Canada-wide Update | Highlights

February 20, 2024


Highlights from Crestview Strategy’s weekly Canada-wide newsletter:


Alberta refuses to release responses to government’s pension plan survey

Alberta’s Ministry of Finance has denied a freedom of information (FOIP) request submitted by Postmedia, which asked for the government to release responses to its survey on a potential Alberta pension plan. The survey was criticized for its design, and the ministry cited the FOIP Act as a reason to withhold the information. Other ministries have provided data in response to FOIP requests around the pension plan survey. Also, this week, it was announced that Alberta is expecting to receive a federal estimate of its entitlement of Canada Pension Plan by fall, which the Chief Actuary is calculating. Alberta’s Finance Minister Nate Horner indicated that a panel will be formed this spring to determine the province’s share, with the final calculation expected in the fall. The government has highlighted that they understand Albertans’ demand for details on the financial implications of leaving the CPP.

Atlantic Canada

Major infrastructure investments planned across Atlantic Canada

Nova Scotia unveiled its 2024-25 Capital Plan which includes more than $1.6 billion for hospitals, public housing, schools, roads and highways across the province.  The federal and provincial governments also announced more than $21 million for four projects to upgrade approximately 149 kilometres of roads and connect communities across Prince Edward Island.  In Newfoundland and Labrador,  Transportation and Infrastructure Minister John Abbott has confirmed for the first time, there are plans to develop a major highway project through a public-private partnership (P3) replacing unionized government road crews. The announcement drew sharp criticism from the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), who are not prepared to accept the decision.  In addition, the Canada Infrastructure Bank committed$138.2 million to support the development of Atlantic Canada’s largest planned energy storage project.  Subject to regulatory approvals, the project is a collaboration between Nova Scotia Power and Wskijinu’k Mtmo’taqnuow Agency Ltd., an economic limited partnership owned by 13 Mi’kmaw communities, and will see the construction and deployment of energy storage facilities White Rock, Bridgewater and Waverley, NS.

British Columbia

B.C. and Ottawa reach $733 million in federal health funding for seniors

B.C.’s seniors advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, welcomes the newly announced federal funding of $733 million over five years for seniors’ health care in British Columbia. She is particularly excited about the promise to support seniors at home and hopes some of the funds will be allocated to cover home-support payments for the 70 per cent of B.C. seniors who don’t qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement. The funding aims to expand home and community care, improve access to palliative and end-of-life services, and enhance the quality of long-term care. Health Minister Mark Holland emphasized the need to meet the challenges of an aging population, and the agreement marks a significant step in improving the health-care system, particularly for seniors.


Ontario to repeal wage-cap law after Appeal Court rules Ford government’s Bill 124 unconstitutional.

The Ford government announced it will not pursue another court appeal and will now shift to repeal Bill 124 in the coming weeks.Introduced in 2019, the law limits annual salary increases for many parts of the public sector in Ontario. According to the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario, Bill 124 will cost a total of about $13.7 billion.


Feds will stop investing in ‘large’ road projects, environment minister says

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeaultstated on Monday that the federal government would cease investing in new road infrastructure, sparking criticism from Conservative opposition members and some premiers. Guilbeault later clarified that the government would still fund roads but not large-scale projects like Quebec City’s third link. He emphasized the government’s focus on promoting public transportation and active transit as part of its efforts to combat climate change. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed the government’s commitment to investing in infrastructure, defending its track record on projects such as bridges and highways. Conservative leaders condemned Guilbeault’s remarks, with Ontario Premier Doug Ford expressing astonishment and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith criticizing his perceived disconnect from the needs of suburban and rural Canadians.


Toronto city council approves 9.5% property tax hike, along with $20M police budget increase

On Wednesday, Toronto City Council approved the city’s largest property tax hike in more than 25 years, alongside a $20-million increase to the police budget. During a special budget meeting, council members voted in favour of a 9.5 per cent residential property tax hike, a rate proposed by Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow. This increase comprises an eight percent uptick in property taxes and a 1.5 percent surge in the city building fund levy for residential properties. Chow assured that at least half of tenants won’t face rent hikes due to the approved budget. Additionally, she vowed not to utilize her authority under the “strong mayor” legislation established by Premier Doug Ford’s government, a measure granting her veto power over any alterations to her budget by the city council.


To stay informed on the latest in Canadian current affairs and access top stories subscribe to our weekly newsletter

book a call

Get in touch with our team so we can craft a solution tailored to achieve your strategic objectives.

Book a call