Evidence of meeting #3 for Government Operations and Estimates in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was infrastructure.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Karen Wilson  Assistant Chief Statistician, National Accounts and Analytical Studies Field, Statistics Canada
  • Marilyn MacPherson  Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services Branch, Privy Council Office
  • Stephen Richardson  Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Finance
  • Michel Girard  Director, Industry Accounts Division, Statistics Canada
  • Paul Rochon  Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic and Fiscal Policy Branch, Department of Finance
  • Simon Kennedy  Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Plans and Consultation, Privy Council Office

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

In all honesty, when my constituents phone my office I can only say there is no such thing as a home renovation tax credit at this point in time. I can't recommend to them that they act on this leap of faith that they will get something because it was alluded to in the budget speech.

11:55 a.m.

Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Finance

Stephen Richardson

I would point out that it is mentioned in the notice of ways and means motion that has been tabled in Parliament.

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

This is of great concern to us.

Moving on to something else, we noticed the economic stimulus was assumed to be a 1.9% impact on the GDP, which would be roughly in keeping with what the international community is recommending. Does that calculation include the matched spending that is built into the requirements? In other words, is the 1.9% from the federal government, or is that the total accumulated spending?

11:55 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic and Fiscal Policy Branch, Department of Finance

Paul Rochon

Of the 1.9%, 1.5% is federal only and the remainder is a provincial top-up. So 1.5% is federal only, in the first year, and the remainder is an assumed matching from provinces.

I point out in that regard that Canada is fairly unique among major industrialized countries in that it's the only country where, effectively, the government sector at the federal level only accounts for half of the total government sector. Other countries tend to be either unitary in nature or have much smaller sub-national governments.

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Was there consultation with the provinces and territories to determine if in fact they're able to avail themselves of this offer? It's all kind of moot if the provinces can't come up with their share; the money won't flow.

11:55 a.m.

Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Finance

Stephen Richardson

As I mentioned earlier, there was quite a bit of discussion with representatives of provinces and territories. There was considerable positive reaction from them with respect to the possibility of them matching these funds.

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

I have a question regarding this relatively new obligation on the part of the government to present regular reports to Parliament as a condition of the Liberal Party support for the budget.

Will Finance Canada be preparing these reports? How is Finance Canada going to measure the implementation and the costs of this stimulus package? What is the yardstick you're going to use to live up to the commitment made by the government to the Liberal Party?

11:55 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic and Fiscal Policy Branch, Department of Finance

Paul Rochon

The Minister of Finance would be involved in a significant way, clearly, in those reports. The budget itself presents a preliminary estimate of the employment impacts based on a modelling approach.

We would expect, as the measures are implemented and put into effect, that we would in fact have what I might describe as hard estimates, in the sense of actual estimates of employment and output impacts by measure. That would involve input from all of the departments involved.

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Derek Lee

Thank you.

That's over the eight. Thank you, Mr. Martin.

Now we'll go to Ms. Hall Findlay for five, followed by Monsieur Roy and Mr. Anders.

Ms. Hall Findlay.

February 10th, 2009 / 11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Thank you very much.

Thank you, everybody, for being here and giving us your time.

I have five minutes and several questions, so I'm going to go fairly quickly.

Mr. Richardson, you mentioned that the home renovation piece is in the ways and means motion, but I've just been told that it is not in fact included, although the press release says “Our government intends to act quickly to table further legislation that will include additional tax relief measures, such as the Home Renovation Tax Credit...”.

Can you confirm, in fact, that it is in the ways and means motion that's been tabled, or if it is to come further on?

Noon

Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Finance

Stephen Richardson

My understanding is that it is in the ways and means motion. It is not in Bill C-10, so--

Noon

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

I know very well it's not in Bill C-10. I was asking about--

Noon

Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Finance

Stephen Richardson

--it would be in the subsequent legislation.

Noon

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

--whether it was in the ways and means motion.

Noon

Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Finance