It’s budget day! What to expect and what to watch for

It’s budget day! What to expect and what to watch for

The Trudeau government will attempt to put its best foot forward before this fall’s election, with what’s expected to be voter-friendly initiatives unveiled in its last fiscal blueprint ahead of the October vote.

The Liberals have been dogged by the SNC-Lavalin affair and today’s budget will be the latest effort to turn the corner on the scandal.

Here’s some of what to expect when Finance Minister Bill Morneau presents the budget and also some of what Toronto city hall is hoping to see:

  • Skills training for young and experienced workers will be front and centre. The training will be aimed at workers at all points in their careers, from young people looking to get a foot in the door to more experienced employees hoping to add to their skills. Other budget retraining measures are expected to assist workers with time off work and funding to cover the cost of courses and living expenses.
  • Look out for measures to make zero-emissions vehicles more affordable, first-time home buying easier and financial help for seniors.
  • Canada’s city leaders are hoping that the federal government will step up with help for infrastructure projects. It’s something Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has talked about.
  • Specifically, Toronto needs billions of dollars for Toronto Community Housing. If Trudeau’s Liberals commit to fund one-third of the TCH repairs bill the federal contribution will top $1 billion.
  • Toronto’s subway relief line remains unfunded but is seen by many as a top need for the city. Building the line would reduce chronic overcrowding on the Yonge-University Line 1.
  • Another transit need for Toronto is a waterfront light-rail line along Queens Quay into the Port Lands. Sidewalk Labs, the company working with Waterfront Toronto on a high-tech test district called Quayside, has warned the project is likely dead unless the LRT gets built.
  • It’s not all big ticket items sought by Toronto. City council recently passed its 2019 budget with a $45-million hole Mayor John Tory hopes will be filled by federal money tp pay for refugee resettlement costs.

Read more:

Economic anxiety splinters ahead of federal budget, poll shows

Federal budget to put focus on skills training for all ages

How the federal budget could tweak the mortgage stress test

With files from The Canadian Press

Jason Miller is a breaking news reporter based in Toronto. Reach him on email:

David Rider is the Star’s City Hall bureau chief and a reporter covering Toronto politics. Follow him on Twitter: @dmrider

Bruce Campion-Smith is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @yowflier

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