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The 2024 federal budget had some big-ticket changes while also announcing several consultations. Here are some policy measures you may have missed.

Canada Child Benefit extended when a child dies

The budget proposes paying the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and the Child Disability Benefit for six months after a child’s death, starting in January 2025. The CCB recipient must notify the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) of their child’s death before the end of the month following the month of their child’s death.

Currently, a CCB recipient stops receiving the benefit the month after a child dies.

This proposed change is expected to cost $15 million over five years, starting in 2024–25, and $4 million per year thereafter.

Increased access to the Canada Learning Bond

If a child doesn’t have an RESP by age four, the government will automatically open one for them and enroll them in the Canada Learning Bond (CLB). This will begin in the 2028–29 fiscal year for eligible children born in 2024.

The CLB pays $500 in the first year the child is eligible, plus $100 for each additional year of eligibility, up to age 15, for a maximum of $2,000.

The government also proposes to extend the age for retroactively claiming the CLB to 30 from 20.

Free financial advice for low-income people

The budget proposed $60 million over five years for Prosper Canada, a national financial literacy charity. The money is meant to fund free financial advice and programming, and be delivered by Prosper’s community organization partners.

“These enhanced services are expected to reach one million low- to moderate-income Canadians over five years, helping them receive nearly $2 billion in unclaimed tax and benefit income,” the budget stated.

Open and cheaper banking

The budget dedicated funding to establishing and maintaining a framework for open banking, a system that allows consumers to access their financial data across multiple institutions, apps and services.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) will be the body to oversee and enforce the framework and begin development of a consumer awareness campaign. The budget earmarked $1 million in 2024–25 for this work.

Another $4.1 million will be set aside over three years for the Department of Finance to establish and maintain the open banking — otherwise known as consumer-driven banking — framework.

FCAC has also been directed to secure agreements from financial institutions for free and $4-per-month banking accounts.

The budget also caps non-sufficient funds fees at $10, and will prohibit multiple NSF fees when the same transaction reoccurs. Earlier this month, an Ontario court certified a fourth class action against one of the big banks for charging duplicative insufficient funds fees on pre-authorized debit transactions. The government will release draft NSF fees regulations in the coming months.

Pension fund working group announced

The budget proposes the creation of a working group, led by the finance minister and former Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz, that will explore ways to drive more domestic investment from Canadian pension funds.

Expanding diversity disclosure requirements

The government wants to apply the diversity disclosure model in the Canada Business Corporations Act to federally regulated financial institutions. That model requires annual disclosure of diversity on boards diversity on boards and in senior management.

Mortgage fraud

The government intends to consult with the mortgage industry on working with the CRA to verify borrower income for mortgages.