Hon. Chrystia Freeland Tables Budget Focused on Housing and Affordability Parks Funding Leans Away from Conservation

Budget Highlights: 

  • $52B in overall new spending
  • The government will run deficits through until 2028/29
  • Heavy emphasis overall on housing investments and new land use approaches to facilitate new housing construction.
  • Invest $156.7 million over five years, starting in 2024-2025, with $388.5 million in remaining amortization, to Parks Canada for capital investments.*
  • $2.5 million in 2024-2025 to continue supporting the Indigenous tourism m industry through the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.
  • Intention to establish a subsidiary of CMHC to deliver flood reinsurance. GoC will provide $15 million to CMHC in 2025-26 to advance the implementation of a national flood insurance program by 2025.
  • Provide $6.9 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $1.4 million ongoing for the Meteorological Service of Canada’s early warning system for extreme weather events, with a focus on floods and storm surges.
  • Starting in 2026-2027, provide $3 billion annually in permanent public transit funding for projects nationwide.

Funding amounts for Parks Canada don’t appear to have changed dramatically, in this budget. However,  Budget 2023 amounts were directed towards environmental protectionism, and Budget 2022 funded $55M for the Trans Canada trail (only a small part of the TC Trail goes through Banff and none in any other Mountain Parks). In comparison, Budget 2024 investments in Parks Canada are more geared towards items that are in line with AMPPE’s advocacy efforts such as infrastructure. 

In 2022 Parks Canada received $557M over three years for infrastructure through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program ($71M or 12.5% of that amount came to the seven Mountain Parks)

Parks Budget 2024

  • Invest $156.7 million over five years, starting in 2024-2025 ($31.3M/yr), with $388.5 million in remaining amortization, to Parks Canada for capital investments.

Parks Budget 2023

  • $151.9M over three years starting in 2023-24 to Fisheries and Oceans, Transport, Environment and Climate Chance, and Parks Can to protect endangered whales
  • $184M over three years starting in 2023-24 to Environment and Climate Change, Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, Natural Resources to monitor and protect the recovery of species at risk to help restore their populations.

Budget 2022

  • $55M over five years, starting in 2022-23, to the Parks Canada Agency for the Trans Canada Trail.
  • $2M over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Parks Canada to build new trails outside and connect to trains inside the urban park (Rouge National Urban Park).
  • $25M over three years starting in 2022-23 to Parks Canada to support commemorating and memorialising former residential school sites. 

From Global Public Affairs – 

With ongoing concerns over affordability, inflation, productivity and growth, as well as significant global security issues looming large in the background, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland tabled the federal government’s 2024 budget titled “Budget 2024: Fairness For Every Generation.” In total, the federal government’s economic roadmap outlines $52.9 billion in new spending over the next 5 years and projects a budget deficit of about $40 billion in the 2023-24 fiscal year. 

Much of the budget has been aimed at attempting to give hope to younger Canadians who have come of age during a tumultuous economic era and increasingly feel like middle-class stability is out of reach. 

The question on everyone’s mind leading up to today was how the federal government would fund new spending while maintaining the government’s fiscal goals outlined in last year’s Fall Economic Statement (FES) to cap the 2023-24 budget deficit at $40.1 billion. To offset some of the new spending, Minister Freeland is pitching fiscal policy changes the government suggests will generate roughly $21.9 billion in new revenue over the next five years. That money comes in part from higher capital gains taxes and a hike to excise taxes for cigarettes and vaping products. 

The result is a projected budget deficit of about $40 billion in the 2023-24 fiscal year, roughly what had been predicted. Interestingly, despite the Finance Minister appearing to leave the door open in recent days to the prospect of new corporate tax measures, the capital gains changes appear to be the only new corporate tax item. This will be met with some degree of relief by business, which had been pushing back in the name of not disincentivizing private sector investment and putting even more downward pressure on an already sensitive productivity situation in Canada.

The team at Global Public Affairs will be closely monitoring and will report further on important developments related to the 2024 budget as they arise.

Budget Highlights by Sector


Although the federal government has recently been talking up Canada’s domestic tourism industry, the primary investments of interest to the tourism industry extend employment insurance benefits and invest in Canada’s national parks infrastructure. Specifics include: 

  • $263.5 million over four years to extend temporary employment insurance (EI) support for seasonal workers in targeted regions.  
  • $156.7 million over five years, with $388.5 million in remaining amortization, to the Parks Canada Agency for capital investments in Canada’s national parks, national marine conservation areas, and historic sites. 
  • $2.5 million in 2024-25, to continue supporting the Indigenous tourism industry through the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.

Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities

Budget 2024’s transportation sector investments focus on the consumer as opposed to funding industry-facing infrastructure and related projects. Notably rail in particular gains significant investment, those being:  

  • $462.4 million over five years for VIA Rail network operations. 
  • $371.8 million over six years to VIA HFR-VIA TGF Inc. and Infrastructure Canada to advance the design and development of high frequency rail. 

Other transportation and infrastructure related highlights include: 

  • New measures to strengthen the transparency of fees for optional services charged by airlines, such as for seat selection, checked and carry-on baggage, meals on board, and in-flight entertainment. This will be done through collaboration with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) and airlines to ensure fees are clearly laid out.  
  • Amending the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPRs) to ensure airlines seat all children under the age of 14 next to their accompanying adult at no extra cost.$3.1 million over two years, starting in 2024-25; to enable the Labour Program at Employment and Social Development Canada to complete the second phase of its review, which will explore long-term solutions to minimize labour disputes, respect the collective bargaining process; and to secure the stability of Canada’s supply chains. This funding would be sourced from existing departmental resources. 
  • $500 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to Infrastructure Canada to support more projects through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program. 

Previously Announced Initiatives:  

  • $400 million top-up to the Housing Accelerator Fund. 
  • $1 billion for the Affordable Housing Fund. 
  • $1.5 billion to the new Canada Rental Protection Fund. 
  • $6 billion to the new Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund. 
  • $500 million to Infrastructure Canada to further the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program, a funding vehicle that has been of significant interest primarily to not-for-profits and municipalities around the country. 

Cultural Industries

  • Telefilm Canada is set to receive $100 million over two years, with another $16 million set aside for “public interest programming” services such as the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC). 
  • Local and regional festivals, which are still struggling to attract attendees following the COVID-19 pandemic, will receive $31 million over the next two years. 
  • $45 million is set aside for the National Arts Centre (NAC) in 2024-25. 
  • $10 million over two years, starting in 2024-25 for the Harbourfront Centre. 
  • $15 million in 2024-25 for the Shaw Festival.  
  • $10 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, for the book publishing industry. 
  • $10.6 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, for the Future of Sport in Canada Commission. 
  • $15 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, to help support community sport programming and reduce barriers to sport participation. 
  • $50 million over four years, starting in 2025-26, to support workers who may be impacted by AI, such as creative industries.  

Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program 

  • To advance Indigenous participation in major projects, Budget 2024 proposes to launch a sector-agnostic Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program, which will be capitalized with up to $5 billion in loan guarantees. 

Major Projects Approvals 

  • Establishes a new Federal Permitting Coordinator within the Privy Council Office’s Clean Growth Office and build a Federal Permitting Dashboard that reports on the status of large projects. 
  • Sets a target of five years or less to complete federal impact assessment and permitting processes for federally designated projects, and a target of two years or less for permitting of non-federally designated projects – government commits to a three-year target for nuclear project reviews. 
  • Commits to amend the Impact Assessment Act to respond to the October 2023 Supreme Court of Canada decision including engagement with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous leaders to ensure capacity and reduce the instances of duplicated processes.   


  • $200 million over two years, starting 2026-27, on a cash basis, to increase access to venture capital for equity-deserving entrepreneurs, and to invest in underserved communities and outside key metropolitan hubs. 
  • $200 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to boost AI start-ups to bring new technologies to market, and accelerate AI adoption in critical sectors, such as agriculture, clean technology, health care, and manufacturing. This support will be delivered through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies. 
  • Budget 2024 proposes $60 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, for Futurpreneur Canada.  
  • Canadian Entrepreneurs’ Incentive will reduce the inclusion rate to 33.3% on a lifetime maximum of $2 million in eligible capital gains.  entrepreneurs will have a combined exemption of at least $3.25 million when selling all or part of a business. The incentive will result in a one-third inclusion rate, and the limit will increase by $200,000 each year, starting in 2025, until it reaches $2 million in 2034.  
  • To address productivity, Budget 2024 allows businesses to immediately write off the full cost of investments in patents, data network infrastructure equipment, computers, and other data processing equipment.