we put in a gas fireplace b/c of the cost of the electrical heating.....can we claim this expense?

Answer

If the property is used to earn income then such costs may be claimable in some respect (capitalize the asset and take CCA).

Typically taxpayers may claim expenses that generate income or reduce expenses to earn income or contribute to earning income.

So, a normal person who owns a home and works for a company and receives a salary or wage and only uses the home for personal reasons may not claim such costs.  Although there may have been a program to provide subsidies for electricity usage reduction, this has nothing to do with tax returns in the current year.
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