The Budget, the reactions

“The bottom line for average taxpayers is a net benefit in 2006 and larger tax savings in 2007. Yet the federal government’s lowest personal income tax rate will rise. In 2005 it was set at 15 per cent and applied to the first $35,595 of income. The Conservative’s first budget will see this rate increase to 15.25 per cent this year and to 15.5 per cent in 2007 … So while the GST is being cut by one point, income taxes paid by ordinary Canadians will go up. … The one group that will benefit immensely from this budget is Canadian households with young children. Economically, they will rocket ahead thanks to the government’s fulfilment of its promise to provide all families with $100 a month for each child under age 6.” — John Williamson, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

“The fiscal irresponsibility of this budget is completely unacceptable … The Harper government is throwing fiscal prudence out the window and spending savings from program cuts before they even have them in the bank.” — Liberal Finance Critic, John McCallum

“Today’s first Conservative budget is a lost opportunity for
working families. Instead of investing in the services people
have waited years to see, this budget squanders the surplus on
more corporate tax cuts. As a result of this budget, child care wait lists will go up, pollution will go up, and student debt will go up.”

“L’engagement ferme du gouvernement à s’attaquer et à éliminer le déséquilibre fiscal constitue une avancée majeure pour le Québec et c’est pourquoi le Bloc Québécois appuiera ce budget lorsqu’il sera soumis au vote des parlementaires de la Chambre des communes. (The firm commitment of the the government to attack and eliminate the fiscal imbalance is a major advancement for Quebec and that’s why the Bloc Quebecois will support this budget when it is put to a vote to parliamentarians in the House of Commons)” — Gilles Duceppe, leader of the Bloc Quebecois

“This budget exceeded our expectations. Small business owners should love this budget. It is clear that focusing on small business priorities not only makes good economic sense, it makes good political sense. All political parties in this minority government should support these initiatives. For every dollar the budget allocates to spending priorities there are two dollars allocated to tax reductions. The budget hits virtually all of our members tax priorities” — Canadian Federation of Independent Business

“Today’s federal budget delivered the right
message in key areas as the government made good on its promises to implement fiscal measures and expense management initiatives that are conducive to Canada’s future economic well-being. In large part, Canadian business can endorse this budget. … The government has heard our call and acknowledged the need to reduce the tax burden of Canadian taxpayers and businesses alike, in order to make Canada more competitive”
— Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“The federal government has presented a budget that
raises more questions than answers in meeting Ontario’s priorities and
addressing the fiscal imbalance … The federal government has recognized the fiscal imbalance for the first time, but it missed the opportunity to act on the fiscal imbalance today. We will continue to make our case to the federal government for fair treatment for Ontarians”
— Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs, Ontario (McGuinty government)

“In addition to tax cuts, particularly the many corporate tax cutscontained in the budget, the Conservatives are slowing government spending at a time when the economy is growing … They’re also instituting another round of expenditure review, cutting $1-billion in each of the next two fiscal years. If the government is planning to institute these cuts in addition to Liberals’ five-year expenditure reduction plan, there will be a serious impact on the provision of federal public services in more areas.” — Public Service Alliance of Canada

“These tax cuts will put money back in the pockets of Canadian familiesand will help increase consumer confidence about making big ticket purchases, such as buying, furnishing, or renovating a home … The reduction in the GST rate to six per cent will reduce the costs associated with buying or selling a home, and will help to make ownership more
— Pierre Beauchamp, CEO Canadian Real Estate Association

“Finance Minister Jim Flaherty clearly recognizes that to ensure long-term prosperity, Canada needs to increase our productivity … But the measures introduced today, mean Canadians will still lag far behind the U.S. in productivity growth and have to wait years before enjoying the same levels of prosperity. … We congratulate the government for recognizing the tax burden is still high for small and medium businesses, but raising the threshold for small
business income to $400,000 from $300,000 for the reduced federal tax rate is
still insufficient”
— Richard Monk, Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada)

“Ontario’s municipal governments see promise in the
Harper Government’s first Budget. The Budget includes a commitment to work
with provinces and territories over the next year on the fiscal imbalance. It
also fulfills commitments to a total of $7.1 billion in federal funding
support for municipal infrastructure over the next 4 years.”
— Association of Municipalities of Ontario

“This Budget delivers good news for Canada’s municipal sector and for all Canadians. It lays out a blueprint for relations among all orders of government that is both respectful of jurisdictions and pragmatic. The promise to consult with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities before federal Budgets reflects this practical and pragmatic approach.” — Federation of Canadian Municipalities

“The Federal Budget contains nothing for
child care today and no plan for tomorrow. … Families that can’t find child care now are going to find the search harder. Some children may lose the early learning and child care they have and parents will find paying for child care just as difficult.
— Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS applaud today’s announcement
by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Government on following through on their campaign promise to reduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Once the specific legislation regarding GST is tabled, the Blue Jays will examine all available options with respect to customers who have already
purchased tickets for future games and those customers who will purchase
tickets after the legislation takes effect.
— The Toronto Blue Jays

“First Nations will remain in last place as
a result of today’s so-called “Building a Better Canada” federal budget. This
disappointing budget does not begin to address the gap in quality of life
between First Nations and other Canadians and could increase the gap through
— Phil Fontaine, Assembly of First Nations

“Despite years of hard work and great progress
as we experienced with the previous government, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have not stood up for the Métis Nation. It is not acceptable to ignore the years of work which lead to last November’s historic signing of the $5.1 billion dollar Kelowna Accord. The accord was endorsed by all provinces, territories and national Aborigional organizations and yet, despite receiving clear support for this investment and record federal surpluses, this new government has not made the welfare of Canada’s first peoples and in
particular, the Métis Nation, a priority.”
— Métis Nation

“The federal budget tabled today by Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty, while short on specifics on how the money will be
allocated, indicates an important re-investment in Canadian military and
security forces, which will benefit the nation and potentially create strong
new opportunities for the Canadian defence and security sector”
— Tim Page, President of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries

“The Harper Government’s first federal budget
will do very little to provide relief for students and their families who are
struggling with escalating fees for post-secondary education. Although the
budget contains minor tax changes for students, it will not fundamentally
improve access to post-secondary education according to the Canadian
Federation of Students.”
— Canadian Federation of Students

“This is encouraging — a better budget for business than we have seen in the last five years … While it falls short of CME’s standard for tax
competitiveness, it does include measures that will have a real benefit for
— President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

“The industry is very encouraged by these measures which will helpstimulate and reward capital investment in Canada and are a welcome first step in addressing the tax disadvantage that the Canadian forest products industry currently faces against its international competitors … These measures build on the momentum created through the resolution to the long-standing softwood dispute. — Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada

“We are delighted by this announcement of full funding for the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control … A fully funded Strategy will lead to fewer Canadians developing cancer and will significantly reduce suffering and death from this disease.” — Dr. Barbara Whylie, Canadian Cancer Society

“We’re shocked that the Harper government has cut half a billion dollars out of the post-secondary education funding committed by the previous government … This budget means that Canada’s three granting councils will have to reduce their support for research and graduate fellowships at a time when Canada’s research capability is more important than ever” — Greg Allain, President of the Canadian Association of University Teachers

“We are pleased with the budget’s support for university research, as well as the government’s recognition of the important role that research plays for Canadians … These increases in research funding underline the government’s commitment to promote a more competitive, more productive Canadian economy.” — The Association of Universities and Colleges
of Canada

“The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) is
very pleased that today’s budget confirms the federal government’s commitment to meaningful and sustainable investment in public transit.”
— Canadian Urban Transit Association

“The one-point cut to the goods and services tax
announced in today’s federal budget is welcome news for Canadian consumers and the small business owners that operate the majority of bar and restaurant
businesses in Canada, says the 31,000-member Canadian Restaurant and
Foodservices Association (CRFA). … A cut to the GST is tax relief that’s hard-wired into the economy … The July 1 reduction in the GST to 6% will provide visible and much-needed tax relief for Canadian consumers on virtually every purchase they make, putting money directly into their pockets.”
— Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

“Canada’s Chartered Accountants are encouraged that
the federal government’s budget focuses on responsible fiscal management,
while promising benefits to individuals, families and small businesses. … The budget provides a focused range of measures directed to meeting the needs of Canadians. … We are encouraged that the government recognizes the need to reallocate funding from existing programs, to support some of these measures, and will continue to focus on reducing the federal debt by at least $3 billion annually.”
— Canada’s Chartered Accountants

“The Canadian Healthcare Association (CHA)
today welcomed the funding announced in Budget 2006 for pandemic preparedness, the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, the Child Disability Benefit and post-secondary education infrastructure. Given the lack of specificity in the budget on the Patient Wait Times Guarantee and federal/provincial/territorial responsibilities for health care, the CHA will continue to monitor future developments in these areas.”
— Canadian Healthcare Association

“We acknowledge the good first step that the government has taken with this new Children’s Fitness Tax Credit which will help more children become involved in sport and physical activity … We are confident that this government will soon deliver on its commitment to increase the budget for sport to one per cent of the health budget, which would more than double the current budget for sport and fitness to approximately $300 million a year.” — Chris Rudge, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee.