Part 1 of this enactment implements income tax measures and related measures proposed in the 2011 budget. Most notably, it
(a) introduces the family caregiver tax credit for caregivers of infirm dependent relatives;
(b) introduces the children’s arts tax credit of up to $500 per child of eligible fees associated with children’s artistic, cultural, recreational and developmental activities;
(c) introduces a volunteer firefighters tax credit to allow eligible volunteer firefighters to claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit based on an amount of $3,000;
(d) eliminates the rule that limits the number of claimants for the child tax credit to one per domestic establishment;
(e) removes the $10,000 limit on eligible expenses that can be claimed under the medical expense tax credit in respect of a dependent relative;
(f) increases the advance payment threshold for the Canada child tax benefit to $20 per month and for the GST/HST credit to $50 per quarter;
(g) aligns the notification requirements related to marital status changes for an individual who receives the Canada child tax benefit with the notification requirements for the GST/HST credit;
(h) reduces the minimum course-duration requirements for the tuition, education and textbook tax credits, and for educational assistance payments from registered education savings plans, that apply to students enrolled at foreign universities;
(i) allows the tuition tax credit to be claimed for eligible occupational, trade and professional examination fees;
(j) allows the reallocation of assets in registered education savings plans for siblings without incurring tax penalties;
(k) extends to the end of 2013 the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance treatment for investment in machinery and equipment in the manufacturing and processing sector;
(l) expands eligibility for the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation and conservation equipment;
(m) extends eligibility for the mineral exploration tax credit by one year to flow-through share agreements entered into before March 31, 2012;
(n) expands the eligibility rules for qualifying environmental trusts;
(o) amends the deduction rates for intangible capital costs in the oil sands sector;
(p) aligns the tax treatment to investments made under the Agri-Québec program with that of investments under AgriInvest;
(q) introduces rules to strengthen the tax regime for charitable donations;
(r) introduces anti-avoidance rules for registered retirement savings plans and registered retirement income funds;
(s) introduces rules to limit tax deferral opportunities for individual pension plans;
(t) introduces rules to limit tax deferral opportunities for corporations with significant interests in partnerships;
(u) extends the tax on split income to capital gains realized by a minor child; and
(v) extends the dividend stop-loss rules to dividends deemed to be received on the redemption of shares held by certain corporations.
Part 1 also implements other selected income tax measures and related measures. Most of these measures were referred to in the 2011 budget as previously announced measures. Most notably, it
(a) accommodates an increase in the annual contribution limit to the Saskatchewan Pension Plan and aligns its tax treatment with that of other tax-assisted retirement vehicles;
(b) clarifies that the “financially dependent” test applies for the purposes of provisions that permit rollovers of the assets of a deceased taxpayer’s registered retirement savings plan or registered retirement income fund to an infirm child or grandchild’s registered disability savings plan;
(c) ensures that the alternative minimum tax does not apply in respect of securities that are subject to the election under section 180.01 of the Income Tax Act;
(d) clarifies the rules applicable to the scholarship exemption for post-secondary scholarships, fellowships and bursaries; and
(e) amends the pension-to-registered retirement savings plan transfer limits in situations where the accrued pension amount was reduced due to the insolvency of the employer and underfunding of the employer’s registered pension plan.
Part 2 amends the Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006 to implement the softwood lumber ruling rendered by the London Court of International Arbitration on January 21, 2011.
Part 3 amends the Customs Tariff in order to simplify it and reduce the customs processing burden for Canadians by consolidating similar tariff items that have the same tariff rates and removing end-use provisions where appropriate. The amendments also simplify the structure of some provisions and remove obsolete provisions.
Part 4 amends the Customs Tariff to introduce new tariff items to facilitate the processing of low value non-commercial imports arriving by post or by courier.
Part 5 amends the Canada Education Savings Act to make the additional amount of a Canada Education Savings grant that is available under subsection 5(4) of that Act available to more than one of the beneficiary’s parents, if they share custody of the beneficiary, they are eligible individuals as defined in section 122.6 of the Income Tax Act and the beneficiary is a qualified dependant of each of them.
Part 6 amends the Children’s Special Allowances Act and a regulation made under that Act respecting payments relating to children under care.
Part 7 amends the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act to provide that the maximum aggregate amount of outstanding student loans is to be determined by regulation, to remove the power of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development to deny certificates of eligibility, and to change the limitation period for the Minister to take administrative measures. It also authorizes the Minister to forgive portions of family physicians’, nurses’ and nurse practitioners’ student loans if they begin to work in under-served rural or remote communities.
Part 7 also amends the Canada Student Loans Act to authorize the Minister to forgive portions of family physicians’, nurses’ and nurse practitioners’ guaranteed student loans if they begin to work in under-served rural or remote communities.
Part 8 amends Part IV of the Employment Insurance Act to provide a temporary measure to refund a portion of employer premiums for small business. An employer whose premiums were $10,000 or less in 2010 will be refunded the increase in 2011 premiums over those paid in 2010, to a maximum of $1,000.
Part 9 provides for payments to be made to provinces, territories, municipalities, First Nations and other entities for municipal infrastructure improvements.
Part 10 amends the Canadian Securities Regulation Regime Transition Office Act so that funding for the Canadian Securities Regulation Regime Transition Office may be fixed through an appropriation Act.
Part 11 amends the Wage Earner Protection Program Act to extend in certain circumstances the period during which wages earned by individuals but not paid to them by their employers who are bankrupt or subject to receivership may be the subject of a payment under that Act.
Part 12 amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to repeal certain provisions that provide for mandatory retirement. It also amends the Canada Labour Code to repeal a provision that denies employees the right to severance pay for involuntary termination if they are entitled to a pension. Finally, it amends the Conflict of Interest Act.
Part 13 amends the Judges Act to permit the appointment of two additional judges to the Nunavut Court of Justice.
Part 14 provides for the retroactive coming into force of section 9 of the Nordion and Theratronics Divestiture Authorization Act in order to ensure the validity of pension regulations made under that section.
Part 15 amends the Canada Pension Plan to include amounts received by an employee under an employer-funded disability plan in contributory salary and wages.
Part 16 amends the Jobs and Economic Growth Act to replace the reference to the Treasury Board Secretariat with a reference to the Chief Human Resources Officer in subsections 10(4) and 38.1(1) of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.
Part 17 amends the Department of Veterans Affairs Act to include a definition of dependant and to provide express regulation-making authority for the provision of certain benefits in non-institutional locations.
Part 18 amends the Canada Elections Act to phase out quarterly allowances to registered parties.
Part 19 amends the Special Retirement Arrangements Act to permit the reservation of pension contributions from any benefit that is or becomes payable to a person. It also deems certain provisions of An Act to amend certain Acts in relation to pensions and to enact the Special Retirement Arrangements Act and the Pension Benefits Division Act to have come into force on December 14 or 15, 1994, as the case may be.
Part 20 amends the Motor Vehicle Safety Act to allow residents of Canada to temporarily import a rental vehicle from the United States for up to 30 days, or for any other prescribed period, for non-commercial use. It also authorizes the Governor in Council to make regulations respecting imported rental vehicles, as well as their importation into and removal from Canada, and makes other changes to the Act.
Part 21 amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act to clarify the legislative framework pertaining to payments under tax agreements entered into with provinces under Part III.1 of that Act.
Part 22 amends the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act to change the residency requirements of certain commissioners.