House of Commons Hansard #122 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Nuclear Disarmament
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present two petitions today.

The first reminds us that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has proposed a summit on nuclear disarmament and that, in 2010, the Senate and the House unanimously passed a motion encouraging the Government of Canada to deploy a major worldwide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of preventing nuclear proliferation

In short, the petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to invite all countries to join Canada in undertaking discussions about imposing a worldwide ban on nuclear weapons.

Pensions
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition deals with a subject of interest to millions of Canadians, old age security.

The petitioners are asking the government to maintain funding for old age security, and to make the necessary investments to enhance guaranteed income supplement benefits and end poverty for all seniors.

41st General Election
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present two petitions.

The first states that it is absolutely essential to have fair, free and open elections. As a result of the scandalous events that took place during the last federal election, petitioners from Toronto and Dorval are demanding that the government and the Prime Minister set up a full, independent and adequately funded inquiry to identify those involved in the scandalous events that took place during the last federal election.

Human Rights
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is relevant this week. This week, many people around the world celebrate Falun Dafa day and, on behalf of petitioners from Guelph and Waterloo region, I place this petition before the House, as many other members have marked these occasions in relation to the persecution of practitioners of Falun Dafa, Falun Gong around the world, but particularly in China. I am mindful, as we call for their human rights, that we also call for human rights for people within Tibet, for Tibetan monks, and for Christians within China who are unable to practise their faith.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the following question will be answered today: No. 557.

Question No. 557
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

With regard to information supplied by the government of France to the government of Canada regarding secret bank accounts and possible tax evasion in Switzerland as of March 23, 2012: (a) since the government received the names of 1800 Canadians with bank accounts in Switzerland, have any other Canadians been identified as having undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland, and, in total, how many Canadians have now been identified as having undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland; (b) what actions have been taken by Canadian officials to recover unpaid taxes associated with Canadians' undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland; (c) how many identified Canadians have availed themselves of the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA); (d) how many identified Canadian accounts have settled with the CRA; (e) how much money has the CRA assessed as a result of investigating these secret banks accounts in Switzerland in (i) unpaid taxes, (ii) interest, (iii) fines, (iv) penalties; (f) how much of the money in (e) has been collected; (g) how many of the cases are under appeal; (h) how many cases remain open; (i) how many more cases does the CRA anticipate will be opened; (j) how many cases have been closed (i.e., the full amount of taxes, interest, fines and penalties have been collected); (k) how much money in (j) has been collected in (i) unpaid taxes, (ii) interest, (iii) fines, (iv) penalties; (l) how many account holders in the cases have made a partial payment; (m) of the partial payments made, what was the (i) largest amount, (ii) smallest amount, (iii) average amount; (n) how much does the CRA have yet to collect in (i) taxes, (ii) interest, (iii) fines, (iv) penalties; (o) of the amounts of money contained in the Switzerland accounts declared or discovered by the CRA, what was the (i) largest amount, (ii) smallest amount, (iii) average amount; (p) on what date was the CRA first made aware of the names of Canadians with accounts in Switzerland; (q) on what date did the CRA begin its investigation; (r) on what date did the first audit of an individual account holder begin; (s) how many of the identified Canadians with bank accounts in Switzerland have (i) had their account or accounts audited, (ii) had their account or accounts reassessed, (iii) been the subject of a compliance action; (t) how many of the identified Canadians with bank accounts in Switzerland (i) have not had their account or accounts audited, (ii) have not had their account or accounts reassessed, (iii) have not been the subject of a compliance action; and (u) how many tax evasion charges have been laid?

Question No. 557
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA, has an obligation to follow confidentiality and privacy legislation closely. Information is often provided to the CRA from various sources on the basis that it cannot be further disclosed by the CRA. Where the CRA is at liberty to provide information, it will endeavour to do so. In other instances, it will be limited in this ability.

In order to both respect confidentiality requirements and maintain harmonious international relations, the CRA must adhere to the requirements that international tax treaties and agreements impose on the disclosure of information received from Canada’s treaty partners.

The preamble in the above-noted question asserts that the information was provided to Canada from “the Government of France”. Since this information was received by the Government of Canada via an international tax treaty, it is protected under both the Exchange of Information article of the relevant tax treaty, in this case article 26 of the Canada-France Income Tax Convention, and paragraph 19(1)(a) of the Privacy Act.

Therefore, for these reasons, the CRA cannot provide the information requested in the question above.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 552, 553 and 554 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 552
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

With regard to tax evasion and its effects on the Canadian economy: (a) does the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) publish estimates of the tax gap caused by offshore tax avoidance, and, (i) if so, which method does the government utilize to calculate this gap, (ii) if not, why not; (b) what is the 10-year trend for (i) the number of transfer pricing audits, (ii) the budgeting for and Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) staffing of auditors dealing with transfer pricing audit; (c) what is the amount of annual capital flow from Canada to the United States resulting from bilateral trade mispricing (i) per capital flow, (ii) by proportion of total trade, (iii) per tax loss; (d) what is the amount of annual capital flow from Canada to the European Union resulting from bilateral trade mispricing (i) per capital flow, (ii) by proportion of total trade, (iii) per tax loss; (e) what is the amount of annual capital flow resulting from multilateral trade mispricing (i) per capital flow, (ii) by proportion of total trade, (iii) per tax loss; (f) what are the internal deadlines set by the Exchange of Information (EOI) Services (CRA) as concerns responses to EOI requests received, (i) how many EOI requests received does the CRA deal with per year, (ii) what is the 10-year trend for EOI requests received by the CRA, (iii) what is the median response time for an EOI request received by the CRA, (iv) from which jurisdiction does the CRA receive the most EOI requests, (v) from which jurisdiction does the CRA request the most EOIs; (g) does Canada collaborate with its EOI partners to ensure the EOI provisions are not restricted, and, if so, (i) with which jurisdictions, (ii) to what specific ends, (iii) have there been any changes to the CRA approach as a result of these collaborations; (h) how prevalent are bearer shares in Canada, (i) what measures exist to ensure that ownership information is available with no exceptions, (ii) are all nominees obliged to maintain relevant ownership information when they act as legal owners on behalf of any other person, (iii) has the government studied the possibility of subjecting nominees to anti-money-laundering laws, and, if not, why not; (i) are credit card, ATM, and stored-value cards defined as monetary instruments in the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act; (j) do law enforcement and customs services have, or has the government studied extending to them, card reading capacities aimed at catching suspected brief-case bankers; (k) how many Canadian financial institutions operate in lower tax jurisdictions and what are their names; (l) how many Canadian financial institutions engage in capital arbitrage by allocating capital to lower tax jurisdictions and thereby lowering their effective tax rate; (m) does the government calculate the effects of Canadian financial institutions operating in lower tax jurisdictions on (i) Canadian financial institutions tax rate, (ii) increases in after-tax earnings, (iii) net income; (n) what is the percentage of auditors and numbers of FTE auditors (i) working on individual tax evasion, (ii) working on corporate tax evasion, (iii) working on corporate transfer mispricing, (iv) what is the 10-year trend for the budgeting for and staffing of these auditors; and (o) what is the percentage of auditors and numbers of FTE auditors (i) auditing individuals using tax havens, (ii) auditing corporations using tax havens, (iii) what is the 10-year trend for the budgeting for and staffing of these auditors?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 553
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

With regard to the government’s strategy for combating tax havens: (a) does the government plan to reform the arm’s-length principles under section 247 of the Income Tax Act; (b) has the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or any department studied the impact of replacing Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in terms of (i) taxable impact, (ii) reporting, (iii) tax fraud; (c) has the government studied the possibility of requiring multinational corporations to report on a country-by-country basis on all their transactions, including, (i) labour costs and number of employees, (ii) finance costs, third-party and intra-group transactions, (iii) profits before taxes, (iv) provisions for taxes, (v) taxes actually paid; (d) has the government studied the possibility of providing disclosed information available within federal institutions to provincial Attorneys General for the purpose of civil forfeitures; (e) has the government studied the possibility of lengthening the detention-accountability regime found in section 490 of the Criminal Code; (f) has the government studied the possibility of modernizing the Canada Evidence Act; and (g) what will be the effect of cuts on the CRA auditor capacity to investigate offshore bank accounts and tax havens?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 554
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

May 11th, 2012 / 12:15 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

With regard to mortgage loan insurance provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC): (a) has the CMHC put in place an allocation plan for insuring mortgages, and, if so, what is the plan and does the plan prioritize mortgages according to whether or not they are required to be insured or according to the value of the mortgage; (b) does the CMHC intend to ask the government to increase the $600 billion limit on insured mortgages; and (c) what kind of risk mitigation or contingency plan does the CMHC have in case of a multi-year recession or other scenario in which the CMHC might have difficulty meeting its obligations for mortgage insurance payments?