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Federal Budget 2024: Major Housing Investments, Carbon Rebate for Small Businesses, & Capital Investments in National Parks

Federal Budget 2024: Major Housing Investments, Carbon Rebate for Small Businesses, & Capital Investments in National Parks

This week, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented the 2024 federal budget, entitled Fairness for Every Generation. This year’s federal budget is heavily focused on addressing the housing crisis and includes a number of housing investments that were announced leading up to today’s budget drop, as part of a comprehensive national Housing Plan.  

Some notable investments were also made in VIA Rail’s new fleet, high-frequency rail, national parks, and in local film and theatre festivals.  

Some highlights of the 2024 budget include:  


  • $156.7 million over five years to the Parks Canada Agency for capital investments in Canada’s national parks, national marine conservation areas, and historic sites 

  • $38 million over three years to the Department of Canadian Heritage to support the Toronto International Film Festival and the Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake 

  • $2.5 million in 2024-25 to continue supporting the Indigenous tourism industry through the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada 

  • $36.1 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $8.2 million in remaining amortization, and $4.6 million per year ongoing to create Ojibway National Urban Park in Windsor, Ontario 

  • $10 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, to the Department of Canadian Heritage, to support Harbourfront Centre's ability to make critical capital repairs 

Small Business 

  • $200 million over two years to increase access to venture capital  

  • Proposing a new Canada Carbon Rebate for Small Businesses, to return fuel charge proceeds from 2019-20 through 2023-24 to an estimated 600,000 businesses with 499 or fewer employees  


  • Proposing to extend the temporary support for seasonal workers through EI, which was set to expire in October 2024  

  • Adding an additional $207.6 million to the Student Work Placement Program  

  • $4.4 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, to continue the Indigenous Labour Market Information Survey and Skills Inventory Initiative to support labour market participation and ensure prosperous communities 


  • $462.4 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $120.7 million in remaining amortization, for VIA Rail network operations; new funding for VIA Rail to replace its aging fleet on routes outside the Quebec City-Windsor corridor 

  • Starting in 2026-27, the government will provide $3 billion per year in permanent public transit funding for projects across the country 

  • Legislative amendments to make VIA HFR-VIA TGF Inc. an Agent of the Crown, enabling VIA HFR-VIA TGF Inc. to deliver high frequency rail on behalf of the government. 

  • Provide $371.8 million over six years, starting in 2024-25, to VIA HFR-VIA TGF Inc. and Infrastructure Canada to advance design and development of high frequency rail 


  • Increase the capital cost allowance rate for purpose-built rental apartments from 4% to 10%, which will increase how much builders can write off from their taxes 

  • Removing the GST for student residences built by public universities, public colleges, and public school authorities 

  • Make more public lands available for home construction, while leasing lands to developers rather than selling them off  

  • Launching a $6 billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the construction and upgrading of critical housing infrastructure (e.g., water, wastewater, stormwater, solid waste infrastructure) 

  • Committing an additional $4.3 billion towards the Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy  

  • Providing an additional $1 billion for the Affordable Housing Fund  

  • Extend the mortgage amortization period to 30 years for first-time homebuyers purchasing new builds  

  • Creating a new Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights to crack down on renovictions and create a nationwide standard lease agreement  

  • Proposing a new $15 million Tenant Protection Fund to provide funding to legal services and tenants’ rights advocacy organizations  

  • Giving renters the option to include their rental payment history in their credit scores 

  • Launching a $1.5 billion Canada Rental Protection Fund to provide immediate and direct support to community housing providers to acquire affordable rental units at risk of being sold to investors and repriced  

  • Proposing a Rapid Housing Stream within the Affordable Housing Fund to build deeply affordable housing, supportive housing, and shelters for vulnerable populations 

Additional highlights:  

  • $1.5 billion over five years to launch the new national universal pharmacare plan 

  • $500 million for a new youth mental health fund  

  • Increase the capital gains inclusion rate for individuals with more than $250,000 in capital gains in a year 

 April 16, 2024