VANCOUVER, March 16, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, on his first visit to British Columbia as Minister of Employment and Social Development, outlined the Harper Government's low-tax plan for families, as well as skills training to prepare Canadians for in-demand jobs, during his address to the Vancouver Board of Trade today.
Minister Poilievre noted Canada's strong economic record since the 2009 global recession, with nearly 1.2 million jobs created. He also highlighted the Government's plan to help build on this success by ensuring Canadians keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets.
With a focus on the job market, Minister Poilievre outlined recent initiatives that both employers and workers can benefit from, such as the Canada Job Grant and the Canada Apprentice Loan. Providing Canadians with better labour market information will help them to make more informed career decisions and to align their skills with available jobs.
This plan includes enhancements to the Universal Child Care Benefit, the new Family Tax Cut and improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit. These measures allow parents to invest more in their children's future.
- The Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) would increase to as much as $1,920 per year for children under the age of 6, and parents would receive a benefit of up to $720 per year for each child aged 6 through 17.
- Since 2006, the Government has provided nearly $700 million through apprenticeship grants to over 530,000 Canadians across the country.
- The Canada Job Grant will provide up to $15,000 per person for the direct costs of training, such as tuition and training materials, which includes up to $10,000 in government contributions.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 created the Canada Apprentice Loan to provide apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade apprenticeship with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. The loans are interest-free until apprentices complete or leave their apprenticeship training program, up to a maximum of six years.
- At least 26,000 apprentices are expected to benefit from over $100 million in interest-free loans each year. Since its launch on January 2, 2015, over 3,000 apprentices across Canada, including over 600 in B.C., have already received their loans.
"Supporting strong families and preparing Canadians for jobs go hand in hand. We're keeping taxes low and increasing benefits to keep more hard-earned money in the pockets of Canadians, which allows more parents to invest in their children who will grow up to participate in the workforce and the economy."
– The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development
Since 2006, our Government has recognized the importance of apprentices to Canada's economy and has made significant investments to help them and the employers that hire them.
The Canada Apprentice Loan offers interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training to apprentices in Red Seal trades. The loans are interest-free until recipients complete or leave their apprenticeship training program, up to a maximum of six years.
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant are taxable cash grants that encourage Canadians to pursue and complete apprenticeship training in designated Red Seal trades. Apprentices could be eligible to receive up to $4,000, which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses.
Other relevant measures include:
- a tax credit to employers to encourage them to hire apprentices and a tax deduction for apprentices and tradesmen to help cover the cost of new tools;
- the Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project, an initiative of Economic Action Plan 2014, to help apprentices continue working and earning while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their study program; and
- harmonizing training, certification and standards in the Atlantic provinces, leading to increased availability of training, higher apprenticeship completion rates and more labour mobility for apprentices across Atlantic Canada.
Canada Job Fund
The new Canada Job Fund agreements ensure greater employer involvement in training. The Government of Canada provides $500 million annually to the provinces and territories for investments in skills training through the Canada Job Fund, which provides funding through the following three streams: the Canada Job Grant, Employer-Sponsored Training, and Employment Services and Supports.
Employer-Sponsored Training is similar to the Canada Job Grant in that employers determine the nature of the training and who is to receive it. However, employers can provide either financial or in-kind contributions to the training. Employer-Sponsored Training is complemented by the Employment Services and Supports stream which provides a range of employment supports and services, such as literacy and essential skills, focused on people who are furthest from the labour market with multiple barriers to employment.
Canada Job Grant
Part of the Canada Job Fund, the Canada Job Grant is an innovative, employer-driven approach to help Canadians gain the skills and training they need to fill available jobs. It can provide up to $15,000 per person for training costs, such as tuition and training materials, which includes up to $10,000 in government contributions. Employers are required to contribute one-third of these training costs.
Helping families prosper
The Government of Canada has proposed new measures to make life more affordable for Canadian families.
Once fully implemented, the new family package would mean more money in the pockets of Canadian families. The proposed credits and benefits include the following:
- The Family Tax Cut is a non-refundable credit of up to $2,000 for couples with children under the age of 18, and takes effect starting with the 2014 tax year.
- The Universal Child Care Benefit would increase to $160 per month for children under the age of 6, and parents may receive a benefit of $60 per month for each eligible child aged 6 through 17. The new benefit amounts would take effect on January 1, 2015, and would begin to be reflected in monthly payments to recipients in July 2015.
- The limits used to calculate the Child Care Expenses Deduction will increase by $1,000 starting in the 2015 tax year: from $7,000 to $8,000 for children under 7; from $4,000 to $5,000 for children aged 7 through 16; and from $10,000 to $11,000 for children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.
- The Children's Fitness Tax Credit may be claimed by families whose children participated in an eligible program of physical activity in 2014. Families may be able to claim up to $1,000 per child for the cost of the program. If the child is eligible for the disability tax credit and the program costs at least $100 in registration or membership fees, families can claim an additional $500.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Meagan Murdoch, Office of Minister Poilievre, 819-994-2482; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected], Follow us on Twitter