Here are 10 recommendations for non-protectionist solutions the government can consider in the coming months to build a stronger foundation for a cleaner, safer economic future.
Stop doing counter-productive things
1. Abolish import tariffs on clean-technology manufacturing inputs. A recent analysis by the Toronto Board of Trade identified that elimination of 29 tariffs on clean-technology inputs would save manufacturers tens of millions of dollars in compliance costs every year, along with the $37 million in tariffs they paid to import those inputs.
2. Identify internal trade barriers that impair the clean-tech sector. There are obvious candidates. One is a lack of a true national securities regulator. Another is the many interprovincial barriers to trade. This is an opportunity for the federal government to continue to work with provinces to align efficiency and regulatory standards, similar to work started by the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table.
Helping companies “Make-in-Canada”
3. Make Canada the most attractive place to start and grow a clean-tech business. The federal government should expand the use of investor tax credits and flow-through shares for clean-technology companies. They should also lower the corporate tax rate by 50 per cent for zero-emission solutions manufacturers, as promised in the Liberal government’s 2019 election platform.
4. Ensure Canadians have the skills needed to work in the clean-tech sector.Skills training is critical to ensure Canadian workers are the ones building a cleaner economy. Skills training programs can be particularly helpful right now for one demographic: Women under 25, who have been unemployed in this crisis at higher rates than any other demographic. Programs to increase the number of women in the skilled trades, who made up only 14 per cent of apprenticeships in 2018, should be prioritized.
Helping companies “Buy-from-Canada”
5. Help large businesses adopt clean technologies. The federal government should expand the use of Accelerated Cost of Capital Allowances (ACCA) for all firms making clean-technology investments. This could also be coupled with a small tax credit for firms, to encourage even faster adoption of clean technologies.
6. Help SMEs adopt clean technologies. The major barriers for small- to medium-sized companies to adopt clean technology is a lack of financing, and a lack of internal capacity to spend time applying for government programs that offer it. The federal government should boost existing loan-guarantee programs to support adoption of clean-tech across sectors, and ensure funding is allocated through third-parties, like regional development agencies, local electricity and natural gas utilities, and industry associations that can work directly with companies and entrepreneurs to get money where it is needed quickly.
7. Help consumers adopt clean technologies. The use of income or purchase tax credits are great incentives to support clean technology adoption, and are already successfully used for ZEVs across Canada. Creating federal tax credits for home-heat pumps, energy-efficiency retrofits and new energy-efficient appliances are all examples of smart extensions of successful policies.
To view the original article by Mike Moffatt & John McNally , click here: https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/05/05/opinion/these-10-steps-will-strengthen-canadas-economy-and-climate