A Federal Budget First: St. Catharines Front and Center!

Dykstra welcomes budget measure that ensures long term viability of local shipyard

St. Catharines – MP Rick Dykstra says today’s budget is more proof that St. Catharines is back on the political landscape in Ottawa.Included in today’s budget, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s eighth since the Conservatives took office in 2006, is up to $5 million in 2013-14 to support the rehabilitation of the Port Weller Dry Docks.

Dykstra says this is great news for our community.  “After a lot of hard work, Seaway Marine and Industrial and the Federal government can say we did it together”, said Dykstra.  “The long term benefits of this investment to St. Catharines and Niagara will be huge.”

“We are absolutely delighted that the Federal Government has highlighted the dry docks as a strategic asset servicing the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes Marine Sector”, said Richard Bertrand, President & CEO of Seaway Marine & Industrial Inc. “The funding to replace the dry dock gates will go a long way towards ensuring the continued viability of the shipyard. There can be no doubt that this critical piece of infrastructure will contribute greatly towards a sustainable marine sector in the Niagara Region for generations to come.”

Highlights of Budget 2013

Supporting Families and Communities

• $600 million across Canada to the Homelessness Partnering Strategy using a “Housing First” approach
• $1.25 billion to support investments in affordable housing
• Over 37,000 families in St. Catharines could benefit from $76 million in annual tariff relief on baby clothing and sports and athletic equipment to reduce the gap in retail prices that Canadian consumers pay compared to those in the US,
• Doubling the reimbursement rate to $7,376 for the Funeral and Burial Program for Veterans
• Enhancing new tax relief for families adopting a child and those using home-care services
• Bringing in a new consumer code to better protect Canadians using financial products
• Investing $4 million to even better monitor ‘ballast water’ discharged at ports and harbours in Ontario and across Canada

Investing in Infrastructure

• $32.2 billion over 10 years in Community Improvement Fund funded through Gas Tax Fund Payments and under the incremental GST rebate,  meaning $40 million for St. Catharines over 10 years
• New Building Canada Fund – $14 billion over 10 years to support major economic infrastructure projects
• P3 Canada Fund – renewal of the P3 Canada Fund at $1.25 billion over 5 years

Investment in Skilled Trades (Connecting Canadians with available Jobs)

• The Canada Job Grant will provide up to $15,000 per person in Ontario with combined federal, provincial/territorial and employer funding to help them get the skills they need for in-demand jobs.
• Supporting an additional 5,000 paid internships for recent post-secondary graduates and the use of apprentices in federal construction and maintenance contracts

Supporting Industry and Business Innovation

• $920 million in renewed FedDev funding  (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)
• As part of this, $200 million will be invested in a new Advanced Manufacturing Fund
• $250 million to renew the Automotive Innovation Fund
• 2 year extension of the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance for new investment in machinery and equipment in manufacturing
• Extending and expanding the temporary hiring credit for small business for one year
• Increasing and indexing the lifetime capital gains exemption to $800,000 (from $750,000)
• Investing $20 million to help SMEs access research and business development services at local universities and colleges