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Last March, HRAI held its “Day on the Hill” in Ottawa, which included numerous meetings with Members of Parliament and key bureaucrats.  Among these meetings were a number of members of the federal Finance Committee, each of whom recommended that HRAI should make a submission concerning the federal budget for 2019.  Acting on this advice, HRAI is preparing a “pre-budget” submission.  Among the requests for consideration are the following:

  1. Seek (ongoing) support for the Regulatory Cooperation Council, operating under the Treasury Board Secretariat, to achieve its ongoing mandate of ensuring regulatory harmonization with the US.  This may be broadened to include harmonization of standards and testing procedures with other nations, including China.
  2. Develop and fund a Workforce Training and Adjustment Fund to assist industries that play a role in delivering low carbon solutions (e.g. HVACR) in retraining and re-deploying their labour force to meet the challenges of the new economy.
  3. Develop appropriate financing tools (and a pool of capital) to support commercial building retrofits.  On this request, HRAI will work with allied associations such as CaGBC, Efficiency Canada, NAIMA-Canada and others.  Related to this request will be a push to revive the tax law re-interpretation brief previously filed by the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA) to treat investments in commercial retrofits as an operating expense rather than a capital improvement.
  4. Again, working in partnership with other sectors of the home renovation industry (e.g. insulation, windows), seek to “repurpose” some or all of the funds (in excess of $100 million) that were committed to support Ontario’s low carbon program initiatives that have now been cancelled by the new Ontario government.

HRAI is working with Impact Public Affairs to tailor these submissions to existing mandates and priorities for key ministries within the federal government.  The pre-budget submission will be made in early August with the expectation of detailed budget discussions commencing in the fall.

Members are encouraged to comment on these recommendations and/or submit additional ideas for consideration.

For more information, contact Martin Luymes at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 235 or email mluymes@hrai.ca.