Canada Finance Minis­ter’s Statement

Author: | Published: 19 Oct 2018
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Three years ago, Canadians made an important choice: to turn away from policies that led to stubborn unemployment and sluggish economic growth and toward a more ambitious approach, one grounded in the simple but powerful idea that the benefits of a growing economy should be shared by all Canadians.

That commitment – achieving growth that works for everyone – has guided our government, and benefitted Canadians, ever since.

One of our first actions was to raise taxes on the wealthiest Canadians, so that we could lower taxes for the middle class. To help low- and middle-income families with the high cost of raising children, we introduced a new child benefit program – helping to lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. We made post-secondary education more affordable with enhancements to student grant and loan programs. We strengthened the Canada Pension Plan, to help workers feel more confident about the future. We cut taxes for small businesses, so that they can invest to create more good, well-paying jobs that support Canadian communities. And we continue to make historic investments in infrastructure, science and innovation – all part of Canada's plan for long-term growth.

These investments, along with the hard work of Canadians, have delivered exceptional results – helping to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and pushing unemployment to close to 40-year lows. This is good news for Canada's middle class and for all those working hard to join it. It's also good news for Canada's long-term prosperity. By balancing growth-generating investments with sound fiscal management, Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio has continued to decline and is now less than half the average of all G7 countries.

At the same time, Canada – like its G7 peers – faces a number of immediate and long-term challenges to continued growth. Market volatility, uncertainty about the future of trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, the imposition of additional tariffs on internationally traded goods, and the possibility of an extended trade war all weigh heavily on Canada's growth prospects.

That is why – now more than ever – the world's leading economies need to ensure that the growth they achieve truly does work for everyone, including those most at risk of being left behind. As we have seen throughout history, when growth is not broadly shared, it can give rise to frustration and worry, ultimately threatening support for the things that have helped to deliver strong growth in the past, such as resource development and international trade.

As Canada's experience shows, investing in people, in communities and in a long-term plan for economic growth is money well spent. These investments put more money in the pockets of hard-working citizens, help to create more good, well-paying jobs and give people greater confidence about the future.

Achieving growth that works for everyone will continue to be an important challenge for our government and for the world. If we meet this challenge head-on, working together, we can deliver the strong, sustained growth our citizens were promised and expect.