2014 Canadian Federal Budget Commentary

The Federal Government presented its 2014 Budget, “The Road to Balance: Creating Jobs and Opportunities,” on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. The Budget includes in its 419 pages approximately $280 billion in spending over the next several years. The Government will not raise personal or corporate taxes in 2014 and predicts a $2.9 billion deficit in 2014–15, leading to a surplus of $6.4 billion the following year and $10.3 billion by 2018–19. The final deficit for 2013–14 was $16.6 billion, less than the $17.9 billion estimated in the fall.

The Budget includes provisions aimed at increasing revenue, preventing tax evasion, reducing the cost of Government, fostering innovation and supporting job creation through infrastructure spending and incentives for business. Of particular interest to small businesses, the Budget proposes raising the threshold for source deduction remittances and thereby reducing the frequency of remittance.

The Budget proposes funding to update the Canada Revenue Agency’s information systems in order to accept electronic registrations and annual information returns from charities.

Additional funding would give workers young and old training relevant to the needs of Canadian businesses and help connect them with opportunities. For instance:

  • The Budget commits the Government to finally implement the Canada Job Grant, which would provide up to $10,000 in funding to eligible businesses that train unemployed or underemployed individuals for new or better jobs. Employers would contribute up to $5,000, but small businesses could count the trainees’ wages toward their portion. The Government wants the provinces to participate, but promises to open up the program to applications in April, regardless.
  • The Budget proposes $15 million over three years to expand job opportunities for Canadians with developmental disabilities (e.g., intellectual disabilities and autism).
  • An additional $11.4 million over four years would support job training specifically for Canadians with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • Five new apprenticeship measures are intended to make it easier for Canadians to enter in-demand trades: 1) the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant would provide an apprentice with $1,000 for each of the first two years of the apprenticeship; 2) the Apprenticeship Completion Grant would be worth $2,000 when an apprentice is certified a journeyman in her or his trade; 3) special employment insurance measures would make apprentices eligible for regular EI benefits during in-class training including waiving the two-week waiting period; 4) might cover other expenses related to training, like basic living expenses, relocation and commuting costs, training materials and child care; and 5) an interest-free apprentice loan of up to $4,000 would offer general support during training.
  • $40 million over the next two years would support up to 3,000 internships for post-secondary graduates in “high-demand” fields like science, technology, engineering, mathematics and skilled trades. $30 million of this amount would be dedicated to small and medium businesses engaged in technical research and development projects.
  • $11.8 million would go toward implementing an “enhanced job-matching service” and modernizing the national job bank in order to connect workers to relevant jobs in their areas. A further $3.3 million per year would sustain the program.

Download the complete 2014 Federal Budget Commentary.