2015 federal budget gets an A from CFIB

Plus, cooling commodities and plane talk

Budget business
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) liked Tuesday’s budget, which will reduce the tax burden on small businesses. The small business corporate tax will fall from 11 to 9 per cent over the next four years, and the lifetime capital gains exemption for farmers and fishers will immediately increase to $1 million, both of which were on the CFIB’s wish list.

CFIB also lauds the budget’s provision for an accelerated capital cost allowance for manufacturers for the next 10 years; measures to reduce red tape; review of passive income rules preventing owners of campgrounds and self-storage facilities from accessing the lower small business corporate tax rate; and lower EI rates through the small business job credit with larger premium cuts to start in 2017.

Other business-related measures include tax breaks and assistance for women entrepreneurs; $14 million over two years for the Futurpreneur Canada program to help younger business (dependent on matching funds from non-federal sources); bringing interns under the Canada Labour Code; investment in advancing science, technology and innovation through the Canada Foundation for Innovation; and municipalities will receive $750 million over two years for a new public transit fund delivered through alternative funding mechanisms with the private sector; but the government is closing yet another coast guard station, this time in Ucluelet.

Not-so-hot commodities
Vancouver-based Teck Resources has cut its semi-annual dividend to 15 cents per share from 45 cents due to cooling commodity markets. In the first quarter of 2015, average realized prices for copper fell to $2.64 per pound from $3.19 during the same period a year ago, and average realized prices for coal decreased to $106 per tonne compared to $131 in 2014. Coal prices have been affected by weakening demand in China and increased supply from Australian mines.

Up in the air 
On April 22, YVR CEO Craig Richmond, WestJet VP of environment, fuel and government affairs Mike McNaney and Air Canada VP of corporate strategy, industry and government affairs will speak at the inaugural Vancouver Board of Trade Aviation Forum: Enabling B.C.’s economy to take flight. Meanwhile, the H.Y. Louie Group, which owns London Drugs, is selling its private jet charter firm London Air Services, reports the Vancouver Sun. And a Langley couple is grounded while they try to get Sunwing to honour a flight voucher issued after a hurricane ruined their Mexican vacation, according to CTV.