Highlights of the 2015 federal budget tabled by Finance Minister Joe Oliver
Budget 2015 heavy on military spending, security expansion and projected tax cuts
OTTAWA — Highlights of the 2015-16 federal budget introduced Tuesday by Finance Minister Joe Oliver:
— The budget is balanced, with a projected surplus of $1.4 billion this year, increasing to $4.8 billion in 2019-20.
— The sale of the government's General Motors shares, purchased in 2009 as part of an effort to help the auto industry weather the storm in the wake of the 2008 recession, generated a net gain of $2.1 billion.
— The federal contingency fund drops to $1 billion in 2015-16, returning to $3 billion by 2019.
— The small business tax rate drops from 11 per cent to 9 per cent by 2019.
— An additional $11.8 billion for the Canadian military over 10 years, starting in 2017.
— Up to $360.3 million for the extended and expanded mission against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and $7.1 million for the recently announced military training mission in Ukraine.
— $23 million over four years to upgrade security at Canada's military bases.
— $292.6 million over five years for the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to fight terrorism and enforce the government's new anti-terror law.
— $12.5 million over five years, followed by an additional $2.5 million a year, for the Security Intelligence Review Committee, which oversees CSIS.
— $58 million over five years to better protect computer networks and critical infrastructure against cyberattacks, and $36.4 million over five years to address cybersecurity threats.
— $60.4 million over three years to buttress Parliament Hill security, $27 million over give years for tighter security at federal court and registry offices, and $10 million over five years for Ottawa police.
— Changing the rules governing registered retirement income funds, or RRIFs, to allow seniors to preserve their retirement nest eggs for longer.
— Increasing the annual contribution limit on tax-free savings accounts to $10,000 from $5,500.
— Extending compassionate-care benefits under the employment insurance system from six weeks to six months for Canadians caring for gravely ill family members.
— A $1-million lifetime capital gains exemption for farm and fishing businesses.
— $750 million over two years, starting in 2017-18, plus $1 billion a year thereafter, for a fund to promote investment in public transit systems.
— $15.7 million over five years to streamline travel to Canada by low-risk travellers from Brazil, Bulgaria, Mexico and Romania.
— $3 million over two years, starting next year, to establish a high-speed mobile network dedicated to emergency management.
— Up to $100 million over five years to foster innovation among Canadian automotive parts suppliers.
— $210 million over four years for activities and events to mark Canada's 150th anniversary in 2017.
— An additional $1.33 billion over six years, starting in 2017–18, to support advanced research infrastructure at universities, colleges and research hospitals.
— $35 million over five years to help immigrants cover the cost of upgrading foreign credentials.
— $6 million over five years for better access to safe, reliable and less-expensive remittance services, which allow Canadians to send money to friends and family in developing countries.
The Canadian Press