On June 6th, 2011 the Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, tabled the federal Government’s post election budget. The Budget followed the tabling of the Government’s Speech From the Throne on June 3rd.
The June 6th Budget was essentially a repeat of the previous March 2011 Budget tabled in the last session of parliament before the Government lost a vote of confidence which triggered the federal election. As promised by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance during the election, the Government reintroduced the previously tabled budget with a few ‘tweaks’. These ‘tweaks’ consisted of a number of campaign promises which include:
- The elimination of the federal deficit by 2014- driven by reviewing and reducing federal Government programs and administration costs.
- $2.2 billion to compensate Quebec for merging its provincial sales tax with that of the federal levy.
- The phase out of public funding political parties.
Budget Highlights of particular interest to the Canadian Nuclear industry include:
- $100 million over two years for research, development and demonstrations of clean energy and energy efficiency.
- Expansion of eligibility for the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment. It allows the cost of eligible assets to be deducted for tax purposes at a rate of 50 per cent per year on a declining balance basis—which is faster than would be implied by the useful life of the assets. The Budget 2011 proposes to expand eligibility for accelerated CCA under Class 43.2 to include equipment that generates electricity using waste heat from sources such as industrial processes. This expansion will encourage investment in technologies that increase energy efficiency and can help displace the use of fossil fuels for generation of electricity.
- $8 million over two years to promote the deployment of clean energy technologies in Aboriginal and Northern communities.
- $97 million over two years to renew funding for technology and innovation in the areas of clean energy and energy efficiency.
- $405 Million for 2011-2012 period for AECL (during its restructuring process)to cover corporate operations, isotope production and managing safe operations at Chalk River Laboratories.
- A targeted engagement strategy to foster stronger economic ties with India that will include $12 million over 5 years for the creation of a Canada- India Research Centre of Excellence.
- Take additional steps to foster a stronger economic union by continuing to engage with the provinces and territories to enhance internal trade and labour mobility. It will ensure that all regions of the country have modern public infrastructure and will continue to support sectors of strategic importance. The Government will support the development of new environmental and clean energy technologies and pursue efficient regulatory approaches to create a cleaner, healthier environment.
- Extend Mineral Tax credit for exploration for one year.
- $870 Million over 2 years to support the Government’s Clean Air Agenda. This is to include: $400 million for a program that benefits homeowners who carry out energy-saving improvements; $252 Million to support regulatory initiatives to address climate change and air quality.