Canadian Contractor

Kaitlin Secord   

Budget 2023 considers trades, net-zero, apprenticeships

Canadian Contractor editor pick

March 29, 2023, Ottawa – Budget 2023, titled the Made-In-Canada Plan: Affordable Energy, Good Jobs, and a Growing Clean Economy, was delivered in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 28.

The 2023 federal budget includes labour investments and apprenticeship opportunities for clean electricity and clean technology projects.

The Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit will ensure the wages paid are at the prevailing level and that apprenticeship training opportunities are being created in order to receive the full 15 per cent tax credit. The credit would be available as of the day of Budget 2024 for projects that did not begin construction before the day of Budget 2023.

“The definition of prevailing wage would be based on union compensation, including benefits and pension contributions from the most recent, widely applicable multi-employer collective bargaining agreement, or corresponding project labour agreements, in the jurisdiction within which relevant labour is employed,” states the Building Trades Unions in a press release. 

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At least ten per cent of the tradesperson hours worked must be performed by registered apprentices in the Red Seal trades. The government also intends to apply labour requirements related to the prevailing wage and hours worked by registered apprentices to the Investment Tax Credit for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage, and the Investment Tax Credit for Clean Electricity.

Since 2019, budgets have considered ways to help provide Canadian workers with the tools they need. Budget 2023 builds on this progress and proposes new steps to ensure workers across the country will benefit.

To ensure that Canada has the skilled workforce required to build Canada’s clean economy and double the number of new homes that will be built in Canada by 2030, Budget 2023 proposes to double the maximum employment deduction for tradespeople’s tool expenses from $500 to $1,000.

This change would take effect for the 2023 taxation year and would reduce federal revenues by $11 million over six years, starting in 2022-23.

Reducing barriers to interprovincial and territorial trade and improving labour mobility would create more opportunities for Canadian businesses to grow, make it easier for Canadians to get help from medical professionals, and bring down costs for Canadians through increased competition and consumer choice.

In December 2022, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities launched a new Federal Action Plan to Strengthen Internal Trade, which seeks to accelerate efforts to remove barriers to trade and labour mobility across Canada. This includes funding work to identify barriers to trade, and solution-driven analysis on how to eliminate them; the creation of an Internal Trade Data and Information Hub; and, identifying opportunities to enhance the capacity of the Internal Trade Secretariat and the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table.

This builds on the work the government has undertaken to improve labour mobility, launching the Labour Mobility Deduction for Tradespeople, which makes it more affordable for skilled tradespeople to travel to the worksite, wherever in Canada it is.

Budget 2023 proposes to provide $197.7 million in 2024-25 to the Student Work Placement Program to continue creating quality work-integrated learning opportunities for students through partnerships between employers and post-secondary education institutions.

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