2019 Federal Budget promises an additional half-a-billion dollars to fix Phoenix payroll

The 2019 Federal Budget has announced more than half-a-billion dollars to address Phoenix pay system errors.

The government saying it’s a priority to ensure Ottawa’s public servants are properly paid.

The budget promising an additional $21.7 million this year to address urgent pay administration issues, plus an additional $523.3 million over 5 years beginning next year for resources dedicated to addressing payroll errors. Another $9.2 billion will be given to ensure the Canada Revenue Agency is able to quickly process income tax reassessments for the federal employees affected. This all on top of what’s already costed the government $1 billion.

The government says several replacement pay systems have been tested and worked but a successful replacement has not been decided on yet.

Also named in the budget, improving interprovincial crossings in the capital region. The government says the five crossings between Ottawa and Gatineau carry nearly 150,000 vehicles and 9,000 pedestrians and cyclists each day, which is an increase of more than 15,000 since 2015. The budget says it will replace the Alexandra Bridge, which is more than 100 years old. The government also will task the National Capital Commission with studying and developing a plan to address the need for more crossings, with consultations with the cities of Gatineau and Ottawa as well as the provincial government. The budget will also provide up to $80.4 million over 10 years for the maintenance of crossings including the Chaudière and MacDonald Cartier bridges.

The 2019 Federal Budget also says it is committed to bringing affordable rental housing to Ottawa through it’s Rental Construction Financing Initiative. The initiative offers benefits, including low-cost loans, to developers.

The government will invest $70.8 million for the Claridge Homes Housing Project, a 27-storey building of 227 rental housing units. More than 200 of the units will have rents lower than 30 per cent of the median household incomes in the area. The project will have more than 10 per cent as accessible units, and a projected energy efficiency savings of 50 per cent.

Across Canada, the government says it will provide more affordable rental options for middle-class Canadians, by proposing an additional $10 billion dollars over 9 years in financing.

The 2019 Budget also announced money to improve Canada’s preparation and response to disasters and emergencies. The budget proposes an investment of $151.23 million over 5 years, and $9.28 million per year ongoing, to improve emergency management in Canada. Furthermore, the budget proposes $260 million over 2 years on a cash basis to Public Safety Canada to support provincial and territorial disaster relief and recovery efforts through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements Program.