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Government Response to the Fifth Report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology

In June 2009, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) tabled its report A Study of the Crisis Faced by Certain Industrial Sectors in Canada, that examined the impact of the economic crisis on certain Canadian industries including the aerospace, energy, forestry, high-tech and manufacturing industries. The challenges faced by these sectors are significant and, in many instances, the global recession has exacerbated difficult structural adjustments already underway.

The Government is concerned for the many Canadian communities, businesses and workers that have been affected by the economic slowdown. The manufacturing industry, for example, has been especially hard-hit during the global economic crisis and is continuing to undergo significant restructuring. Other sectors such as the information and communications technologies sector and biotechnology sector have been faced with financial challenges and still others such as the energy and aerospace industries have faced lower international demand for their products.

While all countries, including Canada, have felt the impacts of the deep and synchronized global recession, Canada has done so from a position of relative economic and fiscal strength. Canada’s comparative strengths include a real estate market that avoided many of the challenges seen elsewhere and a banking system that the World Economic Forum recognizes as the strongest in the world. It has allowed Canada to put in place a comprehensive stimulus package, Canada’s Economic Action Plan. It is helping Canadians weather the global recession and emerge with an even stronger economy.

Budget 2009: Canada’s Economic Action Plan

Canada’s Economic Action Plan delivers key initiatives that stimulate the economy, protect Canadian jobs, support those being hit the hardest and invest for our future. The Plan has been designed to deliver stimulus

investments as quickly and effectively as possible and consists of joint actions of federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, helping to boost job creation

opportunities. The Government will continue to implement the Economic Action Plan as aggressively as possible, appropriately balancing effective stewardship and governance of taxpayer dollars with speed of delivery.

Individuals, families, businesses and communities are already benefiting from the measures introduced by the Government. Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides approximately $14 billion to support adjustment and help create and protect jobs in regions, communities and industries of the Canadian economy that have been most affected by the severe downturn. This includes targeted support for traditional industries such as forestry and agriculture, and manufacturing, which play important roles in the economies of many communities. This support will help these industries invest in their long-term success and create new opportunities and jobs for Canadians in all areas of the country.

Of note, Canada’s manufacturers and processors are benefiting from an accelerated capital cost allowance on machinery and equipment purchases, first introduced in Budget 2007 and extended in the 2008 and 2009 budgets, and the permanent elimination of tariffs on a wide range of machinery and equipment. These measures work in tandem to lower the cost of restructuring and retooling for long-term success. The Economic Action Plan also expands the scope and resources for the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada, including measures such as the Business Credit Availability Program, that are providing access to the financing companies need to grow and compete.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan also provides support for communities and workers, particularly those most affected by the economic downturn. The Community Adjustment Fund, for example, helps to mitigate the impact of short-term job losses in smaller communities and promotes economic development and diversi-fication. The creation of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) will foster economic development where many communities are adjusting to the restructuring of the manufacturing sector. The Economic Action Plan also helps to avoid layoffs by enhancing the Employment Insurance work-sharing program and the unemployed through enhanced Employment Insurance and training programs. The Economic Action Plan helps to create the economy of tomorrow by improving infrastructure at colleges and universities, supporting research and technology development and enabling industry to innovate and
invest in world class machinery and equipment.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan also helps to keep money in the hands of businesses. In total, the Government has introduced more than $60 billion in tax relief for Canadian businesses over 2008-09 and the following five fiscal years, providing a stimulus to the economy and supporting job creation.

Looking Ahead

Canada’s economic recovery will depend on improved global economic conditions, including growing demand in export markets, and there are early signs that the global economy and financial markets are beginning to stabilize. The timely implementation of Canada’s Economic Action Plan is supporting our return to growth and mitigating the impact of the global recession. Private sector forecasters continue to point to economic recovery beginning the latter half of 2009 and gaining momentum in 2010.

The industrial sectors studied by the Committee remain critical drivers of the Canadian economy. Their future competitiveness depends on their ability to not only respond to the challenges brought on by the global economic recession, but also a need to position themselves for long-term success in increasingly competitive global markets. The measures in Budget 2009 go well beyond near-term economic support. They also deepen the actions already taken by the Government and further the implementation of Advantage Canada, the Government’s long-term economic plan. Budget 2009 helps to ensure that Canada maintains all of its economic advantages including its Tax Advantage, Knowledge Advantage, Infrastructure Advantage, Entrepreneurial Advantage, and Fiscal Advantage, which will make it more competitive and help promote long-run economic growth.

The global economic landscape continues to evolve and Canadian industry is making adjustments to sustain its long-term competitiveness. The Government will continue to work closely with INDU, industry, and other stakeholders to support Canada’s industries and workers and to enable them to realize their opportunities, and to compete and grow.

Recommendation 1

That the Government of Canada focus on establishing conditions that make Canadian businesses competitive around the world. In particular, this means establishing regulatory consistency and predictability, and keeping down the taxes paid by both Canadian consumers and businesses, including payroll taxes.


The Government of Canada is focused on establishing conditions that make Canadian businesses competitive around the world. Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan and other key measures introduced in recent years, particularly with respect to regulation and taxation, the Government of Canada is laying the foundation for industry and its workers to innovate, grow and succeed in the increasingly competitive global marketplace.

Budget 2007 included three specific initiatives to ensure Canadian markets remain competitive by establishing regulatory consistency and predictability. The three-pronged approach consisted of (i) imple-menting the Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation; (ii) reducing the federal paper burden on small business by 20 percent; and (iii) creating a Major Projects Management Office to streamline the review of large natural resource projects.

The Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation underlined a commitment to protect the health and safety of Canadians and the quality of the environment while promoting a competitive market economy in an efficient and timely manner. The Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation promotes cooperation with provincial and territorial governments and key trading partners, including the United States and Mexico as well as the European community, to seek comprehensive regulatory cooperation initiatives that encourage the compatibility of regulations; eliminate redundant testing and certification requirements; and, promote greater consistency with other jurisdictions. For example, since last fall, fourteen automotive sector regulations have come forward to harmonize with the requirements of the United States to improve the free flow of goods, while ensuring high levels of safety, in an integrated North American automobile industry. The Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation also requires rigorous cost-benefit analysis with a focus on evaluating high impact regulations to ensure their effectiveness and that the benefits clearly exceed the costs to Canadians.

Under the 20 percent paper burden reduction exercise, 13 key regulatory departments and agencies first established an inventory of administrative requirements and information obligations with which businesses must comply. The 13 departments and agencies then worked together to achieve the 20 percent reduction by streamlining regulations, eliminating duplicate requirements, getting rid of overlapping obligations, and reducing how often documents need to be filed. In support of this exercise, 41 regulatory proposals were processed.

Departments and agencies also introduced complementary measures that did not reduce the number of requirements or obligations but that eased the overall compliance burden on small businesses. These measures included simplifying existing administrative processes, creating single-window access to multiple government services, harmonizing definitions and requirements across departments or orders of government, and creating tools to provide relevant and timely information to entrepreneurs. One example is BizPaL, an online service that provides entrepreneurs with simplified access to the information on permits and licences needed to establish and run a business. This unique partnership among federal, territorial, provincial, regional and local governments is designed to cut through the paperwork burden and red tape that small businesses encounter.

By leading the implementation of the Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat ensures that new regulations minimize administrative burden and build on gains achieved through the 20 percent reduction exercise. For example, amendments to the Organic Product Regulations allow producers to adopt one Canadian standard instead of using a patchwork of provincial standards, to decrease compliance burden.

To create a more accountable, predictable and timely regulatory review process, the Government allocated $150 million over five years through Budget 2007 to establish the Major Projects Management Office and to increase the scientific and technical capacity of key regulatory departments. The Government remains committed to establishing a modern, performance based regulatory system for major natural resource projects that is timely, effective and improves the competitiveness of Canada’s resource industries.

Through the Major Projects Management Office, strong project management systems and governance mechanisms have been put in place to improve integration of federal decision-making and to improve the predictability and accountability of the federal regulatory review process. In its first full year of operations, the Major Projects Management Office has made significant progress towards improving the performance of the federal regulatory system for major natural resources projects.

Although important steps have been taken towards improving the management and performance of the federal regulatory system for major resource projects, there is room for further improvements. The Major Projects Management Office is leading federal efforts to identify and implement effective longer-term solutions to further enhance the performance of the federal regulatory system, including examining opportunities to improve the federal legislative framework.

Advantage Canada, the Government’s long-term economic plan, made a commitment to improving Canada’s tax system, focusing on initiatives that contribute the most to economic growth, including: establishing a business tax advantage; reducing taxes on saving; supporting low-income workers; and, generally reducing taxes, particularly for low- to middle-income individuals.

Actions taken by the Government of Canada since 2006, including those proposed under Budget 2009, Canada’s Economic Action Plan, will reduce taxes on individuals, families and businesses by an estimated $220 billion over 2008-09 and the following five fiscal years. This includes the implementation of significant elements of Advantage Canada such as:

  •   Reducing taxes in every way the Government collects revenues, and ensuring that Canadian families, students, workers, seniors and businesses, large and small, continue to keep more of their hard-earned money;
  •    Reducing corporate income taxes so that Canada will have the lowest statutory corporate tax rate in the G7 by 2012 and the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7 by 2010; and,
  • Introducing the Working Income Tax Benefit to make work pay for low-income Canadians, and the Tax-Free Savings Account to improve incentives to save.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan goes well beyond near-term economic support to deepen actions already taken by the Government, and furthers the implementation of Advantage Canada. Some key initiatives from the Plan, which enhance business competitiveness include:

  • Extension of the temporary 50 percent straight-line accelerated capital cost allowance (CCA) rate for investment in manufacturing or processing machinery and equipment; 
  • A temporary two-year 100 percent CCA rate for computers that allows businesses in all sectors to fully expense their investment in computers in the year they are acquired; and,
  • An increase in the amount of small business income eligible for the reduced federal income tax rate of 11 percent to $500 000 in 2009.

As a result of these actions, Canada is better positioned than most countries to withstand the effects of today’s global economic challenges. At the same time, Canada is building a solid foundation for future economic growth and higher living standards for Canadians.

Recommendation 2

That the Government of Canada, in order to preserve Canada’s vital oil and gas, mining, and chemical production sectors, and to allow industries to better assess the resulting cost implications, establish a clear and predictable environmental regulatory framework that protects our natural environment, while ensuring a balanced approach for sectors that play a pivotal role in creating jobs and generating new economic opportunities for Canadians.


The Government of Canada agrees that a clear and predictable environmental regulatory framework is a critical element for the on-going vitality of our oil and gas, mining, and chemical production industries. The Government has an ambitious agenda to improve the environment and the health of Canadians through a series of concrete, innovative measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Coordination across jurisdictions would help avoid overlap and duplication of policies, and balance the key concerns of environmental protection and economic prosperity.

With respect to climate change, the Government of Canada is committed to address this serious global problem through sustained action to build a low-carbon economy that includes reaching a global agreement, working with our North American partners and taking action domestically. The Government of Canada remains committed to reducing Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2006 levels by 2020 and 60-70 percent by 2050.

This fall, prior to the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, Environment Canada intends to table a full suite of specific policies covering all major sources of Canadian greenhouse gas emissions. On return from Copenhagen, Environment Canada will complete the detailed regulatory work and begin the implementation process. While the specifics have not yet been finalized, the regulatory framework will be guided by the Government’s emission reduction goals and will be designed in such a way as to provide regulatory certainty, promote technology development, provide maximum flexibility for industry’s compliance and to ensure comparable levels of effort for Canadian industries compared to their key competitors. The content and timing of the regulations will be driven by Canada’s national interests, while also accounting for what our trading partners, including the United States, are doing.

Furthermore, in early June of this year, the Government of Canada took an important step in the development of an emissions trading system, by presenting for consultation two guidance documents outlining Canada’s Offset System for Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Once finalized, these guides will provide clarity and direction on the operation of the offset system.

The Government of Canada is engaged in discussions with provinces, industry and environmental and health groups to protect the health of Canadians and their environment from the impacts of air pollution. The Government intends to use the authority of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA, 1999) to put in place regulations and other regulatory instruments that will provide clarity and predictability to the affected industrial sectors.

On December 8, 2006, Prime Minister Harper announced the Chemicals Management Plan as part of the Government’s environmental regulatory framework. The Chemicals Management Plan brings all existing federal programs together into a single strategy to ensure that chemicals are managed appropriately to prevent harm to Canadians and their environment. This plan is expected to run until 2020, providing the chemicals and oil and gas industries with regulatory certainty and clarity over the next several years.

The Major Projects Management Office, as noted in Recommendation 1, provides overarching project management and accountability for major resource projects in the federal regulatory review process, and facilitates improvements to the regulatory system for major resource projects.

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act is administered in a predictable, certain and timely manner that produces high quality environmental assessments, so that federal decisions about projects safeguard the environment and promote sustainable development. Current activities to support improvements include the Major Resource Projects (MRP) Initiative, ( and work through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to develop options to better align their respective environmental assessment processes. A review by a Parliamentary Committee of the provisions and operation of the Act, scheduled to begin in 2010, is expected to result in recommendations for further improvements.

Recommendation 3

That the Government of Canada review its fiscal and regulatory measures and policies to ensure that they make a significant contribution to the development of clean and renewable energy sources, foster research and development (R&D) in this area and provide significant support to companies and provinces engaged in these activities.


The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of investing in clean and renewable energy technologies that will play a key role in Canada’s future economic growth while advancing environmental objectives. New clean energy technologies offer promising solutions which will contribute to achieving real progress towards a sustainable energy future for Canada. The advancement of promising new technologies is enabled by a combination of co-funded Research & Development & Deployment collaborations with industry, provincial and territorial governments, universites and the Government’s science and technology facilities, to open up new technology possibilities that support new environmental regulations and policy development. The Government’s commitment to science and technology is demonstrated through its strategy Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage that sets out a focused approach to mobilize science and technology to our long-term economic and social advantage.

Technological advancement and innovation are critical to achieving significant, long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The Government of Canada intends to promote the development, deployment, and diffusion of technologies that reduce greenhouse gases emissions across industry.

Furthermore, Canada’s renewable fuel regulations will require an average renewable fuel content of at least 5 percent based on the volume of gasoline, to be implemented by September 2010. In addition, the Government of Canada intends to implement a requirement for 2 percent renewable content in diesel fuel and heating oil by 2011 or earlier, subject to technical feasibility. These regulations will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but will also help stimulate the demand for renewable fuels in Canada. Stimulating demand supports and complements the other pillars of the renewable fuels strategy, which include: encouraging greater domestic production of biofuels, accelerating the commercialization of new technologies and providing new market opportunities for agricultural producers and rural communities.

The Government of Canada is also encouraging an integrated set of initiatives that include basic R&D, applied R&D, demonstrations, standards and regulations and technology transfer. The Government of Canada has already taken firm action in this area including:

  • Implementing the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative to fund research, development and demonstration to support the development of the next-generation clean-energy technologies - to increase clean energy supply, to reduce energy waste, and to reduce pollution from conventional energy sources;
  • Introducing the recently announced Clean Energy Fund to further advance clean energy technologies;
  • Creating the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program that will help pulp and paper companies make investments that improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of their facilities;
  • Creating the Green Infrastructure Fund that supports sustainable energy generation and transmission, along with municipal wastewater and solid waste management infrastructure; and,
  • Investing in Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a not-for-profit foundation that finances and supports the development and demonstration of clean technologies which provide solutions to issues of climate change, clean air, water quality and soil, and which deliver economic, environmental and health benefits to Canadians.

The Government also provides a tax incentive in the form of the accelerated capital cost allowance (CCA) to encourage use, by industry, of clean energy generation equipment. CCA Class 43.2 covers a range of equipment that generates electricity or heat by using renewable sources (e.g. wind, solar, geothermal), waste sources (e.g. wood waste, landfill gas), or by using fossil fuel efficiently (e.g. cogeneration). To expand support in this area, Budget 2006 extended Class 43.2 to cogeneration systems in the pulp and paper sector fuelled by so-called “black liquor.” Budget 2007 extended Class 43.2 to a broader range of applications involving wave and tidal energy, active solar heating, photovoltaics, stationary fuel cells and fuels from waste (including certain pulp and paper plant effluents). It also extended general eligibility for the Class to assets acquired before 2020. 

Budget 2008 further extended eligibility to additional ground-source heat pump and waste-to-energy applications. As announced in Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government has been consulting on potential extension of accelerated CCA to equipment used in carbon capture and storage.

The Government of Canada will continue to review Class 43.2 on an ongoing basis to ensure inclusion of appropriate energy generation technologies that have the potential to contribute to energy efficiency and the use of alternative energy sources.

Canada’s scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED) tax incentive program is one of the most advantageous systems in the industrialized world for research and development (R&D), providing about $4 billion in tax assistance to businesses in 2008, including businesses that undertake SR&ED in clean and renewable energy sources.

Recommendation 4

    That the Government of Canada introduce a tax credit for young graduates in resource regions to provide regional economies with a qualified workforce.


As outlined in Canada’s plan for long-term economic growth, Advantage Canada, the Government is committed to increasing economic growth in all regions of Canada, by lowering taxes, investing in skills, training and education as well as innovation
and infrastructure.

The Government has recently increased its support for tradespersons and apprentices with key measures that will help ensure that employers in the resource regions can find the skilled labour they need. These measures include:

  • The Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit, which provides eligible employers with a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the wages paid to qualifying apprentices in the first two years of their contract, to a maximum credit of $2000 per apprentice per year;
  • The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant that provides eligible apprentices with a $1000 grant in each of the first two years of an eligible apprenticeship; and, 
  • The new Apprenticeship Completion Grant, announced in Budget 2009, will provide eligible apprentices who complete an eligible apprenticeship with a grant of $2000.

The Government’s actions are positioning employers in all regions of Canada to succeed, and to be in a position to offer wages that can attract and retain the talent they need.

  • The income tax system contains provisions that allow for the non-taxation of board or lodging and travel allowances or benefits where employees are required to work temporarily at a special or remote work site.  This approach recognizes that, in many instances, employers need to provide these benefits in order to attract workers to a particular worksite; and, 
  • Actions taken by the Government of Canada since 2006, including those announced in Budget 2009, provide tax relief to individuals, families and businesses of $220 billion over 2008-09 and the following five fiscal years.

In addition, Canada’s regional development agencies provide an integrated approach to helping regions realize their full potential in terms of productivity, competitiveness, economic growth and standard
of living.

  • The Government provides approximately $1 billion annually to support the work of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Western Economic Diversification Canada, and the Federal Economic Development Initiative in Northern Ontario;
  • In addition, Budget 2009 further increases the coverage of regional development agencies in Canada by providing more than $1 billion over five years for the recently launched Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and $50 million over five years to establish the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency; and,
  • Budget 2009 also provides $1 billion over two years for a Community Adjustment Fund, to be delivered by the regional development agencies. The Fund focuses on projects that will create and maintain employment and mitigate the short-term impacts of restructuring in communities across Canada.

Recommendation 5

    That the Government of Canada examine the issue of Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits, including partial refundability, and consider making changes as a potential mechanism to increase greater private sector investment in R&D.


The Government of Canada recognizes that science and technology, particularly business sector research and development (R&D), are crucial to the long-term growth and prosperity of our economy. The fundamental importance of such activities was recognized both in Advantage Canada: Building a Strong Economy for Canadians, the Government’s long term economic plan, and in Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage, the Government’s strategic plan for science and technology.

The key role that the Government of Canada can play in this regard is to ensure a competitive marketplace and create an investment climate that promotes private sector innovation.

In line with the long-term economic plan laid out in Advantage Canada, the Government of Canada has acted in the last four budgets to build an economic climate that encourages investment and innovation. Other important instruments, including intellectual property policies and tax policies, also encourage private-sector investment in R&D. The SR&ED tax incentive program is one of the most advantageous systems in the industrialized world for promoting business investment in R&D, providing about
$4 billion in tax assistance to innovative Canadian businesses in 2008. It is the single largest federal program supporting business R&D in Canada, and it will continue to play a leading role in fostering a competitive and dynamic business environment.

Consultations on the SR&ED tax incentive program were undertaken in October and November 2007 with businesses, industry associations, and tax practitioners. Stakeholders were asked about the effectiveness of the program, and ways through which it could be improved, whether through legislative or administrative changes.

On the basis of these consultations, Budget 2008 enhanced the availability and accessibility of the financial support for small and medium-sized R&D performers by:

  • Increasing the expenditure limit for the enhanced refundable SR&ED investment tax credit available to small Canadian-controlled private corporations; and,
  • Extending the enhanced SR&ED investment tax credit to medium-sized companies by increasing the upper limits of the taxable capital and taxable income phase-out ranges.

Budget 2009 announced a further increase to the taxable income phase-out range for the expenditure limit of the enhanced refundable SR&ED investment tax credit.

The Government of Canada is also investing an additional $10 million annually to allow the Canada Revenue Agency to implement an action plan to improve the administration of the SR&ED program by increasing the Canada Revenue Agency’s scientific capacity and improving its services to claimants.

Recommendation 6

    That the Government of Canada review its procurement policies and practices, especially those relating to National Defence acquisitions, and:

A. Review the government’s approach to procurement and associated Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRBs) as a way of increasing Canadian industrial capability; and,

B. Review the approach to In-Service Support (ISS) in the case of government aerospace     sector procurements as a way of increasing     Canadian industrial capability.


The Government of Canada continually reviews its procurement policies and practices to improve effectiveness. 

Additionally, the Government has been specifically reviewing military procurement processes to make them simpler and more streamlined. These changes make it easier for industry to provide products and services to the Government while, at the same, deliver better results for Canadians. The Government has also moved toward a performance-based, best-value, competitive process, wherein industry is provided with broad, high-level, mandatory performance criteria and invited to propose solutions.

The Government of Canada continually engages with industry to enable better planning and provide more predictable investment for industry, placing industry in a better position to respond to Canada’s needs and facilitate the supply of critical procurement. An example of this ongoing engagement is the Government’s establishment of a Shipbuilding Forum and consultation process in July 2009 to consult with Canada’s shipbuilding companies, and key shipbuilding stakeholders, to get broad input into the development of comprehensive and viable options to establish a long term, sustainable shipbuilding strategy. In addition, the Government is currently engaged in consultations with defence and security industries across Canada on factors that affect the military procurement process and how best to align domestic and industrial objectives with procurement priorities.

The Government intends to continue improving the procurement system in a manner that responds effectively to the evolution of Canadian industry, ensures fair, open and transparent procurement processes, and maintains prudence and probity in the expenditure of public funds.

The Committee’s recommendations on the IRB policy and the approach to In-Service Support are timely and important. The IRB policy is both an integral part of the military procurement process for major acquisitions of both goods and in-service support, and a means to ensure that benefits flow back to Canadians for all tax dollars spent on such public goods. The Government is seeking to ensure that the policy continues generating long-term, strategic business relationships for Canadian suppliers for years to come.

Government purchases, and the contracting of in-service support, for defence and aerospace systems, maintain and develop Canadian technology industries by giving domestic companies opportunities to become part of major equipment manufacturers’ global supply chains.

Furthermore, the IRB provisions of in-service support contracts, stipulate minimum levels of high-value work to be done in Canada. The prime contractor can meet their in-service and acquisition IRB requirements through a variety of commitments that range from the purchase of goods and services from domestic sub-contractors to the creation of partnerships with industry research groups, and other government agencies such as the National Research Council. Therefore, it is not uncommon for companies to exceed minimum IRB requirements.

It should be noted that Industry Canada monitors the performance of prime contractors and enforces the contract provisions to ensure that IRB requirements and expectations are met. The regional development agencies also play a key role in IRBs by supporting the implementation of the policy in their respective regions.

As a consequence, major defence and aerospace in-service support programs continue to be delivered in Canada; high-value engineering work has continued to be done in Canada, with Canadian companies getting access to advanced technologies; and, a number of international prime contractors have expanded their Canadian supplier relationships.

During the winter of 2008, Industry Canada, supported by the regional development agencies, launched a detailed IRB review with the goal of ensuring that the benefits sought from prime contractors took globalization into account; weighed heavily on the importance of technology to modern production and in-servicing; and, took full advantage of the growth in military procurement.

To this end, Industry Canada sponsored a series of industry roundtables to gather insights into policy effectiveness and program efficiency. All major industry sectors and key suppliers (aerospace, land systems and marine) were consulted. Through these roundtable discussions, seven key operational improvements were identified. These improvements speak directly to the Committee’s recommendations. The Government made the announcement of these new practices on September 24, 2009.

These changes will result in major prime contractors engaging in senior level discussion regarding long-term strategic planning for meeting their IRB obligations, a greater focus on priority technologies, and stronger incentives to create public/private consortia. The changes will also provide incentives for prime contractors to bring Canadian manufacturing and in-service companies into their global value chain; build on the business cycles of prime contractors to secure investments today against future procurements (i.e. banking of IRB credits); and, encourage firm level R&D and technology commercialization.

Taken together these changes will ensure that Canada has a modern and efficient program to ensure that economic benefits are returned to Canada as result of major defence procurements.

Recommendation 7

    That the Government of Canada examine the flow-through share regime with a view to stimulating greater access to capital for exploration activities in the junior oil and gas and mining sectors.


The exploration and development of Canada’s rich natural resources provides significant benefits in terms of employment, investment and infrastructure.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan extended the
15 percent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for flow-through share investors to March 31, 2010, which will assist companies to raise capital for exploration. The international competitiveness of Canada’s resource sector also continues to improve as a result of significant reductions in corporate taxes. The federal corporate tax rate for resource income will have been reduced by almost half – from 29.12 percent in 2002 (including the corporate surtax) to 15 percent by 2012. The Government also eliminated the federal capital tax in 2006, a significant benefit to the capital-intensive resource industry.

These initiatives build on an already attractive tax system for exploration. Exploration and development expenses, for example, benefit from accelerated deductions and the availability of flow-through share financing. Small oil and gas companies issuing flow-through shares are entitled to treat a certain portion of their development costs as exploration expenses, which receive a more enhanced deduction rate. Meanwhile, new and expanded mines are eligible for accelerated capital cost allowance.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan includes other measures that support the resource sector. These include investments in aboriginal skills development, the
$1 billion Community Adjustment Fund, and investments in infrastructure. The Government has also announced funding of $100 million for the Geo-Mapping for Energy and Minerals program, to provide the geoscience information necessary to guide investment decisions leading to the discovery and development of new energy and mineral resources.

Recommendation 8

    That the Government of Canada explore measures to increase foreign venture capital investment in Canada.


The Government recognizes the challenges facing innovative businesses seeking venture capital (VC) investments and the need for an internationally competitive policy for attracting and increasing foreign venture capital in Canada. It has implemented a number of tax measures and other policies, including those highlighted below, that aim to improve the supply of VC. These actions to date have helped ease concerns with respect to investment from abroad.

In the U.S., many VC investors are structured as limited liability corporations (LLCs). Following Budget 2007, the Government worked with the U.S. Government to extend the Canada-U.S. tax treaty to include LLCs. This action has removed disincentives to LLCs in placing VC investments in Canada.

Some Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises raise expansion capital by listing on junior foreign stock exchanges in OECD countries that have tax treaties with Canada. The Government has incorporated changes into the Income Tax Act that exempt the sale of those shares from tax withholding requirements. This removes disincentives for foreign investors to buy shares of Canadian firms listed on foreign exchanges. Budget 2008 introduced further changes in this regard. The Government continues to discuss this issue with stakeholders to ensure that the rules do not inappropriately impede foreign investment.

Export Development Canada (EDC) also helps to attract
foreign VC investment with its Equity Investment Program. This program includes investments in foreign private equity funds that strengthens EDC’s collaboration with foreign funds and investors to invest in Canadian businesses. As well, Canada’s embassies and consulates located in active VC markets work with local funds to encourage them to partner with Canadian VC’s and invest in innovative Canadian companies.

Foreign investors are attracted to mature VC markets which possess strong local VC investment partners. The Government has taken a number of recent actions to strengthen the VC market, including:

  • Earmarking $75 million for the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to help create and invest in a new privately run late-stage venture capital fund; and,
  • Placing a $350 million investment in the BDC, announced in June 2009, to support existing VC-backed firms, new seed stage firms, and Canadian VC funds.

These investments will allow the Canadian VC industry to continue to develop and attract foreign VC.

Recommendation 9

    That the Government of Canada maintain and expand the Strategic Aerospace Defence Initiative, while continuing to require loans to be refunded in order to ensure taxpayers are getting value for money.


In keeping with the Government’s priority to stimulate the economy through various initiatives such as supporting scientific and technological research and development (R&D), the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative program was created in April 2007. This program focuses on supporting R&D in the aerospace, defence, security and space industries. Successful applicants are provided with repayable contributions towards eligible R&D activities. The program not only expects repayments, but numerous other benefits which provide value to the taxpayer, including:

  • Encouraging strategic R&D that will result in innovation and excellence in new products and services;
  • Enhancing the competitiveness of Canadian aerospace and defence companies; and,
  • Fostering collaboration between research institutes, universities, colleges, and the private sector.

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative also supports the strategic plan for science and technology—Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage— also known as the S&T Strategy announced in the Budget Plan 2007, which recognizes the important role the Government of Canada plays in ensuring a competitive marketplace and fostering an investment climate that encourages the private sector to innovate.

In keeping with this recommendation, the Government solidified its commitment to maintaining long term support to the aerospace and defence industries by announcing an additional $200 million to the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative over four years. The incremental funding will assist the program in meeting an increased demand for R&D support in this sector.

Recommendation 10

    That the Government of Canada identify, as soon as possible, a replacement program or alternative funding mechanism for Technology Partnerships Canada in order to support strategic R&D and demonstration projects by industry that are intended to produce social, economic and environmental benefits for Canadians.


The Government believes that industrial R&D in Canada is best supported by a combination of broad-based support for research and development, and support for strategic R&D and demonstration projects by industry, as recommended by the Committee. The Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax incentive program is the largest federal program supporting business R&D in the country. In 2008, the program provided about $4 billion in tax assistance to a diverse range of Canadian enterprises engaged in R&D. The Government enhanced the availability and accessibility of the financial support for small and medium-sized R&D performers in Budget 2008 and Budget 2009.

The Government has also taken action to create complementary programs supporting strategic R&D such as the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative and the Automotive Innovation Fund. The Automotive Innovation Fund provides $250 million over five years to automotive firms in support of large-scale, strategic R&D projects to build innovative, greener and more fuel-efficient vehicles. The Government created the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative to support the vital research and development investments by Canadian aerospace and defence industries (See Recommendation 9). These programs encourage innovation, improve industry competitiveness and produce benefits for Canadians.

Other government investments across a range of programs also support strategic R&D and demonstration projects including:

  • The $1 billion Clean Energy Fund invests in technology development and demonstration, protecting long-term energy security and creating a stimulus for high-quality jobs for Canadians;
  • Canada’s Economic Action Plan provided an additional $200 million over two years to the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, which stimulates wealth creation through technological innovation by providing technology advice, assistance and services to small and medium sized enterprises to help them build their innovation capacity;
  • Canada’s Economic Action Plan provided $110 million over three years to support Canada’s continued leadership in the design and construction of space robotics. The funding will enable Canadian space companies to maintain and increase their research and development capacity, and develop the new technologies that will position them to benefit from future space missions; and,
  • Other federal or federally supported R&D related initiatives include Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Precarn Inc., CANARIE, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Centres of Excellence for the Commercialization of Research  and Canada’s granting councils.

Recommendation 11

That the Government of Canada develop a long-term space plan.


The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of the space industry in Canada and the contribution of space assets as they relate to Government priorities – Arctic sovereignty, security, the environment and economic prosperity. The strategic and effective use of space is critical for Canada. Our country’s vast territory, long coastlines, low population density and northern latitude make it imperative to use the vantage point of space to observe, monitor and communicate across the country. As a result, Canada has become a world leader in space technologies such as the Earth Observation satellites RADARSAT-1 and -2, the Anik series of telecommunication satellites and space robotics, for example Canadarm-1 and Canadarm-2 and Dextre on the International Space Station.

Recently, Canada’s Economic Action Plan invested

$110 million for the development of terrestrial prototypes for space robotic vehicles, such as the Mars Lander and Lunar Rover, and for the further development of other technologies and space robotics. These investments contribute to Canada’s strong tradition in space and demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the space industry in Canada. Furthermore, the Canadian Space Agency is already engaged in a consultative process with the Canadian space industry, academia, international partners and federal government departments and agencies to develop a path forward on how best to
use space capabilities into the future.

Recommendation 12

    That the Government of Canada review Canadian anti-dumping and countervailing policies and practices and their application to ensure that Canada’s trade remedy laws and practices remain current and effective. This review would also include comparisons with other World Trade Organization members such as the European Union and the United States.


Canada’s trade remedy laws implement Canada’s rights and obligations under the relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. The WTO agreements on anti-dumping and subsidies and countervailing measures are currently under negotiation as part of the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks. The objective of these negotiations is to clarify and improve the international rules governing the application of trade remedy measures and subsidies disciplines. The outcome of this process, as well as ongoing communications between the Department of Finance and interested stakeholders, will inform the appropriate timing of any future review.

The Government has consulted extensively with stakeholders throughout the Doha Round to ensure that its approach reflects the diverse interests of Canadian businesses and consumers. The Government recognizes that in order for Canada to remain competitive in a rapidly changing international trade environment, trade remedy laws must protect Canadian producers when warranted, while ensuring that Canadian businesses have stable and predictable access to global supply chains.

The Government ensures that all interested stakeholders are kept apprised of Doha Round developments via the Trade Negotiations and Agreements web site at

Recommendation 13

    That the Government of Canada expand Canadian manufacturers’ access to export markets and proactively address trade irritants, such as the U.S. “black liquor” subsidy to the pulp and paper sector; the International Trade in Arms (ITAR) regulations; and “Buy American” legislation, which hurt Canada’s manufacturing sector.


As part of Advantage Canada – the Government’s broader economic agenda – the Global Commerce Strategy is founded on the notion that higher productivity and better access to markets both in North America and beyond will create opportunity by strengthening Canada’s position as a partner of choice for international business.

In this context, Canada is moving forward with an ambitious free trade agreement (FTA) agenda to ensure global competitiveness. Canada’s FTA with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) entered into force on July 1, 2009, and Canada’s FTA with Peru came into effect on August 1, 2009. Canada has also recently signed FTAs with Jordan and Colombia. On August 11, 2009 Prime Minister Harper announced the conclusion of FTA negotiations with Panama. The Government has also launched negotiations with the European Union toward a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, and remains committed to concluding FTA negotiations with dynamic markets abroad such as South Korea, and others. Canada is exploring the possibility of FTA negotiations with India and Morocco, and Canadian officials are also working with their Japanese counterparts to identify specific areas of trade that would form the basis of an eventual free trade agreement or economic partnership agreement. Furthermore, Canada continues to work within the framework of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to facilitate North American market access.

Canada is also taking action to ensure that markets around the world remain open to Canadian exporters, and that the long-term strength and competitiveness of the Canadian economy will improve. This is one of the reasons why Canada remains committed to the multilateral process of the WTO and continues to seek a broad and ambitious Doha round outcome. For the manufacturing sector, Canada’s objective is to obtain real improvements in market access for Canadian exporters in both developed and large developing country markets by lowering tariffs below their current applied rates and by reducing or eliminating non-tariff barriers wherever possible. In this regard, Canada is pressing for the full elimination of tariffs in certain sectors including forest products, industrial machinery, fish and fish products, chemicals (including fertilizers), and gems and jewellery.

It should also be noted that international investment is an essential corporate strategy for many Canadian companies competing in today’s global economy. By investing abroad, companies can gain access to overseas markets, reduce input costs, secure access to key resources, acquire new technologies and provide better support to foreign customers. On the other hand, the risks of investing in a foreign country can include issues related to political stability, and differences in legal institutions and regulatory regimes. For this reason, the Canadian government pursues a policy of negotiating Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPAs) in order to provide a more transparent and predictable climate for Canadian investors abroad. To date, Canada has twenty-four FIPAs signed or in force. In addition, Canada has concluded negotiations with India, Kuwait and Madagascar and is also negotiating with Bahrain, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Tanzania, Tunisia and Vietnam.

While a small number of issues continue to pose serious concerns for Canada, the vast majority of Canada’s trade is dispute-free. Canada makes use of a full complement of formal and informal measures with which to address trade irritants. Formal measures include the dispute settlement provisions of the WTO and the NAFTA. As a member of the WTO, Canada advocates on behalf of Canadian exporters by challenging unfair trading practices that materially affect Canada’s manufacturing sector. For example, Canada, along with the U.S. and the European Union, successfully challenged Chinese tariff measures on auto parts. Bilaterally, Canada and the U.S. concluded a Softwood Lumber Agreement in 2006 and overall implementation is going well. Informal measures include bilateral and multilateral working groups associated with both the WTO and NAFTA and ongoing bilateral representations by officials at all levels to their counterparts in other countries. 

With respect to specific trade issues, Canada is very concerned about the negative impacts of “Buy American” provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act being felt by Canadian businesses. The Government is working on a number of fronts to resolve the situation. Canada is building a coalition of U.S. allies to advocate against Buy American and the spread of these provisions into other legislation, liaising directly with U.S. legislators, the U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce, engaging Consuls General to support advocacy efforts, and working with Canadian industry to take constructive action and to inform businesses about the opportunities and challenges of doing business in the U.S. As well, Canada is working with the provinces and territories on a negotiated solution to address the immediate concerns posed by these provisions as well as existing gaps in government procurement coverage between Canada and the United States.

The Government has been calling on American legislators to end the tax credit for black liquor as soon as possible in advance of its expiry on December 31, 2009. The Minister of International Trade has pressed the matter with the United States Trade Representative, as well as key Congressional members of the House Committee on Ways and Means and Subcommittee on Trade. The Minister of Natural Resources has written to the U.S. Secretary of Energy expressing Canada’s concerns. Canada’s Ambassador to the United States has pursued the issue with key members of the Senate Finance Committee. Canadian Embassy officials continue to work to address Canada’s concerns with the U.S. Congress. On June 11, 2009, the Senate Finance Committee Chairman and Ranking Member released a legislative “staff draft” proposal to clarify the types of fuels that qualify for the Alternative Fuel Mixture Credit and to exclude black liquor. The Government of Canada has submitted comments welcoming this effort to end the eligibility of black liquor for this tax credit, and will continue to press to have it terminated as early as possible.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), governing transfers of military technologies to Canada (and other countries), also cause concern for Canada. In 2001, Canada successfully negotiated the return of its ITAR exemption (which had been lost in 1999) for companies registered in the newly created Controlled Goods Program. In 2007, four Government of Canada departments-agencies (Department of National Defence, Canadian Space Agency, National Research Council, and Communications Security Establishment) successfully negotiated a work around solution to ITAR provisions that affect dual nationals through an Exchanges of Letters with the Department of State.

Canada is continuing to try to find a more compre-hensive solution to ITAR related challenges. There is on-going dialogue with interlocutors in the U.S. Department of State. This dialogue has touched on a variety of issues including security, enforcement, the processing of ITAR licenses and the definitions used by the U.S. in its licensing.

Recommendation 14

    That the Government of Canada examine the removal of barriers to competition in the rail industry in order to stimulate competition for the transport of goods.


The Government of Canada’s transportation economic policy framework aims to strike a balance between competition and market forces on the one hand and regulation and strategic public intervention on the other. In most cases this framework has worked well to the benefit of transportation providers and shippers of goods and commodities in Canada.

The Canada Transportation Act, however, contains certain provisions to assist and to protect shippers in their relationship (dealings) with the railways. Several of these provisions were strengthened in 2008 after extensive discussions and consultations that culminated in the passage of Bill C-8, an Act to Amend the Canada Transportation Act (railway transportation).

A comprehensive review of rail freight service is currently underway to identify ways to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of Canada’s rail-based logistics system, which includes railways, shippers, terminal operators, ports and vessel operators. The review will focus on identifying service issues and their impacts and will make recommendations on potential solutions. This process will recognize best practices and how these can be expanded to address service-related matters.

Recommendation 15

    That the Government of Canada continue to support Canada’s forest economy by developing policies that support innovation in the forestry sector, including R&D investments in greener technologies such as the development and production of cellulosic ethanol and forest biomass, by investing in retraining, and by supporting communities which have historically depended on sub-sectors that are in structural decline. In particular, the government should continue to use Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to support new investment in this area, and ensure that EDC has the flexibility to provide financing to any domestic company. While supporting the forest economy, the government must remain mindful of its obligations under the Softwood Lumber Agreement, North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade agreements.


The Government accepts the Standing Committee recommendation that the federal government develop policies in support of forest sector innovation, retraining and community adjustment that will support Canada’s forest sector in the current economic downturn. The Government also accepts that all measures arising from policies developed will be administered in a manner consistent with the terms and conditions of the Softwood Lumber Agreement and other trade agreements currently in place.

The Government of Canada is committed to helping the Canadian forest sector develop the next generation of Canadian forest products and the technologies and processes used to make them. Canada’s Economic Action Plan (Budget 2009) provides a total of
$120 million over two years (2009-10 and 2010-11) to Natural Resources Canada to support innovation initiatives for the forestry sector, including:

  • $80 million for the Transformative Technologies program that is administered by FPInnovations, a not-for-profit forest research institute that focuses on the development of emerging and breakthrough technologies including a significant research effort to develop technologies to convert forest biomass to bioenergy, fuels, chemicals and materials; and,
  • $40 million to develop pilot-scale demonstration projects of new products for use in commercial applications, developed, for the most part, from the research of the Transformative Technologies program.

Recently, the Government of Canada introduced the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program that will help pulp and paper companies make investments that improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of their facilities.

Budget 2007 made $500 million available to Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to invest with the private sector in establishing large scale demonstration facilities for the production of next-generation biofuels. Proposals from several forest firms are currently being considered. As well through SDTC, investments have been made to develop technologies to produce biofuels from forest biomass.

The Government recognized the need to provide increased access to financing for Canadian firms during the economic downturn. Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government has enhanced the capacity of two Crown corporations, Export Development Canada (EDC) and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to extend additional financing to viable Canadian businesses on commercial terms. Budget 2009 responded to gaps in the credit markets through the Extraordinary Financing Framework including $13 billion in additional credit provisions being made available through financial Crown corporations, including $5 billion under the Business Credit Availability Program. This program extends additional financing to Canadian businesses through enhanced cooperation between EDC and BDC and private sector financial institutions. In addition to expanded lending resources, among other things, EDC will now be able to support financing in the domestic market for a temporary period, which will complement the activities of financial institutions and insurance providers.

The Government recognizes the importance of rural communities and the need to mitigate the short term impacts of restructuring in communities as a result of the economic downturn. Budget 2009 provides
$1 billion over two years for a Community Adjustment Fund that will support activities such as community transition plans that foster economic development, science and technology initiatives, and other measures to promote economic diversification. The Fund is expected to have positive impacts on various resource-based communities (including forestry) by helping to mitigate the short-term impacts of restructuring in these communities.

The Government recognizes the need to re-train workers in key sectors that have experienced structural decline. Budget 2009 launched the Canada Skills and Transition Strategy ($8.3 billion), which will help Canadian workers and their families through a three-pronged approach to strengthen benefits for workers, enhance the availability of training, and keep Employment Insurance (EI) rates low for 2009 and 2010.

Specific measures to strengthen benefits for workers include: extension of EI benefits to a maximum of 50 weeks; increased funding for and availability of training; and extension of work-sharing benefits to a maximum of 52 weeks.

Key training measures include:

  • Increasing funding for training delivered through the EI program by $1 billion over two years;
  • Supporting older workers and their families with an additional $60 million over three years for the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers and expanding it to include workers in small cities;
  • Investing an additional $100 million over three years in the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership initiative, expected to support the creation of 6,000 jobs for Aboriginal Canadians; and,
  • Investing $75 million in a two-year Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund.

Recommendation 16

    That the Government of Canada adopt a policy to encourage the use of lumber in the construction and renovation of federal buildings.


The Government of Canada always seeks to ensure value for money in the construction of federal buildings, securing the best return on investment for taxpayers, and further, continually seeks to strengthen government procurement processes, making them more open, fair and transparent. The Government of Canada also promotes the efficient use of resources, in the design, procurement and construction phases of renovation and new building projects.

 The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of Canada’s forestry industry to the Canadian economy.  It also recognizes the importance of supporting the forest industry while also respecting Canada’s international obligations.  Recently announced investments demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the forest sector, including:

  • Budget 2009 provided $170 million over two years to support market diversification and innovation initiatives, such as:
  • $80 million over two years for the Transformative Technologies program that is administered by FPInnovations, a not-for-profit forest research institute that focuses on the development of emerging and breakthrough technologies;

    ›   $40 million over two years for the Canada Wood, Value to Wood, and North American Wood First programs. These programs help forestry companies to market innovative products internationally. The North American Wood First Initiative (Wood First) supports wood products associations in Canada and the U.S. to promote the increased use of wood in North America non-residential construction. Introduced in 2007 as a two-year, $12 million initiative, Wood First was renewed for another two years in the Economic Action Plan (i.e , Budget 2009). Wood First is a project-based program that focuses on educating designers, specifiers and architects on the advantages of and opportunities for using wood in commercial, institutional and recreational applications (project examples include support to the Canadian Wood Council for its pan-Canadian WoodWORKS! program); 

    ›   $10 million in 2009-10 to support large-scale demonstration of Canadian-style use of wood in targeted off-shore markets, and non-traditional uses of wood in domestic markets; and, 

    ›   $40 million in 2010-11 to develop pilot-scale demonstration projects of new products for use in commercial applications.

  • In its own action plan for infrastructure, Public Works and Government Services Canada will increase spending on its portfolio of buildings and office accommodation by $323 million over two years. This will drive a corresponding increase in demand for wood products.

Moreover, through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government is providing $7.8 billion to build housing, encourage home ownership and enhance energy efficiency.  These actions, including the temporary Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC), will promote demand for labour, building materials and other goods and services, including lumber and other forest products.

Recommendation 17

    That the Government of Canada review all of the recommendations made by witnesses, which are laid out in earlier sections of the report.


The Government thanks all of the witnesses who appeared and made recommendations. The Government has reviewed all of the recommendations in the report and will take them into account in going forward with its economic policies.

With Budget 2009, the Government is providing strong and immediate support to the Canadian economy in addition to furthering the implementation of Advantage Canada, the Government’s long-term economic plan. Individuals, families, businesses and communities are already benefiting from the measures introduced by the Government.