Here's what to expect from the federal budget | Federal Budget 2023

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Here's to; what to expect from the federal budget | Federal Budget 2023

GST rebate, green energy, carbon pricing… The federal government will present its budget today announcing a series of “targeted” measures intended to fight inflation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in front of the Canadian Parliament.

“A good part of the budget will be devoted to targeted measures for Canadians Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Monday afternoon, on the eve of the long-awaited tabling of the 2023 federal budget. things that we will continue to do to be there for Canadians. »

A government source told CBC on condition of anonymity that the federal budget to be unveiled by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will include a grocery discount for low-income families to help them cope with inflation.

Just over $2 billion will be allocated with this measure, which will benefit 11 million Canadian households, according to information obtained by CBC. This assistance will take the form of a one-time payment and will be distributed as a GST credit.

This grocery discount will not be based on individual food expenditures, and the government will not require recipients to use the amount for groceries, the source told CBC.

Ottawa would still offer up to $234 for a single person without children, $467 for a couple with two children and $225 for an elderly person the same amounts offered last fall with the one-time doubling of the reimbursement of the GST.

The planned GST rebate is intended to help low-income Canadians who experience sudden increases in the cost of food. In February, grocery store prices were 10.6% higher than a year ago.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) had asked the Liberal government to extend this temporary measure. Sounds a lot like what we asked for, New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh told reporters Monday afternoon, reacting to news about the GST rebate.

Mr. Singh gave the NDP credit for this reimbursement increase last fall and now. The NDP also called on the Liberals to provide federal funding for school meals in the budget.

Jagmeet Singh is pleased that his party's demands have, in his view, influenced the government.

Conservatives blamed Liberal government spending for high inflation that exacerbated Canada's cost of living problems. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has called on the government to match every dollar of new spending with cuts elsewhere in public finances.

Ahead of this budget, Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, has often promised targeted inflation-fighting measures for low-income Canadians.

With its next budget, Ottawa also intends to tackle hidden costs for certain goods and services, such as cell phones, Internet and tickets to shows and events. However, the provinces' cooperation will be necessary in these files.

Among the other planned assistance measures, the budget will also include an increase in the limit for withdrawals from a registered plan savings plan, which will increase from $5,000 to $8,000.

In addition to helping reduce the cost of living, Minister Freeland has previously indicated that the budget will include measures to keep Canada competitive as part of the green economic transition.

Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will bet on the energy transition in her budget.

Several sources, to whom The Canadian Press granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the budget, said there will be new tax credits important for the green economy. These include tax credits to spur growth in the production of critical minerals and in the electric vehicle supply chain.

The Liberals' fall economic update already promised tax credits for hydrogen and clean electricity generation. Greater tax credits were promised to companies that pay fair wages and provide training for apprentices. Such incentives, inspired by the US Inflation Reduction Act, have never been used in Canada before.

But the Canadian government may well include such incentives in the future on most of the promised new tax credits for green energy.

At the same time, according to information obtained by Radio-Canada, the Trudeau government wants to tie the hands of future governments that might be tempted to eliminate or reduce carbon pricing.

Internally dubbed the Poilievre insurance – in reference to the leader of the official opposition Pierre Poievre who promises to abolish the carbon tax if he is elected to lead the country – the mechanism provided for in the budget would oblige the government government to compensate companies if the price on carbon were to be reduced or abandoned.

This would put an end to the political uncertainty on the future of carbon pricing. A long-term government guarantee could encourage more companies to invest in their decarbonization.

According to the World Bank, more than 50 countries, provinces and cities are already using carbon pricing mechanisms.

One of the outstanding issues is the federal government's commitment to reconciliation with First Nations.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed says despite government rhetoric it will continue to spend billions – and he hopes that will include a $75 billion commitment over 35 years for infrastructure in Inuit communities.

The organization has also requested approximately $131 million over seven years towards the goal of eliminating tuberculosis in Inuit regions of #x27;by 2030.

Mr. Obed maintained that the Trudeau government was committed to this deadline, but did not show how it would achieve the goal.

Mr. Trudeau has made reconciliation with Indigenous peoples one of his government's top priorities since taking office in 2015. However, last year's budget fell short of the expectations regarding the improvement and construction of First Nations housing, which has long been identified as an issue for many communities across Canada.

Indigenous communities face a deteriorating housing stock, and leaders and experts have claimed there is not enough to support population growth.

Homelessness counts in British Columbia indicate that Indigenous and marginalized people are disproportionately affected by homelessness.

Before the 2022 federal budget, the ;Assembly of First Nations − which advocates for the needs of more than 600 First Nations communities − estimated that $44 billion was needed to repair on-reserve housing.

Ottawa ended up committing $4.3 billion to support housing in Indigenous communities over seven years, including $2.4 billion directed specifically to on-reserve housing needs.

For the next budget, the Assembly projects that meeting current and future First Nations housing needs through 2040, taking into account population group, would cost approximately $63.3 billion, according to a submission prepared for tabling of federal spending plan.

She indicates that such expenditures are necessary to address the overrepresentation of First Nations people among homeless people.

Des Indigenous women sing for healing at a Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc gathering in Kamloops, a year after unmarked graves were discovered at the site of the former Indian residential school.

The executive director of the Native Women's Association of Canada, Lynne Groulx, said that in addition to a request for more stable federal funding, the group hopes that the Ottawa budget will fund at least two new healing lodges, which she says will provide safe spaces for Indigenous women and residential school survivors.

Ms. Groulx said a lodge can cost between three and five million dollars. She added that funding for such projects is directly linked to the government's commitment to implement the calls to action of the 2019 final report of the national survey on women and girls. murdered and missing aboriginals.

I think we need as many healing centers, gathering centers…as there were residential schools, she said.

With information from Louis Blouin, Christian Noël, CBC and The Canadian Press.

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