Federal Government’s 2021 Budget: Here is what engineers need to know

On April 19, Canada’s Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland released the federal government’s budget for 2021. She became the first women to deliver a federal budget in Canada.

The 2021 Budget titled “A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience”, expects a federal deficit of $354.2 billion for the year that just ended, with it slated to drop to $154.7 billion in the current 2021-22 fiscal year.

Canada’s Budget 2021 builds on the foundation of four pillars:

  1. chrystia freeland budget 2021
    Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

    Finishing the Fight Against COVID-19

  2. Creating Jobs and Growth
  3. A Resilient and Inclusive Recovery
  4. Fair and Responsible Government

“This budget is about finishing the fight against COVID. It’s about healing the economic wounds left by the COVID recession. And it’s about creating more jobs and prosperity for Canadians in the days – and decades – to come. It’s about meeting the urgent needs of today, and about building for the long-term. It is a budget focused on middle class Canadians, and on pulling more Canadians up into the middle class. It’s a plan that embraces this moment of global transformation to a green, clean economy”

– Budget 2021

OSPE has identified the following areas of the Budget that are of most interest to our membership:

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Extend the wage subsidy until September 25, 2021. It also proposes to gradually decrease the subsidy rate, beginning July 4, 2021, in order to ensure an orderly phase-out of the program as vaccinations are completed and the economy reopens.
  • Require that any publicly listed corporation receiving the wage subsidy and found to be paying its top executives more in 2021 than in 2019 will need to repay the equivalent in wage subsidy amounts received for any qualifying period starting after June 5, 2021 and until the end of the wage subsidy program.

Extending the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Extend the rent subsidy and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021. It also proposes to gradually decrease the rate of the rent subsidy, beginning July 4, 2021, in order to ensure an orderly phase-out of this program as vaccinations are completed and the economy reopens.

Extending the Canada Emergency Business Account

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Extend the application deadline for similar support under the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund and the Indigenous Business Initiative until June 30, 2021.
  • Provide up to $80 million in 2021-22, on a cash basis, for the Community Futures Network of Canada and regional development agencies, and to shift remaining funds under the Indigenous Business Initiative into 2021-22, to support an extended application deadline for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund and Indigenous Business Initiative until June 30, 2021. This would support small businesses in rural communities so they can continue to serve local populations.

Canada Recovery Hiring Program

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Introduce the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program for eligible employers that continue to experience qualifying declines in revenues relative to before the pandemic. The proposed subsidy would offset a portion of the extra costs employers take on as they reopen, either by increasing wages or hours worked, or hiring more staff. This support would only be available for active employees and will be available from June 6 to November 20, 2021. Eligible employers would claim the higher of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the new proposed subsidy. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for businesses to hire new workers as the economy reopens.

IMPACT: The engineering community has been severely impacted by this pandemic, as thousands of engineering jobs are directly linked to manufacturing, technology, infrastructure and research and innovation sectors. OSPE is pleased to see that this budget seeks to address some of the major concerns our members and all Canadians face daily because of COVID-19. We are pleased to see the continuation of several financial programs that engineers, and Ontarians depend on during this pandemic.

Renewing our National Trade Corridors

Budget 2021 proposes to

  • Invest $1.9 billion over four years, starting in 2021-22, to recapitalize the National Trade Corridors Fund. This funding could attract approximately $2.7 billion from private and other public sector partners, resulting in total investments of $4.6 billion. This would spur investments in much-needed enhancements to our roads, rail, and shipping routes, build long-term resilience for the Canadian economy, and support internal trade. It would make Canada’s transportation system more fluid, supporting economic recovery and increasing prosperity across Canada. Alleviating bottlenecks

 Permanent Public Transit Fund

  • On February 10, 2021, the government announced $14.9 billion over eight years, starting in 2021-22, for public transit projects across Canada. This included new permanent funding of $3 billion per year for communities across Canada, beginning in 2026-27. This funding will support new subway lines, light-rail transit and streetcars, electric buses, active transportation infrastructure, and improved rural transit, which will create affordable commuting options in communities and reduce Canada’s emissions. It will also provide local governments with the predictable transit funding they need to plan ahead so Canada can keep building more sustainable and livable communities.

IMPACT:  OSPE commends the government’s continued approach to invest in infrastructure, which includes public transit, Information Technology (IT), and infrastructure that supports trade and transportation. OSPE agrees that funding infrastructure projects is a beneficial, long-term investment. However, given that funding is finite, OSPE believes money must be spent wisely and hard decisions need to be made in terms of which infrastructure projects get approved. OSPE stresses to all levels of government that key decisions on infrastructure should be evidence-based and made in consultation with infrastructure experts, including engineers.

Engineers believe that the COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to invest in infrastructure as a key method that will drive economic growth in Canada and Ontario. However, mistakes of the past should not be repeated. Infrastructure projects should:

  1. Not only be “shovel-ready” but also “shovel-worthy”: to ensure preparedness for future events and build an economy that is strong and benefits all people, it is imperative that new funding allocations provide a sustainable benefit for diverse, future generations by ensuring a targeted focus on building sustainability.
  2. Make use of a Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) framework
  3. Effectively report life-cycle costing
  4. Consider diversity and inclusion

Propelling Clean Tech Projects

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Make up to $1 billion available on a cash basis, over five years, starting in 2021-22, to help draw in private sector investment for these projects.

Growing Zero-Emission Technology Manufacturing

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Reduce—by 50 per cent—the general corporate and small business income tax rates for businesses that manufacture zero-emission technologies. The reductions would go into effect on January 1, 2022, and would be gradually phased out starting January 1, 2029 and eliminated by January 1, 2032. The Department of Finance Canada will regularly review new technologies that might be eligible, in consultation with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, and other key stakeholders across government and industry.

Charging and Fuelling Zero-Emission Vehicles

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Provide $56.1 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $16.3 million in remaining amortization and $13 million per year ongoing, to Measurement Canada to develop and implement, in coordination with international partners such as the United States, a set of codes and standards for retail ZEV charging and fueling stations. This would include accreditation and inspection frameworks needed to ensure the standards are adhered to at Canada’s vast network of charging and refueling stations.

First Federal Green Bond

The government will:

  • Publish a green bond framework in the coming months in advance of issuing its inaugural federal green bond in 2021-22, with an issuance target of $5 billion, subject to market conditions. This would be the first of many green bond issuances. The framework will provide details on how, through green bonds, investors will have opportunities to finance Canada’s work to fight climate change and protect the environment. Possible projects these green bonds could fund include green infrastructure, clean tech innovations, nature conservation, and other efforts to address climate change and protect our environment.

Tax Incentive for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage

  • Canadian innovators and engineers have developed some of the leading global technologies for CCUS technologies that are in demand as more countries take action to fight climate change. The government intends to take significant action to support and accelerate the adoption of these technologies. This important new element of Canada’s tax system is also intended to accelerate the growth of new businesses and jobs related to carbon capture.
  • Budget 2021 proposes to introduce an investment tax credit for capital invested in CCUS projects with the goal of reducing emissions by at least 15 megatonnes of CO2 annually. This measure will come into effect in 2022.
  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $319 million over seven years, starting in 2021-22, with $1.5 million in remaining amortization, to Natural Resources Canada to support research, development, and demonstrations that would improve the commercial viability of carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies.

IMPACT:  OSPE is pleased to see that this Budget focuses on the need for a green economy that is sustainable for future generations. Restoring our economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic should keep in mind our existing environmental and climate change concerns. As Ontario historically has been a leader in automotive manufacturing, OSPE is also pleased that the government is recognizing the importance of investing in electric vehicles (EVs). OSPE is also encouraged by the incorporation of policies and incentives for further investment by the private sector in clean and green technologies.

Accelerating Investment in Clean Energy Technologies

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Expand the list of eligible equipment to include equipment used in pumped hydroelectric energy storage, renewable fuel production, hydrogen production by electrolysis of water, and hydrogen refueling. Certain existing restrictions related to investments in water-current, wave and tidal energy, active solar heating, and geothermal energy technologies would also be removed.

Lower Home Energy Bills Through Interest-free Loans for Retrofits

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Provide $4.4 billion on a cash basis ($778.7 million on an accrual basis over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $414.1 million in future years) to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to help homeowners complete deep home retrofits through interest-free loans worth up to $40,000. Loans would be available to homeowners and landlords who undertake retrofits identified through an authorized EnerGuide energy assessment. In combination with available grants announced in the Fall Economic Statement, this would help eligible participants make deeper, more costly retrofits that have the biggest impact in reducing a home’s environmental footprint and energy bills. This program will also include a 178 Chapter 5 dedicated stream of funding to support low-income homeowners and rental properties serving low-income renters including cooperatives and not-for-profit owned housing.

IMPACT: The Building sector is a huge contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. These measures are welcomed as they will help millions of current and future homeowners reduce their home’s carbon footprint.

Enhancing Canada’s Supply of Critical Minerals

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Provide $9.6 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to create a Critical Battery Minerals Centre of Excellence at Natural Resources Canada. The centre would coordinate federal policy and programs on critical minerals, and work with provincial, territorial, and other partners. The centre would also help implement the Canada-U.S. Joint Action Plan. Budget 2021 proposes to provide $36.8 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, with $10.9 million in remaining amortization, to Natural Resources Canada, for federal research and development to advance critical battery mineral processing and refining expertise.

IMPACT: OSPE is pleased to see the government moving forward with the creation of this centre. Engineers understand that the global shift to a knowledge-based, low-carbon economy is increasing demand for raw materials. Mining is one of the economic backbones of the Ontario economy and is especially important to northern Ontario. The materials and products delivered help Ontarians stay safe, meet basic needs, and sustain northern communities. This industry produces around $10 billion in revenues for Ontario per year and employs over 75,000 Ontarians. Mining is also the largest private sector employer of Indigenous Ontarians.

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Increase the threshold for repayment assistance to $40,000 for borrowers living alone, so that nobody earning $40,000 per year or less will need to make any payments on their student loans.
  • Introduce legislation that would extend the waiver of interest accrual on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans until March 31, 2023. This change has an estimated cost of $392.7 million in 2022-23.
  • Invest $239.8 million in the Student Work Placement Program in 2021-22 to support work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students. This funding would increase the wage subsidy available for employers to 75 per cent, up to $7,500 per student, while also increasing employers’ ability to access the program. This is expected to provide 50,000 young people (an increase of 20,000) with valuable experience building opportunities in 2021-22.
  • Invest $109.3 million in 2022-23 for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy to better meet the needs of vulnerable youth facing multiple barriers to employment, while also supporting over 7,000 additional job placements for youth. This builds on funding announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, which is expected to result in over 30,600 new placements in 2021-22. This will make it easier for young people to get good jobs.
  • Invest $371.8 million in new funding for Canada Summer Jobs in 2022-23 to support approximately 75,000 new job placements in the summer of 2022. This is in addition to 2020 Fall Economic Statement funding for approximately 94,000 additional job placements in 2021-22. In total, the Canada Summer Jobs program will support around 220,000 summer jobs over the next two years.

IMPACT: COVID-19 has negatively impacted engineering students and new engineering graduates in numerous ways. OSPE welcomes these enhanced programs. However, the current structure of the student loans program coupled with escalating tuition costs have placed engineering students in a precarious situation. Government support programs for students and new graduates must recognize that:

  • Engineering programs are far more expensive than arts programs so current financial support programs, are effectively less supportive for engineering students than arts students/other programs.
  • Engineering sources of income are being significantly impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Historical pre-COVID-19 earnings tests from parents are effectively irrelevant to determining whether a student can pay forthcoming engineering tuitions.
  • Parental earnings may not be available to support students going forward.

Without effectively addressing this we are compromising access to engineering programs and ultimately constraining the future engineering talent pool, and the industry’s future ability to innovate in support of Canada’s economy.

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Provide $960 million over three years, beginning in 2021-22, to Employment and Social Development Canada for a new Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program. Working primarily with sector associations and employers, funding would help design and deliver training that is relevant to the needs of businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, and to their employees. This funding would also help businesses recruit and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce.
  • Provide $470 million over three years, beginning in 2021-22, to Employment and Social Development Canada to establish a new Apprenticeship Service. The Apprenticeship Service would help 55,000 first year apprentices in construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades connect with opportunities at small and medium-sized employers.
  • Invest $298 million over three years, beginning in 2021-22, through Employment and Social Development Canada, in a new Skills for Success program that would help Canadians at all skills levels improve their foundational and transferable skills.
  • Provide $250 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for an initiative to scale-up proven industry-led, third-party delivered approaches to upskill and redeploy workers to meet the needs of growing industries.

IMPACT: OSPE is pleased that the government understands the need to invest in training its workforce. We commend the focus on an integrated, multi-phased approach that equips more people with the skills needed to get quality jobs through apprenticeships. However, more should be done to ensure that engineers, and not only tradespeople have access to these opportunities. As engineers lead the design aspects of many projects across these sectors, without supporting engineers in upskilling and keeping up with evolving trends, it will be very difficult to innovate in the province. This inability to innovate within these sectors will mean a loss of opportunities for new job creation for both professionals and tradespeople.

Helping Small and Medium-sized Businesses Move into the Digital Age

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Through the Canada Digital Adoption Program the government will main street businesses expand their customer bases online, they can access support to digitize and take advantage of e-commerce opportunities. Eligible businesses will receive microgrants to help offset the costs of going digital—and support to digital trainers from a network of up to 28,000 well trained young Canadians. Some businesses will require more comprehensive support to adopt new technology, and a second stream will be in place for “off-main street” businesses, such as small manufacturing and food processing operations. Support for these businesses will emphasize advisory expertise for technology planning and financing options needed to put these technologies to use.
  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $1.4 billion over four years, starting in 2021-22, to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, to:
    • Work with organizations across Canada to provide access to skills, training, and advisory services for all businesses accessing this program.
    • Provide microgrants to smaller, main street businesses to support costs associated with technology adoption.
    • Create training and work opportunities for as many as 28,000 young people to help small and medium-sized businesses across Canada adopt new technology.
  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $2.6 billion on a cash basis over four years, starting in 2021-22, to the Business Development Bank of Canada to help small and medium-sized businesses finance technology adoption.

IMPACT: As a result of COVID-19 many small to medium-sized enterprises have had to transform their business models, adapt to a virtual reality, and shift their processes and products. However, OSPE knows that for small to medium sized engineering businesses this shift is costly, and some have been unable make the changes necessary, ultimately hurting their ability to compete. We commend the government for providing eligible businesses both main street and “off-main street” with the support necessary to adopt new technologies which will improve their economic standing and help them to recover from this crisis.

Helping Businesses Seize New Technological Opportunities

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Provide $46.9 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to support additional research partnerships between colleges, CEGEPs, polytechnics, and businesses through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s College and Community Innovation Program.
  • Budget 2021 proposes to invest $5.7 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to provide more businesses with access to the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program’s Interactive Visits, where firms can access equipment, facilities, and expertise at college-affiliated Technology Access Centres.

IMPACT: OSPE congratulates the government for investing in applied research and development. Projects led by Canadian businesses in collaboration with collages, CEGEPs, and polytechnics will yield greater innovation across the country. These partnerships facilitate the development of new products and services that will benefit all Canadians.

Preparing Canada’s Aerospace Sector for Recovery

Budget 2021 proposes to

  • Provide $250 million over three years, on a cash basis, starting in 2021-22, for the regional development agencies to deliver an Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative, which would support small and medium-sized firms in improving productivity, strengthening commercialization, and greening their operations and products.

IMPACT: OSPE commends the government for continued investment into the Aerospace sector, which contributes significantly to Canada’s GDP. It is imperative that while considering the distribution of these investments, specific attention is paid to the growth of Ontario’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) industry. The report Growing Ontario’s Drone Industry in Ontario published by OSPE’s Research and Innovation Task Force, outlines the economic gains expected from RPAS across Canada. However, there is a need to develop future drone regulation, bridge the gap in RPAS technology transfer from research to industry and take a leadership in drone commercialization.

Renewing the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Provide up to $443.8 million over ten years, starting in 2021-22, in support of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, including:
    • $185 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, to support the commercialization of artificial intelligence innovations and research in Canada.
    • $162.2 million over ten years, starting in 2021-22, to help retain and attract top academic talent across Canada—including in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. This programming will be delivered by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
    • $48 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research to renew and enhance its research, training, and knowledge mobilization programs.
    • $40 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to provide dedicated computing capacity for researchers at the national artificial intelligence institutes in Edmonton, Toronto, and Montréal.
    • $8.6 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, to advance the development and adoption of standards related to artificial intelligence

IMPACT: OSPE commends the government’s investments in AI. Artificial Intelligence has tremendous application in all areas of engineering and beyond.  We are only starting to explore the applications of AI as a tool to empower humankind to solve many problems efficiently, safely and in ways that were simply not possible before. This does indeed present all the premise of a key element of the new wave of innovation for Ontario, Canada, and the rest of the world.  Engineers will play a key role in developing this technology.  They are at the heart of creating practical solutions powered by technology and have the expertise required to do so in a safe, ethical, and responsible way.

Budget 2021 proposes:

  • $90 million, over two years, starting in 2022-23, to create ElevateIP, a program to help accelerators and incubators provide start-ups with access to expert intellectual property services. $75 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, for the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program to provide high-growth client firms with access to expert intellectual property services.

IMPACT: OSPE is pleased to see continuous investments in IP. Engineers understand that a key driver of innovation is the generation, protection, and commercialization of intellectual property. In the past, OSPE has made recommendations to the federal government to address limited access to IP professionals which was hindering SMEs from pursuing the protection and commercialization of IP. This is a step in the right direction to providing that expertise and fueling Canada’s innovation economy.

Budget 2021 proposes:

  • A Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Plan, where the federal government will work with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners to build a Canada-wide, community-based system of quality childcare. This will be a transformative project on a scale with the work of previous generations of Canadians, who built a public school system and public health care.
  • Budget 2021 proposes new investments totaling up to $30 billion over the next 5 years, and $8.3 billion ongoing. Up to $27.2 billion over five years, starting in 2021-22 will bring the federal government to a 50/50 share of childcare costs with provincial and territorial governments, as part of initial 5-year agreements. Future objectives and distribution of funding, starting in year six, would be determined based on an understanding of need and progress achieved as part of this initial plan.
  • Over the next five years, the funding will allow for a 50 per cent reduction in average fees for regulated care in all Provinces outside of Quebec by the end of 2022, an average of $10 per day childcare by 2025-2016 in regulated childcare spaces, and ongoing annual growth in quality affordable child care spaces.

IMPACT: OSPE commends the government for investing in childcare which will inevitably reduce the burden of unpaid care on caregivers, many of whom are women. Research shows that female caregivers continue to face the brunt of responsibilities in Canadian homes. This has been cited as one of the reasons why women are leaving the workforce at an alarming rate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since women’s inclusion in the workforce began during the last century, caregiving responsibilities now impacts all professionals regardless of gender – including engineering graduates and engineers – limiting career progression. Investing in access to affordable and quality childcare is an important factor in determining the participation, attachment, and retention of professionals in the labour market.

Supporting Diverse Communities and Women  

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Provide additional funding of $100 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to Employment and Social Development Canada to triple funding for the Enabling Accessibility Fund and support small and mid-sized projects with not-for-profit organizations, women’s shelters, childcare centres, small municipalities, Indigenous organizations, territorial governments, small businesses, and businesses of all sizes. This would help offset the costs of renovations, retrofits, and accessible technologies in workplaces.

Supporting Greater Equality for LGBTQ2 Communities

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Provide $15 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to Women and Gender Equality Canada for a new LGBTQ2 Projects Fund dedicated to supporting community-informed initiatives to overcome key issues facing LGBTQ2 communities, such as accessing mental health services and employment support.
  • Provide $7.1 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to Canadian Heritage to continue to support the work of the LGBTQ2 Secretariat—which coordinates work across government—and enable the continued development of an LGBTQ2 Action Plan.

Supporting Women Entrepreneurs

Budget 2021 proposes to:

  • Provide up to $146.9 million over four years, starting in 2021-22, to strengthen the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. Women entrepreneurs would have greater access to financing, mentorship, and training. Funding would also further support the Women Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Fund and the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. Helping Canadian Businesses Grow and Succeed.
  • The government will work with financial institutions to develop a voluntary code to help support the inclusion of women and other underrepresented entrepreneurs as clients in the financial sector.

Supporting Black Entrepreneurs

Budget 2021 proposes to

  • Provide up to an additional $51.7 million over four years, starting in 2021-22, to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the regional development agencies for the Black Entrepreneurship Program.

IMPACT: OSPE is happy to see investments in more equitable and inclusive workplaces and communities. OSPE has been an avid advocate of building a diverse and inclusive engineering sector across Canada. We have seen incremental progress made across industry, academia, and government that is now being threatened by the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on labour force participation. We can quantify the impact on women as this has historically been measured, however, the impact on other under-represented groups with diversity dimensions including race, ethnicity, ability, and sexual orientation cannot be determined, as these trends have not been widely analyzed and studied. We commend the government for making significant and varied investments that will contribute to a more equitable economic recovery.

Leveraging Procurement Opportunities

Budget 2021 proposes to

  • Provide Public Services and Procurement Canada $87.4 million over five years starting in 2021-22, and $18.6 million ongoing. This funding will be used to modernize federal procurement and create opportunities for specific communities by diversifying the federal supplier base. Specifically, Public Services and Procurement Canada would:
    • Implement a program focused on procuring from Black-owned businesses.
    • Continue work to meet Canada’s target of 5 per cent of federal contracts being awarded to businesses managed and led by Indigenous peoples.
    • Improve data capture, analytics, and reporting.
    • Incorporate accessibility considerations into federal procurement, ensuring goods and services are accessible by design. Public Services and Procurement Canada will develop new tools, guidance, awareness, and training for federal departments.
  • Leverage supplier diversity opportunities through domestic procurement, such as running competitions open to businesses run by Canadians from equity deserving groups. This would help build a more inclusive economy and boost the competitiveness of these businesses, and all Canadian businesses.
  • Demonstrate to Canada’s trading partners the importance of balanced procurement opportunities, the government will pursue reciprocal procurement policies to ensure that goods and services are only procured from countries that grant Canadian businesses a similar level of market access. This will protect Canadian supply chains and ensure that Canada’s trading relationships are mutually beneficial economic relationships.

IMPACT: OSPE commends the federal government for its commitment towards supplier diversity. This will enable the government to use procurement to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion. The benefits of a diverse supply chain are well documented in research done by the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and the Conference Board of Canada, amongst others. Small to medium-sized enterprises owned by women and members of other equity-seeking groups provide value to large organizations, reduce the risk of streamlined supplier pipelines, and lead to economic growth. This will ensure that engineering companies led by women and members of equity seeking groups are provided with access to public procurement opportunities.

Read our full Pre-Budget Submission

OSPE looks forward to working with the federal government on these and other important initiatives to ensure that the voice of Ontario’s engineers is heard.

Do you want your voice heard by government? What concerns do you have as an individual engineer? Come to our OSPE Member Town Hall tonight, April 22 at 7 p.m. to share your perspective on how the current conditions of the pandemic have impacted you, your workplace, family and community.

Click here to register for this free, members-only event.  

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