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Finance Minister Ralph Goodale tables the 2004 federal budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, March 23, 2004.(CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson)
INDEPTH: BUDGET 2004
Highlights
CBC News Online | March 23, 2004

With an estimated surplus of $5.5 billion, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale's first federal budget focused on fiscal management and avoided typical pre-election goodies like personal income tax cuts or major spending on new programs.

Highlights include:
  • Measures designed to improve control over spending by government departments, including reestablishment of the office of the comptroller general and more rigourous auditing procedures in every department

  • A full GST rebate to municipalities that will cost an estimated $7 billion over the next 10 years.

  • A new Canada learning bond of up to $2,000 for every child born after 2003 to low-income families.

  • A new upfront grant of $3,000 for first year post-secondary dependent students from low-income families.

  • The creation of a new Canada Health Agency to improve the response of the public health system to such emergencies as SARS.

  • An additional $250 million to cover the costs of Canadian Forces' peacekeeping in Afghanistan and $50 million for the military mission to Haiti.

  • Up to $250 million available for venture capital for start-up businesses.

  • About $400 million for the cleanup of contaminated sites across the country.






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Chris Waddell: The budget: Squeezing the provinces

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