Government of Canada: 2013 Budget

The 2012-13 Federal Budget provides very limited new funding to environmental initiatives. However, there are commitments in the Budget which may provide benefits to environment-related companies and organizations. In contrast to past years, many of these new commitments lack a detailed analysis. Presumably, subsequent government announcements will provide more details.

2013 Budget initiatives that may have particular relevance to the environment sector include:

  • $325 million over eight years to Sustainable Development Technology Canada to support the development and demonstration of new clean technologies, which can save businesses money, create high-paying jobs and drive innovation.
  • $92 million over two years to the forestry sector in support of its transformation to higher-value activities and its expansion into new export markets.
  • $32.2 billion through a Community Improvement Fund consisting of an indexed Gas Tax Fund and the incremental Goods and Services Tax Rebate for Municipalities to build roads, public transit, recreational facilities and other community infrastructure across Canada that will improve the quality of life of Canadians. This includes a $10-billion Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component that will support projects of national, regional and local significance in communities across the country in a broader range of categories including highways, public transit, drinking water, wastewater, connectivity and broadband, and innovation (including infrastructure at post-secondary institutions that supports advanced research and teaching). There will be P3 screen on projects with capital costs of more than $100 million submitted by provinces, territories and municipalities for funding under the Building Canada Fund (apparently meaning that the possibility of including a private sector element must be considered for inclusion in such projects).
  • $1.25 billion for a renewed P3 Canada Fund to continue supporting innovative ways to build infrastructure projects faster and provide better value for Canadian taxpayers through public-private partnerships.
  • $6 billion in federal support to provinces, territories and municipalities under current infrastructure programs in 2014–15 and beyond.
  • Approximately $7 billion over 10 years in First Nations infrastructure such as roads, bridges, energy systems and other First Nations infrastructure priorities.
  • $225 million to support advanced research infrastructure and the Canada Foundation for Innovations long-term operations.
  • $3 billion over five years with provincial and territorial governments under Growing Forward 2 to support innovation, competitiveness and market development in agriculture.
  • $4.4 million over three years to the Ring of Fire Capacity Building Initiative, through the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario. This initiative will provide targeted support to communities directly adjacent to the Ring of Fire for activities such as business skills development, strategic business planning and Aboriginal youth engagement.
  • $57.5 million over five years to enhance regulatory certainty for the aquaculture sector.
  • $248 million over five years on a cash basis to Environment Canada to revitalize Canada’s weather services.
  • $20 million over two years to the Canada Revenue Agency to improve the predictability and enhance enforcement of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax incentive program.
  • $37 million annually to support research partnerships between post-secondary institutions and industry through the research granting councils.
  • $10 million over two years to improve the conservation of fisheries by supporting partnerships with local groups
  • Dedicating all funds collected through the sale of the Salmon Conservation Stamp to the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
  • $4 million in 2013–14 to support marine conservation activities in Canada’s oceans.
  • $4 million over three years to protect against invasive species through continued enforcement and monitoring of ballast water regulations and increased ballast water inspection capacity in the Arctic.
  • Expanded eligibility for the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment to include biogas production equipment that uses pulp and paper waste and wastewater, beverage industry waste and wastewater, and separated organics from municipal waste; and all types of cleaning and upgrading equipment that can be used to transform biogas, landfill gas or digester gas into biomethane..
  • Proposing to amend the Nuclear Safety and Control Act to support the regulation of nuclear facilities by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission through cost-recovery from nuclear licence holders.
  • Extension of the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance for new investment in machinery and equipment in the manufacturing and processing sector for an additional two years.
  • Renewal of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) with funding of $920 million over five years to help create job opportunities and encourage economic growth in the region. This includes $200 million over five years for a new Advanced Manufacturing Fund in Ontario.
  • Expansion and extension for one year the temporary Hiring Credit for Small Business, allowing Canadian small business to reinvest $225 million in job creation and economic growth in 2013.
  • A new, temporary First-Time Donors Super Credit for first-time claimants of the Charitable Donations Tax Credit to encourage all young Canadians to donate to charity. No details on whether this will include environmental charities.
  • $20 million in 2013–14 for the Nature Conservancy of Canada to continue to conserve ecologically sensitive land. Each federal dollar will be matched by two dollars in funding from other sources.
  • Capital support, subject to matching funding from the Yukon government and the private sector, to support Yukon College’s Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining. By allowing for the construction of additional trades and technical facilities at the College’s Ayamdigut Campus in Whitehorse, this initiative will expand Yukon College’s programming linked to mining employment opportunities. Details will be announced in the coming months.
  • Investment of $70 million over three years to support 5,000 more paid internships for recent post-secondary graduates. No sectors announced.
  • The Canadian international Development Agency is to be merged with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in a new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. No details on what this will mean for CIDA funding. There will still be a minister for international development.
  • There will be 2013 amendments to the Investment Canada Act to implement already announced clarifications regarding how the Government will assess proposed investments in Canada by foreign state-owned enterprises.

The  Budget summary and a link to the full document is available at http://www.budget.gc.ca/2013/doc/bb/brief-bref-eng.html

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