Canadian Federal Election 2019: Potential Funding Impacts

Disclaimer: This article does not endorse a specific political party or Prime Minister nominee.

The Canadian Federal Election is scheduled for Fall 2019. Incumbent Prime Minister Trudeau will be going up against the Conservative Party’s Andrew Sheer, New Democrat Jagmeet Singh, and the Green Party’s Elizabeth May representing the main candidates.

The election will be contentious, and at the time of writing it’s hard to know what the outcome will be. In this article, we’ll look at some of the more likely outcomes to see how the election may impact the Canadian government funding landscape going forward.

Outcome 1: Liberals Hold the Government

If the Liberals are able to hold leadership and maintain either a majority or minority government, then it’s likely that they’ll continue with their existing mandate. This means that funding programs will be established that focus more on clean technology, R&D and innovation, and the creation of high-skilled jobs.

In this case, it’s also safe to expect that the Federal government will continue to allocate funding to manage provincial funding gaps where there are competing mandates with a Provincial government.

Under the Trudeau government we’ve seen the creation of a number of large innovation-focused programs, such as the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), that we can expect to continue to receive funding. It’s also likely that we’ll see the continued consolidation of programs to help improve efficiency of how they’re managed, as exampled by how NRC’s mandate was increased to cover the gap left by modifying SIF to only focus on large programs.

Outcome 2: Conservatives Take Government

If the Conservative Party wins the Federal Election and forms government, we can expect several changes. Once the government formally takes power, new Ministers will be put in place, who will then oversee carrying out the Party’s mandate at a Department and Agency level. While at the time of writing, it’s too early to say exactly what the Conservative mandate looks like, it’s likely that there would be adjustments to funding programs.

Most likely would be the creation and/or expansion of programs focused on the natural resource (oil/gas) and dairy/agri-food sectors. Both represent very large industries throughout Canada where the Conservative party has shown interest in supporting in the past.

It’s also likely that several existing programs would be re-branded and re-launched under a new government.

Outcome 3: NDP Win and Form Government

Under this scenario, Canada would see its first Federal NDP government formed. This would likely bring about significant changes to the funding landscape. Historically NDP governments at the Provincial level have tended towards direct supports aimed at helping individuals as opposed to large scale investments in businesses.

Given how effective Canadian government funding is to economic development, it’s likely that an NDP government would continue a number of investment programs. Programs related to hiring, training, up-skilling, and job growth would likely be maintained or re-formed. It’s also likely that larger funding programs that support business would be modified and framed more around sustainable growth.

Federal Election 2019 Overall Impact on Funding

Any election in Canada at a provincial/territorial or federal level will bring about change to the business funding landscape, and this election looks no different. Direct government funding in business, however, is likely not going away as it has a large impact on Canadian economic development. By working with business and providing funding opportunities to reduce the risk of capital investment for business, government can help spur economic development and global competitiveness.

Stay Informed About Canadian Government Funding Updates

Canada’s new government will undoubtedly move to strengthen the business environment and make companies more competitive. There are many ways to achieve this, and businesses will now wait patiently to see what changes happen, and when.

For updates on business incentives, including Canadian government grants and loans, please subscribe to Mentor Works’ weekly Government Funding Snapshot™ newsletter.

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Mentor Works provides business support services related to Canadian government funding for business. By assessing our clients’ strategic objectives and innovation challenges, we are able to match optimal government grants for small businesses in Ontario, Canada, as well as loans and tax credits.

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