Minister O’Regan highlights budget investments to make life more affordable and to better support workers

News release

April 6, 2023         Cape Breton, Nova Scotia                Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. was in Cape Breton to talk about Budget 2023 measures that will make life more affordable and better support workers. The Minister and Parliamentary Secretaries Battiste and Kelloway toured the Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers’ facility in Sydney, where they met with workers to discuss new and enhanced support for tradespeople.

Budget 2023 delivers the new Grocery Rebate, providing $2.5 billion in targeted inflation relief for 11 million low- and modest-income Canadians and families. The Grocery Rebate will provide up to an extra $467 for eligible couples with two children, up to $234 for single Canadians without children, and $225 on average for seniors. To help Canadians keep more money in their pockets, the Government is also taking action to crack down on junk fees and predatory lending and reduce credit card transaction fees for small businesses.

One of the most significant investments in Budget 2023 is in tax credits. To help tradespeople invest in the equipment they need, Budget 2023 proposes to double the maximum employment deduction for tradespeople’s tool expenses from $500 to $1,000. This change would take effect for the 2023 taxation year. Following consultations with unions and other stakeholders, the Budget also announces additional details on the labour requirements for the clean technology and clean hydrogen investment tax credits. To be eligible for the highest tax-credit rates, businesses must pay workers the prevailing wage. Additionally, at least 10% of the tradesperson hours worked must be performed by registered apprentices in the Red Seal trades.

These and other measures in Budget 2023 build on existing initiatives the Government has introduced to better support Canadian workers, such as the Labour Mobility Deduction, which provides eligible tradespeople and apprentices in the construction industry with a tax deduction of up to $4,000 per year for eligible temporary relocation expenses. Ensuring workers are paid fairly and supporting apprenticeships that lead to good-paying jobs will make life more affordable for Canadian workers and their families.

With a responsible fiscal plan that will see Canada maintain the lowest deficit and the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7, Budget 2023 will help to build a Canada that is more secure, more sustainable and more affordable for people from coast to coast to coast.


“We’re launching new tax credits to build up Canada’s green energy industry. To get the full benefit, companies have to hire union workers or pay union wages, and create apprenticeships. That’s how we create good jobs, lower emissions, and build up renewables.”

- Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr.

“Inflation is making it difficult for many Canadians to make ends meet and put food on the table. To make life more affordable, we are launching a new grocery rebate and more supports for workers. This is our plan to make life more affordable and create good-paying jobs.”

– Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Sydney—Victoria

“Affordability is an issue that is top-of-mind for folks in Cape Breton—Canso and indeed all Canadians –– especially when at the grocery store. Our government is taking swift action to address affordability challenges, with targeted measures such as our new grocery rebate. We remain committed to helping individuals and families where it’s needed most, and Budget 2023 is going to deliver on that.”

- Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton—Canso

“Government's continued investment in the Union Training and Innovative Program and Deduction for Tool Expenses has supported our goal to grow, train and develop a more inclusive workforce in Atlantic Canada. The tax credit eligibility requirement to hire apprentices at the prevailing rate will also support this goal and help workers transition out of their apprenticeship faster to fill labour gaps in our industry."

- Deb Romero, Executive Secretary - Treasurer, Atlantic Canada Regional Council

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Hartley Witten 
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr. 

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