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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland presents the federal budget in the House of Commons in Ottawa on April 16.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Getting caught up on a week that got away? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s most essential business and investing stories, with insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and more.

Federal budget 2024: New taxes, housing affordability and open banking

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled the 2024 federal budget this week, detailing $53-billion in new spending over five years. The budget included a slew of economic investments in housing, artificial intelligence, defence, Indigenous communities, community health and safety and more. One of the biggest surprises was an increase in the inclusion rate on some capital gains, which will come into effect on June 25. The government says it will boost revenues by raising taxes on the wealthy but experts warn could also hit some middle-class taxpayers. The budget also revealed that Ottawa has tapped financial consumer watchdog Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to administer and enforce open banking legislation.

Canada’s inflation rate rose to 2.9% in March, boosted by higher gas prices

Canada’s annual inflation rate ticked higher in March, boosted by higher prices for gasoline. The Consumer Price Index rose at an annual rate of 2.9 per cent last month, edging up from 2.8 per cent in February, Statistics Canada said Tuesday in a report. The result matched expectations on Bay Street. Several measures of core inflation – which strip out volatile components of the CPI – continued to slow in March. Matt Lundy reports that Canada looks increasingly set to lower interest rates before the United States. Traders have ramped up their bets that the Bank of Canada will start to cut interest rates in June or July, barring any surprises in next month’s CPI report.

Move over boomers, Gen X is raking it in

Data from Statistics Canada reveals that Gen X, which includes those people born between 1965 and 1980, overtakes every other generation when it comes to the average net worth. Millennials, on the other hand, were the only demographic group to see its net worth shrink over the past year. The passing of the wealth baton from baby boomers to Gen Xers was driven by a combination of financial assets as well as real estate, Jason Kirby reports in this week’s Decoder.

Six arrested in gold and cash heist at Toronto’s Pearson airport

Police say they have solved the largest gold heist in Canadian history after arresting six people and issuing warrants for three other people. The nine, which includes two Air Canada employees, are accused of taking part in the theft of $20-million in gold bars and $2.5-million in foreign currencies at Toronto Pearson International Airport a year ago. The multijurisdictional investigation found that the suspects sold the gold to import firearms into Canada. Police seized six bracelets worth $90,000 and $430,000 in cash and smelting equipment, but have not found most of the gold. “We believe the gold has been melted down [for] the international market,” Det. Sgt. Mavity said. The investigation continues on several fronts, Eric Atkins reports.

Pharmacists at Shoppers file proposed lawsuit against Loblaw over corporate practices

Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the company and parent company Loblaw Cos. Ltd. The group of Ontario pharmacists are claiming that the company breached franchising agreements by imposing “unethical” corporate practices such as minimizing support staff hours, imposing targets on the volume of medication reviews and public naming and shaming of pharmacists who fail to meet performance targets or quotas. A Loblaw spokesperson told The Globe and Mail that the class action “has no merit whatsoever” and the company “intends to vigorously defend it,” Clare O’Hara and Chris Hannay report.

Taxpayers’ ombudsperson office reviewing CRA conduct over bare-trust rules

The Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson is reviewing whether the Canada Revenue Agency violated taxpayer rights in its handling of new tax rules for trusts, Erica Alini reports. It is the latest development in the debacle that saw CRA scrap the complex reporting obligations just days before the filing deadline. The ombudsperson office, which is “carrying out preliminary research,” said it received many expressions of concern from taxpayers and their representatives. The deadline for filing taxes in Canada for 2024 is April 30. The Globe has plenty of information on how and when to file at our tax tips page.

Take our business quiz for the week of April 19

This week’s federal budget raised taxes on:
a. Dividends
b. Inheritances
c. Income
d. Capital gains

d. Capital gains. Ottawa is changing the rules on capital gains for the first time in 25 years by raising the inclusion rate – the portion of capital gains on which tax must be paid. The inclusion rate will rise from half to two-thirds on capital gains realized by companies. The increased inclusion rate will also apply to individual taxpayers but only on capital gains above $250,000.

Now that you’re all caught up, test your knowledge with our weekly business and investing news quiz and prepare for the week ahead with the Globe’s investing calendar.

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