A summary of major promises that impact businesses by the four main parties in the May 2 federal election campaign:
A one-year small-business tax credit of up to $1,000 to encourage hiring when employment insurance costs go up. The Conservatives say it would be available to 525,000 employers and save them up to $165 million. Originally in the federal budget.
Financial support, such as loan guarantees, for the Lower Churchill hydro mega-project in Labrador.
Extend six initiatives under “Here for Workers” plan, including a job-sharing program aimed at reducing or preventing layoffs. Continue scheme to help older workers in hard-hit communities, extend employment-insurance pilot programs, eliminate mandatory retirement for workers in federally regulated workplaces.
Bridge loans worth $6 million a year to help recent immigrants pay for skills training or education to ensure credentials are recognized in Canada. Originally proposed in the federal budget.
Balance the books by 2014-15, a year earlier than previously announced.
Move the head office of the Economic Development Agency of Canada from Montreal to “one or more” regional centres in Quebec.
Expand Canada Pension Plan benefits with the help of the provinces, allow people to voluntarily save an additional five to 10 per cent of their income in a CPP-backed fund and boost the Guaranteed Income Supplement by $700 million a year.
A $1-billion Family Care Plan to let people take time off work to care for seriously ill or aging relatives and help with cost of care giving. Includes six-month Family Care Employment Insurance Benefit, similar to the EI parental leave benefit, and a new tax benefit of up to $1,350 a year.
Return corporate tax rates to 2010 levels, cap oilsands tax breaks and cap stock option deductions for more than $9 billion in additional revenue to finance promises over first two years of a Liberal mandate.
Support loan guarantees for Newfoundland and Labrador’s massive hydroelectric project on the Lower Churchill, a commitment also made by the Conservatives.
Work with provinces, municipalities and other stakeholders to develop a freshwater strategy, including measures to deal with floods, drought, pollution and consumption.
Cut small-business taxes by two percentage points, set up a job-creation tax credit for businesses worth up to $4,500 for each new hire and extend the accelerated capital cost allowance for four more years. The NDP estimates the cost at $2.3 billion a year, financed by cancelling Conservative cuts to corporate taxes.
Eliminate $2 billion in government subsidies for the oilsands, and put the money toward clean energy.
Gradual doubling of CPP and QPP benefits, in conjunction with the provinces, with rise in payroll deductions of as much as 2.5 per cent.
Expand the compassionate care provisions under Employment Insurance by extending leaves from six weeks to six months.
Build all navy replacement ships in Canada; review F-35 jet-fighter purchase with a view to retendering.
Bring in a cap-and-trade system to control greenhouse gases.
Balance the federal books by 2014-15.
Crack down on offshore tax havens.
Spend $45 million to build a third power transmission cable to Prince Edward Island.
Bring in legislation to unlock cellphones, allowing consumers to change providers without changing phones. Ban usage-based billing for Internet service. Ensure all Canadians have broadband Internet access.
Reduce deficit reduction by $10.7 billion over three years.
Implement a revenue-neutral carbon pricing system.
Full income-splitting for married couples and families, expand access to employment insurance for workers, reduce EI and Canada Pension Plan contributions for businesses.
Cancel scheduled corporate tax cuts to raise an additional $4.6 billion this year, eliminate tax credits for logging the mineral exploration, scrap subsidies for nuclear and fossil fuels.
Create a “toxic” tax that will bring in $193 million this year.
Spend $1 billion per year on electrical grid updates.