Federal Budget 2019 Update

Federal Budget 2019 Update

On March 19, 2019, Finance Minister Bill Morneau presented the government’s 2019-2020 federal budget. Unfortunately, one of the most pressing needs for Canadian businesses to succeed and remain competitive in the North American market has been missed in Budget 2019: comprehensive tax reform. Other major concerns with this budget are issues fundamental to the long-term prosperity of the economy in the Strait Area/rural Cape Breton: lack of attention to our an inability to get our resources to tidewater (i.e. oil/gas resources to the East Coast), and no real reduction of the budget deficit of $19.8 billion.

However, it does address a pressing issue in this region: Universal high-speed Internet. The government is seeking to bring universal high-speed Internet in the fastest and most cost-effective manner, through coordination with the private sector and other levels of government. To that end, the Budget 2019 proposes a plan to deliver $5 billion to $6 billion in new investments in rural broadband, over the next 10 years. The Strait Area Chamber will be closely monitoring and engaging whenever possible to advance this priority in the region.

Additional information on the 2019 Federal Budget is provided by both the Atlantic and Canadian Chambers of Commerce below.

Atlantic Chamber of Commerce 2019 Budget Press Release:
Federal Budget 2019 Misses the Mark for Business

The federal budget released yesterday fails to address the fundamental issues undermining the ability of Canada’s business owners to create more jobs and economic prosperity for all Canadians, according to an analysis by both the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “While the Budget delivers on some of the advocacy priorities identified in the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce recent member survey, particularly in the areas of skills and infrastructure, it fails to provide concrete measures to address the tax and regulatory burden on businesses,” said Sheri Somerville CEO of the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce. Until these issues are addressed, we will struggle to grow our economy, create meaningful employment for more Canadians, and generate the revenues we need to sustain our roads, healthcare and education systems.

Atlantic Chamber of Commerce is pleased that the Budget did deliver on some of the initiatives identified by its members as key to growth in Atlantic Canada including investments in Canada-wide highspeed internet and the extension of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project in support of regional population growth.

However, the Budget did not address a key issue identified by the more than 16,000 members of the chamber network in Atlantic Canada which is to reduce the budget deficit of $19.8 billion.

Heading into the 2019 Federal Election, the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce and Chamber network will continue to engage with Federal representatives to focus on priorities identified by our members to support the growth of our regional economy.

Visit ACC for more details/contact information.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce 2019 Budget Press Release:
Budget 2019 puts business on the sidelines, misses chance to fix fundamental flaws in our economy

Today’s federal budget failed to address the fundamental issues that continue to undermine the ability of Canadian business to create more jobs and generate more prosperity for all Canadians, according to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s analysis.

“We all want a Canada that is more prosperous for more Canadians, but the road to Canadian prosperity starts with helping this country’s businesses create more opportunities for more Canadians. They are the ones that drive the economy, that start and grow businesses that hire Canadians and build projects. This budget did little to help them build that road,” said the Honorable Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The Budget did deliver on some of the Canadian Chamber’s specific policy proposals outlined in its Pre-Budget Submission and policy resolutions, including:

  • Multiple funding mechanisms to ensure that high-speed internet access is Canada-wide by 2030, with $1.7 billion specifically earmarked for rural, remote and Northern communities.
  • $631.2 million to expand Work-Integrated-Learning (WIL) programs, with a view to create up to 20,000 new WIL opportunities outside of STEM-related fields.
  • $150 million to create new partnerships between government and industry to create up to 20,000 new WIL opportunities.
  • Multiple funding mechanisms to enhance apprentice programs in skilled trades.


However, the Budget failed to provide any meaningful solutions to the greatest concerns of Canadian business owners, including:

  • A commitment to a comprehensive review of the taxation system to make it fair and less cumbersome for businesses.
  • A broad-based commitment to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.
  • A renewed commitment to eliminating inter-provincial trade barriers.
  • Support for SMEs to help them find new export opportunities and expand Canada’s ability to diversify its trade.
  • A clear strategy to move the Trans Mountain pipeline forward, given the significant investment made by Canadian taxpayers.


The Canadian Chamber will be seeking further clarification on some Budget proposals and policy interests that have the potential to impact businesses, including:

The “regulatory roadmaps” might help address stakeholder issues and irritants in some sectors. While these efforts align with the Canadian Chamber’s interest in reducing the regulatory burden on Canadian businesses, the Budget proposals unfortunately maintain a narrow, lackluster, made-by-government solution to a made-by-government problem.

The new Canadian Training Credit and EI Training Support Benefits to support the up-skilling and re-skilling of Canadians align with the Canadian Chamber’s recommendations. However, the potential impact on small businesses remains unclear. The Canadian Chamber needs more information and wants to see a commitment to consult business prior to implementation.

The Budget offered little new information regarding the national pharmacare plan. The Canadian Chamber supports focusing on the 10% of Canadians that are uninsured or underinsured.

The Canadian Chamber supports making the Global Talent Stream program permanent. The Canadian Chamber would like to see the program include a focus on bringing skilled immigrants to rural communities, where they are often most needed.

“The core issues facing our economy that are driving away investment and suffocating our ability to attract top talent are broken taxation and regulatory systems, and an inability to get our resources to tidewater. Without addressing the underlying, structural problems in our economy, we will not see the growth needed to create greater prosperity for Canadian families,” conclude Beatty.

The Budget overlooks the struggles of Canada’s small businesses, who continue to see their competitiveness erode compared to their counterparts in the U.S., that currently enjoy significant advantages in taxation and regulation.

“The two big anchors that drag on the competitiveness of businesses – taxation and regulation – remain firmly embedded within our national economy. You cannot increase prosperity for more Canadians without also helping those who are create it, Canadian businesses. The road to greater prosperity starts with those who build it and this budget falls well short in this regard, unfortunately,” added Beatty.

Visit the CCC for more details/contact information.


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