Highlights from Fall Economic Statement 2023
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled the federal Fall Economic Statement (FES) on 21 November 2023. This FES focused on key social objectives and priorities, particularly to address Canada’s affordability and housing crisis, however the FES also included a number of announcements important for the nuclear energy.
In line with recommendations made by the Canadian Nuclear Association, the government will update the Green Bond Framework to include nuclear energy. The update will also align the framework with: Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, updated taxonomies, international best practices, and evolving investor preferences. Specific nuclear energy expenditures eligible include:
- investments in new reactors.
- refurbishment of existing facilities.
- research and development; and,
- some investments in Canada’s nuclear supply chain
The Government also committed to introducing implementation legislation for Clean Technology ITC. However this legislation will not be drafted until after the 2024 federal budget with the actual legislation tabled in fall 2024.
Informed by Natural Resources Canada’s ongoing work to develop a National Benefits-Sharing Framework, the government will advance development of an Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program to help facilitate Indigenous equity ownership in major projects in the natural resource sector. Next steps will be announced in Budget 2024.
The Canada Growth Fund will be the principal federal entity issuing carbon contracts for difference. The Canada Growth Fund will allocate, on priority basis, up to $7 billion of its current $15 billion in capital to issue all forms of contracts for difference and offtake agreements. Further Canada Growth Fund investments will be announced in the coming weeks and months.
Finally, the Government indicated that regulatory reform legislation, initially expected in 2023, will not be introduced until 2024. Budget 2023 announced that, by the end of this year, the government will outline a concrete plan to further improve the efficiency of the permitting and impact assessment processes for major projects, which will include clarifying and reducing timelines, mitigating inefficiencies, and improving engagement and partnerships. The recently announced Ministerial Working Group on Regulatory Efficiency for Clean Growth Projects is coordinating government-wide efforts and details of the government’s plan will be released in the coming months.