OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Joe Oliver will make a major announcement Thursday that is expected to touch on fiscal measures for families.
The Conservative caucus was buzzing after Harper coyly referred to the event Wednesday morning.
Political and business circles have been waiting to see what the government would unveil in their fall economic update, which could take on the heft of a mini-budget.
Speculation is that Harper and Oliver are set to announce some form of income splitting for couples with children, a 2011 election promise that hinged on a balanced budget.
One government insider said to expect the prime minister to roll out “a significant package that will bring relief to families and fulfill previous commitments.”
The idea is that spouses would pool their incomes when they fill out their tax returns, reducing their taxable income depending on their financial situation. There is already income splitting for seniors.
Harper announced two weeks ago that the government would proceed with another campaign promise — a doubling of the child fitness tax credit.
The setting of the event is at a Jewish community centre in Vaughan, Ont., and sources say it will be a big announcement with campaign-style splash.
Oliver would only confirm that the event was taking place, and he would be present. Other ministers in the Greater Toronto Area had been told to clear their schedules for Thursday.
“We’re looking at a variety of policy issues,” said Oliver.
“We’re consulting with Canadians. We’re looking at the economic data and we’ll be making our decision as appropriate and communicating with Canadians.”