By Teri Kirk
It is estimated that the federal government disburses approximately $12 billion in grants and tax credits to businesses across Canada to stimulate the economy and incent innovation. But with a new federal government in place, many manufacturers in the Mississauga region are now asking themselves how funding for their business might be affected in the months and years to come.
Here is a review of anticipated changes to federal funding programs:
- One of the biggest changes ahead is a renewed focus on supporting the manufacturing of clean technologies. In fact, Prime Minister Trudeau announced in late November that Canada will double its investment over the next five years in clean energy research and development (R&D), and revealed plans to invest an additional $100 million per year in clean technology producers. Another $200 million per year will be invested in cleantech for the natural resources sector.
- Agri-Processing. Manufacturers in the agri-processing space can expect to see Growing Forward 2 replaced with a new multi-year agricultural policy framework when the current suite of programs expires in 2018. Additionally, the government is planning on launching a new Agri-Food Value Added Investment Fund. The Fund will aim to attract investment and create good jobs, and provide technical and marketing assistance to help food processors develop new products.
- R&D. The government announced its intentions to improve the quality and impact of programs that support innovation, scientific research, and entrepreneurship. No additional details have been provided on this front to date.
- Skills Training and Youth. One of the Liberal Party’s campaign promises on the election trail was to increase funding to be delivered by the provinces and territories by $200M a year to train workers who are not eligible under the federal skills training program. The Liberals also said they would invest $1.3B over three years to create jobs and opportunities for young Canadians, as well as renew the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) with $300M in annual funding over three years.
- Overall Strategy. In July, Trudeau had called for the creation of a national manufacturing strategy to help boost prospects in regions like Southwestern Ontario. It remains to be seen whether the new government will move forward with such a strategy.
More details about these programs and other changes to the government’s incentives policy are expected as part of the upcoming federal budget.