National Post (Latest Edition)

Business incentives aim beyond short term

- Danielle Bochove

Justin Trudeau’s government is proposing a raft of funding for Canadian companies — including money for infrastruc­ture and tax incentives for carbon-capture technology — aimed at emerging from the global pandemic with a stronger economy than before.

In a budget proposal released Monday, about $60 billion of $101.4 billion in new spending over three years is focused on mediumterm measures to improve growth.

Much of that is geared at increasing labour force participat­ion through measures like child care, but there are also tens of billions of dollars devoted to direct business spending, the bulk of it aimed at transition­ing to a greener economy.

“The resource and manufactur­ing sectors that are Canada’s traditiona­l economic pillars — energy, mining, agricultur­e, forestry, steel, aluminum, autos, aerospace — will be the foundation of our new, resilient and sustainabl­e economy,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in her planned remarks to Parliament. “Canada will become more productive and competitiv­e by supplying the green exports the world wants and needs.”

Among the highlights:

GREEN MEASURES

More than $7 billion over seven years to transform Canadian industry and spur innovation with a focus on zero emissions technology, green hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. That includes $5 billion in investment over seven years in a “Net Zero Accelerato­r” to help heavy industry decarboniz­e, which is in addition to $3 billion announced in December.

❚ $4.4 billion over five years to allow the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. to provide interest-free loans to make homes more energy efficient.

❚ The first federal green bond to finance green projects, with an issuance target of $5 billion.

❚ $4.13 billion over five years to protect nature, the largest portion of which is aimed at helping the country meet its 25 per cent land and marine conservati­on goal by 2025.

❚ Various tax incentives, including a 50 per cent cut to the general corporate and small business income tax rate for companies that manufactur­e zero-emissions technologi­es, and an investment tax credit to speed up adoption of carbon capture technology.

OTHER MEASURES:

❚ $8.6 billion over five years to support jobs and growth through infrastruc­ture investment, including $5.94 billion for a permanent public transit fund.

❚ $4.18 billion to help small and midsize businesses buy and adopt new technology.

❚ $2.5 billion, plus the reallocati­on of $1.3 billion in existing funding, to build, repair and support 35,000 existing housing units.

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