Budget 2017


Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau outlined his second federal budget in the House of Commons yesterday following the usual rumours and speculations about what it may or may not contain.    It builds upon the 2016 budget by providing more specifics about the Government’s plans for infrastructure spending and provides some new projects that are hoped to inspire innovation and growth in our economy.

Here are a few items that have direct implications on Northern Ontario’s business community:

  • An increase of $25 million to FedNor’s $41 million budget over the next five years (going from $41 million to $66 million) which will help support economic growth in our region.
  • The Mineral Exploration Tax Credit, which was scheduled to expire on March 31st, has been extended for another year at 15%.  Our Chamber has repeatedly called for this tax credit to be made permanent so we were pleased to see that it will survive for now.
  • In recent weeks, there has been a lot of chatter about possible changes to capital gains taxes or the addition of taxation on employee health benefits to help raise revenues for the government.  As such we are quite relieved that there are no changes to capital gains, business tax rates and employee health benefits will remain non-taxable.  Good news for employers!
  • We were disappointed that the Budget does not provide loan guarantees to support our forest industry in preparation for the gathering storm on softwood lumber trade.  We will continue our advocacy on this key ask with our colleagues at the Ontario Chamber and Canadian Chamber.
  • There are new programs and funding to help spur innovation.
  • New targets and funding have been identifies to increase the number of co-op and work integrated learning opportunities that will help youth obtain much needed experience to build their resumes.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has prepared a very detailed analysis of these and other items that may be of interest to you and your business.