Canada’s Budget 2024 has much for the aftermarket to ponder

by | Apr 18, 2024 | 0 comments

Canada’s Government tabled its Budget 2024 and, while the 400 page document has many broad initiatives, there is much specifically for the aftermarket to take note of.

Unlike past years, where initiatives were a closely held secret until final release day, the past few weeks have been filled with “pre-announcements” on a broad set of initiatives–from housing to school food programs and beyond–so there wasn’t the usual level of revelation with Budget 2024, but there are still items that affect aftermarket businesses large and small.

The notable exception is some financial measures which were not released ahead of time, and certainly any business owner should be well advised to review changes to the treatment of capital gains with their financial professional to get a clear understanding of the impact on their own financial picture, (and not rely on on chronically innacurate social media posts for guidance.)

Aside from that, AIA Canada has gone through the massive document to pick out some key items with a specific impacts on the aftermarket, saving us all the chore of going through the 400-page document.

On competition and the right to repair 

Budget language spoke to ongoing legislative action, building on progress made via Bill C-244 and Bill C-59 that would address consumer choice, fair competition and abuse of dominance by manufacturers.

“We have also noted the continued promise of right to repair action, which was a feature of the 2023 Budget, as well as the Fall Economic Statement, and a commitment to explore whether there is a need for further federal legislative changes to support right to repair. While the federal government has called on provinces and territories to target their own complementary legislative measures, following in the footsteps of Quebec, a national solution will be needed in order to avoid a patchwork system across the country,” says AIA Canada.

Skills and labour  

Labourforce challenges have continued to dog many industries and the aftermarket is no different.

AIA Canada has higllighted specific initiatives to address labour and skills shortages in Budget 2024, including creating more youth job opportunities, as well as apprenticeship opportunities to train and recruit the next generation of skilled trades workers.

Of course, many skilled trades opportunities require the participation and cooperation of provincial bodies, and there is at least an interplay of programs and resources, and so it’s difficult to gauge the potential impact on the skilled trades that the aftermarket relies on.

On auto theft

There have been previously announced federal initiatives to put a damper on runaway auto theft, and fighting car theft was a notable inclusion in the Budget 2024.

AIA Canada, which in the government’s auto theft summit in February, and support additional measures in Budget 2024, says it welcomes continued collaboration with the government, to serve as a connection point with drivers about actions they may want to take to try and protect their vehicles from theft.  

Below, in more detail, are key Budget 2024 measures and initaitives that AIA Canada has noted:

Right to repair 

To ensure Canadians can keep their devices working longer, and reduce harmful electronic waste in the process, the federal government is advancing a right to repair to increase product durability and repairability. 

Budget 2024 highlights important progress that is already being made to secure these rights for Canadians, including: 

  • Amending the Copyright Act to allow the circumvention of digital locks to diagnose, maintain, or repair a product. This will enable consumers to repair their devices where they choose. 
  • Amending the Competition Act, as announced in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, to prevent manufacturers from refusing, in an anti-competitive manner, to provide the parts, tools, or software needed to fix devices and products. 

Building on this progress, Budget 2024 announces: 

  • The government will launch consultations this June to develop a right to repair framework, which will focus on durability, repairability, and interoperability. 
  • The federal government is also calling on provinces and territories to amend their contract laws to support a right to repair and interoperability. Quebec’s Bill 29 is an example of how provinces can protect consumers by promoting right to repair. 

Further details on the right to repair framework on home appliances and electronic devices, as announced in Budget 2023, will be announced in the coming months. The federal government is exploring how to address: 

  • Planned obsolescence, which is when manufacturers intentionally create products that break quickly; 
  • The merits of a durability index, which could help Canadians better understand how long their device is expected to last; and 
  • If there is the need for further federal legislative changes to support right to repair. 

Skills and labour  

To encourage more people to pursue a career in the skilled trades, the federal government is creating apprenticeship opportunities to train and recruit the next generation of skilled trades workers. Budget 2024 proposes to provide $100 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, to Employment and Social Development Canada for the following: 

  • $90 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, for the Apprenticeship Service to help create placements with small and medium-sized enterprises for apprentices. Of this amount, $10 million in 2025-26 would be sourced from existing departmental resources. 
  • $10 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, for the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness Program to encourage Canadians to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades. This funding would be sourced from existing departmental resources. 

To make it easier for young people who hope to start a career in the skilled trades, in addition to interest-free Canada Apprentice Loan and Employment Insurance Regular Benefits for apprentices on full-time technical training, the government will continue explore options to make apprenticeships more affordable. 

To create more work-integrated learning opportunities for postsecondary students, Budget 2024 proposes to provide $207.6 million in 2025-26, to Employment and Social Development Canada for the Student Work Placement Program, which supports practical, hands-on learning and connections with employers. 

To help younger Canadians pursue and achieve their dreams, the government is investing to create more youth job opportunities and ensure hard work pays off for the next generation. To create 90,000 youth job placements and employment support opportunities, Budget 2024 proposes to provide $351.2 million in 2025-26, for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. These investments in youth job opportunities include: 

  • $200.5 million in 2025-26, for Canada Summer Jobs to provide well-paying summer job opportunities, including in sectors facing critical labour shortages, such as housing construction; and, 
  • $150.7 million in 2025-26, for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program to provide job placements and employment supports to youth. 

Auto theft 

The government is cracking down on auto theft with a robust plan to make it harder to steal vehicles and to export stolen vehicles. Budget 2024 announces the government’s intent to amend the Criminal Code to provide additional tools for law enforcement and prosecutors to address auto theft. These include: 

  • New criminal offences related to auto theft involving the use of violence or links to organized crime; possession or distribution of an electronic or digital device for the purposes of committing auto theft; and laundering proceeds of crime for the benefit of a criminal organization; and, 
  • A new aggravating factor at sentencing if an offender involved a young person in committing an offence under the Criminal Code

Budget 2024 also announces the government’s intention to amend the Radiocommunication Act to regulate the sale, possession, distribution, and import of devices used to steal cars. This will enable law enforcement agencies to remove devices believed to be used to steal cars from the Canadian marketplace. 

Electric vehicles 

Budget 2024 announces the government’s intention to introduce a new 10 per cent Electric Vehicle Supply Chain investment tax credit on the cost of buildings used in key segments of the electric vehicle supply chain, for businesses that invest in Canada across three supply chain segments: electric vehicle assembly; electric vehicle battery production; and, cathode active material production. 

Budget 2024 also proposes to provide $607.9 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, to Transport Canada to top-up the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles program.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *