FINA Committee Report
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As a result of their deliberations, committees may make recommendations which they include in their reports for the consideration of the House of Commons or the Government. Recommendations related to this study are listed below.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance recommends that the Government of Canada:
Work with territorial and Indigenous governments to reduce the smoking rate in Indigenous communities.
Provide funds to the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s pan-Canadian heart health initiative.
Invest in ovarian cancer research to advance a personalized medicine platform for this cancer and to reduce the five-year mortality rate associated with it.
Work with the provinces/territories to introduce a pan-Canadian prescription drug program.
Commit to developing a Canadian action plan for brain health. The action plan should include increased brain health research, meaningful care and supports.
Provide funding to ParticipACTION’s multi-year, multi-channel national engagement initiative.
Support the availability of mental health services in Northern and remote communities by implementing loan forgiveness for social workers who practise in such communities.
Ensure that the Canada Student Loans program provides funding to support the upfront costs of mental health assessments required for academic accommodations.
Address anxiety, depression and suicide among Canadian youth by supporting a program in cooperation with a pan-national around-the-clock post-secondary mental health service, as well as a new national texting service for mental health services.
Commit to expand the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Road to Mental Readiness and Mental Health First Aid Programs to first responders and public health officials.
Support mental health counselling and psychotherapy services by classifying them as zero-rated supplies for the purpose of the goods and services tax and the federal portion of the harmonized sales tax.
Create and fund a national registry of emergency services contacts. The registry should include all 24/7 local and accessible numbers to 911 dispatch centres across Canada, to enable crisis line operators the ability to directly refer to the necessary emergency service providers.
Work to reduce recidivism rates, create safer communities, and offer much-needed programming in correctional institutions by making the necessary investments in the revitalization of Canada’s prison farms.
Allocate the funds needed to establish a robust and effective redress system to end technical issues regarding “false positives” and other errors associated with the Passenger Protect Program, or “No Fly List.”.
Invest in preventative healthcare for Canadians.
Increase Canadian students’ access to undergraduate research opportunities.
Increase funding for Indigenous students pursuing post-secondary education and increase the number of students eligible for support under the Post-Secondary Student Support Program.
Expand employment options and career transition opportunities for students through investments in incubators for student entrepreneurs at post-secondary institutions.
Support a pilot grant through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research that would provide students and faculty with an incentive to develop open educational resources.
Expand funding for youth employment programs, including Canada Summer Jobs and the Skills Link program. As well, the government should require that career development learning opportunities be incorporated into all employment programs that it funds.
Continue to work with stakeholders and make targeted investments to strengthen apprenticeship and training programs in order to ensure sufficient labour resources to meet the evolving needs of the economy, including support for green trades.
Support the Atlantic Partnership for Literacy and Essential Skills by providing stable, adequate and predictable funding to their literacy programs.
Enhance existing financial literacy programs. Particular attention should be paid to the needs of specific demographic groups.
Review the Social Security Tribunal and consider restoring the following: Employment Insurance Boards of Referees, the EI Umpire, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) Review Tribunals, and the Pensions Appeals Board in an effort to restructure the system.
In partnership with relevant stakeholders, develop and implement a pan-Canadian mentoring program to increase access for tens of thousands of vulnerable young Canadians to the benefits and impacts of mentoring.
Allocate the funding needed to develop and implement an early learning and child care system. This system should ensure that all Canadian children and families are able to access high-quality, inclusive child care services.
Address violence against women by increasing the funds allocated to the Women’s Program at Status of Women Canada, in recognition that violence against women costs the Canadian economy $12 billion per year.
Increase its investment in job training programs for Indigenous peoples and support reconciliation by providing increased funding for programs that strengthen Indigenous youth opportunities. These youth programs could include sports, culture and mentorship.
Increase and update the funding agreement between Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and Indspire to deliver programs focused on reducing the educational gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Funding provided to Indspire should be increased annually to account for inflation.
Fulfill the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action by providing the University of Victoria with financial support for an Indigenous Legal Lodge. This support should be delivered through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
Provide support for the Northwest Territories/Nunavut Council of Friendship Centres.
Allocate funding to affordable housing for people with disabilities. As well, the government should establish a plan that would ensure that 5% of all federal affordable housing investments are directed to support people with developmental disabilities.
Allocate funding to existing or lapsed provincial/territorial oral health programs for vulnerable populations.
Adopt a “whole of government” approach in developing a national seniors strategy. The strategy should include palliative and end-of-life care.
Increase funding for multiculturalism programs that support community capacity building, enact a national plan against racism, promote inter-faith dialogue, and support the fight against racism and discrimination.
Work towards eliminating the gap for child welfare funding for Indigenous children.
Introduce pay equity legislation for federally regulated sectors and work with the provinces/territories as well as private sector stakeholders to close the gender pay gap in Canada.
Facilitate decision-making in the mineral sector by renewing the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for a three-year period.
Consider the creation of an investor tax credit in order to build capital investment and increase the productivity of Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses.
Recognize the income earned by campgrounds and storage facilities as “active business income” for the purpose of determining eligibility for the small business deduction.
Limit the underground economy through the creation of a home energy retrofit renovation tax credit.
Consider becoming the world’s leading producer of artificial intelligence in the agricultural and agri-food sector.
Ensure that the Stem Cell Network receives stable and predictable funding for translational research.
Implement the Canadian Neutron Initiative, upgrade and fully utilize the McMaster nuclear reactor, and facilitate international nuclear research partnerships.
Establish incentives for researchers receiving federal grants. The incentives could include a commercialization coupon or an innovation box, and the commercial activities could include intellectual property development, market studies and/or business plan preparation.
Create a first patent program that is similar in design to that launched by the Government of Quebec. This program should assist with the expenses incurred by small and medium-sized businesses when obtaining a first patent.
Work with the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation with the goal of encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship in Canada. In particular, the government should support innovative start-up companies and implement best practices associated with the Israeli model.
Build on the recently concluded Canadian Free Trade Agreement and continue to reduce internal trade barriers by pursuing regulatory modernization among the provinces/territories.
Pursue bilateral, regional and multilateral trade agreements. These agreements should address non-tariff trade barriers, ensure access to new markets for Canadian agricultural products, and ensure science-based regulatory standards.
Use the Fundamental Science Review (the Naylor Report) as a framework for long-term support of science and research. In particular, the government should invest in investigator-led research, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, applied sciences research institutions, as well as in agricultural research. The government should also expand access to the Canadian Graduate Scholarship program.
Introduce a trusted employer program that would expedite the hiring process for qualified employers that have maintained good standing with the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.
Help Canadian businesses meet their labour force needs by improving the efficiency of the Temporary Foreign Worker program.
Invest in national mentoring programs designed to improve the employment outcomes of skilled immigrants and to encourage employers to hire such individuals. The government should also examine ways in which to establish work placements for these immigrants prior to their arrival in Canada.
Support Canada’s aquaculture sector by creating a federal aquaculture act that would define the term “aquaculture” and recognize the importance of the sector to Canada’s economy. As well, the government should re-establish funding for the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation program to allow facilities to be re-opened.
Establish an interdepartmental advisory council for the agricultural and agri-food sector. The council, which could be comprised of Employment and Social Development Canada, Service Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, should support improved labour availability for the sector.
Create a perishable agricultural commodities act (PACA) –like deemed trust in Canada.
Increase funds through its A-base budget for small craft harbours. As well, where possible, the government should consider implementing the Small Craft Harbour Divesture program to support the divesting of non-core harbours.
Examine and adapt, where appropriate, the value-driven Icelandic fisheries model.
Implement a program that would facilitate the permanent retirement of fishing licences.
Continue and enhance its commitment to the Geo-mapping for the Energy and Minerals program (GEM).
Enhance global market access for Canadian forest products.
Introduce accelerated capital cost allowance rates for investments in oil and gas technologies that improve the environmental performance and efficiency in Canada’s oil and gas sector.
Look to using the Strategic Innovation Fund that was announced in the 2017 federal budget to make incremental investments in selected economic sectors. These sectors should include Canada’s chemical and related manufacturing sectors.
Consider making the 10-year extension of the accelerated capital cost allowance rates permanent for manufacturing and processing sectors. As well, the government should broaden the coverage of eligible capital assets.
Limit rising passenger and operational costs by preventing the privatization of Canadian airports.
Support the air transportation sector by:
Support the national railway network by creating a capital funding program for shortline railways.
Support VIA Rail's Quebec City-Windsor Corridor fleet-renewal project and proceed with its procurement process.
Support the tourism sector by working towards the common goal of becoming one of the top 10 most visited countries in the world. This should include a focus on simplifying visa rules and applications for visitors by taking a “whole of government” approach.
Provide targeted and dedicated investments in tourism infrastructure associated with Canada’s national parks and heritage sites.
Consistent with its national zero emission vehicle strategy, grant and allocate additional funding for the replacement, purchase or lease of electric vehicles by various departments each year.
Allow credit unions to use the verb “bank” or “banking”.
Introduce a Wine Industry Innovation Program to help develop and grow the grape wine industry in Canada.
Support the agricultural research and innovation sector by providing long-term and predictable core investments to further encourage educational partnerships and private sector funding.
Undertake consumer research and consultations with industry and stakeholders prior to determining the optimal approach to food labelling. The government should consider the labelling options of Canada’s major North American and European trading partners.
While continuing to make the necessary investments needed to grow our economy and support the middle class, ensure that the federal debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio continue to decrease over the short, medium and long terms.
Draw on the expertise and efficiency of the public service before hiring external private contractors when designing and conducting federal departmental spending reviews.
Revise the mandates of the Canada Food Inspection Agency and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency to include the promotion of Canadian innovation and the establishment of service standards.
Consistent with the Advisory Council on Economic Growth (Barton Report) that identified the agri-food products sector as critically important to the Canadian economy, collaborate with that sector to drive agricultural innovation. Collaboration should include long-term and predictable core investments in agricultural research and innovation, renewal and expansion of Canada’s agricultural innovation infrastructure, and a comprehensive human capital strategy that involves the identification of specific skill requirements, among other elements.
Review the environmental requirements with respect to dredging and ensure that such requirements are conducted with financial restraint and efficiency.
Increase the competitiveness of Canadian arts organizations and encourage new revenue streams for them by raising the annual cap on the Canada Cultural Investment Fund – Endowment Incentives to $3 million, raise or eliminate the $15 million limit on support for each arts organization, and explore the federal fiscal implications of extending the Canadian Cultural Investment Fund to art museums.
Adopt zero-carbon building standards and create opportunities for targeted retrofit investments for federally owned buildings. To this end, the government should buy zero-carbon technology in bulk, and embed the Investor Confidence Project as a requirement in the Low-Carbon Economy Fund, the Canada Infrastructure Bank, and the National Housing Strategy.
Ensure that any federal-provincial/territorial incentive programs for energy-efficient retrofits in the private sector include mechanical insulation.
Renew its partnership with the Earth Rangers to educate young Canadians and raise awareness in the areas of the environment and climate change adaptation.
Increase its official development assistance with the goal of allocating 0.7% of gross national income to the International Assistance Envelope by 2030, with 3 year rolling targets. With its official development assistance, the government should target food security, improved nutrition, and inclusive and high-quality education, particularly for girls and young women.
Invest in expanding access to high-quality French-language health services in official language minority communities.
Support research hospitals by providing direct eligibility for infrastructure and innovation support and by increasing funding, over a four-year period, for investigator-led fundamental research.
Work with provincial/territorial governments to reduce the infrastructure deficit in Northern Canada, and incorporate into its infrastructure funding programs the unique circumstances facing the territorial North with infrastructure programs using “base + population” or take a similar approach for the national allocation formula.
Allocate the funds necessary to reach full coverage of high-speed internet service across Canada.
Advance the Infrastructure Bank to leverage the private sector for infrastructure investments in such areas as transportation, telecommunications and energy networks which are essential to Canada’s prosperity and global competitiveness.
Simplify the application approval process for federal infrastructure programs.
Work with the provinces/territories, municipalities, airport authorities and other partners to improve transit infrastructure and other crucial transportation hubs around Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, and other major Canadian airports.