Federal Budget

Industry Priority

Overview

The Federal Budget 2019 was announced on March 20.

  • A commitment to introduce prompt payment legislation, following the example set in Ontario
  • A plan to introduce a tax credit of $250 per year per worker contribute to the costs of occupational skills training, to a cap of $5000 (this amounts to $250/year for 20 years)
  • The introduction of an EI Training Support Benefit designed to cover employees’ living expenses for up to four weeks when they’re on training leave. Details yet to be worked out.
  • An EI Small Business Premium Rebate to help offset the costs of the new program to small businesses (although the CFIB cautions that the program would end up subsidizing training that doesn’t help employers)
  • $2.2BN top-up of the Federal Gas Tax Fund in support of municipal infrastructure
  • First-time home buyer incentive
  • $35M towards a permanent Global Talent Stream program to help Canadian companies hire skilled overseas workers when no Canadians are available to fill needed jobs

“We’re always glad to see a focus on training and a continued commitment to infrastructure investment, but BC construction employers are dealing with unique challenges at a time of significant construction activity. The Federal budget nods towards industry hot buttons but doesn’t go far enough – a notable exception being the commitment to prompt payment legislation, which we haven’t seen yet from our provincial government,” says BCCA President Chris Atchison.

“BC contractors need meaningful and tangible solutions today to operational challenges like steel and aluminum tariffs, small business taxes, the flow of federal dollars on infrastructure projects, and skilled workforce – it’s essential for them to remain competitive in this market. For those new policies that are undefined, such as E.I. Training Support Benefit and Small Businesses Premium Rebate, we certainly would expect that industry be invited to help shape the details.”

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