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.

Sponsor

Joe Oliver  Conservative

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

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.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

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.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

December 5th, 2014 / 12:10 p.m.
See context

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to stand and express my strong support for Bill C-43, the economic action plan 2014 act, no.2.

The success of Canada's economy is the result of the hard work and innovation of millions of individual Canadians and Canadian businesses. Our government wants to build on this success by creating the conditions that will continue to allow them to prosper.

Canada's economic action plan creates jobs and economic growth. It supports families and communities. It improves the fairness and integrity of the tax system. In short, it keeps Canada strong.

Canadian businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, are the engine of economic prosperity. They create jobs and growth in communities across the country.

Our government is committed to supporting Canadian businesses. That is why economic action plan 2014 includes our proposal for a new small business job credit.

The new tax credit would save small businesses more than half a billion dollars in the next two years. The small business job credit would lower the employment insurance premiums that small businesses are required to pay. The current legislated rate is $1.88 per $100 of insurable earnings. In 2015 and 2016, it would go down to $1.60 per $100 of insurable earnings. If a business pays $15,000 or less in employer EI premiums, it would be eligible for the new credit in 2015 and 2016.

These are more than just numbers to the millions of small business owners in this country. The effect of this change would be huge. It would effectively reduce EI payroll taxes by nearly 15% for eligible businesses, and almost 90% of all EI premium-paying businesses in Canada would be eligible.

Mindful of our commitment to red tape reduction, we have ensured that no new paper burden would be imposed on business owners in relation to the new credit. The Canada Revenue Agency would determine eligibility based on information in the business' tax return and automatically calculate the credit amount. There would be no additional application form to fill out to benefit from this new tax relief.

Furthermore, both employers and employees would soon see a substantial reduction in their EI premiums. A new rate-setting mechanism, which would come into effect in 2017, would make sure that EI premiums are high enough to pay for the EI program over time, but no higher than required.

The proposed small business job credit builds on the many other actions our government has taken to foster an environment for small businesses to grow and prosper.

We have delivered tax reductions totalling more than $60 billion to job-creating businesses from 2008-09 through 2013-14.

In 2012, we reduced the federal general corporate income tax rate to 15%, down from 22% in 2007.

We have also worked hard to reduce red tape and make it easier for business owners to meet their tax obligations. For example, we have introduced many enhancements to the Canada Revenue Agency's online services. Businesses can now complete 50 different kinds of transactions online with the CRA, including managing their banking information and signing up for pre-authorized debit services through My Business Account.

To help business owners remember what is due and when, the CRA has recently launched its first-ever mobile app. The Business Tax Reminders app enables users to create custom reminders and alerts for key CRA due dates related to instalment payments, returns, and remittances.

Earlier this year, the CRA launched the liaison officer initiative and consultations for the proposed registration of tax-preparers program. Both are designed to reduce red tape and help small and medium-sized businesses more easily meet their tax obligations.

These are specific examples of the real results we are delivering for small and medium-sized businesses across the country.

We are delivering results for Canadian families, too. In fact, families have been major beneficiaries of the numerous tax relief measures that our government has introduced since 2006.

With balanced budgets just around the corner, our priority is to continue to lower taxes so that Canadians can invest more of their hard-earned money in the economy.

One of the most popular family-related tax credits we have introduced is the children's fitness tax credit, which came into effect in 2007. What parents do not want to start their children on the road to a healthy, active lifestyle early in life?

Every year, millions of Canadian families register their children in supervised programs of physical activity: basketball, baseball, gymnastics, karate, soccer, figure skating, folk dancing, and the like. Activities such as these, which require a significant amount of physical activity, are all eligible for the children's fitness tax credit.

The children's fitness tax credit allows parents to claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit for expenses up to $500 each year. They may claim the credit for registering their children in eligible physical fitness activities, as I have just outlined. Until now, this has meant that they could receive a credit of up to $75.00 per child each year. Our government wants to double the maximum amount that could be claimed under the credit, and we want to make the credit refundable so that more families could benefit from tax savings.

These proposals would fulfill a commitment we made to Canadians in 2011, and they are contained in the legislation we are debating today. The new limit of $1,000 would come into effect for the 2014 tax year, so families could see the savings when they file their tax and benefit returns next spring.

The children's fitness tax credit would then become a refundable tax credit starting with the new 2015 tax year. This would mean that people with no tax owing might be eligible for a refund of 15% of the amount claimed. As a non-refundable credit, the children's fitness amount could only be applied against taxes that they owed.

The children's fitness tax credit provides about $115 million in tax relief to 1.4 million Canadian families each year. With the changes we are proposing, about 850,000 families would benefit from this additional tax relief.

In addition to the two tax credits I have highlighted today, the economic action plan 2014 act, no. 2, contains many other measures that would affirm our government's commitment to economic growth, families, and communities.

The facts speak for themselves. Canada has one of the strongest job creation records in the developed world; our performance, in terms of real gross domestic product, is the best in the G7; our economy is growing; and our economic action plan is working.

I sincerely hope that all members on all sides of this House will join me in giving Bill C-43, the economic action plan act, no. 2, their full support.

This country is moving forward. We are moving forward in a judicious manner. There is tax relief in the bill and economic policies that would benefit all Canadians. I ask for the total support of the members in this House.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-43, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

December 5th, 2014 / 10:45 a.m.
See context

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, it really is a privilege for me to speak to Bill C-43, Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2.

I was thinking that if I were asked by some of the wonderful people in the riding I represent—volunteers like Randine Hardy, Mary Ann Smith, or Tom Dalimor, or some of our wonderful youth who take leadership positions, like Andrea Choo or Yuan Kim or Ania Salehirad—what a budget implementation act is, I would go back to a question of mission and values. I would say that a budget implementation act is like a rudder steering the ship of government. The budget itself is like the road map, but if we do not understand the mission and values of the government, then it would be hard to put these things in context.

I like to think that this government stands for values that Canadians cherish: freedom, responsibility, equality, compassion, and integrity. We see these values in acts like the budget implementation act. In very specific terms, this act touches upon the economy, on jobs, on responsible resource development, on health, and fitness and volunteers. I will take us through some of these things in the act and am looking forward to questions from my friends.

There are many good things in Canada's economic action plan 2014. There is the promotion of jobs and economic growth, which we see brought forward through the budget implementation act. There is an underlying commitment to return to balanced budgets in 2015, a sense of that responsibility. While we are controlling departmental spending, federal support to Canadians, like seniors benefits, would keep growing. That is essential to some of the leading seniors in the riding I represent, like Brooke Campbell, Garry Sutherland, and Christopher Hebb, who have been bringing me issues about RRSPs and how these can be improved.

We see in this budget implementation act major transfers to provinces for health care, education, and other services that Canadians rely on. These will keep growing to record levels.

There is a focus on connecting Canadians with available jobs, which is key in the sunshine coast and corridor areas of the riding I represent. We see the launching of the Canada job grant so that Canadians can get the skills training they need to get in-demand jobs. There is the creation of the Canada apprentice loan, which would provide apprentices in Red Seal trades access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year; and there is the launching of a job-matching service, a new service that would match Canadians looking for work with the employers who want to hire them. There would be more paid internships for young Canadians. In fact, $55 million would be invested to create such internships. This is good news for universities in the riding I represent, including Quest University Canada, Capilano University, Vancouver Island University, as well as for academic institutions across the country.

There is also the initiative to help older workers get back to work, with some $75 million invested in this targeted initiative to support these older workers who want to participate in the job market. That is something we often hear about at breakfast tables at the West Vancouver seniors' centre.

Budget 2014 also focuses on ensuring responsible resource development and on conserving Canada's natural heritage. If there is something that matters to British Columbians in addition to creating jobs and spurring the economy, it is ensuring that we preserve our wonderful natural heritage and that we have sustainable investment in the environment and fisheries. Groups like the Future of Howe Sound Society and people who want to ensure that if there is an LNG natural gas project at Squamish Woodfibre, it is done according to international standards of safety and good environmental standards, will be delighted to see the initiatives brought forth in the budget implementation act of 2014.

We see an emphasis on responsible resource development, including an increase in funding for the National Energy Board, to ensure that projects like that one I mentioned are reviewed in a comprehensive and timely manner. There is also tax relief for green energy, encouraging investment in clean energy generation thereby.

I come back to the conservation of Canada's natural heritage. Included in this effort are investments in Canada's national parks and historic canals; expanded tax relief for environmental conservation of lands; and bolstered recreational fisheries. The latter will be of great encouragement to the West Vancouver Streamkeepers and streamkeepers throughout our riding, as well as the Pacific Salmon Foundation, which does a great job in encouraging up to 40,000 volunteers throughout British Columbia.

I would like to touch on steps that our Conservative government is taking related to health and fitness, including the introduction of the children's fitness tax credit and the search and rescue volunteer tax credit.

It is Christmas time. It is a time for gift giving and for thinking of others above ourselves. Our government's job is to think of our citizens first. It is not about creating more bureaucracy, as other parties in the House would like to do. It is about empowering others to be the best they can be. That is where the value of responsibility comes in. It is in tune with that value that our government has recently doubled the children's fitness tax credit to $1,000, effective this tax year. It is also providing a refundable tax credit for the registration of a child under 16 in a sports program or physical activity.

Why is this children's tax credit so important? We have noticed dwindling rates of physical activity, alarming and increasing obesity rates, and climbing cardiovascular and diabetes problems. The economic costs of these issues are huge. The Public Health Agency of Canada is telling us that it costs $7 billion a year to deal with the consequences of inactivity relating to cardiovascular and diabetes problems. We are now facing the terrible situation where children will die at a younger age than their parents. This will be the first time in history that has ever happened.

I am pleased to see that these government initiatives are supported and bolstered by a bill that I have sponsored in the House, the national health and fitness day bill. We will be speaking to it this coming Monday, December 8, and voting on it for the third time on Wednesday, December 10. It is my hope that this will be a gift from the riding I represent to all Canadians as we approach the Christmas season.

Beside the children's fitness tax credit, I would like to bring to the attention of the House the increase and expansion in the universal child care benefit. This represents a benefit of almost $2,000 for families with children under 6, and $720 a year for parents with children aged 6 to 18. As someone who is passionate about promoting health and fitness for all Canadians, it is my hope that these changes will help parents offset the cost of having their children enrolled in organized sports or other physical activities.

Finally, I would like to emphasize how much the Conservative government shines a light on our volunteers. We have seen an illustration of this through the introduction of the search and rescue volunteer tax credit. Three years ago, the Conservative government introduced a volunteer firefighters' tax credit in recognition of the important role played by volunteer firefighters in contributing to the security and safety of Canadians. I was pleased to advocate for that tax credit on behalf of firefighters throughout the riding I represent.

In the same spirit of recognizing those who play a critical role in emergency preparedness and response, economic action plan 2014 announced a search and rescue volunteer tax credit for ground, air, and marine search and rescue volunteers. This credit would be available to search and rescue volunteers who perform at least 200 hours of service during the year.

I would like to bring this down to one individual, Tim Jones, a hero from the North Shore in the Vancouver area. He led the huge team of search and rescue volunteers in the North Shore, who over 50 years have committed themselves to more than 2,500 search and rescue operations. These people put themselves in harm's way day in and day out, with more than 200,000 hours of selfless effort by them in the North Shore search and rescue team.

Whether it is supporting volunteers, promoting health and fitness, spurring jobs, or creating economic development, these are all consistent with the five key values I mentioned at the beginning. These are the values of freedom, responsibility, equality, compassion, and integrity. I am proud to stand in the House on behalf of the people I represent and to speak on behalf of all Canadians and to support the government's budget implementation act, 2014.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

December 5th, 2014 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Bryan Hayes Conservative Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak to Bill C-43, economic action plan 2014.

I want to step back for a moment. Three and a half years ago, I sought the nomination for the Conservative Party. At that time, I was not a political guru. Part of the nomination process was to go through the policies of the government. I read the Conservative policies and realized that they so applied to me. These were policies that spoke to caring for our families, supporting our businesses, ensuring that we are participants rather than observers in the global economy, caring for our seniors and our veterans, and promoting jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity, to name but a few.

Economic action plan 2014 builds on those policies and those initiatives. Today I want to focus a bit on those that are particularly important to northern Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie.

My history is in northern Ontario. I went to high school in North Bay, when my father was stationed there as part of the Canadian Armed Forces. I went to college in Sudbury and got a diploma from Cambrian College and then received a university degree from Laurentian University. I then moved to Sault Ste. Marie, where I reside now. I have been there for 33 years. During that tenure, I travelled all around northern Ontario as part of the Ontario March of Dimes, so I am very familiar with northern Ontario and its needs.

One of the most important components of the economic action plan is FedNor, which is the economic development fund for northern Ontario. It is a significant fund. The economic action plan continues to fund this program. It is a program that delivers programs that support innovation, sustainable community economic development, and business growth and competitiveness. Since 2006, $329 million has been funded through FedNor for 1,600 projects across northern Ontario that have created 21,000 jobs.

As part of economic action plan 2014, the minister announced what is called the targeted manufacturing fund, which is part of FedNor. This would provide financing for operational assessments and upgrading capital equipment. I encourage those who are watching at home to go to fednor.gc.ca to learn more about the programs offered through FedNor.

On December 4, the Minister for FedNor announced the community investment initiative for northern Ontario. This is a great initiative for rural municipalities and first nations communities that will facilitate staffing, the identification of opportunities, and the management of local economic development efforts to strengthen the economy and create jobs. Up to $100,000 per year is available over a three-year period for non-repayable financing toward staffing positions.

This agency has been incredible in Sault Ste. Marie. I just want to speak to a couple of the projects that have occurred in Sault Ste. Marie.

One is a company called JD Aero Maintenance. FedNor provided financing of $475,000 to assist it in its hanger development. As a result of that, it has created 28 jobs in Sault Ste. Marie, as JD Aero services the last Porter flight that comes into Sault Ste. Marie every evening.

Recently, $762,000 went to the Innovation Centre to deliver broadband e-business and marketing and innovation accelerator programs to enhance innovation, commercialization, management, and trade capacity for small and medium enterprises in northern Ontario over the next two years.

The Economic Development Corporation in Sault Ste. Marie just received $2.2 million. This is for an incredible new initiative in Sault Ste. Marie. A study done in 2013 by KPMG stated that the “economic and other benefits of the proposed harbour expansion are expected to be significant”. The report states that combined with anticipated production capacity increases by Sault Ste. Marie's steel products manufacturers, the expanded port would add as much as $228 million to Canada's GDP and would support up to 1,800 new employment positions as a result of the direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts. It would provide $262 million in economic activity generated by the infrastructure investments in the harbour and would support just under 1,400 person years of employment.

The project right now is in the process of establishing the critical path for port development. They are doing logistics, a market and commercial sensitivity analysis, a traffic forecast, and business planning and development. There is also port project infrastructure planning, design, and preparation, port logistics, and the preparation of the business case. That is what is really critical. Once that is done, the port project will apply to the new building Canada fund. This is a national infrastructure component. This project is a $120-million to $150-million investment that will happen in Sault Ste. Marie.

That leads me to another component of economic action plan 2014 that is incredibly important to northern Ontario and to all of Canada, and that is the new building Canada fund. The new building Canada plan is the largest long-term infrastructure plan in Canadian history. It will provide stable funding for a 10-year period. It includes the community improvement fund, consisting of the gas tax fund and the incremental business services tax rebate for municipalities. This will provide $32 billion to municipalities for projects such as roads, public transit, recreational facilities, and other community infrastructure.

I spent eight years on city council in Sault Ste. Marie, and one of the biggest concerns was infrastructure funding. Through our gas tax fund, which we will increase by at least 2% per year, we have put $4.6 million a year for the past couple of years into that fund for major infrastructure projects for Sault Ste. Marie.

There will also be a $14-billion new Canada fund, which will consist of the $4-billion national infrastructure component that will support projects of national significant. For smaller communities, there is the $10-billion provincial-territorial infrastructure component for projects of national, regional, or local significance. Of this amount, $1 billion is dedicated to projects in communities such as Sault Ste. Marie, with populations of fewer than 100,000 residents.

An additional $1.25 billion will be put into the P3 public private partnership Canada fund, and that will go along with the $6 billion in funding that continues to flow across the country this year and beyond under existing infrastructure programs.

I want to talk a little bit about taxes. The average family of four, under our government, pays $3,400 a year less than when we formed government. We formed government in 2006. Since then, we have administered over 160 tax cuts, and most recently, under economic action plan 2014, we have done some incredible things for families.

The first is the universal child care increase. It was originally $100 per month. It would now go up to $160 per month. If a family has a child under six years of age, there would be $1,920 available to use as the family sees fit. We would also expand the program to include funds for children aged six to 17. We would put $60 a month into that program, so there would be an additional $720 a year available.

On top of that, we have introduced the family tax cut, which is geared towards couples with minor children. This would allow a transfer of up to $50,000 a year in income to the spouse in the lower tax bracket, and it would be capped at a $2,000 credit. We would also increase the child care expense deduction limit by $1,000 and double the fitness tax credit to $1,000 and make it refundable. These initiatives in economic action plan 2014 would put an average of $1,140 back into the pockets of families with children.

On top of that, we have introduced initiatives for empowering Canadian consumers, investing in skills and training, investing in Canada's youth, supporting small business, supporting seniors, supporting Canada's veterans, and supporting Canada's farmers.

I could go on and on. I am just very proud to stand here and talk about these policies that are so incredibly important to Canadians.

Bill C-43. Report stage

The House resumed from December 2 consideration of C-43, A Second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

December 4th, 2014 / 3:05 p.m.
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York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon we will continue the second reading debate on Bill S-6, the Yukon and Nunavut regulatory improvement act.

Tomorrow we will debate Bill C-43, the economic action plan 2014 act, no. 2. This bill would put into place important support for families, as well as key job-creating measures, which would build on our government's record of over 1.2 million net new jobs created since the economic downturn.

On Monday, before question period, we will resume the second reading debate on Bill C-12, the Drug-Free Prisons Act. By tackling drug use and trafficking in federal penitentiaries, we will make the correctional system safer for staff and inmates, while also increasing the success of rehabilitation.

After question period, we will consider Bill C-44, the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act, at report stage. I understand that, regrettably, the NDP will be opposing this bill.

Tuesday will see the House debate Bill C-43 before it gets its third and final reading.

Wednesday we will consider Bill C-32, the victims bill of rights act, at report stage and I hope at third reading. This bill was reported back from the very hard working justice committee yesterday. It was adopted unanimously after a thorough and exhaustive study all autumn. The victims bill of rights act would create statutory rights at the federal level for victims of crime for the very first time in Canadian history. This legislation would establish statutory rights to information, protection, participation, and restitution and ensure a complaint process is in place for breaches of those rights.

The chair of the justice committee implored House leaders yesterday to pass the bill expeditiously. I hope my colleagues will agree.

Next Thursday we will resume the uncompleted debates on Bill C-32, Bill C-12, Bill C-44, and Bill S-6, as well as taking up Bill S-5 at third reading to establish the Nááts’ihch’oh national park reserve act.

Next Friday, the House will complete the third reading debate on Bill C-40, the Rouge national urban park act, to create Canada's first national urban park.

After that we will have an opportunity to wish everybody a Merry Christmas.

Bill C-43—Time Allocation MotionEconomic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

December 4th, 2014 / 10:30 a.m.
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Liberal

Ted Hsu Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, since we are about to impose time allocation on report stage debate in the House, I have a couple of questions that I would like to ask about the committee's work on this bill.

The first point is that it does not seem to me that the committee properly considered the fact that there is very little for veterans in Bill C-43. I would have thought that the committee would have spent more time on omissions in the bill as well as the things that are wrong about the bill.

The second point I want to make is about something that is a little more detailed and that I do not believe the finance committee considered. Bill C-43 contains some changes to the Industrial Design Act. Budget 2014 said that there would be legislation to implement certain treaties, and one particular change in the Industrial Design Act says that a design is registerable if the design is not contrary to public morality or order.

My questions to the minister are as follows: why did the finance committee not consider this bill in more detail, how is the government intending to regulate the industry based on this line in the Industrial Design Act, and is that change related to a treaty?

December 4th, 2014 / 9:20 a.m.
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Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

They are important. As you know, this is a commitment we made, and the administrative monetary penalties are within Bill C-43 on telecom. Ending pay-to-pay billing and ensuring that there is more competition in the wireless sector is something that as a government we've been very proud of, for its self-evident benefits.

I'm not sure, Kelly, if you want to give an update on the AMPs, the administrative monetary penalties, where that is at, and how the CRTC is viewing the reforms we've put in place.

Bill C-43—Notice of Time AllocationEconomic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

December 3rd, 2014 / 5:05 p.m.
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York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise that an agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Orders 78(1) or 78(2) with respect to the report stage and third reading stage of Bill C-43, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the crown will propose at the next sitting motions to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at the said stages of the said bill.

December 3rd, 2014 / 4:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

The four pillars of our counterterrorism strategy are oriented toward prevention, detection, denying someone from committing an attack, and responding. So in the realm of prevention, the RCMP is doing a lot of outreach towards communities throughout the country. We have cross-cultural round tables and we are also training our officers. I'm sure Deputy Commissioner Cabana can expand on this. Once again, if I may add, I think that the late Jim Flaherty will certainly wink at us, when the budget implementation act is adopted and Lindsey's law will become the law of the land, from his Irish paradise. He certainly can find some comfort in this.

Thank you.

December 3rd, 2014 / 4:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

I really want to thank you for your question because we can be proud as a country of the DNA system we have put in place.

Once again, this is a system that has been ongoing for many years without any major change or improvement, and the technology is evolving. The current DNA missing persons index.... Actually, we will be given the opportunity to support tonight very important votes that will take place. Not only will we support the budget implementation act but also this very important bill.

There are five indices that will be added to the current system. Our deputy commissioner knows this issue very well. Let me just put the emphasis on those indices that will allow the collection of DNA at a crime scene, DNA of a missing person, DNA of relatives of a missing person, and also DNA of people working on crime scenes, so that the results are not conflicted when they are doing these analyses.

This is a major step, a major improvement. This is done in a very reasonable and practical manner. One objective is to bring closure to families of the fallen, like Ms. Peterson, or any other family who is wondering what has happened. This is the objective. Those indices will be added.

One important issue is that the current.... There will be a barrier established between the DNA of a relative and the DNA of a criminal. There are firewalls to protect privacy and the rights of those who are sharing information. These provisions are in the bill. It has been very well crafted and I would be happy to provide you with more detail.

Once again, we're going to make a leap forward to help victims in their willingness to seek the truth on what sometimes happens in tragic events.

December 3rd, 2014 / 4:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Thank you to all of you who are here.

It strikes me that in this Christmas season of peace and goodwill to all, you deal with the other side of the coin. We know that's not an easy task. We appreciate the fact that people like you are carrying a heavy load on behalf of the rest of us, so that we can feel secure and contented, not just at this time of year but all year round.

Minister, we were just looking at a section of the budget implementation act that had to do with expanding the DNA indices, the kind of information that law enforcement can now collect in terms of DNA.

Why do you think this expansion of the DNA bank is so important and what do you believe will be the benefit to Canadians?

December 3rd, 2014 / 4 p.m.
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Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Absolutely, and I thank you for this question.

Even as the bill was tabled, members were provided with the opportunity to get some technical briefings. Those who have benefited from those briefings then could clearly understand that due to some court decisions, it was important to update the CSIS Act, which has not really been updated for the last 30 years. This is exactly what the protection of Canada from terrorists act is doing, clarifying the authority of CSIS.

One important thing, which is now obvious to us, is clearly defining that CSIS has the capability to operate abroad. That seems very obvious, but this needed to be added to the CSIS Act. This is exactly what Bill C-44 achieves.

While we can protect witnesses, which is very important for an intelligence agency, there is a mechanism that anyone who could be accused under the information provided by those witnesses is entitled to a fair trial. Once again, there is the amicus curiae legal mechanism so that the law will help the court and help CSIS in its mandate while clarifying its mandate.

There are some other elements in that bill like improving and accelerating the removal of dual citizenship. This bill was already adopted, but now we are willing to move forward as the terrorist threat evolves. These are the measures in the bill. These are certainly measures that I would appreciate and seek support on from all members.

Unfortunately, as I have pointed out—through the chair, of course—I would have expected that the NDP support this important bill, especially as the terrorist threat is real. I was given the opportunity to highlight this fact, so were the experts in this area. Unfortunately we did not get support. I still feel that when we're placed in front of accurate facts, we should seek support.

You may recall that the NDP did not support the Combating Terrorism Act. I think we as Canadians can be very relieved today to know that charges have been laid under this new act. With the law we have in place in this country, terrorists are now prevented from committing a terrorist act. This is why it is important as legislators that we provide the tools to those who are there to protect us. This is why I intend to come back in the near future with additional measures that will fully comply with our Canadian law, but in the meantime will provide tools necessary for our national security agency and law enforcement agency to better protect Canadians.

December 3rd, 2014 / 3:40 p.m.
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NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Fine.

I think I have time for one more question.

Under votes 1b and 5b, the Canada Revenue Agency is seeking funding for the implementation of the intergovernmental agreement between Canada and the U.S. in relation to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA.

When the committee was studying the legislation setting out the agreement's implementation, Bill C-31, experts expressed concerns about the intergovernmental agreement. One of their concerns was the fact that the definition of a "financial institution" was being changed and replaced by 13 types of entities—14 with the most recent amendment contained in Bill C-43. That definition is not compatible with the intergovernmental agreement and needs to be changed.

The definition has given rise to major problems, such as the exclusion of most Canadian private trusts despite their inclusion in the intergovernmental agreement, as well as the lack of clarity around investment entities. These are some of the criticisms we heard from witnesses when the bills were under study. Some experts even said that adopting FATCA could undermine the implementation of the intergovernmental agreement.

I'd like to ask you two quick questions on the subject. First of all, have there been any discussions to incorporate changes that would clarify things, allowing for clear implementation of the legislation and regulations?

December 3rd, 2014 / 3:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and I'm sorry for this unintentional loss of time.

I am always impressed when I appear before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, especially when I am surrounded by officials from agencies responsible for the protection and security of Canadians.

I am accompanied today by Harvey Cenaiko, from the Parole Board of Canada; Michel Coulombe, from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service; Mike Cabana, from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Don Head, from the Correctional Service of Canada; Luc Portelance, from the Canada Border Services Agency; and François Guimont, who is the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada.

I would like to tell the members of the committee that these people work very hard, particularly when we were called to respond to the recent terrorist attack. We were in the House a few minutes ago, and I had the chance to meet the person who administered first aid to Warrant Officer Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial. We are currently preparing a proper and balanced response to this growing terrorist threat. Obviously, we are not going to overreact, but we are not going to stand idly by in the face of this threat, either.

Furthermore, I would like to publicly thank the heads of the agencies that help us to adapt. They have already taken concrete action to protect Canadians.

We are here today to make budgetary adjustments that will allow these important individuals to continue to ensure our protection. As you know, our department was created in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Even now, I note that the priority for national security is fighting terrorism.

That said, we must not in any way neglect the other important aspects of public safety, which is why I am here this afternoon.

As you know, we have implemented many initiatives to move forward our government's ambitious public safety program. This involves cracking down on crime, improving the rights of victims and strengthening our national security. For example, I recently announced the coming into force of the Safer Witnesses Act, which will increase the effectiveness of the federal government's witness protection program for the individuals it protects, while meeting the needs of law enforcement agencies.

Furthermore, we just sent Bill C-32, An Act to enact the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and to amend certain Acts, back to the House for debate at report stage. This fundamental bill will change the way we handle justice in Canada and will put victims at the heart of our justice system.

I also want to thank the committee for its work on division 17 of Bill C-43, which amends the DNA Identification Act to create Lindsey's law. This important measure will create a DNA-based missing persons index to help provide closure to the families of missing persons.

I understand that Judy Peterson made a very emotional presentation to the committee. I would like to thank you all for your support on this important legislation that she has advocated for on behalf of her daughter.

Many of you may remember that November 16 was the sad anniversary of the disappearance of Julie Surprenant, in Terrebonne. Her sister, Andréanne, wanted to pay tribute to her on that occasion. It was a moving experience. It allowed us to remind the victims and loved ones of the families of missing or murdered individuals of the implementation of this act, which will help them to get through this type of situation and to find some comfort.

On other fronts, I have introduced measures to provide a simple and safe firearms licensing regime with Bill C-42, the common sense firearms licensing act. This bill was thoroughly debated one week ago. I look forward to this bill being referred to this committee for study in the very near future.

Just last week, I appeared before you regarding Bill C-44, the protection of Canada from terrorists act. I know the committee has completed its study, and has returned the bill to the House without amendments. As I said earlier, recent terrorist attacks are a reminder that the terrorist organization ISIL is a very real threat to Canadians. It is the reason we are working very determinedly to strengthen the tools available to the police and intelligence community in the areas of surveillance, detention, and arrest. The protection of Canada from terrorists act is just the first step in our efforts to do that.

My department and its agencies continue to give priority to efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremism, which includes working with our international allies.

Mr. Chair, I could speak more about the measures that we are implementing, but I would now like to move on to the Supplementary Estimates (B), 2014-15. Essentially, these are adjustments to the budget envelope that we were allocated and some modifications that need to be made to properly reflect the actual accounting and current expenses.

These estimates demonstrate our ongoing commitment to keeping Canadians safe from those who wish to harm them without creating billion-dollar boondoggles.

Allow me to provide some highlights of what I mean.

As the committee members can see, the Supplementary Estimates (B), 2014-15, aim to transfer $3.3 million from the Canada Border Services Agency to the RCMP to build a joint use firing range in British Columbia. It also aims to obtain a transfer of $5.2 million from the Correctional Service of Canada to the RCMP to support the renovations of C block at the RCMP training academy for correctional officer training.

These are prime examples of how we are using taxpayers' money. This way of operating is more effective. We are achieving this by grouping resources, while creating stronger ties within the department.

In addition, the estimates seek $5.2 million for CSIS in support of national security initiatives. I would also like to highlight two key items related to the RCMP. First, on November 28—as of Monday—the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act came into force, bringing in a new era of modernization and accountability for the RCMP. In order to implement that act, these supplementary estimates provide for $7.9 million to the RCMP to implement new processes relating to grievances and public complaints.

Additionally, there is $710,000 to the RCMP External Review Committee to maintain the committee's existing operations. This entails the review of certain grievances and appeals of decisions and disciplinary and other labour relations matters involving members of the force. This is a very important accomplishment, Mr. Chair. We've been working on that for years. In less than two years, the RCMP has been able to implement this major shift. The deputy commissioner can expand on this later on, but this is certainly a great accomplishment. As you know, we now have beefed up—if you allow me this expression—the oversight of the RCMP.

Second, the estimates seek to transfer $41.9 million to the RCMP for policing services provided pursuant to the first nations policing program. This funding will further support policing services that are professional, dedicated, and responsive to the first nation and Inuit communities they serve.

In addition, $3.7 million is set aside for the national public safety campaign for the next phase in the fight against bullying, called “Get Cyber Safe”. I must tell you that we have had very interesting results in terms of market penetration and our ability to reach out to young people.

We are very proud of the success of this campaign, which is having a significant impact across the country. More than a million people have visited the “Get Cyber Safe” website, and there have been different initiatives in that respect. Of course, I encourage committee members to pass on these constructive messages on the importance of having healthy practices when visiting social media sites and using information technology or any electronic device.

In conclusion, Mr. Chair, it is clear that our Conservative government is taking strong action to keep Canadians safe. We are ensuring that victims are at the heart of the justice system and ensuring that child sexual predators face serious consequences. We are making our firearms laws safe and sensible, and we are making sure that our law enforcement and national security organizations have the tools they need to do their jobs.

The one threat that seems to run through all of these initiatives is that they have been delayed, obstructed, or sometimes opposed outright. But we are prevailing, Mr. Chair, and I am proud to say that we intend to stay the course. We have the protection of Canada act coming back into the House of Commons, and we intend to come in the near future with additional legislation so that we can tackle this evolving terrorist threat.

With that in mind, Mr. Chair, I would be more than happy to respond to questions from the members of this important committee.

Merci.