FINA Committee Report
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LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS
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:
Continue to use a fiscal target based on the debt to gross domestic product ratio to measure Canada’s strong fiscal position and commit to a declining ratio over the near and medium term.
In relation to the current federal self-government fiscal policy as it relates to First Nations, Inuit and Métis, provide additional funds for governance, land and resources, and close the socio-economic and infrastructure gap.
Create a limited statutory deemed trust to provide financial protection for produce sellers in Canada in a manner that is equivalent to the U.S. Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.
Commit to ongoing negotiations with provinces/territories to ensure that interprovincial trade barriers for alcohol are removed providing access to all Canadian producers.
Work to reach the government’s goal of increasing Canada’s overseas exports by 50% in 2025 by:
a) Working with exporters to create a “National Manufacturing Export Accelerator Program” to assist small and medium-sized enterprises to become export-ready; and
b) Working with Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, labour groups, and college and trades institutions to address the skills shortage in the manufacturing sector.
Continue to provide financial support to exporters of steel and aluminum considering the U.S. tariffs.
Increase its support for northern transportation and energy infrastructure through dedicated funding under the National Trade Corridors Fund and explore other funding mechanisms.
Commit federal infrastructure funding to leverage natural gas utility funding that would result in new connections for thousands of rural Canadians to the natural gas pipeline system.
Work with all other levels of government to align and coordinate efforts to create a competitive investment climate across Canada to attract world-class value-added petrochemical facilities.
Expand eligibility requirements, when developing planning and programming for public transit funding, with the flexibility to include not-for-profit and non-governmental community transit organizations where municipally funded transportation services are not available and further address the gap in regional/provincial/territorial transportation access.
Begin creating, within the upcoming Arctic Policy Framework, an “Arctic Research Infrastructure Support Fund” with adequate funding.
Continue to invest in digital and mobile connectivity by providing incentives for expanding capacity by working in partnership with the telecommunications sector, municipalities and agencies, to ensure that proposed incentives result in accelerated deployment of next-generation digital technology and rural/remote broadband and wireless.
Ensure that small ports are eligible for funding under infrastructure funds.
Provide relief of such duties in order to support the use of Canadian offshore oil by the Canadian oil refining industry considering that Canada is the only country in the world imposing duties on the use of specialized world asset vessels to move bulk oil and that such duties hinders the competitiveness of Canada’s offshore energy sector.
Strengthen the competitiveness of Canada’s airport system by committing to:
a) Eliminate rents for all airports with fewer than three million passengers;
b) Place an immediate cap on ground rent payments for all remaining airports and exempt non-aeronautical revenues from the ground rent calculations;
c) Set a globally competitive service level standard for security screening in Canada and provide funding to support any transition to a new structure; and
d) Expedite the deployment of the CATSA Plus screening technology at additional checkpoints and airports throughout Canada.
Provide significant and sustained funding for short line rail infrastructure improvements to ensure their continued critical role in Canada’s transportation networks, facilitate export capacity and improve safety.
Make the necessary and immediate investments in VIA Rail in order to allow it to leverage $4 billion from the private sector for its high frequency rail project in Quebec and Ontario.
Appoint an expert panel to undertake a comprehensive review of the Canadian tax system through a “made-in-Canada approach” ensuring a tax system that strengthens the competitiveness of Canadian businesses, drives innovation, and reduces the administrative and compliance burden for all users of the tax system.
Provide the Canada Revenue Agency with the necessary resources to pursue education, outreach, and compliance activities on the personal services business model in the trucking industry (“Driver Inc” model).
Implement the appropriate mechanisms to ensure all truck drivers using the personal services business model have appropriate source deductions applied and that a T4A is issued and reported for these drivers.
Strengthen the Income Tax Act by introducing new rules regarding disclosure that would allow the Canada Revenue Agency to compel disclosure of information to help address abusive tax avoidance.
Consider making the Family Caregiver Amount Tax Credit refundable.
Amend the Income Tax Act to add chiropractors to the list of practitioners eligible to assess and certify disability and issue the Disability Tax Credit Certificate.
Ensure that Canada’s regulatory regimes reflect the global competitive landscape by:
a) Following through on continuous regulatory reform and regulatory alignment by including a clear commitment for Canadian regulatory departments to work collaboratively with major trading programs; and
b) Undertaking annual reviews of the tax system to streamline tax compliance reporting for small businesses.
Review the legislation under which the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) operates to include consideration of the impacts of PMRA on the competitiveness of Canadian firms and provide additional resources for pesticide re-evaluations.
Establish a working group with the Canadian potato industry and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to find efficiencies to streamline the current approach to potato inspection and certification with the objective to support the competitiveness of the potato sector by reducing CFIA fees going forward.
As part of its ongoing commitment to fight global poverty, pursue a reduction in commissions for remittances charged by financial firms to 5%, as per the pledge Canada made in 2009.
Invest in a program encouraging Canadian leadership in the application of quantum computing to businesses, governments and research environments.
Support the institutional costs of research to bring all postsecondary educational institutions up to a 25% reimbursement rate in year one and to 30% in six years.
Support the pan-Canadian, university led Canadian Neutron Initiative to ensure that Canada maintains our place among leaders in materials research in priority areas, such as producing and storing clean energy, growing the economy through advanced manufacturing and clean technologies, and promoting health through biomedical and life sciences.
Consider investing in programs that would allow Canada to become a leader in the commercialization of technologies to recycle, recover, or transform all plastics by 2040.
Further leverage the network of 267 locally-directed organizations across rural Canada (Community Futures Network of Canada) to support its overarching goal of ensuring a competitive Canadian economy by providing additional resources, and further support the modernization of the terms and conditions of the Community Futures Program to better serve the needs of rural entrepreneurs and communities.
Ensure long-term and predictable funding for regional development agencies.
Create an incentive for businesses to protect their intellectual property by creating a first patent program with a design that is similar to that launched by the Government of Quebec.
Establish incentives for intellectual property development and commercialization through a commercialization coupon for researchers receiving federal grants, as well as an innovation box tax incentive for business revenue derived from commercialization of Canadian issued intellectual property rights.
As outlined in the Advisory Council on Economic Growth report entitled “Unleashing the Growth Potential of Key Sectors,” adopt aggressive growth targets and outline further investment measures for the Canadian agri-food industry, including targets for domestic and export sales, and specific targets for each agri-food sector across the agri-food value chain.
Commit to significant, ongoing investments to advance Canada’s space program and contribute to space exploration and science.
Adopt a “whole-of-government” approach to tourism that recognizes and prioritizes tourism as one of Canada’s major economic drivers and job creators by:
a) Making Destination Canada a more competitive tourism marketing organization by establishing a hybrid funding model with strong base funding in addition to increases based on annual performance measurements;
b) Examining current skills/capacity building and employment bridging programs by prioritizing the tourism sector in Employment and Social Development Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada programming, and promoting tourism career options and training in under-represented labour pools, such as Indigenous youth and people with disabilities; and
c) Undertaking a comprehensive review of visitors’ rebates for the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax subject to appropriate controls.
Take steps to address worker shortages in key sectors of the economy by:
a) Implementing an expedited vetting program through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for reputable and trusted employers to simplify the application process and qualifying principles; and
b) Implementing flexible immigration policies that prioritize permanent residency for in‐demand workers employed in year‐round jobs.
Convene a task force that would make recommendations on how Canada can address the problem of pilot shortages now and in future years, with a focus on how pilot training costs can be reduced significantly.
Make modifications to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to address truck driver shortages by changing the National Occupational Classification (NOC) for long haul truck drivers from NOC C (low skilled worker) to NOC B (skilled worker).
Increase funding for skills development, specifically in the two following programs that support investments in employee training and development:
a) Incentives for businesses through support of employee tuition and living costs for advanced training in agriculture, food and veterinary sciences; and.
b) A skills initiative focused on connecting agri-business with academia, Mitacs and other government agencies, with high-calibre experiential international training as the overarching goal of the program.
Support economic prosperity of Indigenous people by recognizing and supporting organizations that serve First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and students through foundational learning and skills training.
Enhance Indigenous employment training and apprenticeship programming in the resource, cultural, and tourism sectors.
Increase funding for clearly defined pre-apprenticeship training that builds awareness and readiness among Canadian women to pursue and succeed in careers in the skilled trades.
Incentivize small and medium-sized enterprises to partner with post-secondary institutions to expand work-integrated learning programs.
Place emphasis on work-integrated learning funding for students from under-represented groups, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis students.
Launch a “National Work-Integrated Learning Strategy.”.
Commit additional federal funding to the existing work-integrated learning matching platform to increase functionality and reach more employers.
Partner with academia and the private sector to invest in numeracy and literacy training in order to increase productivity in a knowledge-based economy.
Transition the Atlantic Immigration Pilot to a permanent immigration program in Atlantic Canada, and establish similar pilot programs in other interested jurisdictions where population growth is less than 0.5%.
Provide support to Canadians facing a critical diagnosis by expanding the Employment Insurance sickness benefit to 26 weeks from the current 15 weeks.
Ensure coordination of organization funding, training tax credits and Employment Insurance benefits to maximize options for women looking to enter in the skilled trades.
Provide sufficient funding to continue and expand the Ready, Willing and Able initiative.
Support the expansion of post-secondary education delivered in the territories and remote communities, including community-based research and programming, to ensure a sustained, culturally-safe, post-secondary option for Indigenous students and their families.
Provide funding over five years to support analysis of post-secondary education outcomes for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students.
Provide increased funding over five years for Indspire’s scholarship and bursary program.
Implement student loan forgiveness for social workers in rural and remote communities like for certain other professions.
Renew funding for the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.
Provide funding to the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research, on par with the level seen in the 2018 Budget.
Provide funding to support the work of women’s and youth-serving organizations who provide relationship and consent education programs for teens.
Allocate funding over three years through Women’s Brain Health Initiative to accelerate the translation and application of new knowledge and innovative programs that effectively informs and empowers women to prevent or delay brain-aging disease progression.
Build on the existing drug coverage enjoyed by millions of Canadians and follow a close-the-gap approach to pharmacare to ensure that all Canadians have access to prescription drug coverage, in addition to examining ways to provide catastrophic drug coverage to Canadians.
Provide continued investment in military, veteran, and family health research, with extension to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other first responders, to improve the health and well-being of these Canadians.
Fund the Canadian Ovarian Cancer Research Consortium’s three research priorities and enable the Personalized Medicine Platform for Ovarian Cancer.
Commit to funding the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada over five years to undertake a nation-wide engagement program to facilitate discussion among women with lived experience of heart disease and stroke.
Provide substantial, long term funding to support the development and implementation of a new national diabetes strategy in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Canadian discovery of insulin, and facilitate the creation of Indigenous-specific strategic approaches for type 1 diabetes, which would be led and delivered by Indigenous groups.
Support the existing work of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) on cardiac benchmarking in Canada to create a permanent national cardiac benchmarking program in accordance with the CCS plan, by making a five-year investment to enable the CCS to sustain the program.
Provide stable and predictable funding for the Stem Cell Network to maintain operations after March 31st, 2019.
Invest in medical imaging equipment in northern communities to help eradicate tuberculosis.
Improve access to palliative care with targeted federal investments for both new and existing programs to improve standardization of delivery of palliative care for people across Canada.
Continue to invest in childcare with the goal of achieving high-quality, accessible, flexible, affordable, and inclusive childcare.
Increase transfers to provinces/territories and Indigenous governments for an Indigenous-led early learning and child care framework.
Provide modernized and better funded programs based on the recommendations of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, specifically, by expanding the endowment-matching program of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund to include museums, which would leverage finite public funds to maximize private support, secure the financial future of museums and assist them in weathering changing economic times.
Increase funding for the Canada Arts Presentation Fund for performing arts presenters and festivals over a three-year period in order to foster a strong domestic market that will serve as a launch pad for Canadian performing arts productions on international markets.
Work with the Canadian Private Copying Collective to examine both an interim and permanent solution to ensure rights holders continue to receive compensation for unlicensed private copies made of their music.
Recognize the professional status of Canadian artists by implementing fair taxation and establishing more coherent and predictable support and fiscal ecosystem.
Recognize the economic and cultural impact of Canadian fairs, festivals, exhibitions and events to local communities and provide funding dedicated to their growth.
Increase funding for the Cultural Satellite Account to better measure the impact of culture, arts, heritage, and sport in the Canadian economy.
Work with Indigenous governments and organizations to develop an urban, rural, and northern Indigenous housing strategy.
Through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, provide timely rent cheques to Indigenous women so they can avoid paying late fees, and avoid asking Indigenous women for their band number upon their uptake to transition homes in order to respect their confidentiality.
Consider a broad range of supports for seniors including:
a) Addressing unfunded pension liabilities;
b) Providing flexibility in mandatory Registered Retirement Income Fund withdrawals either by increasing the age at which mandatory withdrawal must occur or providing an optional reduced withdrawal rate; and
c) Lowering the claw-back rate on the Guaranteed Income Supplement and increasing the income exemption threshold to allow for our most vulnerable seniors to access limited amounts of income.
Support the implementation of the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Roots of Hope national community suicide prevention strategy.
Commit to provide funding for three years to Kids Help Phone, which provides an essential service for all young people in Canada.
Create a national awareness campaign on elder abuse, neglect and self-neglect.
Increase its support for sexual harassment and assault training in federal workplaces.
Provide renewed annual funding for the International Association of Fire Fighter’s Canadian Hazardous Materials and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Training Initiative over the next five-year period.
Work with the Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition and provide the necessary resources to support the collection of information, prevention programs and policy development to ensure Canadians are educated on the risks faced when going into the water.
Increase funding for federal agri-environmental programs, research and development in environmentally sustainable agriculture and food waste reduction initiatives.
Develop and deliver a National Energy Strategy, which would consider all forms of low-carbon energy to help realize the goal of a clean environment and a strong economy through the deployment of new technologies, including nuclear power.
Leverage private sector funding and assets already owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited to respond to the results of the Canadian Small Modular Reactor Roadmap, which would ensure Canada’s leadership role in the development of small modular reactors for export, support economic growth and provide a domestic response to the need of northern and remote communities and industries to eliminate the use of diesel.
Leverage the expertise of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration sector in Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy by:
a) Developing a pool of capital that can be leveraged to encourage private sector financing for commercial building retrofits;
b) Implementing a federal tax credit for investments in technologies that reduce carbon emissions and improve energy performance in buildings;
c) Supporting industry-led and managed incentive programs for specific low-carbon technologies; and
d) Funding the market transformation road map, which was developed by Natural Resources Canada in consultation with the provinces/territories as well as key industry stakeholders, to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Prioritize implementing the energy efficiency actions in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change by:
a) Making new buildings more energy efficient by working with provinces/territories towards the adoption of a “net-zero ready” model building code by 2030.
b) Developing and adopting a model building code for existing buildings by 2022, requiring labelling of building energy use by 2019, and expanding building retrofit efforts, including through the creation of an energy retrofit tax credit for Canadians’ homes.
c) Improving energy efficiency for appliances and equipment, including through new standards for heating equipment and other key technologies.
d) Working with Indigenous communities towards improved efficiency standards and the incorporation of efficiency into building renovations.
e) Improving industrial energy efficiency by supporting the adoption of energy management systems, with a view to reaching the Generation Energy Council’s target of 75% of industrial energy use covered by energy management systems by 2030.
Take steps to strengthen the economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging fleet operators to transition to natural gas through investments in critical refueling infrastructure and providing funding for site maintenance and safety.
Support, through government procurement, initiatives with a significant social impact, finance a centre of expertise in social procurement and work closely with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to co-develop a federal procurement strategy that set targets for Indigenous businesses.
Substantially improve its timelines on processing funding applications, specifically, Environment and Climate Change Canada through its EcoAction Community Funding Program and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans through its Recreational Fisheries and Conservation Partnership Program.
Help eliminate infrastructure bottlenecks and increasingly frequent transportation service interruptions by allocating capacity to Natural Resources Canada to support the collection, analysis, and distribution of data provided by the railways through the implementation of the Transportation Modernization Act.
Invest in research and data gathering to quantify, track and develop a national strategy for responding to all forms of elder abuse and neglect.
Increase its official development assistance with the goal of allocating 0.7% of gross national income to the International Assistance Envelope by 2030, with three-year rolling targets, and in allocating this assistance, target food security, improved nutrition, and inclusive and high-quality education, particularly for girls and young women.