December 15, 2018

House of Commons Finance Committee Responds to CATA Advocacy and the Business Community’s concerns with some important recommendations and observations

Thumbs Up to House of Commons Finance Committee Recommendations

Ottawa, ON...CATAAlliance, Canada’s One Voice for Innovation advocacy group, gives a thumbs up to the House of Commons Finance Committee pre-budget report to Parliament (tabled last week), pointing to several CATA recommendations that were adopted.  As well, other key concerns raised by CATA over the years were explored and addressed.

The House Committee recommends new tax credits, streamlined reporting and a comprehensive review of the Canadian tax system in its pre-budget report to Parliament.

The Committee’s 99 recommendations covered all aspects of the economy, including a large number of tax measures (download).

According to Russ Roberts, CATA’s Sr. VP, Advocacy, Tax & Finance, a 30 year public policy veteran, “ Since the last Committee Report, many challenges have emerged for the Canadian economy, ranging from new regulatory and incentive regimes in our largest trading partner, the U.S.; a revised NAFTA, called the USMCA; global trade disruptions affecting Canada’s markets; and a threefold deficit increase with rising personal indebtedness.  Encouragingly, Canada’s debt to GDP remains reasonably controlled or at least we are not the worst out there. The important thing is the return that you are achieving for Canadians on that debt.”

He added, “ We are pleased to see that Committee recommendations began to reflect these realities and that several CATA advocacy recommendations were fully adopted.”

Other recommendations addressed key concerns of CATA, including those related to IP (intellectual property) and innovation policy, e.g., support for commercialization.

CATA Advocacy Committee Recommendations directly addressed.

CATA: Create a 21st Century Tax Commission focused on improving the nation’s support for innovation through fiscal measures, test all recommended measures through robust public consultations, and deliver a final report in twelve months.

Committee: Appoint an expert panel to undertake a comprehensive review of the Canadian tax system through a “made-in-Canada approach” ensuring a tax system that strengthens the competitiveness of Canadian businesses, drives innovation, and reduces the administrative and compliance burden for all users of the tax system.

CATA: Publish benchmarking metrics comparing Canada to other leading countries building innovative capacity.

Committee:  Continue to use a fiscal target based on the debt to gross domestic product ratio to measure Canada’s strong fiscal position and commit to a declining ratio over the near and medium term.

CATA: Support current work on developing a modern IP (intellectual property) system with appropriate fiscal measures for IP exploitation in Canada and also provide assistance to cover some of the costs of the patent process, and,

CATA  Advocacy Campaign to encourage the adoption of a Canadian form of the “Patent Box”, i.e., an “Innovation Box.”  The Canadian “Innovation Box” would be tailored to provide a preferential, competitive tax regime for the successful exploitation and commercialization of IP (intellectual property), including patents, in Canada.

Committee: Establish incentives for intellectual property development and commercialization through a commercialization coupon for researchers receiving federal grants, as well as an innovation box tax incentive for business revenue derived from commercialization of Canadian issued intellectual property rights.

CATA: Called on all federal parties to add a long-term, fully-funded space strategy for Canada as part of their election platforms.  Canada’s future in space is in jeopardy, as country slips to an 18th ranking in space investment.

Committee: Commit to significant, ongoing investments to advance Canada’s space program and contribute to space exploration and science.

For an overview of CATA’s competitive innovation nation agenda, including active Campaigns please go to:  

CATA CEO, John Reid, concluded, “The proof of the pudding will be if and how all parties embrace the guidance advanced by the House Committee on Finance. So the verdict is still out, and we will continue to press for policies that reflect the realities of the marketplace.”

Related: Sign CATA’s Advocacy E-Petitions, take 30 seconds to advance issues we care about for Canadian entrepreneurial & innovation success

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The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance), Canada’s One Voice for Innovation Lobby Group, crowdsources ideas and guidance from thousands of opt in members in moderated social networks in Canada and key global markets. Supported by evidence-based research, CATAAlliance then mobilizes the community behind public policy recommendations designed to boost Canada’s innovation and competitiveness success.

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