April 25, 2015
For the area ‘north of 56’ the federal government plays a crucial role. It is the elephant in the room in many ways. The latest budget tabled by Finance Minister Joe Oliver is good news generally for the north and could spur investment.
- Nominal GDP, and Territorial Formula Financing will continue to grow based on its current formula.
- Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to increase the borrowing limit for the Government of the Northwest Territories to $1.3 billion and for the Government of Nunavut to $650 Million.
- Accelerated capital cost allowance treatment for assets used in facilities that liquefy natural gas. Equipment used for natural gas liquefaction is generally included in CCA Class 47 with a CCA rate of 8 per cent. The accelerated CCA will take the form of an additional 22 per cent allowance that will bring the CCA rate up to 30 per cent for Class 47 property used in Canada in connection with natural gas liquefaction.
- The Federal Budget will provide $33.2 million over four years to support Surveys on Aboriginal People. These surveys collect socio-economic and demographic information that First Nations can then use to design useful programming for their communities. Of the $33.2 million, $22.3 will come from existing AANDC resources.
- Investing $248 million over five years in Aboriginal labour market programming. $215 million over five years beginning in 2015-2016 and $50 million per year thereafter to the Skills and Partnership Fund, a program that provides development and training for Aboriginal peoples.
- The core ‘formula financing’ for the three territories continues to grow forming the economic base of the 3 northern territories - well paying government jobs.
- The increased borrowing limit will allow the Government of Northwest Territories to pursue its ambitious plan to build a new highway parallel the Mackenzie River.
- The CCA tax changes are essential to spur development of an LNG export industry in northern BC.