It was supposed to be an austerity budget and it is except this part that will reduce the federal budget by $13 million in 2012–13 and by $17 million in 2013–14 but they say: “This measure will facilitate cross-border travel by streamlining the processing of returning Canadian travellers who have made purchases while outside Canada.”
The budget proposes that the travellers’ exemption limits will increase to $200 for an absence of more than 24 hours (current limit: $50), $800 for an absence of more than 48 hours (current limit: $400) and $800 for an absence of more than 7 days (current limit: $750).
Once when my wife and I returned to Canada from the U.S. after a 3 day trip the customs officers were so surprised that we didn’t declare anything that they took us aside to check our baggage and of course they did not find anything. We had not bought any shoes, clothes, etc. that apparently are cheaper in the U.S.; my wife couldn’t find anything that would have cost less than what she would have found (she is a bargain hunter) back home in Canada (however we did not go to the famous outlets as we had neither the inclination nor the time to do so).