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Over the past week, all political parties have made announcements aimed at addressing climate change -- some of which may have the potential to benefit HRAI members. While this policy focus was expected in light of polls showing climate change has become a major priority for voters, the emphasis on building retrofits is partly due to inputs from HRAI and related industry groups.

HRAI’s “multi-partisan” approach to government relations over the past several years, and especially in the past six months, included specific recommendations to all the major political parties. The net result appears to be that, whichever party assumes power on October 21st, there will be some commitment to programs that will support the industry having a role in helping Canadians to be more energy efficient and to lower their CO2 emissions. All three major parties have also made commitments to consult with HRAI on program design, if elected. These are commitments that HRAI will make every effort to hold them to following the election.

As a recap, here is what the Liberals have promised so far:

  • Cut in half taxes for clean technology businesses, with small businesses being able to enjoy a reduced 4.5% rate and larger companies paying a 7.5% rate. Eligible sectors include manufacturing related to renewable energy, production of renewable fuels, zero emission vehicles and batteries for vehicles, carbon capture and removal technology and electric vehicle charging systems
  • Make all federal buildings run on clean electricity by 2022
  • Move to net-zero emissions in buildings by 2050
  • Interest-free loans for Canadians of up to $40,000 to retrofit their homes
  • Create a Net Zero Homes Grant of up to $5,000 for Canadians who buy new homes that are certified as zero-emissions
  • Invest $100 million in skills training to ensure there are enough qualified workers to handle the energy audits, retrofits and net-zero home construction

The Conservatives have so far promised the following:

  • Create a 20% refundable income tax credit for green improvements to homes, for a maximum benefit of $3,800 per household

Meanwhile, the NDP has announced the following:

  • Investments for their climate plan would be over $15 billion in “their first mandate,” including $2.5 billion to support clean energy jobs and energy efficiency retrofits for buildings and homes.
  • Create 300,000 jobs in clean energy in the next four years.
  • All federal buildings on renewable energy and net carbon neutral by 2030 (Martin, you and I talked about some issues with this for diesel in the north and remote communities, and physical plants as well where there’s limited renewable energy in localized grids)
  • The “Net-zero energy ready” commitment for every new building in Canada after 2030 through amendments to the National Building Code.
  • Commitments to training and re-training of skilled workers (but no spending specifics)
  • Investing to improve apprenticeship rates so women, racialized Canadians, indigenous peoples and other groups can more easily choose careers in the trades
  • Low-interest repayable loans to homeowners for upgrades like “insulation, windows, heat pumps and other renewable technologies” (no details on loan amounts or terms)

HRAI will continue to engage with all major political parties to ensure their promises will benefit the HVACR industry and Canadians. HRAI will be distributing a questionnaire to the parties to get their various positions on issues that continue to impact the industry and will be distributing the answers once received.


As a reminder, should you be interested in meeting with your local federal candidates or possibly giving them a tour of your facility, please contact Martin Luymes at mluymes@hrai.ca.