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Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s message with Budget 2019 is that, thanks to the Federal Government’s investments over the past three years, things are going well — especially for the middle class: more Canadians have full-time jobs, unemployment is at historic lows, wages are growing, consumers and businesses are confident, economic growth is good, and our debt is manageable.

Nonetheless, says Morneau, more needs to be done to ensure Canadians’ prosperity over the coming years. For the most part, that means adding tax credits and other incentives and enhancing existing ones, giving the Canada Revenue Agency more resources to recover unpaid taxes and to help businesses comply, measures to reduce tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, improving retirement and disability savings plans, and introducing the framework for a national prescription drug plan.

It does not mean making changes to personal and business tax rates, making substantive effort to improve the efficiency of the Income Tax Act or making significant cuts intended to reduce the deficit.


In this year’s Budget, the federal government announced the creation of a program — the First-time Home Buyers’ Incentive, or FTHBI, to provide assistance to individuals seeking to enter the housing market. Under that FTHBI, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) (an agency of the federal government) will add a specified amount to the down payment made on a home purchase by a qualifying buyer, with the effect of reducing the amount of the monthly mortgage payment required of the new home owner.


Canadians are fortunate to benefit from a publicly funded health care system, in which most costs of care ranging from routine visits to a family doctor to intensive care in a hospital setting are paid for by government-sponsored health insurance.


The Canadian tax system is a “self-assessing system” which relies heavily on the voluntary co-operation of taxpayers. Canadians are expected (in fact, in most cases, required), to complete and file a tax return each spring, reporting income from all sources, calculating the amount of tax owed, and remitting that amount to the federal government by a specified deadline.


By now, news of yet another data breach resulting in unauthorized access to personal information — especially financial information — has become so frequent as to seem almost commonplace. Notwithstanding, the recent data breach affecting Capital One was, in many ways, a singular event.