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.

November 26th, 2014 / 3:35 p.m.
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Conservative

The Chair Conservative James Rajotte

I call this meeting to order. This is meeting number 62 of the Standing Committee on Finance.

For our orders of the day, pursuant to the order of reference of Monday, November 3, 2014, we are doing clause-by-clause 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.

Colleagues, we have with us here today witnesses from the finance department and from other relevant departments, depending on which clause we are dealing with.

I'll give a brief statement at the outset. Many of you know how I will proceed in this matter.

I will follow the motion that was adopted by this committee with respect to time allotments, but as you know, it says that “the Chair may limit debate on each clause to a maximum of five minutes per party, per clause”. As we've done in the past, parties have been very good at indicating which clauses they wish to spend a little more time on and which ones we can proceed with more quickly. Obviously, we'll be spending more time on the ones we have amendments for.

That is my intention as to how we will proceed here. We do have some amendments from Ms. Elizabeth May as well. As was agreed to, she will be allotted one minute to speak to each of her clauses as well.

We will move to clause-by-clause consideration.

Pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), consideration of clause 1, the short title, is postponed. Therefore, the chair will call clause 2.

I will go to Mr. Cullen, please.

November 25th, 2014 / 12:35 p.m.
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Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Deputy Minister, I didn't hear you say that in fact you had told them in advance. It doesn't suggest that and, in fact, in view of that it's no wonder the aboriginal groups who have been talking to my office have been viewing this as pretty much a punitive measure.

What resources will be provided to aboriginal communities to allow them to meet the new requirements under division 28 of Bill C-43?

November 25th, 2014 / 12:30 p.m.
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Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

The minister said that the department plans to go out over the next number of months to aboriginal communities to talk about the new extractive sector transparency provisions in Bill C-43. I assume that if this is a serious undertaking and a comprehensive engagement with first nations communities, it will require adequate funding.

Exactly how much is budgeted for these consultations, whether it's in the main estimates, the supplementary estimates (A), or supplementary estimates (B)?

November 25th, 2014 / 9:20 a.m.
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Chief Executive Officer, Carino Processing Ltd.

Dion Dakins

—a discussion that can lead us forward to structuring ourselves internally, such that we can approach international markets to allow value-added trade in our commodities. As you've recognized, right now the world is struggling with how it's going to manage itself as it relates to global food security.

Proteins have never been in higher demand. Omega-3 oils have never been in higher demand. The pressures on these resources are only being exaggerated.

Not only does the seal provide an adequate commodity to go in and fill those market demands, but it also adds a value-added ecosystem service, whereby we control seal populations to allow for the sustainability of fisheries.

Unless we achieve the scientifically allocated quotas, we're going to continue to experience imbalance in the ecosystem.

As I described earlier, the seals are already showing the stress indicators. They're having pups later in life, which is an indication that they're stressed. Adult seals are carrying 20 kilograms less fat at maturity than they used to when the population was under five million.

DFO itself recognizes through its science that perhaps we've reached the carrying capacity of the marine ecosystem, because it has stabilized now. We've been at 7.4 million to 7.6 million for two years with essentially no harvesting pressure. The pressure of the harvesting itself has been minimal over the last five years.

I think the ecosystem—the seal populations and the fish populations—is telling us that we need to do something different, because we have been doing the wrong things. I think we're now at a very interesting point, and a unique opportunity exists for Canada, because other countries—including America, since the Canadian seals are eating the American fish—are perhaps more agreeable to having a discussion to help solve what is now a common problem manifested and created by falsified campaigns around what the Canadian seal hunt is.

I'm very proud to be a part of this industry. The hunters and the veterinarians who do the continual science in this industry are very proud to be a part of it. I think it's a model for conservation of marine mammal species internationally and one that we should further support with correct bills like Bill C-555 and where it's leading. I think we should create a validation system so consumers can have the confidence that Canada is doing the right things to make sure we meet global food security challenges and adhere to high animal welfare standards.

November 24th, 2014 / 5:05 p.m.
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Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Michel Coulombe

It is important to know that the current legislation provides this protection to individuals who are involved in these activities at present or who were in the past. Bill C-44 adds individuals who could be involved in this type of activity.

There is a problem if we try to provide a tighter definition of who we are talking about: the threat and context are changing so quickly that there are individuals involved now in this type of activity who, five or 10 years ago, I could not have imagined that they would be involved. It isn't just the intelligence agents who can be involved. We would run the risk of truly limiting the protection of the identity of the service's employees.

Like any other of the service's activities, designating employees who come under this protection is subject to the review of the Security Intelligence Review Committee. This is one thing it can monitor in the context of its review.

November 24th, 2014 / 5:05 p.m.
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NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Bill C-44 also contains a provision that has to do with providing better protection—or less disclosure—of information about CSIS agents. We are also talking about future agents. Do you have more details? Given the way Bill C-44 was drafted, this could be practically anyone who is working for CSIS. Wouldn't it be easier to target individuals you would potentially like to send abroad as agents? This provision is really quite broad.

November 24th, 2014 / 5 p.m.
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Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Michel Coulombe

The first way to facilitate the investigations, as I mentioned earlier, is the certainty—with a few exceptions—of protecting the identity of the sources. More people would come forward with information. It would be easier for the service to obtain the cooperation of individuals who would become sources if they were certain that their identity would be protected.

In terms of the protection of sources, as your colleague mentioned earlier, when we appear in criminal court, for example, the current system judges situations on a case-by-case basis. That is very demanding on resources. We have to dedicate a lot of resources to this, which leads us back to the issue of uncertainty. It is important to know in each case whether the identity of the source will be disclosed. The protection of sources under Bill C-44 will really facilitate the voluntary provision of information sources, the recruitment of individuals and the management of cases and files when we go to criminal court or elsewhere.

November 24th, 2014 / 5 p.m.
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Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Michel Coulombe

Bill C-44 has no impact on our relationship with the RCMP.

November 24th, 2014 / 5 p.m.
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NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Still on the topic of the exchange of information, I would also like to know whether Bill C-44 will facilitate cooperation between the RCMP and CSIS. Are there any measures that will help you work with the RCMP?

November 24th, 2014 / 5 p.m.
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Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Michel Coulombe

As we mentioned previously, Bill C-44 does not provide new powers or tools. It simply clarifies what we are already doing and a certain part that we had stopped doing following the Federal Court ruling last fall.

There is nothing new in terms of what we can do. No powers or tools have been added. This has no impact on the service's resources.

November 24th, 2014 / 3:50 p.m.
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Elizabeth Kingston General Manager, Nunavut, North West Territories and Nunavut Chamber of Mines

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman.

On behalf of the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines thank you for the invitation to speak to you today in relation to Bill C-43.

The Chamber of Mines is the industry association and leading advocate for responsible and sustainable mineral exploration and development in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. We support the merging of CHARS and the Canadian Polar Commission as an appropriate efficiency measure that will assist in achieving the goals of the northern strategy.

We are eager to do our part to support this institution and help shape Canada's future through the advancement of Arctic science. The chamber could be a helpful broker in identifying those of our members who might be interested in partnering with the science and technology program to advance new knowledge creation in areas of mutual priority.

We have been a member of the CHARS advisory panel since 2011 and we're pleased to participate in the development of the science and technology blueprint. During its development we recommended that CHARS' research priorities focus on three key areas that affect our industry. The first is marine shipping. Virtually all new mines in the Arctic regions of Nunavut and the NWT will rely on marine shipping. We believe that new research in this area will show that responsible marine shipping is not harmful to the environment.

We like to think our industry helped Canada set a leadership role in Arctic shipping back in the 1970s when Canada joined with industry to support Arctic mining and marine shipping development. At that time the federal government took an 18% ownership share in the Nanisivik mine, supplying transportation and community infrastructure for the most northerly mining operation in Canadian history. It was that government that invested in the technological creation of the world's most advanced ice-breaking cargo ship, the MVArctic, to service the Nanisivik and Polaris mines.

It is that MVArctic technology that was the foundation of the latest advancement in Canadian Arctic marine shipping, the much larger and more sophisticated MV Nunavik, which recently successfully took a load of mineral concentrate from Arctic Quebec through the Northwest Passage to China. We hope that CHARS' work will help remove barriers to mining development, the goal being that years from now we will have determined that marine shipping to support mining is not environmentally significant.

Our second key area of interest is improved community health. We would like to see research with appropriate indicators that provide scientific evidence to support mining's contributions to healthier communities. Training and capacity building that has arisen from the CHARS project in and of itself supports resource development. For example the Nunavut Arctic College has developed an environmental technologies foundations program primarily to develop technicians for CHARS. However, some of these future potential graduates could also consider environmental management positions with mining projects.

Science literacy amongst the public is another mutual objective. With active research programs under way in the north involving community participation, it is more likely that the general public will have a greater knowledge of scientific methods and be better able to understand the assessment and monitoring results of mining projects.

A third key research priority for our industry involves improving baseline wildlife data for environmental assessment. CHARS has an important role in supporting our advancing potential mines in filling the gaps in knowledge in environmental data. This data, particularly with respect to marine and terrestrial wildlife, will assist resource development companies in completing their environmental studies.

To conclude, we are pleased with a number of the legislative changes proposed by Bill C-43 in division 3, part 4, and expect they will be an incentive for increased mineral investment in the north. The chamber looks forward to future dialogue with the federal government as the CHARS institute is established.

That concludes my presentation. Thank you.

November 24th, 2014 / 3:35 p.m.
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Ian Culbert Excutive Director, Canadian Public Health Association

Thank you, Mr. Chair and committee members, for the invitation to present to you today.

I would like to be clear, first and foremost, that my comments and those contained in our written brief are not intended as a reflection upon any current or former employees of the Public Health Agency of Canada. We have only the greatest respect for all of them.

It is the position of the Canadian Public Health Association that the chief public health officer should continue to be the deputy head of the Public Health Agency of Canada and continue to operate at the deputy minister level. As such, we recommend to this committee that the amendments to the Public Health Agency of Canada Act proposed in Bill C-43 be withdrawn and that the consequential amendment to the Financial Administration Act also be withdrawn.

While we agree that there should be a division of roles and responsibilities between the administrative and professional sides of the agency, we feel strongly that the titular head of the agency must be a public health professional. The current structure was established based on the recommendations of the Naylor committee after the 2003 SARS outbreak. That committee was very specific in its recommendation that the agency should be headed by the CPHO and that the CPHO report directly to the federal Minister of Health. The Naylor committee reviewed the organizational structures in place for a number of different jurisdictions and felt that its recommendations represented the best option for Canada's national public health body.

In 2010 the position of executive vice-president and chief operating officer was created to provide administrative support to the CPHO. This change formally split the administrative and professional responsibilities of the CPHO while leaving the CPHO as the deputy head of the agency. Since that time that structure has served the agency and Canadians well.

Our concerns for the proposed amendments are as follows.

First, while the CPHO has the responsibility to promote and protect the health of Canadians, in the proposed structure the position would retain responsibility but have no authority to mobilize resources.

Second, the country's public health priorities must take precedence over bureaucratic priorities, but this does not preclude the executive vice-president and chief operating officer from being responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative duties.

Third, it is essential that the CPHO work closely with fellow deputy ministers at the federal and provincial/territorial levels. Under the current structure the CPHO has a seat at those tables by right of his or her position. Under the proposed amendments the CPHO could only be invited to those discussions, and only as an adviser so that he or she would not be taking part in the decision-making process.

At the end of the day, rank matters and these amendments will essentially strip the position of CPHO of its current rank.

Our final and possibly most troubling concern is that the new model would give both the CPHO and the president of the agency direct access to the minister. In the unfortunate situation where agreement cannot be reached between the CPHO and the president, the minister could be faced with contradictory policy advice and left in the role of arbiter. This model is not considered good practice in a modern bureaucracy and should be avoided.

During a public health emergency such as a pandemic of H1N1 or Ebola, the importance of evidence-based advice from the CPHO is clear. This advice, however, is important at all times as Canadians are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of their publicly funded health care system. Public health has at its foundation the protection and improvement of health and well-being of Canadians and, as such, its policies, programs, and initiatives are focused on keeping people out of hospitals and doctors' offices. If the CPHO does not have the necessary authority to direct agency staff and marshal its resources, his or her advice may not be worth the paper on which it is written.

The structure of the agency with the CPHO at its helm has been effective for the first decade of its existence, and there is no clear evidence that the proposed changes are needed.

Thank you.

November 24th, 2014 / 3:30 p.m.
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Steven Hoffman Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, As an Individual

Mr. Chair and committee members, thank you for inviting me to make submissions about Bill C-43 concerning changes to the Public Health Agency of Canada Act.

By way of background, I'm an assistant professor of law and director of the global strategy lab at the University of Ottawa. My research focuses on global health governance and institutional design.

Based on my research, it's clear that our chief public health officer needs an independent voice and the ability to speak scientific truth to members of the public and to those in power. This bill, in splitting the chief public health officer's role in two—one part technical, one part administrative—removes the little independence this position once offered. This bill achieves this effect by demoting the chief public health officer from his current deputy minister rank, by removing his direct line to the minister, by making him subservient to a bureaucratic agency president, and by eliminating reimbursement for his public activities.

Any loss of independence matters because it erodes the trust that we can all place in our chief public health officer of Canada. In reviewing this bill, it seems to me that we've forgotten the harsh lessons of SARS. It was just 11 years ago, in 2003, when the World Health Organization slapped Toronto with a travel advisory, costing that city $2 billion and 28,000 jobs. That's a lot of money and a lot of jobs. This loss was not because of the number of SARS cases. Singapore had a similar number. The loss was because the federal government did not have a trusted public health leader who could effectively coordinate with the provinces and communicate the outbreak status with other countries.

SARS shone a light on the hurdles that Canada's version of federalism places before effective pandemic responses. Significant changes followed, including the creation of the Public Health Agency of Canada and its chief public health officer. The big idea behind all of this was that we needed to build trust. Provinces and their public health departments needed a guarantee that the federal government's public health pronouncements were based on scientific principles, rather than political talking points. Unfortunately, this guarantee was never realized. The chief public health officer was made an officer of government instead of an officer of Parliament, thereby preventing him from exercising full independence, as our Auditor General or Privacy Commissioner would have. Let there be no doubt about this: in my mind that was a mistake.

But this bill takes us even further away from where we need to be. At least the original legislation gave the chief public health officer some independent powers to speak and be reimbursed for those public activities. This encouraged the provinces to buy into a nationally directed system. The removal of these limited independent powers is not helpful. On this basis, demotion and politicization of the chief public health officer is undoubtedly a wrong-headed move. With an Ebola outbreak raging in West Africa, it seems that this isn't the right time to be weakening our national public health infrastructure. This change would make us less prepared for Ebola and other diseases like it.

I understand that last week this committee heard contradicting testimony from the new chief public health officer. I understand he said that shrugging off managerial oversight of the agency would free him to focus on providing scientific advice. He might win back some of his time, but I think we all need to ask this question. After his demotion, will anybody be listening to him? Will his bureaucratic boss even allow him to speak?

Ultimately, if this change really must go forward, I would suggest two very small revisions that would lessen its harm.

The first is to add a provision granting scientific independence to the chief public health officer and legislatively allowing him to speak without political interference.

The second is to just drop section 258 that would remove the reimbursement for the chief public health officer in performing his public duties.

These two small changes would ensure that the chief public health officer could serve that interprovincial coordination function that was shown to be so important in SARS, and ultimately be trusted by all Canadians.

I would have suggested a third small revision, to maintain the chief public health officer's deputy minister rank, which is important for him to access federal decision-making tables, but I think I'm already pushing my luck by suggesting any changes at all.

Just to conclude, in coming here today my only hope is that we won't need another SARS or Ebola in Canada to make us realize the harm that the proposed changes would cause. I implore you to do whatever you can to minimize the bill's damage. We would all be less safe with these proposed changes, and we're all going to suffer the consequences if the committee allows them to pass.

Thank you.

November 24th, 2014 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

The Chair Conservative James Rajotte

Thank you, Mr. Cullen.

Our orders of the day, pursuant to the order of reference of Monday, November 3, 2014, are to continue our study of Bill C-43, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014, and other measures.

We have seven witnesses, four with us here in Ottawa and three by video conference.

First of all, we have Professor Steven Hoffman. He's from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. We have, from the Canadian Public Health Association, the executive director, Mr. Ian Culbert. From l’Initiative citoyenne de vigilance du Port de Québec, we have Véronique Lalande, la porte-parole. From the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, we have Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien.

By video conference, first of all we have from Nunavut Ms. Elizabeth Kingston. By video conference from Whitehorse, we have the director of the Cold Climate Innovation centre from Yukon College, Mr. Stephen Mooney. Also by video conference, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, we have Professor Joel Kettner from the University of Manitoba.

Welcome to all of you, both here in Ottawa and by video conference. You each have five minutes maximum for your opening statement, and then we'll have questions by members.

We'll start with Mr. Hoffman, please.

November 20th, 2014 / 11:50 a.m.
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Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thanks to the witnesses.

I hope I get the opportunity today for Ms. Woodside, Mr. Bauer-Gador, and Ms. Holguin to respond to Mr. Chalmers' recommendations in particular, and perhaps also to the CAPP ones. I had a heads-up from a colleague about Mr. Chalmers' recommendations, so I hope we'll hear some responses to see if you're in agreement with those recommendations, or if there are key ones that you disagree with while agreeing with the rest.

That said, let me ask all of the witnesses to briefly respond to what I'm about to propose. Based on the testimony this committee has heard today and Tuesday, it's obvious that divisions 28 and 29 of Bill C-43 need to be modified and strengthened. In light of that clear evidence, there are a number of recommendations for amendments that I will be proposing when we go in camera to discuss what recommendations we should report back to the finance committee. Mind you, I'll be amazed and pleased if my Conservative colleagues agree to change a comma.

I will ask the committee to include the following recommendations and hope that the Conservatives will not kill them when we're in camera. First, with respect to division 28, proposed section 29 provides that the act will apply to aboriginal entities two years after the definitions section of the bill comes into force. I will recommend that this section of division 28 be deleted, given the clear evidence from Mark Pearson—