The full Federal budget can be found here.
The Hotel Association of Canada released the following analysis of the Federal Budget.
Summary of the 2013 Federal Budget
Funding for the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) is status quo. The CTC is not mentioned nor is tourism marketing. There is some good news in the budget on Visas in expediting visitors to Canada and the processing of applicants under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. In addition our sector will benefit from the new Canada Building Plan.
The new federal budget was tabled in Parliament today. It can be characterized as “Staying the Course” towards a balanced budget in 2015 by eliminating the $26 billion deficit to coincide with the next federal election on October 19, 2015. The Harper Government had two objectives in this budget namely to cut the deficit while continuing to spend in its priority areas – infrastructure, manufacturing and skills training. It contains no increases in taxes and no cuts to provincial transfers.
Canadian Tourism Commission
Federal funding for the Canadian Tourism Commission remains at $58 million. It is disappointing that the government is not yet recognizing the vital role that marketing plays in our international competitiveness by enhancing this funding. We are following up with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism indicating that we are missing a golden opportunity that would result in new investment and jobs throughout Canada. We will continue to press the Government to create a success-based funding model for the Canadian Tourism Commission.
The Minister of Finance announced the Government is implementing an “Electronic Travel Authorization System to improve screening of all Visa exempt foreign nationals (excluding US citizens).” This is welcome and encouraging news.
In addition the Department of Citizenship and Immigration appears to have received the green light to collect fees for Visa processing. “The budget proposes to enable the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to set fees in a timely and efficient manner.”
Temporary Resident Program or Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Our industry is heavily dependent on this program. We have strongly advocated that Government commit the necessary resources to enhance and expedite processing. Today the Minister announced $42 million of new money over two years to meet the growing demand under the Program. “Each year, Canada typically welcomes over 1 million tourists, temporary foreign workers and foreign students. These individuals play an important role in fostering Canadian economic development through tourism, trade, commerce, and educational and research activities.”
Canada Building Fund
The new Canada Building Fund is a ten year $53.5 billion fund set up to assist in federal, provincial and municipal infrastructure projects. It includes the Community Improvement Fund which now includes tourism. The list of eligible projects has been expanded to include highways, local and regional airports, culture, tourism, sport and recreation. This represents $21.8 billion of the Canada Building Fund and is funded through the Gas Tax Fund payments.
Department of Foreign Affairs
In addition to the announcement that our international development agency CIDA is being merged into the Department of Foreign Affairs, there was the announcement of a new Global Commerce Strategy with funding of $10 million over two years. The details are being finalized. This is designed for the better promotion of a cohesive Canadian Education brand but there will be a spin off that will reinforce our Canada brand.