Budget 2017: a missed opportunity to advance chemistry sector investments and innovation
March 22, 2017
On March 22, 2017, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the government’s second deficit budget since their election in October 2015. Overall, Budget 2017 shows that government spending will continue to increase, with no plan to return to a balanced budget. However, a decline is projected in annual deficits due to a combination of rising revenues and moderate growth in expenditures.
While Budget 2017 reaffirmed the government’s commitment to invest in trade infrastructure and expand trade corridors, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) was looking for additional support for the sector in terms of tax measures or targeted investments.
“Canada’s chemistry industry stands poised to make $12 billion in new capital investments in 2017, and we had hoped this budget would provide some indication that the Government of Canada would partner with our industry and the provinces to ensure these investments can move forward,” said CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson. “While this doesn’t seem to be the case at this time, CIAC looks forward to continuing to work with elected and government officials to ensure our industry’s continued growth, and contribution to the Canadian economy.”
Key highlights for the chemistry industry are:
- Building Canada’s Trade Infrastructure and Governance Regimes by giving Treasury Board Secretariat $6 million over three years for regulatory coordination with trade partners, and creating a National Trade Corridors Fund ($2 billion over 11 years) to target congestion and inefficiencies at marine ports as well as along the busiest rail and highway corridors around urban centres across the country.
- Enhancing Canada’s Intellectual Property Regime to help ensure the system is modern and robust and supports Canadian innovations in the 21st century.
- Clarifying the government’s climate leadership vision by promising to release a consultation paper containing the technical details of the proposed federal carbon pricing backstop mechanism.
To learn more about Budget 2017:
Budget Speech: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/speech-discours/2017-03-22-en.html
Budget Documents: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/download-telecharger/index-en.html