2022 Federal Budget Highlights

On April 7, 2022, Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland presented the 2022 Budget entitled, “A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable.” The Budget focuses on dental, housing affordability, supporting an environmentally sustainable economy, and child care with about $29 billion in net new spending in the next few years.
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2022 Federal Budget Highlights


Dental Care

The Budget proposes $5.3 billion over five years starting in 2022-23 to start up the dental care program with an ongoing annual cost of $1.7 billion thereafter.

It will start by covering children under 12 in 2022, then expands to cover children under 18, seniors, and people with disabilities by 2023. The full implementation in 2025 will be restricted to families with an income under $90,000. Families with an income under $70,000 will be fully covered under Canada’s new national dental care plan with no co-pay, and those with income under $90,000 will be partially covered.

Wellness Together Canada Portal

The federal government launched the Wellness Together Canada portal in April 2020 in response to the rise in levels of stress, anxiety, and depression associated with the pandemic. The program provides Canadians with tools and services to support their mental health and well-being. Budget 2022 proposes to provide $140 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Health Canada to maintain the Wellness Together Canada portal.

Substance Use and Addictions Program

Starting in 2022-23, the Budget proposes to provide $100 million over three years to Health Canada for the Substance Use and Addictions Program to support harm reduction, treatment, and prevention at the community level.

Dementia and Brain Health Research

The Budget proposes to provide $20 million over five years for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, starting in 2022-23. The goal is to support efforts to learn more about dementia and brain health, improve treatment and outcomes for persons living with dementia, and evaluate and address mental health consequences for caregivers and different models of care.

Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation

The Budget includes $30 million over three years, starting in 2022-23, to the Public Health Agency of Canada for the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation. The Centre helps accelerate innovative solutions in brain health and aging, including addressing dementia.

Medical Expense Tax Credit to Include Fertility Support

Budget 2022 proposes to allow medical expenses related to a surrogate mother or a sperm, ova, or embryo donor incurred in Canada for 2022 and subsequent taxation years to be claimed. This would include costs reimbursed to a surrogate for in vitro fertilization expenses. Budget 2022 also proposes to allow fees paid to fertility clinics and donor banks in Canada to obtain donor sperm and ova to be eligible under the Medical Expense Tax Credit for 2022 and subsequent taxation years.


The federal government confirmed that it would continue its work towards a universal national Pharmacare program. This will include working to have a Canada Pharmacare bill passed by the end of 2023, then tasking the Canadian Drug Agency to develop a national formulary of essential medicines and bulk purchasing plan.

Social Benefits

Extending Temporary EI Support for Seasonal Workers

In 2018, the government introduced a pilot project to provide up to five additional weeks of EI benefits—for a maximum of 45 weeks—for eligible seasonal workers. The temporary support was extended in Budget 2021. Budget 2022 proposes to extend these rules until October 2023 as the government considers a long-term solution that best targets the needs of seasonal workers. As part of this extension, the government proposes to maintain a recently introduced legislative fix to ensure that the timing of COVID-19 benefits does not affect future EI eligibility under the program’s rules.

Housing Support Payment

The Budget proposes to provide a one-time $500 payment to those facing housing affordability challenges.

Child Care

Budget 2022 proposes to provide $625 million over four years, beginning in 2023-24, to Employment and Social Development Canada for an Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund. This funding will enable provinces and territories to make additional child care investments, including building new facilities. By the end of 2022, it is expected that Canadian families will see child care fees reduced by an average of 50 percent. By 2025-26, the goal is for an average child care fee of $10-a-day for all regulated child care spaces across Canada.

As noted in Budget 2021, since prices are already affordable in Quebec, this new funding will be part of an asymmetrical agreement with Quebec that will allow it to enhance its child care system further.

Employment Recourse Process

The government proposes to amend the Employment Insurance Act and the Department of Employment and Social Development Act to enable the creation of the new EI Boards of Appeal, replacing the EI appeals process under the Social Security Tribunal General Division.


Union-Led Advisory Table

The Budget includes $2.5 million in 2022-23 for Employment and Social Development Canada to launch a new union-led advisory table that brings together unions and trade associations. In the coming year, the Table will advise the government on priority investments to help workers navigate the changing labour market, with a focus on skilled, mid-career workers in at-risk sectors and jobs. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities

Budget 2022 proposes to provide $272.6 million over five years to Employment and Social Development Canada to implement an employment strategy for persons with disabilities through the Opportunities Fund. Of this funding, $20 million will be allocated to the Ready, Willing and Able program to help persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder or intellectual disabilities find employment.

Skill, Training, and Trades

Union Training and Innovation Program

Budget 2022 proposes to provide $84.2 million over four years to double funding for the Union Training and Innovation Program. Each year, the new funding would help 3,500 apprentices from underrepresented groups such as women, newcomers, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, and racialized Canadians begin and succeed in careers in the skilled trades through mentorship, career services, and job-matching.


Federal Pension Framework

The government proposes improving the sustainability and security of federally regulated pensions for plan members and retirees by amending the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 and the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act to improve governance and administration and by creating new frameworks for solvency reserve accounts and variable payment life annuities.

Canada Pension Plan

The federal government proposes to make technical changes to the Canada Pension Plan legislation to ensure the correct calculation of eligibility and benefits for a small number of individuals qualifying for the Post-Retirement Disability Benefit and the child-rearing and disability drop-ins. These changes aim to ensure that the eligibility and calculation of these benefits are consistently applied for all individuals.

The government also proposes to make legislative amendments to the Canada Pension Plan legislation to allow the use of Canada Revenue Agency-collected data by Employment and Social Development Canada when performing policy analysis, reporting, and evaluation functions for the Canada Pension Plan.

Old Age Security

The government proposes to amend the Old Age Security Act to clarify that the one-time payment made in August 2021 to seniors aged 75 and older will be exempted from the income test for the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Allowances. This amendment corrects a reference error resulting from the passage of the Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1.

ESG and Responsible Investing

ESG Disclosures for Federally Regulated Pension Plans

The government will move forward with requirements for disclosure of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations, including climate-related risks, for federally regulated pension plans.

Sustainable Finance Action Council

Last year, the government created the Sustainable Finance Action Council, convening 25 of Canada’s largest financial institutions and pension funds. Budget 2022 announces that the Council will develop and report on strategies for aligning private sector capital with the transition to net-zero, with support from the Canadian Climate Institute and in consultation with the Net-Zero Advisory Body.

Investment Tax Credit for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage

Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) is a suite of technologies that capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to either store the CO2 deep underground or use it in other industrial processes. Budget 2022 proposes a refundable investment tax credit for businesses that incur eligible CCUS expenses, starting in 2022.

From 2022 through 2030, the investment tax credit rates would be set at 60 percent for investment in equipment to capture CO2 in direct air capture projects, 50 percent for investment in equipment to capture CO2 in all other CCUS projects, and 37.5 percent for investment in equipment for transportation, storage and use.

To encourage the industry to move quickly, these rates will be reduced by 50 percent for the period from 2031 through 2040.

Mineral Exploration Tax Credit

The Budget introduces a new 30 percent Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for specified mineral exploration expenses incurred in Canada and renounced to flow-through share investors. The tax credit would apply to certain exploration expenditures targeted at minerals essential to the manufacture of vital clean technologies and renounced as part of a flow-through share agreement entered after Budget Day and on or before March 31, 2027.

Housing and Construction

Housing Accelerator Fund

Budget 2022 proposes to provide $4 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to launch the Fund. This new Fund will target the creation of 100,000 net new housing units over the next five years.

Rapid Housing Initiative

The Budget proposes to provide $1.5 billion over two years, starting in 2022-23, to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to extend the Rapid Housing Initiative. This new funding is expected to create at least 6,000 new affordable housing units.

National Housing Co-Investment Fund

This Fund has supported the construction and repair of 108,000 housing units over the last five years. 75 percent of units committed to so far were projects like shelters, homes for seniors and persons with disabilities, and supportive housing. Budget 2022 proposes to advance $2.9 billion in funding on a cash basis so that all remaining funds will be spent by 2025-26. This will accelerate the creation of up to 4,300 new units and the repair of up to 17,800 units.

Co-Operative Housing Development

The Budget proposes to reallocate $500 million of funding on a cash basis from the National Housing Co-Investment Fund and $1 billion in loans from the Rental Construction Financing Initiative to launch a new Co-operative Housing Development Program. An estimated 6,000 units of co-op housing will be constructed with this investment.

Tax Measures for Banks and Insurance Companies

These new measures were introduced because the federal government believes Canada’s major financial institutions made significant profits in the last couple of years during the pandemic and have recovered faster than other parts of our economy.

Canada Recovery Dividend

Budget 2022 introduces a temporary Canada Recovery Dividend, a one-time 15 percent tax on taxable income above $1 billion for the 2021 tax year to be paid by banking and life insurers’ groups (as determined under Part VI of the Income Tax Act). The Canada Recovery Dividend will be paid in equal installments over five years.

Corporate Income Tax

The Budget proposes permanently increasing the corporate income tax rate by 1.5 percentage points on the taxable income of banking and life insurance groups (as determined under Part VI of the Income Tax Act) above $100 million.

Tax Credits and Deductions

Labour Mobility Tax Deduction

The Labour Mobility Tax Deduction introduced in this Budget would provide tax recognition on up to $4,000 per year in eligible travel and temporary relocation expenses to eligible tradespersons and apprentices. This measure would apply to the 2022 and subsequent taxation years.

Home Accessibility Tax Credit

The Budget proposes to double the qualifying expense limit of the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to $20,000 for the 2022 and subsequent tax years.

Tax-Free First Home Savings Account

The proposed new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account would give prospective first-time home buyers the ability to save up to $40,000. Like an RRSP, contributions would be tax-deductible, and withdrawals to purchase a first home—including investment income— would be non-taxable, like a TFSA.

First Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit

The Budget proposes to double the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit amount to $10,000. This is expected to increase the maximum direct support provided to home buyers from $750 to $1,500.

Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit

The proposed Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit would provide up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary suite for a senior or an adult with a disability. Starting in 2023, this refundable credit would allow families to claim 15 percent of up to $50,000 in eligible renovation and construction costs.