15 key takeaways from the federal budget

From lunar rovers to supply chain reinforcement. Here’s what you need to know.

Don’t have time to read through hundreds of pages of federal budget documents? No problem. SiteNews went through it and picked out some of the most interesting bits that you should know.

15. Tax credits

We all love paying less taxes, right? To encourage the transition to clean energy and emissions reductions, the budget is looking to leverage tax credits. The budget included several major ones: Clean Hydrogen Investment tax credit, Clean Electricity tax credit, and atax credit for carbon capture, utilization, and storage. All said, the credits at up to $55 billion. 

14. Labour requirements 

To be eligible for some of the highest tax credit rates, businesses must pay a total compensation package that equates to the prevailing wage. The definition of prevailing wage would be based on union compensation, including benefits and pension contributions from the most recent, widely applicable multi-employer collective bargaining agreement, or corresponding project labour agreements. Additionally, at least 10 per cent of the tradesperson hours worked must be performed by registered apprentices in the Red Seal trades. 

A Red Seal student practices their drilling. – Province of B.C.

13. Protecting procurement

Proposed procurement measures will include placing conditions on foreign suppliers’ participation in federally-funded infrastructure projects, applying strict reciprocity to federal procurement, and creating a preference program for Canadian small businesses. 

12. Employee ownership

The budget is proposing making Employee Ownership Trusts easier to create. Officials say that this would make selling the business to employees a more attractive proposition for owners looking to exit. An Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) is a form of employee ownership where a trust holds shares of a corporation for the benefit of the corporation’s employees.

11. Building a lunar vehicle 

This project is going straight to the moon. Canada is planning to provide $1.2 billion over 13 years to the Canadian Space Agency to develop and contribute a lunar utility vehicle to assist astronauts on the moon.

The Canadian Space Agency tests one of its lunar rovers. – Government of Canada

10. Strikes strengthened

Officials are looking to table amendments to the Canada Labour Code this year that would prohibit the use of replacement workers during a strike or lockout, and improve the process to review activities that must be maintained to ensure the health and safety of the public during a work stoppage. 

9. Pregnancy loss leave

Officials are looking to expand support for grieving parents. Budget 2023 would amend the Canada Labour Code to create a new stand-alone leave for workers in federally regulated sectors who experience a pregnancy loss.

8. Program review

How we train youth for careers is going under the microscope. The budget introduced cross-government program effectiveness reviews, to be led by the President of the Treasury Board. The first review will examine skills training and youth programming, to determine, by the next budget, whether improvements can be made to help more Canadians develop the skills and receive the work experience they need to have successful careers.

7. Indigenous loans for equity

Budget 2023 announces that the Canada Infrastructure Bank will provide loans to Indigenous communities to support them in purchasing equity stakes in infrastructure projects in which the Bank is also investing. These loans will be sourced from the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s existing funding envelope.

The Meadow Lake Tribal Council Bioenergy Centre in northwestern Saskatchewan is Canada’s first Indigenous-owned bioenergy facility. – The Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC)

6. Reinforcing supply chains

Ottawa plans to spend $27.2 million to establish a Transportation Supply Chain Office, and $25 million to develop useful transportation supply chain data. Officials also want to compel data sharing by shippers accessing federally regulated transportation services, and increase rail and shipping competition. 

5. National Supply Chain Strategy

The budget noted that the country’s strategy is just months away from being completed. Plans for the strategy were announced last October. The strategy will be shaped by by the National Supply Chain Task Force. The Government of Canada has established an online portal for suggestions on how it can improve its supply chain performance.

4. Improving approvals 

Officials have committed to outline a concrete plan to improve the efficiency of the impact assessment and permitting processes for major projects by the end of the year.  This will include clarifying and reducing timelines, mitigating inefficiencies, and improving engagement and partnerships. 

3. Money for tools

Have your eye on a new drill or saw? To help tradespeople invest in the equipment they need, Ottawa wants to double the maximum employment deduction for tradespeople’s tool expenses from $500 to $1,000. This change would take effect for the 2023 taxation year.

2. Work-Sharing Program

The budget is asking for $5.4 million to give the Work-Sharing Program a boost. The program helps avoid layoffs during temporary decreases in business activity by providing income support through the Employment Insurance program to eligible employees who work a reduced week while their employer recovers. This means that employees can keep their jobs and continue earning income, while their employer retains skilled workers without having to hire someone new when business picks up. 

1. Redeveloping the Bonaventure Expressway

This was one of the few projects specifically highlighted in the budget. Officials plan to spend $47.8 million over nine years, with $225.5 million in remaining amortization, with Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated for the redevelopment of the federal portion of Montreal’s Bonaventure Expressway into an urban boulevard. The budget also proposes to provide $576.1 million to help operate, maintain, and repair infrastructure in the Greater Montreal Area.

The Jacques-Cartier Bridge lights up the sky in Quebec at night.


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