Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2

A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.


Joe Oliver  Conservative


This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

Part 1 implements certain income tax measures proposed in the February 11, 2014 budget. Most notably, it
(a) extends the intergenerational rollover and the lifetime capital gains exemption for dispositions of property used in farming and fishing businesses;
(b) extends the tax deferral provision with respect to breeding animals to bees, and to all types of horses that are over 12 months of age, that are kept for breeding;
(c) permits income contributed to an amateur athlete trust to qualify as earned income for RRSP contribution limit purposes, with an election available to taxpayers for up to a three-year retroactive application;
(d) extends the definition “split income” to include income from a business or property that is paid or allocated to a minor child from a partnership or trust where a person related to the child is engaged in the activities of the partnership or trust to earn that income;
(e) eliminates graduated rate taxation for trusts and certain estates with an exception for cases involving testamentary trusts whose beneficiaries include individuals eligible for the Disability Tax Credit;
(f) eliminates the 60-month exemption from the non-resident trust rules;
(g) allows an individual’s estate to carry back charitable donations made as a result of the individual’s death;
(h) expands eligibility for the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation and energy conservation equipment to include water-current energy equipment and a broader range of equipment used to gasify eligible waste fuel;
(i) adjusts Canada’s foreign accrual property income rules in order to address offshore insurance swap transactions and ensure that income from the direct or indirect insurance of Canadian risks is taxed appropriately;
(j) better circumscribes the existing “investment business” definition in the foreign accrual property income regime;
(k) addresses back-to-back loan arrangements involving an intermediary; and
(l) extends the existing tax credit for interest paid on student loans to interest paid on a Canada Apprentice Loan.
Part 1 also implements other selected income tax measures. Most notably, it
(a) alleviates the tax cost to Canadian-based banks of using excess liquidity of their foreign affiliates in their Canadian operations;
(b) ensures that certain securities transactions undertaken in the course of a bank’s business of facilitating trades for arm’s length customers are not inappropriately caught by the base erosion rules;
(c) modernizes the life insurance policy exemption test;
(d) amends the foreign affiliate rules to ensure they apply appropriately to structures that include partnerships and makes generally relieving changes to certain of the base erosion rules to ensure they do not apply in unintended circumstances;
(e) amends the rules for determining the residence of international shipping corporations;
(f) provides for the appropriate taxation of taxpayers that invest in Australian trusts;
(g) amends the foreign affiliate dumping rules to ensure the rules apply in appropriate circumstances and, if applicable, provide appropriate results;
(h) excludes from the definition “non-qualifying country” in the foreign affiliate rules those countries or other jurisdictions for which the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters is in force and effect;
(i) avoids unintended tax consequences with respect to the British Overseas Territory of the British Virgin Islands;
(j) simplifies the rules for the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit regime;
(k) amends the trust loss restriction event rules to provide relief for investment trusts that meet specific conditions; and
(l) increases the maximum amount that may be claimed under the Children Fitness Tax Credit and makes the credit refundable starting in 2015.
Part 2 implements certain goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) measures by
(a) ensuring that pooled registered pension plans are subject to similar GST/HST treatment as registered pension plans;
(b) implementing real property technical amendments that provide for the consistent treatment of different types of housing and ensure that the special valuation rule for subsidized housing works properly with the GST/HST place of supply rules and in the context of a GST/HST rate change;
(c) clarifying the application of GST/HST public service body rebates in relation to non-profit organizations that operate certain health care facilities; and
(d) relieving the GST/HST on services of refining precious metals supplied to a non-resident person that is not registered for GST/HST purposes.
Part 3 amends the Excise Act, 2001 to provide a refund of the inventory tax, introduced in the February 11, 2014 budget, on cigarettes that are destroyed or re-worked, in line with the refund of the excise duty that exists for tobacco products that are destroyed or re-worked.
Part 4 enacts and amends several Acts in order to implement various measures.
Division 1 of Part 4 amends the Industrial Design Act to make that Act consistent with the Geneva (1999) Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs and to give the Governor in Council the authority to make regulations for carrying it into effect. The amendments include provisions relating to the contents of an application for the registration of a design, requests for priority, and the term of an exclusive right for a design.
It also amends the Patent Act to, among other things, make that Act consistent with the provisions of the Patent Law Treaty. The amendments include reducing the requirements for obtaining a filing date in relation to an application for a patent, requiring that an applicant be notified of a missed due date before an application is deemed to be abandoned, and providing that a patent may not be invalidated for non-compliance with certain requirements relating to the application on the basis of which the patent was granted.
Division 2 of Part 4 amends the Aeronautics Act to authorize the Minister of Transport to make an order, and the Governor in Council to make regulations, that prohibit the development or expansion of or any change to the operation of an aerodrome. It also amends the Act to authorize the Governor in Council to make regulations in respect of consultations by the proponents and operators of aerodromes.
Division 3 of Part 4 enacts the Canadian High Arctic Research Station Act, which establishes a new federal research organization that is to be responsible for advancing knowledge of the Canadian Arctic through scientific investigation and technology, promoting the development and dissemination of knowledge of the other circumpolar regions, strengthening Canada’s leadership on Arctic issues and ensuring a research presence in the Canadian Arctic. It also repeals the Canadian Polar Commission Act and makes consequential amendments to other Acts.
Division 4 of Part 4 amends section 207 of the Criminal Code to permit charitable or religious organizations to carry out, with the use of a computer, certain operations relating to a provincially-licensed lottery scheme.
Division 5 of Part 4 amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act to adjust the national standard for eligibility for social assistance to provide that no minimum period of residence is to be required for Canadian citizens, for permanent residents, for victims of human trafficking who hold a temporary resident permit or for protected persons.
Division 6 of Part 4 amends the Radiocommunication Act to:
(a) introduce an administrative monetary penalty regime;
(b) explicitly prohibit jammers, subject to exemptions provided by the Minister of Industry;
(c) provide for the enforcement of rules, standards and procedures established for competitive bidding systems for radio authorizations;
(d) modernize wording relating to the powers of inspectors and the requirements to obtain warrants;
(e) authorize inspectors to request information in writing and to seize non-compliant devices; and
(f) authorize the Minister of Industry to share information with domestic and foreign bodies for the purpose of regulating radiocommunication.
Division 7 of Part 4 amends the Revolving Funds Act to correct an error in the heading before section 4 by replacing the reference to the Minister of Foreign Affairs with a reference to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. The amendment is deemed to have come into force on July 2, 2013.
Division 8 of Part 4 amends the Royal Canadian Mint Act to eliminate the anticipation of profit by the Royal Canadian Mint with respect to the provision of goods and services to the Government of Canada.
Division 9 of Part 4 amends the Investment Canada Act to require foreign investors to provide notification whenever they acquire a Canadian business through the realization of security on a loan or other financial assistance, unless another Act applies. It also allows public disclosure of certain information related to the national security review process and makes related amendments to another Act.
Division 10 of Part 4 amends the Broadcasting Act to prohibit a person who carries on a broadcasting undertaking from charging a subscriber for providing the subscriber with a paper bill.
Division 11 of Part 4 amends the Telecommunications Act to provide the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) with the authority to impose certain conditions concerning the offering and provision of services on providers of telecommunications services that are not telecommunications carriers, to prohibit providers of telecommunications services from charging subscribers for the provision of paper bills, to allow for sharing of information between the CRTC and the Competition Bureau, to provide the CRTC with the authority to impose administrative monetary penalties for violations of the Telecommunications Act, CRTC decisions and regulations, to provide the Minister of Industry with the authority to establish a registration system and update other processes relating to telecommunications apparatus in order to assess conformity with technical requirements, and to update inspection powers for ensuring compliance with that Act.
Division 12 of Part 4 amends the Business Development Bank of Canada Act to clarify the financial and management services that the Business Development Bank of Canada is authorized to provide, including financial services in respect of enterprises operating outside Canada. It also makes some changes to the governance provisions of that Act.
Division 13 of Part 4 amends the Northwest Territories Act — enacted by section 2 of chapter 2 of the Statutes of Canada, 2014 — to provide that, if the election period for the first general election under that Act would overlap with the election period for a federal general election, then the maximum duration of the first Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories under that Act may be extended until five years from the date fixed for the return of the writs at the last general election under the former Northwest Territories Act (chapter N-27 of the Revised Statutes of Canada).
Division 14 of Part 4 amends the Employment Insurance Act to allow for the refund of a portion of employer premiums paid by small businesses in 2015 and 2016. An employer is eligible for that refund if its premium is $15,000 or less for the year in question.
It also amends that Act to exclude from reconsideration under section 112 of that Act decisions of the Canada Employment Insurance Commission made under the Employment Insurance Regulations respecting the writing off of penalties owing, amounts payable or interest accrued on any penalties owing or amounts payable.
Division 15 of Part 4 amends the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act in order to implement amendments to the dispute resolution mechanism of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement.
Division 16 of Part 4 amends the Canada Marine Act to provide for the power to make regulations with respect to undertakings that are situated in a port. It also authorizes those regulations to incorporate by reference documents, including the laws of a province. Finally, it authorizes port authorities to acquire federal real property or federal immovables and to lease or license any real property or immovable other than federal real property or federal immovables.
Division 17 of Part 4 amends the DNA Identification Act to, among other things,
(a) create new indices in the national DNA data bank that will contain DNA profiles from missing persons, from their relatives and from human remains to assist law enforcement agencies, as well as coroners, medical examiners and persons or organizations with similar duties or functions, to find missing persons and identify human remains;
(b) create a new index that will contain DNA profiles from victims of designated offences to assist law enforcement agencies in identifying persons alleged to have committed designated offences;
(c) create a new index that will contain DNA profiles derived from bodily substances that are voluntarily submitted by individuals to assist in either the investigations of missing persons or designated offences;
(d) establish criteria for adding and retaining DNA profiles in, and removing them from, the new indices, and transferring profiles between indices;
(e) specify which DNA profiles in the existing and new indices will be compared with each other;
(f) specify the purposes for which the Commissioner of the RCMP may communicate the results of comparisons of DNA profiles and the purposes for which that information may be subsequently communicated; and
(g) specify the uses to which the results of comparisons of DNA profiles may be put.
It also makes consequential amendments to the Access to Information Act and the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.
Division 18 of Part 4 amends the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to provide that certain foreign entities that are engaged in the money-services business are included in the definition “foreign entity”.
Division 19 of Part 4 amends the Department of Employment and Social Development Act to eliminate the limit on the number of full-time and part-time members of the Social Security Tribunal.
Division 20 of Part 4 amends the Public Health Agency of Canada Act to create a new position of President as deputy head of the Public Health Agency of Canada, thereby separating the responsibilities of the Chief Public Health Officer from those of the deputy head of the Agency.
Division 21 of Part 4 amends the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2 in order to provide that certain provisions of Division 8 of Part 3 of that Act apply to any corporation resulting from an amalgamation referred to in that Division, and to provide that certain provisions of the Blue Water Bridge Authority Act continue to apply to the Blue Water Bridge Authority after its continuance.
Division 22 of Part 4 amends several Acts to discontinue supervision of provincial central cooperative credit societies by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, to eliminate tools for federal intervention in relation to those centrals and to provincial local cooperative credit societies, and to facilitate the entry of provincial cooperative credit societies into the federal credit union system by simplifying the process for continuation and amalgamation that applies to them.
Division 23 of Part 4 amends the Financial Administration Act to authorize Her Majesty in right of Canada to neither pay nor collect low-value amounts, except amounts owed by Crown corporations to persons other than Her Majesty in right of Canada, amounts payable to Crown corporations by such persons, amounts payable under the Air Travellers Security Charge Act, the Excise Act, 2001, the Excise Tax Act, the Income Tax Act or the Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006, and amounts related to the public debt or to interest on the public debt. It also provides Treasury Board with the authority to make regulations to set a low-value threshold, to specify circumstances for the accumulation of amounts and to exclude amounts, as well as regulations generally respecting the operation of the authority to neither pay nor collect low-value amounts.
Division 24 of Part 4 amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to, among other things,
(a) replace references to an opinion provided by the Department of Employment and Social Development, with respect to an application for a work permit, with references to an “assessment”;
(b) authorize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or the Minister of Employment and Social Development to publish on a list the name and address of an employer who, among other things, has been convicted of certain offences; and
(c) authorize the Governor in Council to make regulations
(i) regarding the publication and removal of the names and addresses of employers,
(ii) regarding the power to require documents from any individual or entity for inspection in order to verify compliance with regulatory conditions,
(iii) requiring an employer to provide prescribed information in relation to a foreign national’s authorization to work in Canada for the employer,
(iv) governing fees to be paid for rights and privileges in relation to an assessment provided by the Department of Employment and Social Development with respect to an application for a work permit,
(v) governing fees to be paid in respect of the compliance regime that applies to employers in relation to their employment of certain foreign nationals,
(vi) regarding the collection, retention, use, disclosure and disposal of Social Insurance Numbers, and
(vii) regarding the disclosure of information for the purposes of cooperation between the Government of Canada and the government of a province.
Division 25 of Part 4 amends the Judges Act and the Federal Courts Act to implement the Government’s Response to the Report of the Special Advisor on Federal Court Prothonotaries’ Compensation with respect to the salary and benefits of the prothonotaries of the Federal Court.
Division 26 of Part 4 amends the Canadian Payments Act to make changes to the governance structure of the Canadian Payments Association and to add new obligations in respect of accountability, including by
(a) changing the composition of the Board of the Directors of the Association and the procedures for selecting the directors of the Board;
(b) establishing a Member Advisory Council;
(c) expanding the power of the Minister of Finance to issue directives to the Association; and
(d) adding new obligations in respect of the preparation of annual reports and corporate plans.
Division 27 of Part 4 amends the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act to expand and enhance the oversight powers of the Bank of Canada with respect to systems for the clearing and settlement of payment obligations and other financial transactions, so that the Bank is better able to identify risks related to financial market infrastructure and to respond in a timely and proactive manner. It also makes minor consequential amendments to other Acts.
Division 28 of Part 4 enacts the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act in order to impose the following obligations on entities that are engaged in the commercial development of oil, gas or minerals for the purpose of implementing Canada’s international commitments in the fight against corruption:
(a) the obligation to report to the responsible Minister certain payments made to payees; and
(b) the obligation to make reported information accessible to the public.
For the purpose of verifying compliance, the Act provides for an inspection regime and gives a power to the responsible Minister to require an entity to provide certain information. Finally, the Act provides for certain offences relating to the obligations under the Act.
Division 29 of Part 4 amends the Jobs and Economic Growth Act to provide that Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Ltd. (CNL) is an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada, effective as of the date of CNL’s incorporation, and to provide that CNL will cease to be an agent on the day on which Atomic Energy of Canada Limited disposes of CNL’s shares. The Division also amends that Act to provide that the Public Service Superannuation Act will apply for a transitional period of three years to persons who are employees of CNL on that day.
Division 30 of Part 4 repeals a provision of the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2 that amended a provision of the Public Service Labour Relations Act. It also amends provisions of the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2 that amended the Public Service Employment Act in respect of the staffing complaint process.
It also makes a technical correction to a coordinating amendment in the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2.
Division 31 of Part 4 transfers the pensionable service that is to the credit of certain Royal Canadian Mounted Police pension contributors under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act to the Public Service Superannuation Act and deems those contributors to be Group 1 contributors under the Public Service Superannuation Act. It also amends the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act to repeal provisions relating to members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police not holding a rank.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.


Dec. 10, 2014 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
Dec. 10, 2014 Failed That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following: “this House decline to give third reading to C-43, A Second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, because it: ( a) amends dozens of unrelated Acts without adequate parliamentary debate and oversight; ( b) fails to take meaningful action to create jobs and address weak economic growth; ( c) seeks to restrict refugee claimants’ access to social assistance, despite no demonstrated fiscal need or request from provinces for such measures; ( d) introduces patent law changes which could lead to costly litigation against the government; ( e) implements a job credit whose job impacts have not been analyzed by the government itself, and which will deplete a significant sum from the Employment Insurance fund; and ( f) breaks the government’s promises to protect small businesses from merchant fees and to ban banks from charging pay-to-pay fees.”.
Dec. 8, 2014 Passed That Bill C-43, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, {as amended}, be concurred in at report stage [with a further amendment/with further amendments] .
Dec. 8, 2014 Failed That Bill C-43 be amended by deleting Clause 225.
Dec. 8, 2014 Failed That Bill C-43 be amended by deleting Clause 172.
Dec. 4, 2014 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-43, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at report stage of the Bill and one sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill; and That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at report stage and on the day allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the Bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.
Nov. 3, 2014 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.
Nov. 3, 2014 Failed That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following: “this House decline to give second reading to Bill C-43, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, because it: ( a) amends dozens of unrelated Acts without adequate parliamentary debate and oversight; ( b) fails to address persistent unemployment and sluggish economic growth; ( c) aims to strip refugee claimants of access to social assistance to meet their basic needs; ( d) imposes a poorly designed job credit that will create few, if any, jobs while depleting Employment Insurance Funds; and ( e) breaks the government’s promises to protect small businesses from merchant fees and to ban banks from charging pay-to-pay fees.”.
Oct. 30, 2014 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-43, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, not more than three further sitting days shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the Bill; and That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

December 11th, 2017 / 5:50 p.m.
See context

Spadina—Fort York Ontario


Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I have been sitting here listening to the description of omnibus bills and I must say that when I was on city council and we heard that the Conservative government of Stephen Harper was passing an omnibus bill, we were thrilled. We thought it was a transit plan. We were wrong. It was not a transit plan.

The comparison of that particular bill to this one is remarkable. This legislation would amend the Criminal Code. It is all contained within one single ministry. I will talk about the changes a bit later.

By comparison, Bill C-43, was close to 600 pages long. This will perhaps help some members of the New Democratic Party to remember what a real omnibus bill looks like, especially if they are new to the legislature.

Let me read some of the acts that were changed by Bill C-43: the Income Tax Act, the child fitness tax credit, the Income Tax Regulations, and the Excise Tax Act. A selected list of financial institutions was impacted as was the Excise Act, 2001.

There was intellectual property, the Industrial Design Act, and the amendments to the act and exclusive right. There was also the Patent Act and the biological materials. There was also the Aeronautics Act, the Canadian High Arctic Research Station Act and the enactment of act for that. As well, there were transitional provisions, consequential amendments, and the Access to Information Act.

To continue, there was the Financial Administration Act; the Privacy Act; the Public Service Superannuation Act; the Criminal Code, which is what we are dealing with here today, one single act. As well, there was the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act; the Radiocommunication Act; administrative monetary penalties; the Revolving Funds Act, with an amendment to that as well.

Under the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration there was another set of acts and that is when the government went to court and pulled this out because the Supreme Court overruled some of the government's changes to the Criminal Code nine times. The government pulled medical assistance and health care for refugees, one of the cruellest acts of Parliament in the history of this country. That was buried in the middle of Bill C-43.

I am not even halfway through the list of acts that were amended by Bill C-43.

The Royal Canadian Mint Act was impacted by the omnibus bill. There was the Investment Canada Act with amendments as well. There were also related amendments to the economic action plan. The Broadcasting Act was hit, as was the Telecommunications Act. There was the amendment to the general administrative monetary penalties. There were also provisions for both administrative monetary penalties schemes and coordinating amendments. The list goes on.

The Northwest Territories Act was impacted. The Employment Insurance Act was touched. The government even opened up the Canada-Chile free trade agreement. There was the Canada Marine Act, where marine ports were given legislative powers and planning powers that superceded municipalities. Nobody was consulted on that. Members were not even consulted on the Canada Marine Act. That was one of the most egregious things that the Conservative government did.

That government gave power to the port authorities to basically override and ignore local planning authorities, local decisions, and local plans made on any property that it acquired. In other words, the government could rezone property retroactively after it purchased it, which meant it could buy low-income property, property with low purchase prices, and then suddenly turn it into something much more valuable, like residential property, in order to turn a profit so it could then fund its programs. The government could not actually fund its programs based on the way the Canada Marine Act was configured. This drove cities across the country insane because it was so ill-conceived. It ran so roughshod over local planning and local real estate laws. It was amazing. At the end, the government had to pull many of those provisions off the table because it was such an egregious piece of legislation.

There were also changes to the DNA Identification Act. There were amendments to the act and establishment and contents. There was the comparison of profiles and communication. There was also the removal of access to information that was changed. The list goes on.

There was the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. There was also the Public Health Agency. The Conservative government split the position of the chief of the Public Health Agency of this country into two, one who reported to cabinet and one who reported directly to the government.

Bill C-43 was a budget bill by the way. All of the acts they changed were administrative changes made to important parts of the department. The Conservatives also reduced the fees for bee breeding, one of my favourites.

They also increased tax on hospital parking. They thought if someone was going to visit his or her mother in hospital and they could find a way to tax that visit, they would do that. That was part of the omnibus bill.

What we said in our campaign promise was explicit. We said that budget bills would remain budget bills. Much of what the NDP complains about when they talk about omnibus bills is our budget enactment bills, which are omnibus bills by their very nature. They are exactly the kind we promised to sustain.

Budgets are not done one clause at a time. When fundamental policies across the breadth of government are changed, it is a coordinated budget, a coordinated piece of legislation, and we exempted that from our prohibition on omnibus acts. The legislation we introduced to prevent omnibus acts, which the opposition has used effectively in this term of Parliament, excludes budget acts for the very reason that a budget has to be passed all at once, otherwise we end up with a thousand votes and a thousand clauses.

I wait to see an NDP government in B.C. pass the budget clause-by-clause. It will take it six years to do that, and my sense after today's decision on the dam is that it may not have six years.

The issue we are talking about here today is reforms to the Criminal Code. The reforms are extraordinarily important. There are some elements of the code that are nuisance laws. There is a law prohibiting crime comics in our country. That would be taken away. There are rules and regulations that have existed and been on the books for a number of years that just do not make sense anymore. Those would be cleaned up as part of this process.

However, we are also bringing forth some critically important changes to the way sexual assault is prosecuted in the courts. We are taking steps to protect women and other vulnerable individuals who are sexually assaulted. Those deal with a comprehensive set of rules and regulations that tie together evidence laws and some of the practices and procedures in the court system. They need to be brought together in a bill because that is the way it is done. If we are going to make comprehensive change, we have to unite the issues and items that are related under a single ministry, or statute, or a single set of laws, like the Criminal Code, and make those changes as part of a comprehensive process. That is what is happening. This is not an omnibus bill. These are amendments to the Criminal Code. This is a legal bill coming from the Minister of Justice, and it is an appropriate set of bills.

The last thing I want to talk about is the changes to be made. I was a member of Parliament in the last session and watched as committees refused to entertain any conversation with anyone. That included not only the opposition but the witnesses. There were a number of times when Conservative members would come and tell me there was a mistake made in the drafting of legislation. I remember one instance dealing pharmacare and pharmacy regulations. Every single witness, the doctors, the hospitals, the patients' rights groups, the medical officials, and the science community, came forward and said “You made a small mistake here”. One of the opposition members said, “I know we've made that mistake, but we're not allowed to fix it. The Senate has said it will entertain no motions of change, at all, ever”. In fact, we would be hard pressed to find an amendment that was made to any bill that was printed for any committee over the last four years.

What we have in this process is a piece of legislation that was drafted. Through the committee process, with good evidence from Canadians coming forward, and our listening to that evidence, and members of the opposition and members of the government talking about how to make a bill better, which is in fact the committee process, rules were changed and the law was changed. That is as it should be. The notion that we can land a piece of legislation perfectly and never make a change to it ever again is absurd. It is the wrong way to approach Parliament. It is the wrong way to approach committees.

It does not mean that every opposition motion or amendment will be passed. That is wishful thinking, quite frankly. What it does mean is that when a good suggestion comes forward, the committee should seize that issue and the points raised and modify laws. That is the way a good committee process works. That is the way a good Parliament works, and we are being told we are weak or made a mistake because we did that.

The previous government was arrogant. We saw time and again the Harper government land legislation that it deemed to be perfect and not to be debated in the House, let alone changed at committee level and listened to by Canadians. Even the Senate, where they had a majority, would not entertain motions of change. The legislation was paralyzed from point of introduction to point of enactment. That is not good democracy. That is not good government, and that certainly is not a good parliamentary process.

Yes, a motion was changed. I expect good debate to change motions and to make them better, because as the Prime Minister often says, “better is always possible”. The opposite side often has good ideas. I have sat with them in conversation about a number of different projects and proposals, and asked them to get us to a better spot, because as I said, that is the way good legislation emerges.

We are here to listen and to talk. We are here to debate. We are also here to have conversations, and when those conversations result in reasonable propositions coming forward that fix legislation and make it better, our government, as a good government, is always going to be there to listen to Canadians, parliamentarians, and caucus. It will listen to differing views on all sides of the issues. I am proud to be part of a government that does that.

I am also proud to be part of a government that has put procedural mechanisms in place for House so that when a complex bill moves forward and the Speaker is asked to rule on whether or not it is an omnibus bill, there is a methodology, a process, that will allow that bill to be split so that members can vote differently on different parts of the legislation. That is not a bad thing, but a good thing. It does not mean that every one of the bills we present will be perfect. We are not expecting perfection on any side of the House. What we are looking for is honest effort, good contributions, solid thinking, wise Canadians being brought to Parliament to participate in the committee process so that all Canadians when they see legislation passed can see their voice reflected.

I want to remind the House about the omnibus legislation the opposition talks about. It is ludicrous to suggest that a budget cannot be passed unless there is clause by clause. Budgets are complete sets of expenditures, programs, and development. That is how they will be presented. The opposition can hue and cry about it all it wants, but it is wrong.

It is wrong on this legislation. It is wrong to characterize the other complex bills as omnibus simply because several ideas under a single ministry are brought together as a comprehensive set of reforms. That kind of complaint is really just wrong. A former New Democrat in Toronto used to talk about it and said that when the opposition complained about the process, it had conceded the argument. All it is trying to do now is just dumb us up with a conversation about process. We have seen that happen a couple of times in the House this session.

When legislation is brought forward that gives the opposition the right to challenge it as omnibus, it can avail itself of that process. Why is the opposition not doing it on this bill? It is because on this bill the opposition happens to understand why the bill is being brought into concert. It understands the process it went through as it went through the committee. We can actually hear the opposition members say that they effectively support the bill.

What are the opposition members talking about when they complain about the bill. They are complaining about something that was taken out already. In other words, they are complaining about being listened to. If the opposition members are going to be complaining about being listened to, how else are we going to engage with them, if they are not going to talk to us anymore? How else can we engage with them? When we listen to them, it is a good thing. They should be thanking us for it. Instead what the opposition members are trying to do is knock us down because of it. That is absurd.

This legislation, which is on its last few hours of debate, is an incredibly important for the reform of the way sexual assault is treated in the legal system. It also gets rid of a bunch of laws that really should not be on the books anymore. Every now and then governments need to do that as part of the Criminal Code reform.

At the end of the day, the legislation will be supported by the bulk of the members in the House, based on the speeches I have heard today, because government in fact did work with consensus, did work with the committee, and did work with the committee chair to make the changes that needed to made. For that, I am happy.

However, if the opposition members would like to go back to debating omnibus bill, I have Bill C-43 in front of me. I also have the other omnibus bills the Conservatives passed. If the members want disconnected pieces of legislation that go off in all directions at once, with sound and fury signifying, unfortunately, too much and too little, members can refer back to the previous Parliament. Then we can talk about real omnibus legislation. Real changes to fundamental policies that affected Canadians were slipped in, not mentioned in the budget speech, not printed in the budget book, not brought together as a cohesive or coherent economic argument, but simply added to a budget bill, and then made into a mandatory vote with no changes being proposed at committee.

That is what an omnibus bill is. This is not an omnibus bill under any definition of the word.

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1.Government Orders

May 10th, 2016 / 10:25 a.m.
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Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we take respect for Parliament seriously. The way we start is by putting forth a budget that is really focused on how we can help Canadians. I would like to remind the member opposite of a few numbers that might be helpful for him to put that in context.

In 2010, the previous government put forward Bill C-9, which was a budget bill with 904 pages. I do not know how Parliament can go through 904 pages, but I do know that Canadians expect us to go through what we want to go through, which is the budget that we have put forward and which is a much more reasonable budget for people to understand.

I would remind him of Bill C-13, put forward in 2011 with 658 pages, again vastly more than triple the number of pages in our budget 2016. Maybe I can move to Bill C-43 from 2014, with 478 pages.

We will take no lessons from members on the opposite side about respecting Parliament. We have debated the budget for almost twice as many hours as they put forward in Bill C-43 and Bill C-59. We have had the time we need to reflect on this legislation, and we would like to move forward so we can make a difference for Canadians, which is what they elected us to do.

Bill C-15—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1.Government Orders

May 10th, 2016 / 10:15 a.m.
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Toronto Centre Ontario


Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the amount of debate and the speakers on Bill C-15 is either comparable or much higher than debates on budget implementation acts from the previous government. In most cases, those BIAs were close to double the number of pages that are in Bill C-15.

I can say that including today, our government will have provided for almost 19 hours of debate at second reading. If we look at the previous session of Parliament, the previous government shut down second reading debate on two budget bills, Bill C-43 and Bill C-59, in under 10 hours. We have already nearly doubled the amount of time for debate at second reading on Bill C-15.

We are proud of the bill, and we are very much looking forward to putting it forward and getting it passed for Canadians so we can make a real difference in their lives.

April 12th, 2016 / 12:40 p.m.
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Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

It's not so much an issue of the public service. What I would say is that some of the language in this bill—I guess I don't have the same inclination to non-partisanship—comes directly out of Bill C-43 from the previous government, particularly around exclusions from collective bargaining. I will say what you may not be prepared to say at committee—

Opposition Motion—Financial Code of ConductBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

June 1st, 2015 / 1 p.m.
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Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to the motion from the member for Davenport seeking a ban on pay-to-pay fees charged by Canadian banks.

I want to start by examining the issue of pay to pay and how it relates to existing consumer protection measures in the financial sector. Then I would like to use the rest of my time to discuss a more meaningful way to bring fairness to the middle class and those Canadians working hard to join the middle class.

I believe that the underlying issue of today's motion is one of fairness. The motion before us calls for “a mandatory financial code of conduct to protect consumers”. While the text of the motion does not explicitly lay out an objective, I believe that its main objective really is fairness, which is something any reasonable person in this House can support.

It is an issue that speaks to our founding principles, peace, order and good government, and is a recognition that we need strong consumer protection measures so that Canadians are treated fairly when they make a purchase or enter into an agreement.

There is an inherent imbalance between large institutions and large businesses and individual consumers with respect to information and power. Most individuals need the protection of strong laws and consumer protection measures to help even the scales.

Canadians are justifiably proud of our banks. We have some of the largest and most successful banks in the world. Our resilient banking system did not just happen by accident. It was shaped, largely, by reforms in the 1990s, directed, in fact, by the strong governments of Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien, when globally, the banking systems were being deregulated in Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. Canada did not follow suit at that time and did not follow the global trend of deregulation. Canadians and our banking system are better off for it.

However, every system needs balance. A strong banking system must be complemented by strong consumer protection measures that ensure fairness for Canadians.

In today's economy, access to basic banking services is essential for consumers. We are moving towards a cashless society. It is becoming nearly impossible to carry on today without a bank account. Even the federal government is pushing Canadians towards an increasingly cashless society and electronic transactions. The government is in the midst of phasing out, for instance, its use of printed cheques. As of next April, Canadians will be required to accept all payments from the federal government by direct deposit. This will include tax refunds and federal child benefits as well as CPP, OAS, and EI payments.

The government has said that it will only issue cheques under exceptional circumstances. For example, it will continue to issue cheques to people who live in remote communities where they do not have access to a financial institution. For everyone else, it is clear that the government sees bank accounts as a prerequisite to receiving financial support.

Liberals believe that the government ought to show more compassion, understanding, and flexibility in allowing more Canadians to continue receiving cheques. For instance, we can look at situations with many of the elderly, who may be less disposed to using electronic banking, or low-income Canadians, who may not have ongoing and reliable access to high-speed Internet or who cannot afford those connections on an ongoing basis.

We recognize how essential it has become for Canadians to have access to basic banking services, particularly, as I mentioned, for low-income Canadians, who cannot afford to see their meagre earnings eaten up by large fees. That is why, in 2001, the Liberal government brought in legislation to guarantee access to basic banking services for all Canadians, including low-income Canadians. It is why the Liberal government banned the banks from placing a hold on government cheques valued at $1,500 or less. It is why a Liberal government brought in rules requiring each of the largest banks to offer a standard low-fee bank account. These accounts include between eight and 12 transactions per month as well as a free debit card, free deposits, and free monthly statements.

At the same time, a Liberal government established the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to monitor the financial services industry, educate consumers, and enforce new, stronger consumer protection measures. These reforms were introduced by a Liberal government. They were an important step forward, but a lot has happened over the last decade. Technology has changed everywhere. Smart phones are now everywhere. More Canadians are doing their shopping and banking online, and a growing number of companies in telecommunications, broadcasting, and the banking sector are pressuring Canadians to pay their bills online as a way to cut costs.

In the past few years, we have seen a proliferation of pay-to-pay fees. Let us be clear about what that term actually means. “Pay to pay” is widely understood to mean the practice of charging customers an additional fee for mailing them a paper invoice or statement, in a lot of cases. It does not mean an end to all transaction fees for payments.

Last year, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre estimated that Canadian consumers were paying between $495 million and $735 million per year to receive paper bills for telco and banking services combined. Of that total, $180 million was for the banking sector. PIAC also conducted a survey that found that a third of Canadians were uncomfortable receiving bills or statements online, for a variety of reasons. I mentioned seniors, particularly, who may be averse to that.

Many Canadians are worried about falling victim to online scams and identity theft. Earlier this year, thousands of employees at the Canada Revenue Agency were unable to identify a fake email phishing scam that was sent to them as part of a test. It is understandable that cautious Canadians would take extra steps to avoid the possibility of being scammed.

Another reason some Canadians insist on paper billing is because they simply do not have a choice. They do not have high-speed Internet at home. This is a significant barrier to low-income Canadians. According to Stats Canada's latest Canadian Internet use survey, only 58% of households in the lowest-income quartile have Internet at home. That compares to an access rate of 98% and 94% in the first and second income quartiles. Not surprisingly, the PIAC survey found that low-income Canadians are more likely to pay their bills in person or by mail rather than online, and they are not alone.

Canadians living in rural and remote communities are less likely to have reliable high-speed Internet at home. Seniors are less likely to use the Internet regularly, making them more likely to end up paying extra fees for paper billing.

It seems unfair to punish Canadians with extra fees because they are poor, they are low-income, or they live in an area where they cannot get high-speed Internet. It seems to me that we are disadvantaging those who are already disadvantaged.

PIAC estimated that Canadians without Internet access spend between $77 million and $102 million per year on paper billing. Pay-to-pay fees were virtually unheard of before 2010, but between 2010 and 2014, a system came into place that forced some of these most vulnerable Canadians to pay extra fees just to find out how much they owed for banking and telco services, which are considered essential in the modern world.

In the last few months, new consumer protection measures have come into place. Bill C-43 introduced measures to end pay-to-pay fees in the broadcasting and telco sectors. It prohibited service providers from charging customers who receive paper bills for wireless, Internet, telephone, and television services. Liberals voted in favour of these measures during clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.

There have also been new measures to limit bank fees. The government has built on the reforms Liberals introduced in 2001 and expanded low-fee and no-fee bank accounts. Students, low-income seniors, and Canadians with disabilities are entitled to basic banking services with no fees. With low-fee and no-fee accounts, many Canadians can avoid pay-to-pay fees at their banks.

However, according to the banks around 15% of Canadians pay fees for mailed bank statements. Apparently, the banks are willing to waive these fees for customers who face economic hardship or who do not have Internet access, but there is more that can be done to avoid pay-to-pay fees across the federally regulated financial sector.

Of course, the devil is in the detail. Closing the door on pay-to-pay fees would not mean a thing if it leads to similar fees popping up elsewhere. The government must be clear in how it defines the term pay-to-pay. Does it refer to invoices for accounts where the customer owes money, such as credit cards and mortgages? Does the government have a broader interpretation that would include statements for all financial accounts at the bank, including investment accounts, or is the government's interpretation even broader still? It seems that a small number of people are trying to morph the term into something far more comprehensive, covering almost any financial transaction fee on any payment. Therefore, we need some level of clarity around that. No one likes bank fees, but banning transaction fees in a modern world of e-commerce has to be done discerningly.

It is really important to recognize that there are many meaningful ways we can bring fairness back to Canadian families who are struggling. Today's motion reflects one way. The Liberal plan for fairness is another way to help struggling middle-class Canadian families and those Canadians working hard to join the middle class.

The Liberals have put forward a plan to stand up for Canadian middle-class families. We recognize that too many Canadian families are struggling just to make ends meet. They are struggling under the crushing weight of record levels of personal debt, $1.66 for every $1.00 of disposable income. Canadians have been taking on more debt as the job quality in Canada has deteriorated. In fact, according to CIBC Economics we have the worst job quality in Canada that we have had in 25 years. We have seen full-time jobs with benefits being replaced by part-time work.

Too many middle-class Canadians have not had a real pay raise in a long time and too many young Canadians have yet to really start their careers. They face a labour market that still has 160,000 fewer jobs for young Canadians today than back in 2008. Young Canadians face a growing pressure to take unpaid work, just for the work experience. We have all heard of recent graduates who are stuck in a cycle going from unpaid internship to unpaid internship, while their parents are struggling to help pay the bills. That is another reason why more and more Canadians are going deeper into debt, the direct financial subsidization of young Canadians who have good educations but cannot find good work to support themselves.

Many middle-class parents are delaying their retirement in order to help adult children who simply have not been able to achieve financial self-sufficiency. It is no longer unusual to hear of young Canadians still living with their parents into their late 20s or beyond. Meanwhile, income inequality has grown, and growing income inequality does not just go against our sense of fairness, it is also bad for economic growth. We have learned that from the IMF, among others.

A Liberal government would make the tax system fairer and cut the middle-class tax rate by 7%. That is a $3-billion tax cut for those who need it the most. We could afford to do this by asking the wealthiest Canadians to pay a little more so the middle class can pay less. We would introduce a new tax bracket for the top 1% on incomes over $200,000.

We would also cancel the Conservatives' $2-billion income splitting scheme that the C.D. Howe Institute has actually told us will only benefit 15% of Canada's richest families. Income splitting provides $2,000 more to those who do not need the help. It does nothing to help single parents or low-income families. In fact, according to the C.D. Howe Institute, 85% of Canadian households, those who need the help the most, will not get a dime from income splitting.

According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, higher income families are not only more likely to qualify for benefits under income splitting, the average benefit actually rises with family income. The Conservatives are providing the most help to precisely those who need it the least. We do not think it is fair to ask struggling Canadians to pay for a $2,000 tax break for the Prime Minister's family or, in fact, for the family of the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Income splitting is not just unfair, it also needlessly complicates our tax system and is bad for growth. It is complicated that we need to follow an 85-step process just to apply. Even the tax experts within the Department of Finance who wrote the rules got it wrong the first three times it came to Parliament. It is also bad for growth. The PBO has shown that income splitting will actually weaken our economy rather than strengthen it. He estimates that it would cost the equivalent of 7,000 full-time jobs.

The Liberal plan would do more to grow the economy and help families with the high cost of raising kids. A Liberal government would provide one bigger tax-free monthly cheque to Canadian families with children. Under our plan, every family earning less than $150,000 per year would receive more monthly benefits.

With the Liberal plan's new Canada child benefit, a typical two-parent family with two children earning $90,000 per year would get $490 tax-free every month. Under the Conservatives, the same family today only receives $275 after tax.

When we compare the two plans, the Liberal plan would provide an extra $2,500 per year tax free over what Canadians are now getting under the Conservative government. Therefore, that family making $90,000 a year with two children would be $2,500 better off every single year.

With the Liberal plan, a typical single-parent family earning $30,000 a year with one child would get an extra $533 tax free every month. That is significantly more generous than the $440 that family gets under the Conservatives currently.

A Canadian family making $45,000 per year with two children would receive an extra $4,000 per year after taxes under the Liberal plan for fairness than they are receiving right now under the Conservatives.

It boils down to choices, and Canadians have two fundamentally different choices now. The Conservatives are offering tax breaks for the wealthy, and the Liberals are offering a plan to help the Canadian middle class with a middle-class tax cut and a new, fairer, more generous and simpler Liberal Canada child benefit.

Liberals believe in a country that works for everyone. We will put more money in the pockets of Canada's middle-class families and those Canadians who are working hard to join the middle class.

In conclusion, today's motion focuses on small fees that are an irritant to Canadians. It is a step that we expect all parties can support. However, a Liberal government would go further by tackling the bigger issues facing Canadians.

We would provide real, meaningful help to Canadian families who are struggling and a middle-class tax cut that would put more money back in the pockets of the Canadian families who need the help the most. A Liberal Canada child benefit would help vulnerable Canadian families, low- and middle-income families with children who need the help the most.

We can afford to do that and still balance budgets, because we are prepared to make a choice by asking wealthier Canadian families to pay more. It is fair and it is also good for jobs and growth, because when we cut taxes on the middle-income and lower-income Canadians, it is more stimulative to the Canadian economy.

We will be presenting more plans for jobs and growth in the future and fairness for Canadian middle-class families. We are looking forward as a government moving forward to really helping those families after the next election.

December 11th, 2014 / 4:15 p.m.
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General Director, Tax Policy Branch, Department of Finance

Brian Ernewein

I'm sorry. I'm mixing up my years. It was in 2014. It's in Bill C-43 this year, which has passed in the House of Commons, and is now in the Senate.

December 11th, 2014 / 4:15 p.m.
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A voice

It was Bill C-43.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

December 10th, 2014 / 3:40 p.m.
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The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the motion at third reading of Bill C-43.

May I dispense?

The House resumed from December 9 consideration of the motion that Bill C-43, A Second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-43, A Second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

December 9th, 2014 / 3:55 p.m.
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Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, before I begin my remarks, I would like to note that I will be splitting my time with my colleague and friend, the chief government whip.

Since taking office in 2006, our Conservative government has been focused on what matters most to Canadians, and that is jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity.

We are on track to achieve balance by 2015, because we have been prudent. We cannot afford to risk the future of our country by engaging in reckless spending schemes and wild tax hikes. We will not lose focus.

Coming into government in 2006, the first thing our government did was fulfill some of our major campaign commitments. We cut the GST, created the universal child care benefit for families with children, and paid down the debt. In fact, we paid down about $38 billion worth of federal debt, which put us in good stead when bad economic times hit in the last quarter of 2008. This latter decision proved to be one of the best decisions our government made, as we would find out later.

Our government also created our economic roadmap, advantage Canada. It was an economic plan designed to position Canada for future prosperity. The basic principles of advantage Canada remain as relevant today as when our government created it back in 2006: no reckless spending, and lower taxes.

When Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, subprime mortgages in the United States caused a ripple effect through global economies and credit markets. Well, extraordinary times required extraordinary measures, and our government stepped up. When the dust began to settle, Canada was not only the last G7 country into the recession but the first G7 country out of the recession. Why? It was because our economic action plan worked. By paying down debt at the outset, we had more flexibility to take the necessary measures we did.

As a result of our economic performance, Canada has developed a great brand around the world. In fact, Tom Donohue, president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, has said about our government's achievements: “The great Canadian miracle is something we should follow”.

Notwithstanding the creation of 1.2 million net new jobs since the end of the recession, Bloomberg stating that Canada is the best place in the world to set up business, and our consistent AAA credit rating, we are not out of the woods yet. The Canadian economy still faces potential challenges from abroad. We must continue to take action where and when necessary. We must solidify our gains and take action now to mitigate against any potential dark economic clouds that may drift in from elsewhere.

Although the World Bank has ranked Canada's banking and financial sector as the world's best for six years in a row, our government has continuously been on the forefront to strengthen and bolster our financial sector so that it will remain number one.

As I noted, since the start of the global economic financial crisis, our government has implemented a number of measures to maintain Canada's financial sector's advantage and to reinforce stability for the sector. I want to highlight two of them contained within Bill C-43 that will continue to build on our strong foundation of stability within our financial system.

First are proposed changes to the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act. Second are proposed changes to the Canadian Payments Act. Both are key to maintaining Canada in the forefront of financial sector stability, otherwise known as the Canada brand.

The Payment Clearing and Settlement Act provides the Bank of Canada with the legislative authority and power to oversee clearing and settlement systems, also called financial market infrastructures, or FMIs, that may be operated in such a manner as to pose systematic risk to the Canadian financial system. Systematic risk arises when the inability of one participant to meet its obligations to the financial market infrastructure could cause other participants to be unable to meet their obligations.

The Payment Clearing and Settlement Act is the federal government's recognition of the essential role of major FMIs in the Canadian economy and the importance of regulatory oversight of these FMIs. The Payment Clearing and Settlement Act provides the Bank of Canada with two main oversight responsibilities: first, designating FMIs that have the potential to pose systematic risk as subject to bank oversight; and second, overseeing designated FMIs to ensure that they are adequately controlling systematic risk.

The amendments to the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act would expand and enhance the Bank of Canada's oversight of financial market infrastructures to ensure that risks to financial market infrastructures can be identified and addressed in a proactive and timely manner. These amendments would address the gaps in oversight identified in our government's review of the system undertaken in 2012. Addressing these gaps and the oversight of major clearing systems are critical to the efficient functioning of the Canadian financial system and the economy.

What are the gaps these changes seek to address? Under the current regime, the Bank of Canada's oversight is limited to clearing and settlement systems that pose systemic risk. It does not extend to non-systemically important systems for which a failure can have a serious impact on the economy and on general confidence in the payment system.

In addition, some of the regulatory tools currently available to the Bank of Canada are insufficient for addressing certain types of risk in clearing and settlement systems. These proposed amendments would broaden the scope of oversight to prominent payment systems and would enhance some of the tools available to the Bank of Canada to respond to these risks. The proposed changes would also expand the definition of “systemic risk” to capture disruptive effects, not just on financial institutions but on financial markets and their participants. The changes would also better align the definition with international standards.

How would the changes impact the industry? In fulfilling its oversight role, the Bank of Canada uses a co-operative approach to ensure that owners and operators of clearing settlement systems are adequately controlling risk. The changes would ensure that the Bank of Canada would be able to backstop this co-operative approach should it need to respond to risks in clearing and settlement systems. These changes would allow the Bank of Canada to respond to potential risks in a more timely and proactive manner.

The second set of amendments would be to the Canadian Payments Act.

The Canadian Payments Association owns and operates national payments and clearing systems. These systems are used by financial institutions to transfer money among themselves. Types of payments cleared and settled through the CPA system include payroll, debit transactions, and wire payments.

Everyone is in agreement that the CPA is a capable owner and operator of these systems. These amendments would improve the CPA's governance by, first, introducing greater independent decision-making to its board of directors by establishing a majority independent board, led by an independent chair; second, improving the CPA's accountability to government and the public by requiring the CPA to submit a corporate plan and to publish an annual report; and third, expanding the power of the Minister of Finance to issue directives to the CPA. These measures would ensure that the CPA system was operated for the benefit of Canadian consumers, businesses, and the economy. They would also support competition and innovation in the payments industry.

Canadians make roughly 25 billion payments, worth more than $44 trillion, each year. The payments system is vital to consumers and to the continued strength of the Canadian economy. Advances in information and communications technology are changing the way Canadians pay for goods and services.

While payments systems are evolving, they must always be safe and sound so that Canadians can have confidence in them. That is why we are seeking these changes. I look forward to the support of all members of this House for these amendments and for Bill C-43.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

December 9th, 2014 / 3:40 p.m.
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Jasbir Sandhu NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to rise in the House on behalf of my constituents from Surrey North. Today I will speak to Bill C-43, the budget implementation act.

Given the track record of the Conservatives, it is no surprise to me that they again have moved time allocation on this bill. I am lucky enough to get a chance to speak on behalf of my constituents, however, I know many members from the NDP and Liberal side, and maybe the Conservative side, will not get the opportunity to represent their constituents.

There is no possible way that a 460-page bill, which contains more than 400 clauses, could be adequately studied, analyzed and debated under this type of time restriction. Is that a surprise? Well, I am not surprised at all. Under the government, omnibus bills that amend dozens of acts at a time and pushed through the House under time allocation are unfortunately becoming the norm. It is unfortunate that the government insists on following this anti-democratic process time and time again. However, after three and a half years, I have recognized that the Conservative government is not planning on changing its ways any time soon.

There is a laundry list of things in the bill before us. It talks about temporary foreign workers, pay-to-pay fees, airports, the Canadian Polar Commission and the EI job credit. The Conservatives are also beating up on refugees in the bill.

However, I want to talk about what is important to my constituents. When I go back to Surrey, I like talking to people and finding out what their issues are, but none of those issues have been addressed in the bill.

I often say when we are on the Hill, that Ottawa is like a little bubble. We need to get outside of the Hill and hear what Canadians want. However, I get the feeling that the Conservatives are still living in that bubble, because what Canadians are saying is not being addressed in the House by the government.

I come from Surrey North, which is a dynamic, vibrant and fast-growing city in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. I am extremely proud to represent a portion of such a diverse and interesting city. However, Surrey is facing many pressures and challenges that require action and assistance from the federal government to solve.

Surrey's challenges range from a lack of affordable housing, aging infrastructure, inadequate public transit and serious issues around crime and poverty. Federal funding and support is sorely needed to make inroads to address these challenges in my city.

I continue to hear from my constituents on the problem of public transit in Surrey, and I have to agree. Surrey is the second largest city in British Columbia, soon to be the largest city in the upcoming years. It is growing at a rate of about 12,000 to 13,000 new residents annually. As one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, and the fastest-growing city in metropolitan Vancouver, there is a clear need for infrastructure funding to support this growth. Public transportation is increasingly a problem for a such a fast-growing city. Although the population of Surrey continues to grow at an astounding rate, public transportation has not kept pace.

The SkyTrain is Surrey's most efficient public transit connection to other cities in the Lower Mainland, such as New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver. However, SkyTrain service in Surrey has not been expanded since 1994 when three new stations were put in—all in my riding—but nothing has been done since then.

Twenty years later, the face of Surrey has changed dramatically, and it is well past the time that the federal government commit to funding critical infrastructure, such as the expansion of public transit in Surrey. Residents in my community of Surrey North will tell members that the public transit system in Surrey is inadequate, and I hear that quite often. There are long wait times and convoluted routes to get from one point in the city to another.

The city of Surrey is currently working to secure funding for a light rail transit network that will connect different town centres in the city as well as connect Surrey to cities in our area, such as Langley. This is an important step forward for our city and a very important investment that is critical to ensuring Surrey remains a livable and connected city.

It disappoints me greatly to see that the budget does not allocate funding to important projects that are critical to continued growth and development of major cities, such as Surrey. Other cities across the country are facing similar pressures with regard to public transit. We hear from the FCM on a regular basis about the lack of funding for transit infrastructure development for the cities across this nation.

Just last week, my colleague, the member for Parkdale—High Park, pointed out the issues that Toronto had experienced with the transit system not keeping pace with the population growth. This is not an isolated issue. Investment in infrastructure is necessary to ensure that our cities continue to be some of the best and most livable in the world.

In terms of infrastructure, public transit is not the only issue facing my community of Surrey North. As I have mentioned many times in the House, the aging Pattullo Bridge is a major concern to my constituents. I have been very vocal in requesting that the federal government step in and play a role in regional infrastructure planning and development. The 76-year-old Pattullo Bridge, which was built for a 50-year lifespan, now poses a significant safety concern.

The Golden Ears Bridge and the Port Mann Bridge, which both feed either directly or indirectly into Surrey North, are the only toll bridges in western Canada and the only toll bridges coming into my riding.

Many Surrey residents continue to commute across the Fraser River to go to work. The future of the Pattullo Bridge will have a significant impact on the residents of Surrey, especially on the residents of Surrey North, as it is the last non-toll bridge that feeds directly into our city.

I have been anxiously waiting for the federal government to commit to participating in infrastructure planning and development in the south Fraser River region. However, this budget proves that this is not a priority for the government.

Municipalities receive only 8% of the tax revenue, but are responsible for 60% of the development. This equation does not add up, and it is clear that the federal government has a responsibility to allocate funding to regional development and infrastructure in a reasonable manner that creates sustainable and livable cities.

This is not being done right now. It is not being addressed in this budget at all.

Finally, I hear concerns about crime in my community very frequently. Residents are concerned about the impact that crime is having on our community and what is being done to reduce the amount of crime.

Frankly, the tough-on-crime government has done nothing to help people in Surrey North. Instead, we have seen funding for policing downloaded to municipalities. Practical and cost-effective solutions such as prevention programs are not being utilized to reduce crime. For example, research shows that community-based programs focused on gang intervention, after-school mentoring and after-school recreation are promising at preventing crime.

Programs like this are practical, cost-effective and contribute to community building, as well as to the goal of reducing crime. My motion on youth gang prevention takes a similar approach by calling on the government to provide stable, long-term funding for youth gang crime prevention and intervention programs.

However, once again, I see no funding allocated to these types of common sense prevention programs that could help reduce the amount of crime in riding of Surrey North and communities across the country.

This approach of the Conservative government is very problematic. I am not surprised in the least that the budget is out of touch with the needs of everyday Canadians. This budget is an opportunity to truly address the needs of Canadians, however, the government has again failed Canadians.

I want to take this opportunity to wish all Canadians right across our country a very merry Christmas and a happy new year, and be safe.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

December 9th, 2014 / 3:20 p.m.
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Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's speech. He talks about airports, yet Bill C-43 would centralize more ministerial power over the expansion and modification of airports, raising the risk that local consultation would not occur in the face of controversial proposals such as the Toronto Island airport expansion. We see a bill that would remove the opportunity for people to have proper input when it comes to airport modification. Over and over again, we see a government that continues to limit debates on bills as important as this one, bills that would create such a great amount of change.

Could my colleague talk specifically about the fact that the bill would actually raise the risk that consultation would not occur on this specific piece?

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

December 9th, 2014 / 3:10 p.m.
See context

Essex Ontario


Jeff Watson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today and speak to this important legislation, Bill C-43, which includes provisions that would support jobs, economic growth, families, and communities.

In addition to the measures making the tax system simpler and fairer for farming and fishing businesses, extending the existing tax credits, doubling the children's fitness tax credit, and much more, we are also bringing in changes to support our transportation system.

I would like turn the attention of the House to the amendments to the Canada Marine Act. Canadian port authorities operate Canada's 18 major ports. Canadian port authorities are considered key economic drivers and are vital to Canada's domestic and international trade objectives. Our government is committed to creating the right conditions to ensure that we have competitive ports to support our aggressive trade agenda. The proposed amendments to the Canada Marine Act are part of the plan to enable strong Canadian ports.

The proposed amendments would allow Canadian port authorities the ability to acquire surplus federal real property. This supports the federal government's ongoing divestiture of regional ports. To date, Transport Canada has divested or otherwise transferred 499 regional and remote ports that it owned, while 50 ports remain under federal ownership. Some Canadian port authorities have expressed an interest in acquiring Transport Canada-owned ports to expand their business opportunities. Canadian port authorities are well positioned to attract investments, increase traffic, and, importantly, create jobs.

The participation of Canadian port authorities is considered a key part of the ongoing divestiture strategy. However, provisions under the current Canada Marine Act do not allow Canadian port authorities the ability to acquire federal real property, thereby preventing these port authorities from participating in the divestiture program. The proposed amendments would enable Canadian port authorities to participate in the divestiture program after other interested stakeholders, such as municipalities, have been given the opportunity to acquire these surplus ports first.

There are also increased resource development projects on federal port lands stemming from Canada's potential to be a major player in the global energy economy. Our government is proposing amendments to ensure projects are undertaken in a safe manner while protecting the environment and Canadians. These amendments would provide the government with an option to develop regulations applying to any specific large-scale commercial or industrial projects on federal port lands. These proposed amendments would also permit these regulations to incorporate by reference any laws or documents to effectively regulate any potential projects on federal port lands.

As I noted at the start, many of our transportation initiatives relate to our country's trade agenda and help connect us to a global supply chain. This means we must ensure that our transportation system, including ports, has a robust legislative regime to support our trade agenda. The amendments to the Canada Marine Act would support economic growth and enable international trade.

Let me move on to another important measure in Bill C-43. We are making amendments to the Aeronautics Act that would provide the Minister of Transport with the authority and the necessary tools to effectively respond to an increasing number of aerodrome issues pertaining to development, location, land use, and consultation.

Canada's aviation system consists of 300 certified aerodromes, or airports, and approximately 7,000 aerodromes, which are defined as an area of land, water, or other supporting surface used for the arrival, departure, movement, or servicing of aircraft.

Over the last several years, Transport Canada has increasingly heard from provinces, municipalities, and Canadians concerning a number of complex issues related to the construction of new aerodromes and the operation of existing aerodromes, some of which were subsequently brought before the courts. As the situation now stands, current regulations do not require proponents to take part in consultation processes with local land use authorities and affected stakeholders or to notify Transport Canada or Nav Canada prior to developing an aerodrome. Transport Canada also does not have a formal engagement process in place whereby stakeholders or those involved may raise concerns regarding aerodrome development to that department.

In the absence of these tools, the department has been left in a reactive position and has been dealing with issues on an ad hoc basis, which has proven to be inefficient and resource-intensive and has not effectively responded to the concerns of constituents. It has also led to unnecessary and significant costs for aerodrome proponents.

In order to suitably carry out the department's aviation mandate, the minister requires the legal authority to promote aerodrome development when it enhances Canada's transportation system and supports economic prosperity, and also the authority to prohibit the development if it is not in the best interest of Canadians.

As such, the amendments would provide the minister with the authority to make an order to prohibit an aerodrome proponent from developing or expanding or making changes to the nature of operations if there was a risk to aviation safety or if it is not in the public interest. For example, this could include cases in which the operations of a new or existing aerodrome would result in greater air traffic congestion, which could introduce a risk to aviation safety.

This new authority would permit intervention by the minister to prohibit development at an early point, rather than after construction or during operations, in order to allow for the early identification and mitigation of safety issues.

The proposed amendment would also provide for regulation-making authority respecting the consultations to be carried out by the proponent of an aerodrome before development or the operator of an aerodrome before an expansion or change to its operations.

This initiative would provide the minister with flexibility to effectively respond to either existing or possibly unforeseen issues or trends and is an important first step in modernizing the department's aerodrome framework.

This amendment would also protect aerodrome proponents and operators from unnecessary costs associated with development and would provide an opportunity for affected Canadians to be engaged in the process.

We will continue to promote the freedom to fly safely in a rapidly growing sector while providing greater regulatory predictability and transparency for Canadians. We will also continue to address aviation safety and public interest concerns while encouraging the responsible development and operation of aerodromes in Canada.

Economic action plan 2014 no. 2 would create the right conditions for an efficient, competitive, and sustainable transportation system to move Canadian products. Such a system is vital to a strong economy.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-43, A Second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.