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2016-2017 Alberta budget highlights

Apr 14, 2016

On April 14, 2016, the Minister of Finance, Joe Ceci, released the 2016-2017 Alberta budget. The most notable elements of the budget are represented by the introduction of $9.6 billion of total carbon tax and compliance payment revenue over the next five years (to be generated by the implementation of recommendations from the Climate Change Advisory Panel) and ongoing deficits through 2018-2019, at which point the deficit will remain at $8.4 billion and represent a debt-to-GDP ratio of 15.5%, up from 6.0% forecast in 2015-2016.

The budget forecasts a deficit of $10.4 billion in 2016-2017, and will continue at $10.1 billion in 2017-2018 and $8.4 billion in 2018-2019. There is no clear indication as to when the deficits will cease.

As an effort to spur investment in eligible small and medium-sized enterprises in Alberta, the Alberta Investor Tax Credit is being introduced, projected to be worth an aggregate of $90 million over two years. No details as to how the credit will be introduced, or eligibility requirements, are available at this time.

The announced changes to taxation in Alberta are outlined in our Canadian tax alert.

For further details, we refer you to the Alberta Treasury Board and Finance website.

2016-2017 federal budget highlights

Mar 22, 2016

On March 22, 2016, the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, presented the 2016-2017 budget in the House of Commons. In its first budget, the new government has expressed a commitment to growing the economy, creating jobs and strengthening the middle class.

The budget proposes $120 billion of investment in infrastructure and job creation over the next ten years, including significant investments in public transit, clean technology, and First Nations, Inuit Peoples and the Metis Nation.

Some of the key features of the budget plan were:

  • Mr. Morneau indicated that the deficit for 2015-2016 will be $5.4 billion while a deficit of $29.4 billion is predicted for 2016-2017. The deficit is projected to decline gradually reaching $14.3 billion by 2020-2021.
  • This budget proposes to keep the small business tax rate at 10.5 percent after 2016 rather than reducing this rate to 9% by 2019 as announced in the previous budget.
  • Where the exception to the deemed association corporation rules applies (i.e., an election not to be associated is made or the third corporation is not a CCPC), the budget proposes to make investment income derived from an associated corporation’s active business ineligible for the small business deduction and taxable at the general corporate tax rate.
  • This budget contains proposals regarding certain recommendations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as set out in its final reports on its base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) initiative, released in October 2015. 

A summary of the economic and tax highlights contained in the budget is outlined in our Canadian tax alert

For further details, we refer you to the Ministry of Finance website.

2016-2017 Newfoundland and Labrador budget highlights

Apr 14, 2016

On April 14, 2016, Finance Minister and President of the Treasury Board, the Honourable Cathy Bennett, presented the 2016 Newfoundland and Labrador budget, “Restoring Fiscal Confidence and Accountability”.

The government estimates that the forecasted deficit for 2015–2016 will be $2.2 billion against a previously budgeted $1.1 billion deficit. This is largely due to the continued decline in offshore oil royalties from both decreased production and the large drop in commodity prices. The budget has various measures designed to increase annual revenue and reduce expenditures such that the government is targeting a small surplus by 2022–2023, as opposed to a deficit of $1.9 billion if no action was taken.

The budget is robust - as expected - with measures that affect every person living in Newfoundland and Labrador. This is a direct consequence of the falling commodity prices and uncertainty about levels of oil revenues in the future.

The announced changes to taxation in Newfoundland and Labrador are outlined in our Canadian tax alert

For further details, we refer you to the Ministry of Finance website.

2016-2017 Nova Scotia budget highlights

Apr 19, 2016

On April 19, 2016, Finance and Treasury Board Minister Randy Delorey presented the 2016-2017 Nova Scotia budget, “Working together for a stronger Nova Scotia”.

The 2016-2017 net position is projected to be $17.1 million with increasing surpluses through 2020.

The announced changes to taxation in Nova Scotia are outlined in our Canadian tax alert.

For further details, we refer you to the Ministry of Finance website.

2016-2017 Quebec budget highlights

Mar 17, 2016

On March 17, 2016, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão tabled the 2016-2017 Quebec budget. The minister confirmed that Quebec returned to a balanced budget in fiscal 2015-2016. The budget is expected to again achieve fiscal balance for 2016-2017.

The government is using some of the room it now has in the budget to ease the tax burden, reduce the debt, and strengthen funding to public services.

Some of the key features of the budget plan were:

Tax measures for businesses

  • As of 2017, eligible specified employers will be able to claim an additional reduction in the Health Services Fund contribution rate. 
  • For taxation years beginning after December 31, 2016, the eligibility criteria for the small business deduction (SBD) requiring a minimum number of employees will be replaced by an eligibility criteria requiring a minimum number of hours worked.
  • After consultation, the Ministère des Finances has retained the seven eligibility criteria that must be met by a taxpayer to qualify for the tax relief in the transfer of family businesses announced in the March 26, 2015 budget speech.

Minister Leitão’s budget represents the government’s second consecutive year of balanced budgets and uses part of the recovered room to ease the tax burden, reduce the debt and strengthen funding for public services.

The announced changes to taxation in Quebec are outlined in our Canadian tax alert

For further details, we refer you to the Ministry of Finance website.

A happier horizon, a short paper from CDSB and CDP

Sep 19, 2016

On September 19, 2016, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) released a short paper where they consider how the reporting community could work together to support the successful implementation of climate-related financial disclosure through mainstream reporting channels.

This short paper discusses the preparation of the reporting infrastructure, practical integration of climate change information into mainstream reports, and materiality. In conclusion the paper identifies that there is a crucial role for the reporting community to play to ensure the success of the TCFD’s recommendations.

Please click for the press release and the publication on the CDSB's Web site.

Alberta introduces carbon levy

May 31, 2016

In May 2016, the Alberta government introduced Bill 20, the Climate Leadership Implementation Act, to create a carbon levy to be imposed on distributors of transportation and heating fuels starting January 1, 2017. Bill 20 is part of Alberta’s new climate policies announced in November 2015.

The carbon levy is to be imposed on persons producing or supplying fuel in Alberta into a fuel system that produces heat or energy, such as natural gas to heat a building or gasoline or diesel to power a car or truck. Special requirements are included for fuel used by inter-jurisdictional carriers, diesel locomotives, the aviation industry and persons using mixtures and blends of fuels.

Review the Climate Leadership Implementation Act and a summary from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Amended General Regulations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA)

Jun 17, 2016

On June 17, 2016, the Canadian federal government released the final version of the amended general regulations (Regulations) under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA). They were published in the June 29, 2016 Canada Gazette, Part II.

The Regulations provide a regulatory framework to govern the treatment of domestic politically exposed persons (PEPs) and provide additional components to be considered in risk assessments. For the most part, the final Regulations are similar to the July 2015 draft regulations. The changes provide a more principle-based regulation in the context of identity verification and, in addition to the amendments made to the general Regulations, the Administrative and Monetary Penalties Regulations (AMP Regulations) have also been revised to include compliance obligations that were previously unaddressed. There have also been some minor amendments made to the Suspicious Transactions Reporting Regulations.

The new identity verification and electronic signatures provisions are expected to be legally effective on June 17, 2016, with the remaining provisions of the Regulations becoming effective on June 17, 2017.

For further details refer to the attached article by Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, Amendments to Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering Legislation: The First Step.

Analytics – Moving from Hindsight to Foresight

Nov 25, 2016

The appetite for information has been increasing across most organizations, and we’re not talking about just any old historical information, we’re talking about information that can help make timely, informed business decisions and provide real value to an organization.

In our CFO’s corner series, Jerome Townsend, Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Audit - Public practice, who also helped establish Deloitte’s internal Audit Analytics team, discusses how in the spectrum of hindsight - insight - foresight, the information we rely on often resides squarely within the hindsight category, leaving the insight and foresight components to individual interpretation and ‘gut feeling.’ Many organizations have survived and even flourished in this respect, but as technology, data and talent continue to expand and evolve, the competitive advantage continues to shift to those who know how to turn information into intelligence. Organizations that do this well are known as Insight Driven Organizations (IDOs).

Visit the CFO’s corner in Deloitte’s Centre for Financial Reporting to read this editorial as well as any previous articles that you may have missed.

Are Mandatory Gender Diversity Targets Coming for Public Companies in Ontario?

Jun 14, 2016

On June 14, 2016, Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP released an article on how the Ontario government announced that it has accepted all 11 recommendations set forth in Catalyst Canada’s report, "Gender Diversity on Boards in Canada: Recommendations for Accelerating Progress" (Report).

Catalyst Canada is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion. The Report was commissioned by the Government of Ontario and is intended to advance gender balance on boards through providing recommendations to companies and business leaders as well as the Ontario government.

The Report notes that while some indications of momentum exist, with 15% of TSX-listed issuers having added one or more women to their boards between the 2014 and 2015 proxy seasons, there is still much progress to be made in terms of gender balance, as women currently comprise 20.8% of the members of such boards and half of TSX-listed issuers do not have any women on their boards.

Review the report and the article on the Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP's Web site.

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