Federal budget prioritizes infrastructure and clean energy
March 29, 2023 | By Canadian Consulting EngineerPresented by:
The federal government released its 2023 budget yesterday, prioritizing investments in infrastructure, electrification, clean energy and manufacturing, emissions reduction, critical minerals, electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries, among other major projects relevant to the consulting engineering community.
The budget introduces tax credits for investments in clean electricity, technology manufacturing and hydrogen, enhances those for investments in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and expands eligibility for those for investments in clean technology. A new $15-billion arm’s-length Canada Growth Fund, as announced in a 2022 economic statement, will aim to attract private capital to build the clean economy.
The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is set to invest at least $20 billion to support the building of major clean electricity and green infrastructure projects. The budget also proposes $3 billion over 13 years to recapitalize funding for renewables and electrification to support regional priorities and Indigenous-led projects, renew the smart grid program and exploit Canada’s offshore wind potential, particularly off the coasts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Canada Growth Fund will aim to attract private capital.
“Yesterday’s budget will create a significant amount of new opportunity for many consulting engineering companies over the years ahead,” says ACEC-Canada in its analysis of the government’s priorities. “While there was no mention of a national infrastructure assessment or procurement reform, there was an enormous emphasis placed on attracting investment for major projects. We expect in turn that will create an opportunity for further discussions about how best to ensure infrastructure meets the needs of local communities, while connecting Canada’s natural resources to a global supply chain. ACEC had advocated for investments in the electricity grid, which will spur more investments in new community infrastructure projects beyond generation and transmission.”
ACEC will host energy and resource sector stakeholders on Apr. 5 in Ottawa to discuss how a national infrastructure corridor could drive many of the budget’s long-term goals. Meanwhile, the budget reports the government will outline a plan by the end of the year to improve the efficiency of impact assessment and permitting processes for major projects.
“There is positive news on climate action, in regard to investing in clean electricity and supporting the clean supply chain through expanded tax credits,” says the Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC) in its reaction to the budget. “These changes will have meaningful impacts for our mission to decarbonize Canada’s built environment by 2050. Yet, one surprise was the lack of mention of a green buildings strategy in the budget. We look forward to changes to codes reflecting the urgency of climate action and remain committed to working with the federal government on decarbonization.”
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