Reaction to the latest federal budget from a host of organizations has been positive, largely because of the many measures related to clean technology, and the move to introduce various funding initiatives around it.
One of the few noticeable detractors was Renewable Industries Canada (RICanada), a business coalition representing leaders and innovators in biofuels, renewable products, and clean technologies, which said today the federal government’s introduction of the new Clean Hydrogen Investment Tax Credit is a “welcome start to help attract capital and spur domestic production in Canada.” However, that initial praise was tempered by the statement that “not extending the same investment tools to domestic low carbon liquid biofuels production is concerning. As other countries aggressively incentivize low carbon liquid biofuels, hearing news of further consultations in Canada is disappointing.”
Andrea Kent, a board member with RICanada, said it has long advocated for practical policy measures to improve Canada’s production and use of low carbon fuel. Budget 2023 is a step in the right direction that will help level the playing field for hydrogen production in Canada.
“However, Canada needs an entire suite of low-carbon fuels, in addition to hydrogen, to keep our economy moving and our environment clean. We look forward to continuing to work with the government to swiftly implement additional measures to grow domestic biofuel production and the economic benefits that come with that.”
In a release, the organization, which was formed in 1984, said that biofuels are a “permanent and growing feature of net-zero ambitions in the United States and across Europe. Canadian policy announcements to date continue to lag these jurisdictions in amplitude and impact. RICanada is urging the federal government to work closely with the biofuels industry in Canada to accelerate its growth.”
Meanwhile, Rocco Rossi, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), said, “We welcome commitments made in Budget 2023 to unlock the potential of the green economy, advance economic reconciliation, mitigate supply chain challenges and bolster health care resilience – all of which are fundamental to a strong economy.”
An update on the budget from the OCC, released this morning, stated that it lays out Canada’s approach to staking its claim in the green economy as competition for capital intensifies, particularly in light of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act – which is recognized in the document and commits US$369 billion towards clean energy and climate provisions.
“Although Canada has a smaller market and pocketbook, the federal government is appropriately focused on incentivizing capital investments in areas where Canada has existing competitive advantages – such as clean electricity and carbon capture,” it said.
A key criticism from the OCC is that overall, despite a number of welcome pro-growth measures, Budget 2023 lacks a cohesive strategy for economic growth.
“More than ever, Canada needs a clear framework that will drive productivity and attract business investments in the face of major economic headwinds and competition with global peers,” it said. “A pro-growth strategy must not only make targeted investments in key sectors, but also take bold steps to modernize the outdated regulatory, taxation, and policy barriers that stand in the way of growth.”
MDA Ltd., a Canadian space technology company with headquarters in Brampton, Ont., applauded the fact the budget contains a $1.2 billion investment towards a Canadian lunar utility vehicle, saying it sends a “loud and important signal to the global commercial and government space community that Canada is open for business.”
Mike Greenley, the company’s CEO, said that as the “Earth to Moon economy emerges, further Canadian government investment in space will only serve to strengthen the opportunity for the domestic space industrial base in Canada and help to expand it globally.”
The company said it also applauds the government for extending a funding commitment to the International Space Station, which it described as a “critical platform for space exploration, global collaboration, industrial development and innovation.”
Electricity Canada noted the government has “made critical investments that will support the expansion of Canada’s electricity system to meet the needs of reaching net-zero, while addressing affordability for electricity customers and preserving reliability. In particular, new and expanded investment tax credits, and moving projects faster and providing greater certainty are important developments.”
Francis Bradley, its CEO, noted that “with one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world, achieving our climate goals and electrifying Canada can be done … we just needed to build it. (The) federal budget puts Canada’s electricity providers on a path to do so.”
Finally, Rick Smith, president of the Canadian Climate Institute, and Dale Beugin, the organization’s executive vice president, described the budget in a blog posted this morning as the “most consequential budget in recent history for accelerating clean growth in Canada, and a shrewd response to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act.
“The world’s major economies know that investing in clean energy is the catalyst for future competitiveness, and Budget 2023 takes decisive steps to ensure Canada won’t fall behind in the global race to net-zero.”