In its preparations for the federal budget, the government is receiving entreaties from all parts of Canada as groups offer their wish lists. Social policy, wish lists for specific projects, and broad tax-based strategies form only a part of the mix.
A sampling of the requests: Auto industry Ensure access to credit. In the case of the parts makers, credit for themselves; for the auto makers, better credit for their customers, including Ford Canada advocating that the government buy commercial paper so Ford Credit can offer leasing.
Biotechnology industry Allow the industry to sell tax losses to help raise revenue.
Brain Injury Association of Canada Invest in a national injury prevention strategy for youth in Canada.
Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs Provide a tax break for the country's 81,000 volunteer fire officials, who often buy their own clothing, equipment and training without any compensation.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Accelerate infrastructure spending; reduce high marginal personal income tax rates for low- and modest-income Canadians; provide incentives for new business investment; continue the previously-announced corporate tax reductions; strengthen labour adjustment programs and training for unemployed workers; and ensure affordability of credit for Canadian businesses and consumers.
Canadian Council of Chief Executives Improve access to education and training; encourage the startup and growth of new businesses with loans, encouragement of angel investors and venture capital, capital gains tax relief; reduce both corporate and personal income tax rates are essential; increase business investment in research and development; increase investment in public transit, transportation networks, technology and telecommunications infrastructure and energy distribution and development; deliver on the promised 20 per cent reduction in the administrative burden of regulation; aspire to be both an energy and an environmental superpower; step up efforts to fight protectionism; pursue responsible and creative ideas and solutions to address the global economic crisis.
Forestry industry Introduce tax incentives for investments, policies that assure access to credit, and extend the Employment Insurance work-sharing program.
Front d'action populaire en réaménagement urbain (a Quebec-wide coalition of 130 organizations) Invest at least $ 2-billion a year in housing. FRAPRU wants this money to be invested directly in social housing programs, or at the very least in programs flexible enough that the provinces and territories who want to invest in social housing can do so.
Investment Industry Association of Canada Lower capital gains taxes; reduce corporate tax; offer tax relief to small business; adopt a single securities regulator; and extend RRSP conversion age and eliminate mandated RRIF withdrawal amounts.
Oil and gas industry Provide accelerated capital cost allowance for all investments in greenhouse gas reducing technology, notably for investments in carbon capture and storage.
Volunteer Canada Recognize volunteerism as part of the social and economic infrastructure of this country. Follow the U.S. lead of the “Serve America Act”, legislation which would support important work from tutoring students in poverty-stricken neighbourhoods, to cleaning up polluted rivers and lakes.