Members – today is a great day for co-operatives in Canada! At the very forefront of the Federal Budget is a $500 million dollar allotment towards co-operative housing. This is the largest investment for co-operative housing in over thirty years, and it is estimated that 6,000 units will be constructed with this fund.
A big thanks should go out to the Co-operative Housing Foundation of Canada (CHF Canada) who will be working with the government to implement this project. CHF was founded in 1968 and was largely responsible for the significant increase co-operative housing stock in the 1970s, 1980s, and the beginning of the 1990s.
Some other highlights from the Budget:
- The reduction in the annual deficit from $113.8 billion last year to $52.8 billion this year
- $5.3 billion to provide dental care for Canadians with family incomes of less than $90,000 annually
- A focus on zero-emission vehicles, with mandated sale requirements of 20%, 60%, 100%. These are to be achieved by 2026, 2030 and 2035 respectively
- An increase to the defense budget of $6.1 billion over five years
- Two new taxes:
- A one-time 15% tax on taxable income above $1 billion for the 2021 tax year for banks and life insurer groups
- A new corporate tax bracket of 16.5% for income above $100 million for banks and life insurer groups
This budget is unique in Canadian history in that it had budget additions from a second party before going to the House of Commons. For the New Democratic Party to give their support to this budget, $15 billion was added to the bottom line with items such as the dental care program and the Indigenous portion of the housing initiative. Both the Liberal Party and the NDP campaigned on these items and are working towards a national Pharmacare plan.