CCRVC Budget Brief 2019
Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the 2019 federal budget on March 19. This budget, the final one before the federal election scheduled for the fall, introduced several key measures affecting the bottom line of both businesses and individuals. What’s in it and not in it for Private Campgrounds?
The budget sets the tone for the government’s re-election effort ahead of a busy unofficial campaign season and the writ drop expected late this summer. In the lead up to the budget, seniors were expected to be an area of focus for the government, as well as housing affordability and rural infrastructure, especially for broadband internet. Themes of support for the middle class, helping working people get ahead, and supporting women and marginalized communities access equitable opportunities in the labour force carry through this budget.
The government has been battling scandal since the beginning of 2019 and this budget aims to turn the page on a period defined by high-profile resignations, opposition gains, and missteps on files important to the Liberals’ re-election hopes. Certainly, older Canadians and people struggling with adapting their skills and training to the labour force will benefit from measures tabled today. Other beneficiaries include rural communities and municipalities which will oversee the distribution of energy efficiency funding. In areas where the government has to
retain support targeted investments were made. Support from the liberal base, including women and youth, as well as environmentally conscious consumers and innovative businesses has the potential to be shored up after today’s announcement.
The Fiscal update
The federal government expects a deficit of $14.9 billion for the 2018-19 fiscal year, down from the original projection of $18.1 billion in last year’s budget, and $19.8 billion for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which includes a $3 billion contingency reserve. The deficit is then expected to decline to $9.8 billion for the 2023-24 fiscal year. Finance Minister Morneau did not include a timeline for balancing the budget. In 2015, the Liberals had pledged to balance the books this year.
Tourism industryBudget 2019 proposes to provide $58.5 million over two years, starting this year, to the Regional Development Agencies for the creation of a Canadian Experiences Fund. The Fund would support Canadian businesses and organizations seeking to create, improve or expand tourism-related infrastructure—such as accommodations or local attractions—or new tourism products or We will monitor this closely to see what may or may not be available for our campgrounds.
Budget 2019 provides $5 million to Destination Canada for a tourism marketing campaign to promote Canada as a Tourism destination.
EI Training Support Benefit
Budget 2019, introduces an income support program for workers to help cover their living expenses, providing support for ongoing payments such as mortgage payments, electricity bills, and general life costs, while on training and without their regular paycheque. Under this new program workers will be eligible to collect EI to go on training for up to 4 weeks.
To reduce the burden of the new program on small businesses, the government introduces an EI Small Business Premium Rebate. Starting in 2020 any business that pays employer EI premiums equal to or less than $20,000 per year would be eligible for a rebate to offset the upward pressure on EI premiums resulting from the introduction of the new EI Training Support Benefit.
Canada’s Commitment: Universal High-Speed Internet for Every Canadian
In Budget 2019, the Government is announcing its commitment to set a national target, in which 95 per cent of Canadian homes and businesses will have access to internet speeds of at least 50/10 Mbps by 2026 and 100 per cent by 2030, no matter where they are located in the country. This is in keeping with the broadband internet speed objective set by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for Canadian households and businesses across Canada.
It is estimated that by the time all currently planned broadband programs are in place, by 2021, about 90 per cent of Canadians will have reliable access to internet speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloading data and 10 Mbps for uploading data (also known as 50/10 Mbps). These are the speeds identified by the CRTC to enable Canadians to take advantage of cloud-based software applications, multiple government services (e.g. telehealth services, business support), online learning resources and high definition streaming videos. However, even with 90 per cent of Canadians covered, about 1.5 million Canadian households will still be underserved.
Delivering high-speed internet to every Canadian, especially in more rural and remote areas, will help our businesses grow, create new jobs and connect more people to the resources, services and information we need to build a better future!
The Government proposes amendments to the Parks Canada Agency Act to create a standard, one-year appropriation authority for the Agency to ensure that Canadians continue to enjoy Canada’s natural treasures in our national parks, heritage sites, and marine conservation areas.
What is not in the Budget?
Despite our persistent ask for the past 3 years, the Liberal Government and the 2019 Federal Budget does not include change in Private Campgrounds being classified as a “Specified Investment Business” and thus, the threat for Private Campgrounds who employ less than 5 Full time employees year-round remains. We have not given up, and we will continue to include in our messaging to government officials.
While not mentioned in this budget, we have been in dialogue with Policy Advisors in the Minister of Tourism’s Office pertaining to our ask for incentives and policy to attract seasonal workers, especially in rural and remote areas. We are encouraged by these discussions and will be communicating further as we hear about any developments.