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Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks to journalists in Ottawa March 14, 2013. (CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS)
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks to journalists in Ottawa March 14, 2013. (CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS)

Highlights

Everything you need to know about the 2013 federal budget Add to ...

Skills

Ottawa wants jobless Canadians to find work in sectors of the economy that suffer from labour-market shortages. Under the new Canada Job Grant, the federal government will provide up to $5,000 of a $15,000 grant for Canadians receiving new training, in co-operation with provinces and would-be employers. The goal is to give more than 100,000 Canadians a year access to colleges and training centres.

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Manufacturing

Canada’s struggling manufacturing sector will get $1.4-billion during the next four years in tax incentives to boost investment in new machinery and equipment. In addition, the government is planning modest new funding to boost the use of innovative technologies among Canadian manufacturers.

Securities regulator

The government is taking another shot at setting up a national securities regulator after a 2011 defeat at the Supreme Court forced it to change its tactic on the controversial project. Ottawa will now seek to establish a “common securities regulator on a co-operative basis” with a “critical mass” of provinces and territories in order to enforce a single set of rules, funded through a uniformed fee system, among willing jurisdictions.

Tax evasion

In a bid to crack down on offshore fraud, Ottawa will offer commissions worth up to 15 per cent of the recouped money to whistle blowers who denounce major cases of international tax evasion. The move is part of a series of measures to close complicated loopholes that allow companies to avoid paying corporate taxes.

Foreign workers

As part of a reform of its Temporary Foreign Worker program, the government will force would-be employers to spend more money and time to advertise their jobs to Canadian workers. In addition, employers will have to pay new user fees to bring in foreign workers and provide a plan to eventually rely on Canadian workers.

International aid

The government is merging the Canadian International Development Agency with Foreign Affairs and International Trade, thus creating a new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. The move suggests that international development funding will be more closely aligned with Ottawa’s foreign and trade policies, with a greater emphasis on boosting the Canadian economy.

Targeted initiatives

The government will allow parents to deduct more expenses in the adoption process through a new tax credit, while eliminating all tariffs on baby clothes and sports and athletic equipment, such as hockey gear. First-time donors to charities will also get a more generous “super credit” in a bid to get young Canadians to start giving to charitable organizations.

Anniversaries

Canada will fund a number of celebrations on its way to the country’s 150th anniversary in 2017, including $5-million for the construction of a permanent visitor centre at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. The moves are part of plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War in 2014.

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