Aboriginal Tax Policy

In successive budgets since 1997, the Federal Government has expressed its willingness to put into effect taxation arrangements with interested Aboriginal governments. To date, the Federal Government has entered into more than 50 taxation arrangements in respect of sales tax and personal income tax with Aboriginal governments. The Budget reiterates the Federal Government’s willingness to enter into agreements with Aboriginal Governments in respect of sales tax and personal income tax.

The Budget also indicates the support of the Federal Government for, and the willingness to facilitate, direct taxation arrangements between interested provinces or territories and Aboriginal governments.

The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (“ASETS”) helps Indigenous Peoples in all parts of the country get the skills and training they need to fully participate in the economy and contribute to the success of their communities. To ensure that programming continues to meet the needs of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, Budget 2017 indicates that the Federal Government will work with Indigenous organizations, employers, educational institutions and other stakeholders in the coming year to renew and improve ASETS. The Budget proposes to invest $50 million in 2017–18 in ASETS, which includes new funding, the investment made in Budget 2016, as well as additional reallocated resources from other programming that support skills and training more generally. These investments will provide ASETS service providers with added capacity to meet the growing demand from Indigenous Peoples for skills development and job training.

Customs Tariff and Special Import Measures

Improving Market Access for the World’s Least Developed Countries

The Budget proposes changes to the rules of origin under Canada’s tariff regime for least developed countries in order to allow for the importation of more apparel products from the world’s poorest countries on a duty-free basis. The General Preferential Tariff and Least Developed Country Tariff Rules of Origin Regulations will be amended to allow least developed countries to use manufacturing inputs sourced and processed in an expanded list of countries in the production of T-shirts and pants that qualify for duty-free importation into Canada.

Trade Remedy System

The Budget proposes amendments to the Special Import Measures Act to strengthen Canada’s trade remedy system and keep Canada aligned with international trade rules. The proposed amendments will: (a) allow domestic producers to file complaints regarding practices specifically intended to avoid trade remedy duties; (b) permit interested parties to request the CBSA to conduct a formal review to determine whether a specific product falls within the scope of a trade remedy measure; (c) ensure that labour unions can participate in trade remedy proceedings; (d) provide greater discretion to the Canada Border Services Agency when assessing the reliability of prices in an exporting country during anti-dumping investigations; and (e) ensure Canada’s compliance with WTO rules through laws in respect of exporters found to be dumping at de minimis levels.