November 2nd, 2015
In the recent federal election, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals defeated Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party, earning a majority representation in the process. New governments often promise real change through the implementation of new policies or the removal of old ones, but many new Prime Ministers experience surprise at the lack of funding left by their predecessor. This often spurs a series of questions: what does this mean for government funding for businesses or homeowners? Are the same funding initiatives still available?
The Liberals have a detailed plan for the Canadian economy based on targeted investment, job creation, and economic growth. If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, read this article to discover what this change in government means for your business.
What are the impacts on Ontario government grants?
Keep in mind that we just underwent the federal election, not the provincial election! Ontario’s Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne remains in power as of writing. For Ontarians, this means that classic government funding programs such as the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF), Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF), and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation still exist.
These programs will all remain the same, because provincial ministers continue to offer final approval and sign contractual funding agreements for these initiatives and others like them.
Of course, there are various funding programs supported by both the federal and provincial government, such as Growing Forward 2. Major funding programs like Growing Forward 2 are the result of years of planning and multi-year contract agreements: while their renewal after the initial period is not guaranteed, the provinces still typically deliver this funding. Generally, the federal election has a minimal impact on these grants.
The affects of the election on Canadian government funding
There is no absolute degree of certainty for funds directly tied to the federal government. The FedDev initiative is an important example of such a program: it represents a major source of funding for Ontario businesses, but is it safe? Once again, however, a change of government will not overtly affect this funding initiative as FedDev operatives review and approve projects directly. As such, these programs continue to accept applications while they have funding available.
Two important branches of FedDev Ontario include Investing in Business Innovation and Investing in Business Growth and Productivity. Both of these government funding initiatives put application approval on hold during the election itself. The initial review takes place to prepare future projects once the new government assumes office. Newly elected Liberal officials will look at the applications they receive and respond accordingly.
Adapting to the new government
Just because you are seeing red in Canadian office does not mean you need to see red in general. Don’t fret: there are still plenty of government funding for business opportunities available for you. Remember that growth doesn’t happen without investment! The Liberals have a plan to grow the Canadian economy and GDP to help remove Canada from a current recession, but only time will tell if their approach is a successful one.
Nobody can predict exactly what that change might resemble, but our team at INAC can get you started in the right direction. We can help you find new or existing funding programs to help your business succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.