BIOTECanada: Federal Budget Strengthens Biotechnology Industry Ecosystem Building Canadian Economy

The federal government has promised $1 billion in spending to boost innovation over four years for industries, including mining, and it will create a new five-year Strategic Innovation Fund.

"The finance minister saying that defence has enough and is living within it means, that seems to indicate that defence is going to have the exact same budget line it does now", said defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

"Food safety and the integrity of the system are paramount and we look for ways to continue to work with CFIA to deliver on their mandate".

But David Macdonald of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said the budget failed to shed light on the government's plans. "The next step in our plan for Canada's economy is making the smart, responsible investments we need to be innovative and competitive".

Morneau outlined the projected deficit this year to come in at $28.5-billion, with deficits expected through 2021-22.

The government will also issue a record level of bonds in the upcoming fiscal year, and the budget made no explicit pledge to lower the debt-to-GDP ratio that had been included a year earlier.

The details of most of the new strategic plans and national funds are sketchy, and Morneau indicated they won't be released for months.

Ottawa will spend just under $100 million in 2017-18 on skills and job training programs for Canada's indigenous peoples.

Morneau is still forecasting deficits totaling C$127.8 billion ($96 billion) over six years, excluding a new C$3 billion annual risk-adjustment buffer.

OTTAWA — The future is coming at you, fast, and the Liberal government says it knows youre getting anxious — and potentially angry. "It's time to address the fact that stock traders and CEOs pay half the tax rate on stock options than janitors who sweep their floors pay on income tax", says Macdonald.

And the budget, with its lower-than-expected deficit projection of $25.5 billion for the coming fiscal year — it swells to $28.5 billion when a $3 billion contingency reserve is included — is created to help them get there.

"The budget's a public policy document and I think the story will be much more into where the country needs to go as opposed to dollar amounts..." A partnership with charitable organization Indspire is also in the works with $5 million directed to the company every year for five years - on the condition it raises $3 million per year in matching funds from the private sector.

For more on infrastructure spending.

Startups: $400 million over three years for a new venture capital catalyst initiative.

While relatively thin on net new spending, the budgets new promises still come with a cost, especially since the federal government is still footing the bill for the very big, ongoing commitments from a year ago. Spending will rise 4.8 per cent to $330.2 billion, while government revenues are forecast to rise 4.4 per cent to $304.7 billion. "But we must also adapt as urgently to the time, money, service and environmental squeeze facing younger Canadians".

Budget 2017 also announces several measures revolving around infrastructure spending geared at Communities Built for Change, and aimed specifically at public transit, clean growth energy, social infrastructure and better-connected communities.

Employment Insurance is there when Canadians lose their jobs, and supports them when they are on maternity leave, or when they are caring for a seriously ill family member.

  • Leroy Wright


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