Cryptocurrency Review, Free Stamps – and Other Things You May Have Missed in the Budget

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland released her second federal budget on Thursday — a 280-page, multibillion-dollar plan focused on cooling Canada’s housing market, increasing defense spending and transitioning to an economy greener.

But these are not the only items in the federal government’s new financial plan. Here are some of the less publicized pledges and budget funding initiatives.

Financial crime

Budget 2022 promises to establish a new Financial Crimes Agency of Canada, which Ottawa says will “become Canada’s premier law enforcement agency in this area.”

It is unclear how this new agency would work with the RCMP – which already operates a financial crimes unit – and with other police forces. diverts the RCMP from its federal policing obligations.

Budget 2022 would give the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness $2 million in that fiscal year to expand the new agency.

The government said further details will be announced in the fall 2022 economic and fiscal update.

Digital currencies

The federal government promises to launch a legislative review of “digitalizing money and maintaining the stability and security of the financial sector”.

A pedestrian walks past signage for Ethereum and Bitcoin outside a digital currency trading store in Hong Kong. (Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

According to the budget document, the first phase of the review will focus on digital currencies, or cryptocurrencies, and stablecoins — digital currencies that peg their market value to an external standard like the US dollar.

“Over the past few months, for example, there have been a number of high-profile examples – both around the world and here in Canada – where digital assets and cryptocurrencies have been used to avoid sanctions. world and fund illegal activities,” the budget states. document.

The Department of Finance will receive $17.7 over five years to review the digital currency sector, including the potential need for a central bank digital currency in Canada.

Help getting menstrual products

Calling access to menstrual products a “basic necessity,” the federal budget says the government will launch a national pilot project to make menstrual products more accessible to Canadians in need.

Women and Gender Equality Canada will receive $25 million over two years, starting in fiscal year 2022-2023, for the “Menstrual Fairness Fund”.

The federal government has declared that menstrual products are “a basic necessity”. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

“The federal government is committed to removing affordability and stigma barriers that some Canadians face when accessing menstrual products,” the budget reads.

This follows a promise the Liberal government made last year to make menstrual products available free of charge in all schools on reserves.

A vaping tax

After the government promised to tax vaping products in last year’s budget, this year’s budget finally gave us an implementation date: October 1 of this year.

The proposed federal excise duty rate would be $1 per 2ml (or fraction thereof) for containers containing less than 10ml of vaping liquid. For containers larger than 10ml, the applicable federal rate would be $5 for the first 10ml and $1 for each additional 10ml (or fraction thereof).

After promising to tax vaping products in last year’s budget, there is finally an implementation date: October 1 of this year. (Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

According to government projections, the vaping tax is expected to raise $654 million over five years.

Effective July 1, Budget 2022 will also eliminate the excise duty on low-alcohol beer – that is, beer containing no more than 0.5% alcohol by volume – to bring it in line with low alcohol wines and spirits.

Tax credit for future parents

Canadians looking to start a family could get help at tax time.

The budget allows individuals to claim medical expenses related to surrogacy or sperm, egg or embryo donation incurred in Canada in 2022 and subsequent tax years.

The budget offers new tax relief for various fertility procedures. (Callaghan O’Hare/Reuters)

This includes costs that have been reimbursed to a surrogate mother for in vitro fertilization costs.

Budget 2022 also makes fees paid to fertility clinics and donor banks in Canada to obtain sperm and eggs eligible for the medical expense tax credit.

“Whether they’re dealing with fertility issues, part of a same-sex couple, or just want to be able to be a mother or father on their own terms, some Canadians rely on surrogacy and costly procedures to found the family they dream of. “, says the budget document.

Tax relief for traveling construction workers

The budget introduces a “labour mobility deduction,” which would provide tax recognition of up to $4,000 per year in eligible travel and temporary relocation expenses for qualifying tradespeople and apprentices. This measure would apply to the 2022 and subsequent taxation years.

The government said it was aimed at workers in the construction trades who often travel to take temporary jobs, often in rural and remote communities.

“Improving labor mobility for workers in the construction trades can help address labor shortages and ensure that important projects, like housing, can be completed across the country. the country,” reads the budget document.

Foreign diplomas in the health sector

Recognizing labor shortages in Canada’s health care sector, the government promises to work with internationally trained health professionals to fill these gaps.

Budget 2022 provides $115 million over five years, and $30 million per year ongoing, to help up to 11,000 internationally trained health professionals each year get their credentials recognized and find work in their field.

The government has said it will also support programs, including standardized national exams, to reduce barriers to foreign credential recognition for healthcare professionals.

Tax credit for the renovation of a multigenerational home

For those who want or need to have different generations of a family living under the same roof, the government is promising to set aside money to help these Canadians upgrade their homes.

Budget 2022 offers a “Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit,” which would provide a homeowner with up to $7,500 to build a secondary suite for a senior or adult with a disability.

The 2022 budget introduces a “multigenerational home renovation tax credit”. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Starting in 2023, this refundable credit would allow families to claim 15% of up to $50,000 in eligible renovation and construction costs incurred for the construction of a secondary suite.

High frequency railway line

For years, governments have been talking about connecting the cities of Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec to high frequency rail service. The budget promises to move this project forward.

The budget provides $396.8 million over two years to Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada for “planning and design stages” to run frequent trains between Toronto and Quebec.