May 22nd, 2024

What measures were missing from the 2024 federal budget

By The Canadian Press on April 17, 2024.

Copies of the 2022 federal budget documents are seen in the hands of Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they speak with members of the media before the release of the federal budget, on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Thursday, April 7, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

TORONTO – The federal budget tabled on Tuesday introduced $53 billion in new spending, but not everyone got what they were looking for.

Here’s a look at some of the measures not included in the Liberals government’s fiscal plans.

No tax credit for drillers:

The industry association that represents oil and gas well drillers said it is disappointed the budget did not extend the Clean Technology Manufacturing investment tax credit to the drilling and service rig sector. The Canadian Association of Energy Contractors has been lobbying for its industry to receive federal support for decarbonization in the form of a tax credit, saying oil and gas drillers can significantly reduce emissions through equipment modifications such as the electrification of drilling rigs.

Cannabis sector feels let down:

A government-mandated review of the act that legalized recreational cannabis wrapped last month, producing 54 recommendations on how to strengthen the industry. They included changes to excise taxes, packaging restrictions and safety measures preventing youth access to pot. The budget included no mentions of cannabis and didn’t heed any of the review’s recommendations, a letdown for the industry’s biggest players who have complained regulations and the illicit industry have made reaching profitability a struggle.

Aging transit needs attention:

The federal government’s ambitious housing plan has not yet addressed the need for public transit services to connect new housing, the Canadian Urban Transit Association said in a press release. The trade association said Canada’s transit agencies need funding sooner to keep up with aging infrastructure and a growing population. Group president Marco D’Angelo said the budget’s goal was to provide affordability and fairness for every generation. “Unfortunately, the budget does not address the needs of young people, seniors and families who cannot afford to buy a car and rely on public transit every day.”

Budget falls short for Canadian farmers:

The agriculture industry was looking for more budget measures to help farmers struggling to keep up with high interest rates, carbon prices for essential farming activities and an increased risk of extreme weather events. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture noted in a statement positives such as consultations on interoperability and an extension to an interest relief program, but were disappointed not to see pivotal issues for the sector addressed through investments in environmental programming, chronic labour issues or improvements to transportation and trade infrastructure.

Indigenous infrastructure overlooked:

The Assembly of First Nations said the budget ignored the needs of Indigenous communities. Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak, the body’s national chief, said Ottawa neglected a long-standing promise to close the First Nations infrastructure gap by 2030. A recent Assembly of First Nations report found that $349 billion is needed to close that gap. But the federal budget allocated less than $1 billion to upgrade First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit infrastructure across Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2024.

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