Part 1 of this enactment implements certain income tax measures and related measures proposed in the March 29, 2012 budget. Most notably, it
(a) expands the list of eligible expenses under the Medical Expense Tax Credit to include blood coagulation monitors and their disposable peripherals;
(b) introduces a temporary measure to allow certain family members to open a Registered Disability Savings Plan for an adult individual who might not be able to enter into a contract;
(c) extends, for one year, the temporary Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for flow-through share investors;
(d) allows corporations to make split and late eligible dividend designations;
(e) makes the salary of the Governor General taxable and adjusts that salary;
(f) allows a designated partner of a partnership to provide a waiver on behalf of all partners to extend the time limit for issuing a determination in respect of the partnership;
(g) amends the penalty applicable to promoters of charitable donation tax shelters who file false registration information or who fail to register a tax shelter prior to selling interests in the tax shelter;
(h) introduces a new penalty applicable to tax shelter promoters who fail to respond to a demand to file an information return or who file an information return that contains false or misleading sales information;
(i) limits the period for which a tax shelter identification number is valid to one calendar year;
(j) modifies the rules for registering certain foreign charitable organizations as qualified donees;
(k) amends the rules for determining the extent to which a charity has engaged in political activities; and
(l) provides the Minister of National Revenue with the authority to suspend the privileges, with respect to issuing tax receipts, of a registered charity or a registered Canadian amateur athletic association if the charity or association fails to report information that is required to be filed annually in an information return or devotes resources to political activities in excess of the limits set out in the Income Tax Act.
Part 1 also implements other selected income tax measures and related measures. Most notably, it
(a) amends the Income Tax Act consequential on the implementation of the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, including the extension of the tax deferral allowed to farmers in a designated area who produce listed grains and receive deferred cash purchase tickets to all Canadian farmers who produce listed grains and receive deferred cash purchase tickets;
(b) provides authority for the Canada Revenue Agency to issue via online notice or regular mail demands to file a return; and
(c) introduces a requirement for commercial tax preparers to file income tax returns electronically.
Part 2 amends the Excise Tax Act to implement certain excise tax and goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) measures proposed in the March 29, 2012 Budget. It expands the list of GST/HST zero-rated medical and assistive devices as well as the list of GST/HST zero-rated non-prescription drugs that are used to treat life-threatening diseases. It also exempts certain pharmacists’ professional services from the GST/HST, other than prescription drug dispensing services that are already zero-rated. It further allows certain literacy organizations to claim a rebate of the GST and the federal component of the HST paid on the acquisition of books to be given away for free by those organizations. It also implements legislative requirements relating to the Government of British Columbia’s decision to exit the harmonized sales tax framework. Additional amendments to that Act and related regulations in respect of foreign-based rental vehicles temporarily imported by Canadian residents provide, in certain circumstances, relief from the GST/HST, the Green Levy on fuel-inefficient vehicles and the automobile air conditioner tax. This Part further amends that Act to ensure that changes to the standardized fuel consumption test method used for the EnerGuide, as announced on February 17, 2012 by the Minister of Natural Resources, do not affect the application of the Green Levy.
Finally, Part 2 amends the Air Travellers Security Charge Act, the Excise Act, 2001 and the Excise Tax Act to provide authority for the Canada Revenue Agency to issue via online notice or regular mail demands to file a return.
Part 3 contains certain measures related to responsible resource development.
Division 1 of Part 3 enacts the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, which establishes a new federal environmental assessment regime. Assessments are conducted in relation to projects, designated by regulations or by the Minister of the Environment, to determine whether they are likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that fall within the legislative authority of Parliament, or that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to a federal authority’s exercise of a power or performance of a duty or function that is required for the carrying out of the project.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the National Energy Board or a review panel established by the Minister are to conduct assessments within applicable time limits. At the end of an assessment, a decision statement is to be issued to the project proponent who is required to comply with the conditions set out in it.
The enactment provides for cooperation between the federal government and other jurisdictions by enabling the delegation of an environmental assessment, the substitution of the process of another jurisdiction for an environmental assessment under the Act and the exclusion of a project from the application of the Act when there is an equivalent assessment by another jurisdiction. The enactment requires that there be opportunities for public participation during an environmental assessment, that participant funding programs and a public registry be established, and that there be follow-up programs in relation to all environmental assessments. It also provides for powers of inspection and fines.
Finally, the enactment specifies that federal authorities are not to take certain measures regarding the carrying out of projects on federal lands or outside Canada unless they determine that those projects are not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
This Division also makes related amendments to the Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Act and consequential amendments to other Acts, and repeals the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
Division 2 of Part 3 amends the National Energy Board Act to allow the Governor in Council to make the decision about the issuance of certificates for major pipelines. It amends the Act to establish time limits for regulatory reviews under the Act and to enhance the powers of the National Energy Board Chairperson and the Minister responsible for the Act to ensure that those reviews are conducted in a timely manner. It also amends the Act to permit the National Energy Board to exercise federal jurisdiction over navigation in respect of pipelines and power lines that cross navigable waters and it establishes an administrative monetary penalty system.
Division 3 of Part 3 amends the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act to authorize the National Energy Board to exercise federal jurisdiction over navigation in respect of pipelines and power lines that cross navigable waters.
Division 4 of Part 3 amends the Nuclear Safety and Control Act to extend the maximum allowable term of temporary members of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission from six months to three years. It is also amended to allow for a licence to be transferred with the consent of that Commission and it puts in place an administrative monetary penalty system.
Division 5 of Part 3 amends the Fisheries Act to focus that Act on the protection of fish that support commercial, recreational or Aboriginal fisheries and to more effectively manage those activities that pose the greatest threats to these fisheries. The amendments provide additional clarity for the authorization of serious harm to fish and of deposits of deleterious substances. The amendments allow the Minister to enter into agreements with provinces and with other bodies, provide for the control and management of aquatic invasive species, clarify and expand the powers of inspectors, and permit the Governor in Council to designate another Minister as the Minister responsible for the administration and enforcement of subsections 36(3) to (6) of the Fisheries Act for the purposes of, and in relation to, subject matters set out by order.
Division 6 of Part 3 amends the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to provide the Minister of the Environment with the authority to renew disposal at sea permits in prescribed circumstances. It is also amended to change the publication requirements for disposal at sea permits and to provide authority to make regulations respecting time limits for their issuance and renewal.
Division 7 of Part 3 amends the Species at Risk Act to allow for the issuance of authorizations with a longer term, to clarify the authority to renew the authorizations and to make compliance with conditions of permits enforceable. The Act is also amended to provide authority to make regulations respecting time limits for the issuance and renewal of permits under the Act. Furthermore, section 77 is amended to ensure that the National Energy Board will be able to issue a certificate when required to do so by the Governor in Council under subsection 54(1) of the National Energy Board Act.
Part 4 enacts and amends several Acts in order to implement various measures.
Division 1 of Part 4 amends a number of Acts to eliminate the requirement for the Auditor General of Canada to undertake annual financial audits of certain entities and to assess the performance reports of two agencies. This Division also eliminates other related obligations.
Division 2 of Part 4 amends the Trust and Loan Companies Act, the Bank Act and the Cooperative Credit Associations Act to prohibit the issuance of life annuity-like products.
Division 3 of Part 4 provides that PPP Canada Inc. is an agent of Her Majesty for purposes limited to its mandated activities at the federal level, including the provision of advice to federal departments and Crown corporations on public-private partnership projects.
Division 4 of Part 4 amends the Northwest Territories Act, the Nunavut Act and the Yukon Act to provide the authority for the Governor in Council to set, on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, the maximum amount of territorial borrowings and to make regulations in relation to those maximum amounts, including what constitutes borrowing, the relevant entities and the valuation of the borrowings.
Division 5 of Part 4 amends the Financial Administration Act to modify, for parent Crown corporations, the period to which their quarterly financial reports relate, so that it is aligned with their financial year, and to include in the place of certain annual tabling requirements related to the business and activities of parent Crown corporations a requirement to make public consolidated quarterly reports on their business and activities. It also amends the Alternative Fuels Act and the Public Service Employment Act to eliminate certain reporting requirements.
Division 6 of Part 4 amends the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act to establish the Social Security Tribunal and to add provisions authorizing the electronic administration or enforcement of programs, legislation, activities or policies. It also amends the Canada Pension Plan, the Old Age Security Act and the Employment Insurance Act so that appeals from decisions made under those Acts will be heard by the Social Security Tribunal. Finally, it provides for transitional provisions and makes consequential amendments to other Acts.
Division 7 of Part 4 amends the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act to add provisions relating to the protection of personal information obtained in the course of administering or enforcing the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security Act and repeals provisions in the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security Act that are substantially the same as those that are added to the Human Resources and Skills Development Act.
Division 8 of Part 4 amends the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act to add provisions relating to the social insurance registers and Social Insurance Numbers. It also amends the Canada Pension Plan in relation to Social Insurance Numbers and the Employment Insurance Act to repeal certain provisions relating to the social insurance registers and Social Insurance Numbers and to maintain the power to charge the costs of those registers to the Employment Insurance Operating Account.
Division 9 of Part 4 amends the Parks Canada Agency Act to provide that the Agency may enter into agreements with other ministers or bodies to assist in the administration and enforcement of legislation in places outside national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas and other protected heritage areas if considerations of geography make it impractical for the other minister or body to administer and enforce that legislation in those places. It also amends that Act to provide that the Chief Executive Officer is to report to the Minister of the Environment under section 31 of that Act every five years. It amends that Act to remove the requirements for annual corporate plans, annual reports and annual audits, and amends that Act, the Canada National Parks Act and the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act to provide that that Minister is to review management plans for national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas and other protected heritage areas at least every 10 years and is to have any amendments to a plan tabled in Parliament.
Division 10 of Part 4 amends the Trust and Loan Companies Act, the Bank Act and the Insurance Companies Act in order to allow public sector investment pools that satisfy certain criteria, including pursuing commercial objectives, to directly invest in a Canadian financial institution, subject to approval by the Minister of Finance.
Division 11 of Part 4 amends the National Housing Act, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Act and the Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada’s Economy Act to enhance the governance and oversight framework of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
This Division also amends the National Housing Act to establish a registry for institutions that issue covered bonds and for covered bond programs and to provide for the protection of covered bond contracts and covered bond collateral in the event of an issuer’s bankruptcy or insolvency. It also makes amendments to the Trust and Loan Companies Act, the Bank Act, the Insurance Companies Act and the Cooperative Credit Associations Act to prohibit institutions from issuing covered bonds except within the framework established under the National Housing Act. Finally, it includes a coordinating amendment to the Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada’s Economy Act.
Division 12 of Part 4 implements the Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America signed on May 26, 2009.
Division 13 of Part 4 amends the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act to reflect an increase in Canada’s quota subscription, as related to the ratification of the 2010 Quota and Governance reform resolution of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund, and to align the timing of the annual report under that Act to correspond to that of the annual report under the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act.
Division 14 of Part 4 amends the Canada Health Act so that members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are included in the definition of “insured person”.
Division 15 of Part 4 amends the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act to
(a) remove the office of the Inspector General;
(b) require the Security Intelligence Review Committee to submit to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness a certificate on the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s annual report; and
(c) increase the information on the Service’s activities to be provided by that Committee to that Minister.
Division 16 of Part 4 amends the Currency Act to clarify certain provisions that relate to the calling in and the redemption of coins.
Division 17 of Part 4 amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act in order to implement the total transfer protection for the 2012-2013 fiscal year and to give effect to certain elements of major transfer renewal that were announced by the Minister of Finance on December 19, 2011. It also makes certain administrative amendments to that Act and to the Canada Health Act.
Division 18 of Part 4 amends the Fisheries Act to authorize the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to allocate fish for the purpose of financing scientific and fisheries management activities in the context of joint project agreements.
Division 19 of Part 4 amends the Food and Drugs Act to give the Minister of Health the power to establish a list that sets out prescription drugs or classes of prescription drugs and to provide that the list may be incorporated by reference. It also gives the Minister the power to issue marketing authorizations that exempt a food, or an advertisement with respect to a food, from certain provisions of the Act. The division also provides that a regulation with respect to a food and a marketing authorization may incorporate by reference any document. It also makes consequential amendments to other Acts.
Division 20 of Part 4 amends the Government Employees Compensation Act to allow prescribed entities to be subrogated to the rights of employees to make claims against third parties.
Division 21 of Part 4 amends the International Development Research Centre Act to reduce the maximum number of governors of the Centre to 14, and to consequently change other rules about the number of governors.
Division 22 of Part 4 amends Part I of the Canada Labour Code to require the parties to a collective agreement to file a copy of it with the Minister of Labour, subject to the regulations, as a condition for it to come into force. It amends Part III of that Act to require employers that provide benefits to their employees under long-term disability plans to insure those plans, subject to certain exceptions. The Division also amends that Part to create an offence and to increase maximum fines for offences under that Part.
Division 23 of Part 4 repeals the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act.
Division 24 of Part 4 amends the Old Age Security Act to provide the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development with the authority to waive the requirement for an application for Old Age Security benefits for many eligible seniors, to gradually increase the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security Pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Allowance and the Allowance for the Survivor and to allow individuals to voluntarily defer their Old Age Security Pension up to five years past the age of eligibility, in exchange for a higher, actuarially adjusted, pension.
Division 25 of Part 4 dissolves the Public Appointments Commission and its secretariat.
Division 26 of Part 4 amends the Seeds Act to give the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency the power to issue licences to persons authorizing them to perform activities related to controlling or assuring the quality of seeds or seed crops.
Division 27 of Part 4 amends the Statutory Instruments Act to remove the distribution requirements for the Canada Gazette.
Division 28 of Part 4 amends the Investment Canada Act in order to authorize the Minister of Industry to communicate or disclose certain information relating to investments and to accept security in order to promote compliance with undertakings.
Division 29 of Part 4 amends the Customs Act to allow the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to designate a portion of a roadway or other access way that leads to a customs office and that is used by persons arriving in Canada and by persons travelling within Canada as a mixed-traffic corridor. All persons who are travelling in a mixed-traffic corridor must present themselves to a border services officer and state whether they are arriving from a location outside or within Canada.
Division 30 of Part 4 gives retroactive effect to subsections 39(2) and (3) of the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985.
Division 31 of Part 4 amends the Railway Safety Act to limit the apportionment of costs to a road authority when a grant has been made under section 12 of that Act.
Division 32 of Part 4 amends the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act to replace the two Vice-chairperson positions with two permanent member positions.
Division 33 of Part 4 repeals the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development Act and authorizes the closing out of the affairs of the Centre established by that Act.
Division 34 of Part 4 amends the Health of Animals Act to allow the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to declare certain areas to be control zones in respect of a disease or toxic substance. The enactment also grants the Minister certain powers, including the power to make regulations prohibiting the movement of persons, animals or things in the control zones for the purpose of eliminating a disease or toxic substance or controlling its spread and the power to impose conditions on the movement of animals or things in those zones.
Division 35 of Part 4 amends the Canada School of Public Service Act to abolish the Board of Governors of the Canada School of Public Service and to place certain responsibilities on the Minister designated for the purposes of the Act and on the President of the School.
Division 36 of Part 4 amends the Bank Act by adding a preamble to it.
Division 37 of Part 4 amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to eliminate the requirement of a hearing for certain reviews.
Division 38 of Part 4 amends the Coasting Trade Act to add seismic activities to the list of exceptions to the prohibition against foreign ships and non-duty paid ships engaging in the coasting trade.
Division 39 of Part 4 amends the Status of the Artist Act to dissolve the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal and transfer its powers and duties to the Canada Industrial Relations Board.
Division 40 of Part 4 amends the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy Act to give the Round Table the power to sell or otherwise dispose of its assets and satisfy its debts and liabilities and to give the Minister of the Environment the power to direct the Round Table in respect of the exercise of some of its powers. The Division provides for the repeal of the Act and makes consequential amendments to other acts.
Division 41 of Part 4 amends the Telecommunications Act to change the rules relating to foreign ownership of Canadian carriers eligible to operate as telecommunications common carriers and to permit the recovery of costs associated with the administration and enforcement of the national do not call list.
Division 42 of Part 4 amends the Employment Equity Act to remove the requirements that are specific to the Federal Contractors Program for Employment Equity.
Division 43 of Part 4 amends the Employment Insurance Act to permit a person’s benefits to be determined by reference to their highest earnings in a given number of weeks, to permit regulations to be made respecting what constitutes suitable employment, to remove the requirement that a consent to deduction be in writing, to provide a limitation period within which certain repayments of overpayments need to be deducted and paid and to clarify the provisions respecting the refund of premiums to self-employed persons. It also amends that Act to modify the Employment Insurance premium rate-setting mechanism, including requiring that the rate be set on a seven-year break-even basis once the Employment Insurance Operating Account returns to balance. The Division makes consequential amendments to the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board Act.
Division 44 of Part 4 amends the Customs Tariff to make certain imported fuels duty-free and to increase the travellers’ exemption thresholds.
Division 45 of Part 4 amends the Canada Marine Act to require provisions of a port authority’s letters patent relating to limits on the authority’s power to borrow money to be recommended by the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Finance before they are approved by the Governor in Council.
Division 46 of Part 4 amends the First Nations Land Management Act to implement changes made to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management, including changes relating to the description of land that is to be subject to a land code, and to provide for the coming into force of land codes and the development by First Nations of environmental protection regimes.
Division 47 of Part 4 amends the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Act to increase the maximum indemnity in respect of individual travelling exhibitions, as well as the maximum indemnity in respect of all travelling exhibitions.
Division 48 of Part 4 amends the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act to provide that the chief executive officer of the Authority is appointed by the Governor in Council and that an employee may not replace the chief executive officer for more than 90 days without the Governor in Council’s approval.
Division 49 of Part 4 amends the First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act to repeal provisions related to the First Nations Statistical Institute and amends that Act and other Acts to remove any reference to that Institute. It authorizes the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to close out the Institute’s affairs.
Division 50 of Part 4 amends the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act to provide for the payment or reimbursement of fees for career transition services for veterans or their survivors.
Division 51 of Part 4 amends the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act to add powers, duties and functions that are substantially the same as those conferred by the Department of Social Development Act. It repeals the Department of Social Development Act and, in doing so, eliminates the National Council of Welfare.
Division 52 of Part 4 amends the Wage Earner Protection Program Act in order to correct the English version of the definition “eligible wages”.
Division 53 of Part 4 repeals the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act.
Division 54 of Part 4 amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2008 to provide for the termination of certain applications for permanent residence that were made before February 27, 2008. This Division also amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to, among other things, authorize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to give instructions establishing and governing classes of permanent residents as part of the economic class and to provide that the User Fees Act does not apply in respect of fees set by those instructions. Furthermore, this Division amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow for the retrospective application of certain regulations and certain instructions given by the Minister, if those regulations and instructions so provide, and to authorize regulations to be made respecting requirements imposed on employers in relation to authorizations to work in Canada.
Division 55 of Part 4 enacts the Shared Services Canada Act to establish Shared Services Canada to provide certain administrative services specified by the Governor in Council. The Act provides for the Governor in Council to designate a minister to preside over Shared Services Canada.
Division 56 of Part 4 amends the Assisted Human Reproduction Act to respond to the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Reference re Assisted Human Reproduction Act that was rendered in 2010, including by repealing the provisions that were found to be unconstitutional and abolishing the Assisted Human Reproduction Agency of Canada.