Canada's Capital Investment Gap
Canada’s capital investment has fallen far behind other developed countries. As a result, our businesses are less competitive and our workers are less productive. In a dynamic global economy we need more capital investment to keep our economy growing.
Capital investments boost the economy over the short-term while laying the foundation for long-term growth. Investments in facilities, equipment, machinery and tools including IT infrastructure are vital to support Canadian workers. These investments raise output, increase wages over time, and increase tax revenues for government.
Per-worker capital investment in Canada is 29% lower than the OECD average and 42% lower than in the U.S.
Did you know that...
For every dollar of capital invested in U.S. workers, just 58 cents are invested in Canadian workers.
58 cents on the dollar.
We need to make it easier for businesses to invest in structures, equipment and machinery that will make our sectors and our workers more productive.
How has Canada's Capital Investment changed?
U.S. tax cuts, bringing the marginal efficient tax rate down to 18.8% (from 34.6%), further eroded Canada's competitive position
Canadian Real GDP is expected to decelerate from 1.6% in 2018 down to 1.4% by the end of 2019
In 2017, the asset finance growth rate was 7.4%—In 2018 it was just 1.1%
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Canada has lagged behind the U.S. and other OECD countries in attracting business investment. Reductions to Canada’s corporate income tax rates have been beneficial, however some provinces have raised corporate income tax rates and sales taxes rates as well, nullifying any benefits for businesses. The United States has done a better job of promoting economic development by utilizing tax incentives and subsidies. In the United States, tax incentives, reducing corporate tax rates and subsidies such as bonus depreciation have given US corporations the ability to boost business spending. Canada has lagged in this economic revitalisation and policies similar to the Federal Accelerated Investment Initiative in 2018 should have focused on the widest possible application and include offerings such as leasing. Forward thinking, transparent economic development incentives must be relevant, should be evaluated based on the entire market, while minimizing cost and maximizing benefit.
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While protecting the public remains an important policy objective, reducing red-tape and regulatory burden can be beneficial for all stakeholders, including the public. A lack of harmonization between interprovincial regulations not only causes confusion in the marketplace, it is an entirely avoidable cost on business which is inevitably passed on to Canadian businesses and consumers. Regulatory red tape is constantly being added within sectors of the economy as “one size fits all” which is cumbersome and inefficient. Without revisiting and/or repealing outdated legislation and regulations, businesses are unable to use the latest technological innovations, in whole or in part, hampering Canadian economic opportunity.
BARRIERS TO INNOVATION
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BARRIERS TO INNOVATION
Access to an open market is paramount to the prosperity of the Canadian economy. The growth of Crown Corporations should be limited to those sectors of the economy that the private sector cannot or are unable to service. Crown Corporations, such as Farm Credit Canada, frequently unfairly underprice the private sector thereby removing, competition, choice and dynamism from the marketplace for its customers. Additionally, in many provinces, antiquated legislation and regulation require paper intensive procedures and necessitate reporting requirements on financing companies that negatively effect operational efficiencies, increasing the cost of financing. Consequently, finance companies are often precluded from utilizing new technologies in part or in whole, to better service the marketplace and realise efficiencies to the detriment of the market and ultimately the customer. This problem is particularly endemic in the outdated Personal Property Security Act legislation and systems currently in use in most provinces across Canada.
Weak capital spending jeopardizes Canada’s long-term prosperity, and limits the potential of our economy in high-value added sectors. The problem not only hurts manufacturing and service businesses, but also the natural resources industries on which many regions of the country rely for jobs and opportunity. The anticipated decline in GDP is projected based on lower real residential and non-residential business investment spending, which is an important source of capital investment.
Who We Are
The Canadian Finance & Leasing Association (CFLA) represents the asset-based financing, equipment and vehicle leasing industry in Canada. This industry is the largest provider of debt financing to businesses and consumers in this country after the traditional lenders (banks and credit unions). In 2018, QEDinc estimated that the industry financed $129 billion in new assets for a total of $416 billion in assets financed nationally.
CFLA’s more than 215 corporate members range from large multinationals to national and smaller regional domestic companies, crossing the financial services spectrum from manufacturers’ finance companies and independent leasing companies, to banks, insurance companies, and suppliers to the industry.
CFLA members are key partners with Canadian small, medium, and large businesses and consumers. By facilitating business investment in new productive machinery, equipment and vehicles, the asset-based finance and leasing industry is helping Canada work smarter and raising living standards for all Canadians.