skip to Main Content

What Finance Canada Said

Canada Growth Fund’s Fourth Investment Announcement

Deputy Prime Minister welcomes the Canada Growth Fund’s fourth investment

On June 11, 2024, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced the Canada Growth Fund’s fourth investment, marking its second carbon contract for difference. This investment supports Varme Energy Inc., an Edmonton-based company, in developing Canada’s first abated waste-to-energy project with carbon capture and storage, in collaboration with Gibson Energy Inc.

Investment Overview

The Canada Growth Fund has committed to purchasing up to 200,000 tonnes per year of carbon credits for 15 years at $85 per tonne, escalating over time. This agreement aims to de-risk emissions-reducing investments by guaranteeing a fixed purchase price for carbon credits, providing financial certainty for Varme’s project.

Critical Perspective

While the government touts this investment as a significant step towards net-zero emissions by 2050, several concerns warrant a more conservative analysis:

  1. Economic Viability and Long-Term Costs:
    • The initial price of $85 per tonne of carbon credits raises questions about the long-term economic viability of such investments. Given the 15-year commitment, the escalating costs could become a substantial financial burden on the government and, by extension, taxpayers.
  2. Technological and Operational Risks:
    • Waste-to-energy projects with integrated carbon capture are still relatively unproven on a large scale. The operational risks associated with new technologies could lead to unforeseen challenges and additional costs. The effectiveness and reliability of carbon capture technology remain debated within the scientific community.
  3. Impact on Energy Costs:
    • While the project aims to lower home energy costs, the high initial and ongoing investment costs might counteract these benefits. The actual impact on energy prices needs to be critically evaluated, considering potential hidden costs and market fluctuations.
  4. Environmental Concerns:
    • Waste-to-energy processes, even with carbon capture, may not fully address environmental concerns. Incineration can still produce pollutants, and the efficacy of carbon capture in mitigating these emissions is not guaranteed. Long-term environmental impacts need thorough examination.
  5. Job Creation and Economic Growth:
    • The government emphasizes job creation and economic growth, yet the projected number of jobs and their sustainability is unclear. The transition to a clean energy economy should be balanced with realistic assessments of job market shifts and potential job losses in traditional energy sectors.


The Canada Growth Fund’s investment in Varme Energy Inc.’s waste-to-energy project with carbon capture technology is presented as a forward-thinking step towards a sustainable future. However, a conservative analysis reveals several underlying concerns, from economic viability and technological risks to actual environmental and cost benefits. While innovation and investment in clean technology are crucial, they must be approached with caution, ensuring thorough risk assessments and transparent evaluations of long-term impacts.

Budget 2024 Housing Initiatives

Budget 2024: Building 4 million homes, protecting renters, and making it easier to buy a home

On June 11, 2024, the Department of Finance Canada unveiled significant measures in Budget 2024 aimed at addressing the housing crisis and promoting homeownership, particularly for younger Canadians. The budget outlines a comprehensive plan to build nearly 4 million new homes, protect renters, and make it easier to buy a home through various initiatives, including the introduction of 30-year mortgages for first-time buyers of new builds. However, several tax policy changes, including an increased capital gains inclusion rate, could undermine these initiatives by decreasing private sector investment in housing.

Key Initiatives and Critical Perspective

  1. Building Nearly 4 Million New Homes:
    • Overview: The government’s ambitious plan aims to construct nearly 4 million new homes to address the housing supply shortage.
    • Critical View: While the target is commendable, the practicalities of achieving this goal within a reasonable timeframe remain questionable. Past government housing initiatives have often fallen short of their targets due to bureaucratic delays, funding issues, and regulatory hurdles. The plan’s reliance on collaboration with multiple stakeholders, including municipalities and private developers, adds complexity and potential bottlenecks.
  2. Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights:
    • Overview: The introduction of a Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights seeks to protect renters from unfair practices and improve transparency in rental agreements.
    • Critical View: This initiative, while well-intentioned, could face significant implementation challenges. Housing policies are often deeply rooted in provincial and municipal jurisdictions, leading to potential conflicts and delays in enforcement. Additionally, increased regulation might inadvertently discourage investment in rental properties, exacerbating the housing supply problem.
  3. 30-Year Mortgages for First-Time Buyers:
    • Overview: Starting August 1, 2024, the Canadian Mortgage Charter will allow 30-year mortgages for first-time buyers of new builds, aimed at reducing monthly payments and making homeownership more accessible.
    • Critical View: Extending mortgage amortization periods may provide short-term relief by lowering monthly payments, but it also extends the debt burden on young homeowners. This could lead to increased long-term financial strain, especially if interest rates rise. The policy might also inflate housing prices further, as buyers could be willing to pay more with lower monthly payments, counteracting the intended affordability benefits.
  4. Tax Fairness and Increased Capital Gains Tax:
    • Overview: The government plans to fund these housing initiatives by increasing capital gains taxes on the wealthiest 0.13% of Canadians.
    • Critical View: Increasing the capital gains inclusion rate and overall tax burden on high-net-worth individuals may discourage investment in the housing market. Real estate investors, crucial for financing new developments and maintaining rental stock, may seek more favorable investment environments, reducing the availability of private capital for housing projects. This could lead to slower growth in housing supply, exacerbating the very issues the budget aims to address.
  5. Public Lands for Homes Plan:
    • Overview: This plan aims to build affordable housing on surplus public lands across federal, provincial, and municipal portfolios.
    • Critical View: Leveraging public lands for housing development is a positive step, but the process of identifying, repurposing, and developing these lands is fraught with legal, logistical, and environmental challenges. Ensuring long-term affordability and proper allocation of these homes will require stringent oversight and effective coordination among various government levels.


Budget 2024 introduces bold initiatives to tackle Canada’s housing crisis and promote generational fairness in homeownership. However, a critical analysis reveals several potential pitfalls in the execution and long-term impacts of these policies. While the government’s intentions are laudable, the practicality of achieving such ambitious targets, the unintended economic consequences, and the bureaucratic and regulatory challenges necessitate cautious optimism. Additionally, the increased capital gains inclusion rate and other tax policy changes could decrease the incentive for private sector investment in housing, potentially undermining efforts to expand the housing supply. Effective implementation, continuous oversight, and adaptability to evolving market conditions will be crucial for these measures to succeed in delivering their promised benefits to Canadians.

Analysis of IMF’s Positive Review of Canadian Economy in Relation to Budget 2024

Deputy Prime Minister welcomes International Monetary Fund’s positive review of Canadian economy

On June 11, 2024, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, welcomed the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s positive review following the 2024 Article IV Mission. The IMF’s report endorses several key aspects of Budget 2024, including its ambitious housing plan, tax fairness measures, and Canada’s strong fiscal credibility. However, while the IMF’s endorsement provides a positive outlook, a more critical analysis reveals significant issues and challenges in these policies, particularly concerning tax policies, housing investments, and economic risks highlighted by the IMF.

Key Points from IMF Review and Critical Perspective

  1. Ambitious Housing Plan:
    • Overview: The IMF commends the federal government’s plan to build nearly 4 million homes, noting it is expected to produce results over time. The IMF encourages the federal government to incentivize municipalities and calls on provinces to take bolder actions.
    • Critical View: Although the plan’s goals are ambitious, achieving them involves overcoming significant bureaucratic, regulatory, and financial obstacles. The reliance on municipal and provincial cooperation, which can be inconsistent and slow, poses a major risk to timely implementation. Additionally, the complexity and scale of this plan may lead to delays and increased costs, potentially undermining the housing affordability objectives. Furthermore, increased capital gains taxes may disincentivize private sector investment in housing, exacerbating supply issues.
  2. Tax Fairness and Increased Capital Gains Inclusion Rate:
    • Overview: Budget 2024 increases the capital gains inclusion rate from one-half to two-thirds for gains above $250,000 per year, aiming to improve tax system neutrality.
    • Critical View: This increase in capital gains taxes may discourage private sector investment in housing. Real estate investors, crucial for financing and developing new housing projects, may seek more favorable investment environments, reducing the availability of private capital for housing projects. This could lead to a slowdown in new housing developments and exacerbate the housing supply shortage, counteracting the government’s ambitious housing goals.
  3. Economic Risks and Inflation:
    • Overview: The IMF notes Canada’s strong economic performance, avoiding a predicted recession, and projects strong GDP growth for 2024 and 2025. However, risks include persistent inflation, housing market corrections, and global uncertainties.
    • Critical View: While Canada’s current economic performance is robust, the IMF highlights several risks that could impact future growth. Persistent inflation and the potential need for higher interest rates could slow economic growth and exacerbate housing market corrections. Additionally, external factors such as global conflicts, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, pose significant risks to Canada’s economic outlook. Prolonged conflicts and commodity price volatility could disrupt trade and economic stability.
  4. Affordable Early Learning and Child Care:
    • Overview: The IMF supports the government’s Canada-wide affordable early learning and child care program, noting its potential to boost female labour force participation.
    • Critical View: While increasing female labour force participation is a positive goal, the implementation of affordable child care programs requires significant investment and careful management. There is a need to address the shortage of early childhood educators and build more child care centers. Without adequate investment and efficient execution, the benefits of this program may not be fully realized, potentially limiting its positive impact on labour force participation.
  5. Carbon Pricing and Climate Policies:
    • Overview: The IMF praises Canada’s carbon pricing strategy as crucial for meeting emissions reduction targets and calls for greater coordination among different government levels.
    • Critical View: Effective carbon pricing and climate policies are essential, but their success depends on comprehensive and coordinated implementation across federal, provincial, and municipal levels. Disparities in climate policies and priorities among provinces can hinder the overall effectiveness of national climate strategies. Additionally, the economic impact of these policies on industries and consumers needs careful consideration to avoid adverse effects.

What Does the IMF Do for Canada?

The IMF’s primary responsibilities are to promote international monetary cooperation, facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade, and promote exchange rate stability. However, current Canadian policies supported by the IMF are not effectively addressing these areas:

  • Monetary Cooperation: Despite the IMF’s support, Canada’s increased capital gains tax may discourage international investors, potentially undermining monetary cooperation and reducing foreign investment in key sectors.
  • Balanced Growth of International Trade: Global conflicts and commodity price volatility, highlighted by the IMF, pose significant risks to Canada’s trade stability. Current policies do not adequately address these external threats.
  • Exchange Rate Stability: Persistent inflation and the potential need for higher interest rates could destabilize the Canadian dollar, impacting exchange rate stability and economic predictability.


While the IMF’s positive review of Canada’s economic policies under Budget 2024 is encouraging, a critical analysis highlights several significant pitfalls. The ambitious housing plan faces substantial implementation challenges, and increased capital gains taxes may deter private sector investment in housing. Persistent inflation, housing market corrections, and global uncertainties pose significant risks to Canada’s economic outlook. Current policies, despite IMF endorsement, fall short in promoting international monetary cooperation, balanced trade growth, and exchange rate stability. As Canada strives to build an inclusive and resilient economy, continuous oversight, adaptive strategies, and a reconsideration of key policies will be crucial to addressing these challenges and ensuring sustainable growth for all generations.

Canada-U.S. Energy Transformation Task Force and Mineral Sector Investments

Canada and the United States extend bilateral energy transformation task force for an additional year, announce new mineral sector investments

On May 16, 2024, the Department of Finance Canada and the White House announced the extension of the Canada-U.S. Energy Transformation Task Force (ETTF) for an additional year. This initiative, originally launched in March 2023 by President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau, aims to enhance cooperation on critical clean energy opportunities and supply chains. However, despite the positive announcements, a more critical perspective reveals significant shortcomings in addressing the mineral sector’s needs and ensuring substantial progress towards energy transformation.

Key Announcements and Critical Perspective

  1. Extension of the Energy Transformation Task Force:
    • Overview: The ETTF is renewed for another year to accelerate cooperation on clean energy and supply chains, including renewable energy, electric vehicles, critical minerals, and nuclear energy.
    • Critical View: While the task force’s extension signifies ongoing collaboration, the results from the first year have been underwhelming. Convening industry roundtables and promoting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards are steps in the right direction, but they fall short of tangible, large-scale advancements. The delay in implementing significant projects and investments raises concerns about the efficacy and urgency of the ETTF’s efforts.
  2. Critical Minerals Investments:
    • Overview: The U.S. Department of Defense announced US$14.8 million (C$20 million) in awards to Canadian companies Fortune Minerals Limited and Lomiko Metals, Inc., with additional funding from Natural Resources Canada.
    • Critical View: The announced investments in critical minerals, while beneficial, are relatively modest given the scale of the challenge. The global race to secure critical minerals is intensifying, and these investments are insufficient to position Canada as a leader. More aggressive and comprehensive strategies are needed to develop resilient and sustainable supply chains, especially considering the increasing demand for these minerals in advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and defense sectors.
  3. Civil Nuclear Supply Chains:
    • Overview: The ETTF has promoted the development of secure nuclear fuel supply chains and announced a multilateral pledge at COP28 for US$4.2 billion in investment in enrichment and conversion capacity.
    • Critical View: The focus on nuclear energy and fuel supply chains is crucial, but the progress remains slow. The 10-year, C$4 billion green bond issued by Canada, while pioneering, represents a long-term commitment that may not yield immediate benefits. The delay in concrete measures and the over-reliance on future investments highlight a lack of urgency in addressing current nuclear energy needs. Additionally, the exclusion of Russian influence is essential, but it requires a more robust and immediate strategy to ensure energy security.
  4. Decarbonizing Steel and Aluminum:
    • Overview: Canada and the U.S. are investing in decarbonizing energy-intensive industries, recognizing the importance of green steel and aluminum in the clean economy.
    • Critical View: The initiatives to decarbonize steel and aluminum are commendable, but the scope and scale of investments need expansion. The current efforts are fragmented and lack a comprehensive plan to achieve significant decarbonization across the sector. Collaboration between the two countries must intensify, with clearer targets and timelines to promote U.S.-Canada trade in green materials effectively.

Insufficient Efforts in the Mineral Sector

The IMF’s primary responsibilities include promoting international monetary cooperation, facilitating balanced growth of international trade, and promoting exchange rate stability. However, the current policies supported by the ETTF and mineral sector investments are not sufficiently addressing these areas:

  • Monetary Cooperation: The modest investments in critical minerals do not position Canada to effectively collaborate internationally or leverage its resources for significant global influence.
  • Balanced Trade Growth: The slow progress in energy transformation and insufficient mineral investments hinder Canada’s ability to contribute robustly to balanced international trade growth.
  • Exchange Rate Stability: The lack of aggressive investment and immediate action in critical sectors could impact economic stability, thereby affecting exchange rate stability.


The extension of the Canada-U.S. Energy Transformation Task Force and the new mineral sector investments are steps in the right direction but fall short of what is needed for substantial progress. The current efforts lack urgency and scale, particularly in the critical minerals sector, which is vital for the clean energy transition. The modest investments and slow progress highlight a need for more aggressive and comprehensive strategies. For Canada to effectively contribute to international monetary cooperation, balanced trade growth, and exchange rate stability, significant improvements in policy implementation and investment scale are ess

This information is for discussion purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. There is no guarantee or warrant of information on this site and it should be noted that rules and laws change regularly. You should consult a professional before considering implementing or taking any action based on information on this site. Call our team for a consultation before taking any action. ©2024 Shajani CPA.

Shajani CPA is a CPA Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer firm and provides Accountant, Bookkeeping, Tax Advice and Tax Planning service.

Trusts – Estate Planning – Tax Advisory – Tax Law – T2200 – T5108 – Audit Shield – Corporate Tax – Personal Tax – CRA – CPA Alberta – Russell Bedford – Income Tax – Family Owned Business – Alberta Business – Expenses – Audits – Reviews – Compilations – Mergers – Acquisitions – Cash Flow Management – QuickBooks – Ai Accounting – Automation – Startups – Litigation Support – International Tax – US Tax – Business Succession Planning – Business Purchase – Sale of Business

Nizam Shajani, Partner, LLM, CPA, CA, TEP, MBA

I enjoy formulating plans that help my clients meet their objectives. It's this sense of pride in service that facilitates client success which forms the culture of Shajani CPA.

Shajani Professional Accountants has offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. We’re here to support you in all of your personal and business tax and other accounting needs.