incentive to save.

The Budget also demonstrates responsible leadership by:
  • Paying down debt. Since taking office, the Government has paid down more than $37 billion on our “national mortgage,” including $10.2 billion this fiscal year. The Government’s aggressive paying down of debt has saved Canadians $2 billion in ongoing interest savings a year, which has been passed on to Canadians in tax relief through the Government’s Tax Back Guarantee.
  • Strengthening Canada’s tax advantage. Since taking office, the Government has delivered almost $200 billion in tax relief over this and the next five years. Budget 2008 extends accelerated capital cost allowance treatment to the manufacturing and processing sector by three years on a declining basis – providing Ontario businesses with an additional $74.9 million in tax relief.
  • Supporting the automotive sector. We are supporting the automotive sector with over $1.6 billion in benefits over this and the next five years. This includes $250 million for an Automotive Innovation Fund and over $1 billion in tax relief for the auto sector by 2012-13.
  • Investing in the future. Our Government is extending the federal gas tax fund to municipalities permanently. This will provide an additional $2 billion a year, every year, forever.
  • Targeting support. Ontario will receive $358 million over 3 years through the $1 billion Community Development Trust, to support efforts to help vulnerable communities adjust to global economic uncertainty; $515 million for infrastructure initiatives; $195 million for labour market training; $13.4 million through the Cull Breeding Swine Program to alleviate financial pressures faced by the Canadian hog industry; and $303 million as Ontario’s share of the Clean Air and Climate Change Trust, the HPV Immunization Trust and the Patient Wait Times Guarantee Trust.
  • Providing leadership at home. We are providing $156 million to Ontario to hire new front line police officers over the next five years. Budget 2008 also provides funding to preserve and protect the environment; $110 million to support those with mental health issues, including a pilot project in Toronto to help address the needs of those who are homeless and suffering from mental illness. The Budget also delivers $660 million to support Aboriginal Canadians.
  • Providing leadership abroad. We are providing the Canadian Forces with stable and predictable funding to permit long-term planning and delivering on our promises for international assistance.

The restoration of fiscal balance by our Government has put Ontario in a position to receive $13.9 billion in 2008-09, which is an increase of $1.4 billion from last year and almost $2.7 billion since 2005-06. These transfers include $8.6 billion through the Canada Health Transfer and $4.1 billion through the Canada Social Transfer.

Our Government recognizes there are challenges on the horizon for our country and Budget 2008 prepares Canada and Canadians for the challenges that lie ahead. It continues our Government’s achievements in reducing debt and taxes, focuses Government spending, and provides extra support for sectors of the economy that are struggling in this period of global uncertainty.

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