Canada's federal and provincial governments follow a budgetary process, designed to ensure control, accountability and planning in the spending of public money.
Canada and the G7 (Group of Seven)
The G7, or Group of Seven, is an international group comprising the governments of the world’s largest economies: Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. It was founded as the G6 in 1975 and became the G7 with the addition of Canada in 1976. The Group is an informal bloc; it has no treaty or constitution and no permanent offices, staff or secretariat. The leaders of the member states meet at annual summits to discuss issues of mutual concern and to coordinate actions to address them. The meeting location and the organization’s presidency rotates among the members. The European Union is also a non-enumerated member, though it never assumes the rotating presidency.
Canada Corn Act
Canada Corn Act, passed in 1843 by the British Parliament and applying to all grains, allowed Canadian wheat to enter the British market at a nominal duty, and flour manufactured in Canada at a proportionate rate.
Canada Pension Plan
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is an earnings-related public pension plan. The CPP makes a monthly payment to Canadians and their families to partially replace their income after retirement, disability or death. Working Canadians make regular contributions to the CPP in order to be eligible. The CPP covers all Canadian workers except those in Quebec who are covered by the parallel Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) manages CPP assets, making it one of the largest pension fund managers in the world. As of 31 March 2021, CPPIB ended its 2021 fiscal year with net assets of 497.2 billion.
Canada Savings Bonds
Canada Savings Bonds differ from other government bonds in that they can be cashed at any bank for the face value plus accrued interest. They cannot be sold by the original buyer but must be held until cashed or until they mature (usually in 7 years) from the time they were bought.
Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Programs
Temporary foreign worker programs are regulated by the federal government and allow employers to hire foreign nationals on a temporary basis to fill gaps in their workforces. Each province and territory also has its own set of policies that affect the administration of the programs. Canada depends on thousands of migrant workers every year to bolster its economy and to support its agricultural, homecare, and other lower-wage sectors. In 2014, there were 567,077 migrant workers employed in Canada, with migrant farm workers making up 12 per cent of Canada’s agricultural workforce. A growing labour shortage is projected to increase, with a study by the Conference Board of Canada projecting 113,800 unfilled jobs by 2025.
Canada-US Auto Pact
The Automotive Products Trade Agreement of 1965, better known as the Canada-US Auto Pact, led to the integration of the Canadian and US auto industries in a shared North American market. While it brought great benefits to Canada, it was eventually found to be contrary to international trade rules and was cancelled in 2001. By then it had accomplished its biggest goal — an integrated North American industry with a much stronger Canadian presence.
Canadian Free Trade Agreement
The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) is an inter-governmental trade agreement regulating trade within Canada. It took effect on 1 July 2017. The goal of the agreement was to reduce or eliminate regulations against the free movement of goods, services, and investments within Canada. The officials who framed the new deal said they wanted to ensure that Canadian firms got the same access to the Canadian market as firms from the country’s international trading partners. CFTA also more closely matches the terms of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), which began taking effect in 2017.
Capitalism in Canada
Capitalism is an economic system in which private owners control a country’s trade and business sector for their personal profit. It contrasts with communism, in which property effectively belongs to the state (see also Marxism). Canada has a “mixed” economy, positioned between these extremes. The three levels of government decide how to allocate much of the country’s wealth through taxing and spending.
Car Fuel Efficiency Toughened
It has been a long time since a Canadian government tried to force the auto industry to improve fuel efficiency. The energy crisis scares of the 1970s were still fresh memories when Pierre Trudeau's Liberals passed the Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption Standards Act in 1982.
Carbon Pricing in Canada
Carbon pricing refers to a cost that is imposed on the combustion of fossil fuels used by industry and consumers. Pricing can be set either directly through a carbon tax or indirectly through a cap-and-trade market system. A price on carbon is intended to capture the public costs of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and shift the burden for damage back to the original emitters, compelling them to reduce emissions. In 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a national climate change policy that includes a system of carbon pricing across Canada. Provinces can either create their own systems to meet federal requirements or have a federal carbon tax imposed on them. Nine provinces and territories have their own carbon pricing plans that meet federal requirements. Ottawa has imposed its own carbon tax in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
Cod Moratorium of 1992
On 2 July 1992, the federal government banned cod fishing along Canada’s east coast. This moratorium ended nearly five centuries of cod fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador. Cod had played a central role in the province’s economy and culture.
The aim of the policy was to help restore cod stocks that had been depleted due to overfishing. Today, the cod population remains too low to support a full-scale fishery. For this reason, the ban is still largely in place.
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Competition policy refers to legislation used by the federal government to eliminate privately imposed restraints on trade and to encourage competition.
Consumer and Corporate Affairs
The Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs was established in 1967 to bring together under one minister the administering of federal policies regulating the marketplace.
Consumer standards are documents describing acceptable characteristics or usage for products, materials and services used by individual consumers. They may specify dimensional, performance or safety requirements for household products.
Crop Insurance An all-risk crop-insurance program is available to Canadian farmers under the authority of the federal Crop Insurance Act (of 1959) and through concurrent and complementary legislation enacted by each province.
Economic Immigration to Canada
Canada’s current and future prosperity depends on recruiting immigrants. Newcomers fill gaps in the Canadian workforce, build or start businesses and invest in the Canadian economy. Economic immigrants include employees as well as employers. They mostly become permanent residents when they immigrate to Canada. Not included in this class are the many temporary foreign workers who contribute to Canada’s economy.
Economic immigrants bring talent, innovation, family members and financial investments to Canada. They also enrich the country’s culture, heritage and opportunities. Technological progress, productivity and economic growth all benefit from these newcomers. Studies show that they have little to no negative impacts on wages for other workers in the country.
Employment Insurance (formerly Unemployment Insurance) is a government program that provides temporary benefit payments during a period of unemployment. The Employment Insurance (EI) program also provides illness, parental and caregiving benefits for persons who are away from work due to health and family-related reasons. EI is financed by premiums paid by employers and employees. The program is overseen by the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC). In July 2021, approximately 1.5 million Canadians received EI benefits.
Equalization payments are payments that the federal government makes to the poorer provinces. The monies come from Ottawa's general revenues and are unconditional transfers that can be spent as the recipient provinces please (see also TRANSFER PAYMENT).