By Teri Kirk
Is the new Liberal Government planning to launch important new incentives for your business here in Mississauga?
On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released mandate letters outlining the government’s policy objectives for the next four years. While mandate letters from the Prime Minister to Ministers are a long-standing part of Canada’s political traditions, the public posting of these directives provides new and early insights into the economic and public policy priorities of the government—department by department—and pre-empts the Speech from the Throne and, to a lesser extent, the Budget, in doing so.
Here are the highlights extracted from the mandate letters that will affect your business over the next four years:
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- Implement a new multi-year agricultural policy framework to replace Growing Forward 2 (GF2), which will expire in 2018.
- Invest in an Agri-Food Value Added Investment Fund to attract investment and create good jobs in food processing, and technical and marketing assistance to help food processors develop new value-added products that reflect changing tastes and market opportunities.
- Invest in Agricultural Research to support Discovery Science and Innovation in the sector.
- Support the Ministers of Natural Resources and the Environment and Climate Change to make our resource sectors world leaders in the use and development of clean and sustainable technology and processes.
Minister of Canadian Heritage
- Protect our important national institutions, Including Canada 150, CBC/Radio-Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board, safeguard our official languages, promote the industries that reflect our unique identity as Canadians, and provide jobs and economic opportunities in our cultural and creative sectors.
- Restore the Promart and Trade Routes International Cultural Promotion Programs.
- Increase funding for Young Canada Works.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- Support the Minister of Finance in creating a new Low Carbon Economy Trust to help fund projects that materially reduce carbon emissions.
- Use education, geo-mapping, watershed protection, and investments in the best wastewater treatment technologies.
- Phase out subsidies for the fossil fuel industry over the medium-term.
- Make significant new investments in green infrastructure.
- Set stronger air quality standards, monitor emissions, and provide incentives for investments that lead to cleaner air and healthier communities.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
- Improve the quality and impact of our programs that support innovation, scientific research and entrepreneurship.
- Work closely with the Minister of International Trade to help Canadian firms compete successfully in export markets.
- Restore the long-form census and update legislation governing Statistics Canada to reinforce the institution’s independence.
- Develop an Open Data initiative that would consider big data and make more of the data paid for by Canadians available to the public.
- Develop an Innovation Agenda that includes expanding effective support for incubators and accelerators.
- Assist other Ministers to carry out the innovation related aspects of the mandates, such as increasing high-speed broadband coverage and services to keep Canada at the leading edge of the digital economy.
Minister of National Defence
- Ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces have the equipment they need, working with the Minister of Finance to maintain current National Defence spending levels and planned increases.
- Invest in strengthening the Navy and meet commitments under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
Minister of Small Business and Tourism
- Support the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development in launching an Innovation Agenda.
- Work with the Minister of International Trade to prepare and execute a new Canadian international trade strategy.
- Specifically, work to make it easier for SMEs to take advantage of government financing and export-oriented supports.
- Ensure that small business tax benefits are used to support small businesses, rather than personal income tax reduction for high-income earners.
Minister of Science
- Lead the establishment of new Canada Research Chairs in sustainable technologies.
- Create more co-op placements for students in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and business programs.
- Re-insert scientific considerations into the heart of our investment choices.
Minister of Finance
- Restore the tax credit for Labour-sponsored funds.
- Create a new Low Carbon Economy Trust.
- Modernize the rules governing the charitable and non-for-profit sectors, including the rules governing “political activity,” understanding that charities make an important contribution to public debate and public policy.