Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1

An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 and other measures

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


Joe Oliver  Conservative


This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.


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

Part 1 implements income tax measures and related measures proposed or referenced in the April 21, 2015 budget. In particular, it
(a) reduces the required minimum amount that must be withdrawn annually from a registered retirement income fund, a variable benefit money purchase registered pension plan or a pooled registered pension plan;
(b) ensures that amounts received on account of the new critical injury benefit and the new family caregiver relief benefit under the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act are exempt from income tax;
(c) decreases the small business tax rate and makes consequential adjustments to the dividend gross-up factor and dividend tax credit;
(d) increases the lifetime capital gains exemption to $1 million for qualified farm and fishing properties;
(e) introduces the home accessibility tax credit;
(f) extends, for one year, the mineral exploration tax credit for flow-through share investors;
(g) extends, for five years, the tax deferral regime that applies to patronage dividends paid to members by an eligible agricultural cooperative in the form of eligible shares;
(h) extends until the end of 2018 the temporary measure that allows certain family members to open a registered disability savings plan for an adult individual who might not be able to enter into a contract;
(i) permits certain foreign charitable foundations to be registered as qualified donees;
(j) increases the annual contribution limit for tax-free savings accounts to $10,000;
(k) creates a new quarterly remitter category for certain small new employers; and
(l) provides an accelerated capital cost allowance for investment in machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and processing.
Part 2 implements various measures for families.
Division 1 of Part 2 implements the income tax measures announced on October 30, 2014. It amends the Income Tax Act to increase the maximum annual amounts deductible for child care expenses, to repeal the child tax credit and to introduce the family tax cut credit that is modified to include transferred education-related amounts in the calculation of that credit as announced in the April 21, 2015 budget.
Division 2 of Part 2 amends the Universal Child Care Benefit Act to, effective January 1, 2015, enhance the universal child care benefit by providing $160 per month for children under six years of age and by providing a new benefit of $60 per month for children six years of age or older but under 18 years of age.
It also amends the Children’s Special Allowances Act to, effective January 1, 2015, increase the special allowance supplement for children under six years of age from $100 to $160 per month and introduce a special allowance supplement in the amount of $60 per month for children six years of age or older but under 18 years of age.
Part 3 enacts and amends several Acts in order to implement various measures.
Division 1 of Part 3 enacts the Federal Balanced Budget Act. That Act provides for certain measures that are to apply in the case of a projected or recorded deficit. It also provides for the appearance of the Minister of Finance before a House of Commons committee to explain the reasons for the deficit and present a plan for a return to balanced budgets.
Division 2 of Part 3 enacts the Prevention of Terrorist Travel Act in order to establish a mechanism to protect information in respect of judicial proceedings in relation to decisions made by the designated minister under the Canadian Passport Order to prevent the commission of a terrorism offence or for the purposes of the national security of Canada or a foreign country or state. It also makes a related amendment to the Canada Evidence Act.
Division 3 of Part 3 amends the Industrial Design Act, the Patent Act and the Trade-marks Act to, among other things, provide for extensions of time limits in unforeseen circumstances and provide the authority to make regulations respecting the correction of obvious errors. It also amends the Patent Act and the Trade-marks Act to protect communications between patent or trade-mark agents and their clients in the same way as communications that are subject to solicitor-client privilege.
Division 4 of Part 3 amends the Canada Labour Code to increase the maximum amount of compassionate care leave to 28 weeks and to extend to 52 weeks the period within which that leave may be taken. It also amends the Employment Insurance Act to, among other things, increase to 26 the maximum number of weeks of compassionate care benefits and to extend to 52 weeks the period within which those benefits may be paid.
Division 5 of Part 3 amends the Copyright Act to extend the term of copyright protection for a published sound recording and a performer’s performance fixed in a published sound recording from 50 years to 70 years after publication. However, the term is capped at 100 years after the first fixation of, respectively, the sound recording or the performer’s performance in a sound recording.
Division 6 of Part 3 amends the Export Development Act to add a development finance function to the current mandate of Export Development Canada (EDC), which will enable EDC to provide development financing and other forms of development support in a manner consistent with Canada’s international development priorities. The amendments also provide that the Minister for International Trade is to consult the Minister for International Development on matters related to EDC’s development finance function.
Division 7 of Part 3 amends the Canada Labour Code in order to, among other things, provide that Parts II and III of that Act apply to persons who are not employees but who perform for employers activities whose primary purpose is to enable those persons to acquire knowledge or experience, set out circumstances in which Part III of that Act does not apply to those persons and provide for regulations to be made to apply and adapt any provision of that Part to them.
Division 8 of Part 3 amends the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act to, among other things, provide that the Chief Actuary is not permitted to distinguish between members of either House of Parliament when fixing contribution rates under that Act.
Division 9 of Part 3 amends the National Energy Board Act to extend the maximum duration of licences for the exportation of natural gas that are issued under that Act.
Division 10 of Part 3 amends the Parliament of Canada Act to establish an office to be called the Parliamentary Protective Service, which is to be responsible for all matters with respect to physical security throughout the parliamentary precinct and Parliament Hill and is to be under the responsibility of the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons. The Division provides that the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness must enter into an arrangement to have the Royal Canadian Mounted Police provide physical security services throughout that precinct and Parliament Hill. It also makes consequential amendments to other Acts.
Division 11 of Part 3 amends the definition “insured participant” in the Employment Insurance Act to extend eligibility for assistance under employment benefits under Part II of that Act, while providing that the definition as it reads before that Division comes into force may continue to apply for the purposes of an agreement with a government under section 63 of that Act that is entered into after that Division comes into force. It also contains transitional provisions and makes consequential amendments.
Division 12 of Part 3 amends the Canada Small Business Financing Act to modify the definition “small business” in order to increase the maximum amount of estimated gross annual revenue referred to in that definition. It also amends provisions of that Act that relate to eligibility criteria for borrowers for the purpose of financing the purchase or improvement of real property or immovables, in order to increase the maximum outstanding loan amount.
Division 13 of Part 3 amends the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act to extend the application of that Act to organizations set out in Schedule 4 in respect of personal information described in that Schedule.
Division 14 of Part 3 amends the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to require the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada to disclose designated information to provincial securities regulators in certain circumstances.
Division 15 of Part 3 amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to
(a) clarify and expand the application of certain provisions requiring the collection of biometric information so that those requirements apply not only to applications for a temporary resident visa, work permit or study permit but may also apply to other types of applications, claims and requests made under that Act that are specified in the regulations; and
(b) authorize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to administer that Act using electronic means, including by allowing the making of an automated decision and by requiring the making of an application, request or claim, the submitting of documents or the providing of information, using electronic means.
Division 16 of Part 3 amends the First Nations Fiscal Management Act to accelerate and streamline participation in the scheme established under that Act, reduce the regulatory burden on participating first nations and strengthen the confidence of capital markets and investors in respect of that scheme.
Division 17 of Part 3 amends the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act to
(a) add a purpose statement to that Act;
(b) improve the transition process of Canadian Forces members and veterans to civilian life by allowing the Minister of Veterans Affairs to make decisions in respect of applications made by those members for services, assistance and compensation under that Act before their release from the Canadian Forces and to provide members and veterans with information and guidance before and after their release;
(c) establish the retirement income security benefit to provide eligible veterans and survivors with a continued financial benefit after the age of 65 years;
(d) establish the critical injury benefit to provide eligible Canadian Forces members and veterans with lump-sum compensation for severe, sudden and traumatic injuries or acute diseases that are service related, regardless of whether they result in permanent disability; and
(e) establish the family caregiver relief benefit to provide eligible veterans who require a high level of ongoing care from an informal caregiver with an annual grant to recognize that caregiver’s support.
The Division also amends the Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act as a consequence of the establishment of the critical injury benefit.
Division 18 of Part 3 amends the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act to, among other things, provide that the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act do not apply with respect to records and copies of records that are to be destroyed in accordance with the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act. The non-application of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act is retroactive to October 25, 2011, the day on which the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act was introduced into Parliament.
Division 19 of Part 3 amends the Trust and Loan Companies Act, the Bank Act, the Insurance Companies Act and the Cooperative Credit Associations Act to modernize, clarify and enhance the protection of prescribed supervisory information that relates to federally regulated financial institutions.
Division 20 of Part 3 authorizes the Treasury Board to establish and modify, despite the Public Service Labour Relations Act, terms and conditions of employment related to the sick leave of employees who are employed in the core public administration.
It also authorizes the Treasury Board to establish and modify, despite that Act, a short-term disability program, and it requires the Treasury Board to establish a committee to make joint recommendations regarding any modifications to that program.
Finally, it authorizes the Treasury Board to modify, despite that Act, the existing public service long-term disability programs in respect of the period during which employees are not entitled to receive benefits.


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


June 15, 2015 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
June 15, 2015 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 Bill C-59, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 and other measures, because it: ( a) introduces income splitting and supersized Tax-Free Savings Account measures that will primarily benefit the wealthy few while wasting billions of dollars; ( b) does not introduce a $15 per hour minimum wage or create a universal, affordable childcare program, both of which would support the working and middle class families who actually need help; ( c) leaves Canadian interns without protections against excessive working hours, sexual harassment, and an unending cycle of unpaid work; ( d) sets a dangerous precedent for Canadians’ right to know by making retroactive changes to absolve the government of its role in potential violations of access-to-information laws; and ( e) attacks the right to free and fair collective bargaining for hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers.”.
June 10, 2015 Passed That Bill C-59, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 and other measures, {as amended}, be concurred in at report stage [with a further amendment/with further amendments] .
June 10, 2015 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-59, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 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.
May 25, 2015 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.
May 25, 2015 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-59, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 and other measures, because it: ( a) fails to support working- and middle-class families through the introduction of affordable childcare and a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage; ( b) imposes wasteful and unfair income-splitting measures which primarily benefit the wealthy and offer nothing to 85% of Canadian families; ( c) fails to protect interns against workplace sexual harassment or unreasonable hours of work; ( d) implements expanded Tax-Free Savings Account measures which benefit the wealthiest households while leaving major fiscal problems to our grandchildren; ( e) rolls a separate, stand-alone, and supportable piece of legislation concerning Canada’s veterans into an omnibus bill that contains vastly unrelated, unsupportable measures; and ( f) attacks the right to free and fair collective bargaining for hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers.”.
May 14, 2015 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-59, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 and other measures, not more than two 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 second 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 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 3:40 p.m.
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Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 3:40 p.m.
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North Vancouver B.C.


Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to be here today to discuss Bill C-59, the new chapter of our government's economic action plan.

It is apparent that our plan continues to yield results. Indeed, Canada continues to move forward in the face of a fragile external environment and global economic uncertainty. Despite this uncertainty, Canada has achieved one of the best economic performances among G7 countries over the recovery. Real gross domestic product has increased more in Canada than in any other G7 country since the end of the recession. Furthermore, since we introduced the economic action plan to respond to the global recession, Canada has recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession, and more. In fact, the Canadian economy has posted one of the strongest job-creation records in the G7 over the recovery, with over 1.2 million net new jobs created since June 2009.

Today's legislation would continue our government's hard work. It would help families and communities prosper, support jobs and economic growth, ensure the security of Canadians, and of course, fulfill our promise to balance the budget.

In my allotted time today, I would like to highlight some of the important and thoughtful measures in Bill C-59 and illustrate how they would benefit Canadians.

Our government holds a fundamental belief: those who work hard to earn their dollars deserve to keep them. It is why we have cut taxes over and over again. In fact, this government has lowered taxes every year since coming into office. That is over 180 different times. As a result, the overall federal tax burden is now at its lowest level in more than 50 years. Canadians at all income levels are benefiting from the tax relief introduced by our government, with low- and middle-income families receiving proportionately greater relief.

In 2015-2016, Canadian families and individuals would receive $37 billion in tax relief and increased benefits as a result of our government's actions taken since 2006. For example, a typical two-earner family of four would receive tax relief and increased benefits of up to $6,600 in 2015 thanks to measures such as the family tax cut, the universal child care benefit, the GST reductions, the introduction of the children's fitness tax credit, and other broad-based income tax relief measures.

By reducing taxes consistently and enhancing benefits to Canadians, the government has given families and individuals greater flexibility to make the choices that are right for them. Canadians know that it is only the Conservatives who can be trusted to truly lower taxes for them.

Bill C-59 would go even further to help Canadian families make ends meet by supporting tax fairness through the family tax cut, which would allow a higher-income spouse to in effect transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower income bracket. By increasing the universal child care benefit for children under age six and expanding it to children aged six through 17, parents would be eligible for a benefit of $160 per month for each child under the age of six and $60 per month for children aged six through 17. This is great news for every Canadian family with children. Increasing the child care expense deduction dollar limits by $1,000, effective for the 2015 tax year, would mean that the maximum amount that could be claimed would increase to $8,000 from $7,000 for children under age seven and to $5,000 from $4,000 for children aged seven through 16, and to $11,000 from $10,000 for children who are eligible for the disability tax credit.

Every single Canadian family with children under the age of 18 would benefit from these important measures. The Liberal leader admitted that he believed “benefiting every single family is not what is fair”. I disagree. Our government believes that every single Canadian family would keep more of its own money, and that is the absolute definition of fairness.

We would also increase the tax-free savings account annual contribution limit to $10,000 to help Canadians save more of their hard-earned money. Whether they want to purchase a new home or car, start a new business, or save for retirement, Canadians have many reasons to save at every stage of their lives. That is the whole reason our government introduced the tax-free savings account in the first place. The TFSA provides greater savings incentives for low- and modest-income individuals, because in addition to the tax savings, neither the income earned in a TFSA nor withdrawals from it affect a person's federal income-tested benefits and credits, like the Canada child tax credit or old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits.

I am proud that Bill C-59 would give Canadians more options when it comes to saving for their future and would let Canadians, not the government, manage their own money.

Just as we are making it easier for Canadians to save, we want them to feel confident that they will be able to enjoy their golden years. The fact is, Canadians are living longer than ever and are opening new rich chapters in their lives in retirement. That is why Bill C-59 introduces measures to give seniors more freedom and flexibility when it comes to managing their retirement income.

For example, Canadians' retirement savings are typically held in tax assisted registered plans, such as RPPs, registered pension plans; registered retirement savings plans, RRSPs; registered retirement income funds, RRIFs; and tax-free savings accounts, TFSAs.

Bill C-59 would adjust the RRIF minimum withdrawal factors that apply in respect of ages 71 to 94 to better reflect more recent long-term historical real rates of return and expected inflation. As a result, the new RRIF factors would be substantially lower than the existing factors, helping seniors across the country. By permitting more capital preservation, the new factors would help reduce the risk of outliving one's savings while ensuring that the tax deferral provided on RRSP and RRIF savings continued to serve a retirement income purpose.

This is another example of how we are supporting seniors, not looking for new ways to tax them. Unlike the opposition members, who would much too eagerly jump at the opportunity to tax Canadian seniors, and they have proven that recently, we believe that the best thing we can do is provide extra support for seniors with lower taxes, solid pensions, and a strong health care system.

Let me take a minute to recognize the brave men and women who have stood and fought, and continue to, for our freedom. Those are Canada's veterans. We must never forget the contribution veterans have made to our freedom and security. They have willingly defended the security of Canadians knowing full well the potential cost of their own commitment. We owe them our compassion, our respect, and our gratitude.

With the implementation of the new veterans charter in 2006, the government significantly increased the range of benefits and services it provides to veterans. This included not just compensation but support to help restore their ability to function back at home and in their communities. However, we can always do more for these heroes, which is why I am extremely proud that Bill C-59 proposes additional improvements to the charter, including new investments to enhance benefits for moderately to severely disabled veterans and increased support for family caregivers. Specifically, it would create a critical injury benefit, which would provide a $70,000 tax-free award to Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans who have suffered service-related severe, sudden, and traumatic injuries or diseases.

Furthermore, many veterans depend on the support of friends and family who often provide informal caregiving services. Therefore, the bill would create a new tax-free family caregiver relief benefit to seriously disabled veterans who require daily assistance from an informal caregiver. This new benefit would provide annual financial support of $7,238 to eligible veterans so that they could better afford paid services and give respite to their loved ones.

When I speak with veterans in my home riding of North Vancouver, I appreciate the sacrifice these Canadians have made. I am pleased that the bill can go a long way in giving them more of the assistance and support they need.

However, there is still more, and I would like to turn my attention to small businesses.

We know that small businesses are the lifeblood of the Canadian economy. They account for over 90% of all businesses in Canada and employ two-thirds of all Canadians. Needless to say, our government believes that small businesses should spend their time growing their businesses and creating jobs, not choking on high taxes and excess red tape. It is why we have repeatedly cut taxes significantly for small businesses and their owners. Building on our record, today's legislation would reduce the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019, the largest tax rate cut for small businesses in more than a quarter of a century.

For example, for a Canadian small business with taxable income of $500,000, as a result of this tax cut and other measures since 2006, the amount of federal tax paid would be 46% lower than in 2006, which is nearly half of what is was just nine short years ago. This would mean an annual tax reduction of up to $38,600 that could be reinvested in the business to fuel its growth, retain capital and create long-lasting jobs.

I would now like to discuss one of our government's most important promises: balancing the budget.

When the great recession hit us, we responded quickly and effectively with a historic stimulus program. Our plan worked. We emerged from the recession faster and stronger than virtually any other major advanced economy. When the crisis passed, we set out on a course to balance budgets, but we did not do it by raising taxes or slashing transfers for education and health care, like the Liberals did in the 1990s.

It is really important to point out that we balanced budgets while keeping transfers now at the highest level in history. We focused on controlling operating expenses for federal departments, identifying efficiencies that focused on making government operations better and more efficient. As a result, the deficit has been reduced from $55.6 billion at the height of the global economic crisis to a projected surplus this year of $1.4 billion and $1.7 billion the year after. This is great news for Canadians everywhere.

Indeed, when we survey the state of the global economy, Canada's reputation for sound fiscal management is ironclad, and the world looks to Canada as a leader and economic powerhouse, well tested against the odds. That is a reputation our government intends to keep and it is exactly why Bill C-59 introduces balanced budget legislation. The legislation would ensure that the hard-won gains achieved over the past five years would remain in place for future generations.

We have said it before and we will say it again: budgets do not balance themselves. The opposition members, who seem preoccupied with high taxes and deficits, may think that they do, but here on this side of the House we know that fiscal discipline, balanced budgets and strong leadership will leave our children and grandchildren with an even more prosperous country.

The legislation would also ensure that the only acceptable deficits would be ones that respond to a recession or an extraordinary circumstance, such as a war or natural disaster. Deficits outside of a recession or an extraordinary circumstance are unacceptable and the need to return to balanced budgets is immediate. To that end, this legislation proposes that, should Canada again enter into deficit, the finance minister would be required to testify before the House of Commons committee on finance within 30 days and present a plan with concrete timelines to return to balanced budgets.

Moreover, should the deficit be due to a recession or other extraordinary circumstance, operating spending would be frozen, as would the salaries of cabinet ministers and deputy ministers government-wide once the recovery begins. If on the other hand the deficit is due to mismanagement, operating budgets will be frozen automatically and the salaries of cabinet ministers and deputy ministers alike would be reduced by 5%.

This approach would ensure that any increase in spending to respond to a recession, war or natural disaster would be temporary, targeted and timely. It is just another way that our government is taking leadership to ensure long-term prosperity for Canadians.

I could list many more measures in this bill that would benefit all Canadians, but I see that my time is almost up.

Our government's hard work has borne fruit. Our economic action plan is working, and we continue to get noticed on the global stage for our rock solid economy. In fact, ours is the largest economy that still has a Triple-A long-term credit rating. Canada is one of only a handful of countries in the world that still has that Triple-A credit rating.

For example, the World Economic Forum rated Canada's banking system as the soundest in the world for the seventh year in a row in its annual Global Competitiveness Report. This is unheard of. According to KPMG, total business tax costs in Canada are the lowest in the G7, and 46% lower than those in the United States. In fact, Bloomberg says that Canada is the second best place in the world to do business. When was the last time that happened? I do not think that has ever happened.

This economic resilience also reflects the actions that our government took before the global crisis, including lowering taxes and paying down debt. In fact, we paid down about $39 billion in debt prior to the recession. We have also reduced red tape and promoted free trade and innovation.

Our government's priorities have always been to create well-paying and secure jobs for Canadians and Canadian families, to lower taxes for Canadian families and businesses, and to balance the budget. Bill C-59 does not stray from these priorities. In fact, the bill would ensure that Canada's future is secure and prosperous, with a healthy economy fuelled by low taxes and sustainable public finances, all while helping families, seniors, veterans, small businesses and many more. It is another reminder that a government can reject high-tax and high-spend schemes that would put us back in a deficit and still provide meaningful support for all Canadians.

I encourage all members of the House to read the legislation. I hope that the opposition gives the bill the support that it deserves.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 3:55 p.m.
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Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, where do I start? I notice that parliamentary secretaries were not included in those who have to take a pay cut if the government runs deficits. It is utter hypocrisy, but that one section of this massive omnibus bill is truly hypocritical. My friend neglected to mention that it is an omnibus bill. It is another kitchen sink bill of another 157-odd pages with everything thrown into it, particularly things that the government does not want Canadians to see.

Even in the Conservatives' balanced budget legislation, it is a bit of a deathbed conversion for the Conservatives, because they have added more than $150 billion in deficit since taking office. Notice how they did not have any of that legislation in place while they were running those massive deficits. It was just as they crept toward a balance, which they achieved through cuts to rail service, rail protection, food inspection, cuts to veterans, cuts to the CBC and selling off GM shares.

My colleague from Parkdale—High Park says that the Conservatives looked through the couch, got out all of the change that they could find and then sold the couch as well in order to creep toward that balance. Now we see them coming forward with this motion around a balanced budget.

Let me take on one aspect of what my friend raised today. The doubling of the TFSA has been studied by many economists, both Conservative and progressive. They show that the top 20% of Canadians would realize 180% more of the benefits than everybody else. Again, the top fifth, the absolute wealthiest part of this country, will get 180% more benefit than everybody else in the country.

I wonder how my friend can possibly justify that particular measure when so many Canadians, particularly in the middle and working classes, need a break?

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4 p.m.
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Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the member opposite asked me that question, because it gives me the opportunity to again repeat that the tax-free savings account is the most popular savings vehicle since RRSPs were introduced half a century ago. In fact, 11 million Canadians have already opened TFSAs, and the vast majority are middle and low-income Canadians, including 600,000 seniors with incomes below $60,000. They are maximizing their TFSA room, and they will benefit from this measure.

It would give Canadians another opportunity to save for their retirements, to save for that down payment on a house and to save for their children's education. It is just another opportunity for Canadians to save with tax assistance from the government.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4 p.m.
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Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, when I listen to the member, what comes across my mind when he boasts about the economic action plan is that the government has really missed the mark by not recognizing that this budget is not a fair budget. It is not a budget that addresses the many needs of Canada's middle class. It is not fair. It gives more to Canada's wealthiest, while at the same time, does not give the attention necessary to the hard-working middle class and those who aspire to being part of Canada's middle class.

The former Conservative minister, Jim Flaherty, said income splitting would favour 14% of Canada's population, the wealthiest of Canada's population, and the middle class would have to foot the bill.

Does the member believe that Jim Flaherty and others who have been critical of the government's taxation policy are wrong? How does he justify to Canadians that this is a fair budget when we know in reality it is not a fair budget?

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4 p.m.
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Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to fairness, it is the middle- and low-income Canadians who have actually benefited the most as a result of our measures. Here is a quote from Mackenzie in Swan River, Manitoba. She said:

This helps a lot for single parents.... Thank you for helping us raise our children.

The Liberals want to raise taxes on middle-class families. They think that budgets balance themselves. They want to raise taxes on middle-class seniors and they want to raise taxes on middle-class consumers. That is their plan, to raise taxes on the middle class.

In contrast, our Conservative government is reducing taxes on the middle class, and in fact benefiting all Canadian families, but do not take my word for it. This is a quote from the CFIB:

CFIB gives 2015 budget an “A”: Big tax cut for small business

....small business owners across the country will be thrilled to see several small business friendly measures in the 2015 budget...

What is good for small businesses is good for Canadians and good for employment.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4 p.m.
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Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the hon. parliamentary secretary, and I echo the concerns of my friend from Skeena—Bulkley Valley. When we are presented with yet another omnibus budget bill, we fear that as in the previous multiple omnibus budget bills, the independent different sections of this one will not get adequate study.

I am particularly concerned in this first question about division 20 of part 3. I have read the bill. It is on page 147. How can we possibly claim that the Treasury Board and the Government of Canada have entered into collective bargaining with our hard-working public sector workers when we are unilaterally, through the legislation, changing the approach to sick leave?

I am very embarrassed by this. I think those people who work so hard in the Government of Canada are beleaguered by repeated efforts to make it look as though they do not work hard and do not deserve the support of the Canadian public. I ask my hon. colleague to reconsider division 20 of part 3.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4 p.m.
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Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague may have read that section, but she obviously does not understand it.

Economic action plan 2015 reaffirms the government's commitment to pursuing a new disability and sick leave management system. The 40-year old sick leave accumulation system is antiquated and not responsive to the needs of the majority of our employees.

Over 60% of the employees in the public service do not have enough banked sick leave to cover the waiting period before accessing long-term disability benefits; 25% have fewer than 10 days banked sick leave. This places them at risk of income loss. A modernized system would provide adequate support for all employees, regardless of age, medical history and years of service.

The system is not equitable, leaving younger or newer employees without means to handle a short-term illness or injury. The current system also does not have a provision to address mental health issues.

We are resolving those in this budget.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4:05 p.m.
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David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the tax-free savings account was first established, it was heralded as the best innovation in retirement savings since the RRSP, and we fulfilled a promise that we made to the Canadian people to double the tax-free savings account. I believe that it is the responsibility of government not only to help those who need help but to provide tools for those who can help themselves so that they can make sure they have adequate savings to have a comfortable retirement.

I am wondering if the parliamentary secretary could elaborate on the benefits of the increased TFSA and what it is going to mean to millions of Canadians.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4:05 p.m.
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Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the tax-free savings account is being heralded across the country as the best savings vehicle since the RRSP was introduced half a century ago, as I mentioned. As a result, 11 million Canadians have chosen to take up the TFSA, and the vast majority of them are middle- and low-income Canadians. These are people who want to save for their future so that they can be comfortable in their retirement.

The least a government can do is offer Canadians a vehicle with tax assistance. It is a voluntary vehicle, so it is up to people whether they want to contribute, but it is a tax-assisted vehicle so that they can save for the future.

It is not a mandatory vehicle of the kind the opposition wants to impose. This is a voluntary vehicle, because we believe Canadians are the ones best able to decide how and when they want to save for the future.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4:05 p.m.
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Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, as always, I am honoured to speak in the House, but I am not particularly honoured to speak to Bill C-59. This bill is more than 150 pages long and will be devastating not only for the Canadian economy, but also for Canadian workers.

The Conservatives have once again introduced an omnibus bill designed to push through hundreds of changes that are not subject to study or oversight. This bill contains more than 270 clauses amending dozens of laws, most of which have nothing to do with the budget.

The Conservatives' income splitting plan will cost Canadian taxpayers billions of dollars and will benefit only the wealthy. The increase to the TFSA limit will only make things worse.

With more than 150 pages in this massive omnibus bill, yet again we see the Conservatives essentially abusing the parliamentary process. Today The Globe and Mail called it a “contemptuous disregard for Parliament” and “an ugly precedent”.

I remember what the current Prime Minister—and not for long prime minister—said while in opposition about omnibus legislation that he did not like. He said:

Second, in the interest of democracy I ask: How can members represent their constituents on these various areas when they are forced to vote in a block on such legislation and on such concerns?

We can agree with some of the measures but oppose others. How do we express our views and the views of our constituents when the matters are so diverse?

The massive omnibus bill that the Prime Minister was criticizing was 20 pages long. However, Conservatives have brought in three omnibus bills that were over 450 pages long, and another one topped out at over 880 pages.

Therefore, I guess what Conservatives are saying to Parliament and to Canadians is that in such an abusive relationship, this is just a small abuse, so we should accept it and tolerate it. However, in one fell swoop, dozens of laws would be affected, from Parliament Hill security to terrorism to veterans to undermining basic human rights protections for unpaid interns to undermining the charter protection for collective bargaining for public servants in this country. All of that is rammed into this one bill, and Conservatives are going to ram it through Parliament just as surely as day follows night.

Let us first set the context of where this particular budget lands in the Canadian economy.

Members will notice that the Conservatives' talking points about the economic performance of the government are increasingly stale. That is because the only numbers that show any positive light on what is happening in the Canadian context are now three, four, and five years old, and according to the Department of Finance, for the last 15 months growth in Canada's economy has been less than 1%.

To put that in historical context, that is the worst record outside of a recession for any government in more than 40 years. I will repeat that: outside of recession, the last almost year and a half has been the worst growth record of any government in the last four and a half decades. Still Conservatives would have us believe that everything is fine, despite massive job losses in the energy sector, retail sector, and sectors like manufacturing. We have now lost more than 420,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs over the nine long years since the Conservatives took power. That is more than half a million manufacturing jobs lost since 2000.

This is devastating for the Canadian economy. As we have seen and as the Governor of the Bank of the Canada shows us consistently, when oil prices rise, the Canadian dollar rises, which tends to have a somewhat negative effect on manufacturing output, and when it drops, manufacturing typically picks back up in Canada. However, the Canadian dollar now hovers around 80¢. We have not seen that uptick in the manufacturing sector, because things are different now. Under the Conservatives' watch, the downturn in manufacturing has become more permanent.

There are in fact 250,000 fewer jobs in Canada right now than before the recession hit and more than 160,000 fewer jobs for young Canadians than before the recession hit. We have not yet recovered from the depths of the recession. We have not yet seen the recovery that Canadians were expecting. Certainly, if one believed all the ads the government has bought with taxpayer money—almost $750 million worth—one would think everything was perfect. However, Canadians know different, because Canadians right now are carrying the highest debt loads in Canadian history. Each individual household is now carrying, on average, more debt than we ever have since our country was founded.

We also see, from a government that claims fiscal austerity and prudence, that the historical record has actually met the current record. The Conservatives have added more than $150 billion to the national debt. That is $4,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country. We know it is more than $4,000 per person because by the time we pay that debt off—if we ever pay it off, and certainly not under our current government's plan—it will be much more than $4,000, because when one borrows money, it always ends up costing more. Every Canadian has had that experience with student loans or car loans or a mortgage. However, that is how much the Conservatives have added to the national debt.

People might ask what we got in return. Did we get a robust economy? Did we get a more diversified and sustainable economy, such as the one the leader in Alberta, Rachel Notley, talks about creating for that fine province? No. We have again seen an overreliance on a soaring commodity price that goes up and goes down. We have seen yet another opportunity squandered by the government.

If the Conservative economic plan was working, then the Conservative economic plan would be working, and it is not. Canadians know it, and no $750 million ad buy is going to convince them otherwise.

We have also seen in the budget document, this omnibus bill, that there are a lot of perks in it for the wealthy and the well connected. They do okay. In fact, they do great.

Bankers do not tend to use very colourful or aggressive language generally, but when asked about the performance of the Canadian economy just a few weeks ago, the Governor of the Bank of Canada called it “atrocious”. He is right.

In an atrocious economic environment, one would think job one from the government of the day would be to create jobs, to get people back to work, to diversify the economy, to invest in the economy in ways that would actually produce the jobs that we have been missing since the last global recession. Instead, we see the true priorities of the Conservatives when it comes to jobs, and that is their own jobs. They are hoping to buy back re-election just one more time.

“Give us one more chance”, say the Conservatives, “We're going to figure this thing out this time.” What they are looking to do is buy some votes and trick folks yet again with something like income splitting, which will cost in the order of $2.2 billion and do nothing for 85% of Canadian families whatsoever. It does something for 15% of families, and those families are particularly in the wealthier brackets. Nearly $2.5 billion will go to help the top 15%, and produce what in the economy? Nothing, except a little help for those who already have had quite a bit of help.

One might say that is enough of a bauble to give to wealthier Canadians, but the Conservatives say, “Wait; there is more. We are going to take a thing called the tax-free savings account, which right now has a limit of $5,500 per year, and nearly double it to $10,000.”

When we look at the actual impact of doing something like this, we see that tax-free savings accounts, despite the claim from the government, have not increased savings for Canadians. There is no evidence whatsoever that since TFSAs were first introduced in 2009, there has been any increase in savings for Canadians, which is the whole reason the government brought in the program in the first place. If the intention of the program was to help people save and people are not saving as a result of the program, we enter the very definition of insanity, which is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. However, that is exactly what we get when we deal with Conservatives.

Let us look instead at what the doubling of the TFSA actually does. There was a moment of truth in this whole debate that came from the Minister of Finance. Occasionally he drops by and says some things or talks to the odd reporter.

He said that this thing gets very expensive later on, which was the question, because it does. The cost to the treasury gets up into the tens of billions of dollars. He said, “Why don't we leave that to the Prime Minister's granddaughter to solve that problem?” Is that not nice? Is it not nice when a generation before us says, “Yes, we're creating a huge hole, but we're going to let the people a generation or two down the line fill it in”.

Those are not the conservatives I know. In the place I represent in northwestern British Columbia, the conservatives I know always look to make things better for their kids and grandkids, and that extends beyond the financial into the environmental. It is the idea that we try to leave the place better than we found it. Both on economics and the environment, Conservatives are at least consistent. They are into the scorched earth policies. They are into the ones that they will pay later. They are like the guy in Vegas with the ATM card who just does not know how to quit.

According to the Parliamentary Budget Office, which the Conservatives routinely quote in this place, an office we helped the Conservatives create, if we all remember, some nine years ago, this doubling of the TFSA would give the top 20% who receive this benefit 180% more than every other group of Canadians below them. Think about that for a moment. Almost double the advantages, almost double the money, almost double the benefits of everyone else combined would go to the people at the very top of the pile.

We also know that the PBO expects the benefit to high-wealth households to increase by 35%, while low- and middle-wealth households are, and this is a quote, “not projected to be materially affected by the proposed changes”. Therefore, middle- and working-class Canadians get bupkes; nothing. It is for the wealthiest group, which does have 10 or 20 grand just burning holes in their pockets at the end of every year.

I do not know what middle-class group of Canadians the Conservatives are talking to, but the ones I deal with are struggling just to make ends meet, with the high cost of child care, electricity, paying for their mortgages, and just keeping their homes good and happy. Most of the families I talk to do not have $10,000 or $20,000. Do members know who does? Do members know who is maxing out on this already and will max out in the future? It is the wealthy households. This is why the Conservatives are able to skew the stats. The children of wealthy families are maxing out their TFSAs and will again. It is a shelter for wealthy Canadians, which is how they are proposing to use it, making the problem even worse.

New Democrats maintain that keeping the TFSA where it is is fine, but doubling it will end up costing tens of billions of dollars, and again we have to ask to what effect.

There is so much in this bill. Let us talk for a moment about a proposal the NDP made as the government was clamouring to get to a balanced budget. We said we have this child poverty situation in this country that years and years ago the House of Commons solemnly committed to eradicate, under the leadership of Ed Broadbent, the former New Democratic leader and a mentor to many of us. All members stood in the House, Conservatives included, and said, “We are going to get to this problem, because it is a problem that affects all of us. It does not know right and left. It is right and wrong, and this is right”. The House of Commons said it was going to do something about it, so New Democrats came up with a solution.

The tax code is thousands of pages long, by the way. It costs billions of dollars for Canadians to file every year. The Conservatives only make that problem worse and more expensive for individuals and small businesses. They do not mind, because it is all about the next election. However, under that massive tax code, there is a little loophole for CEOs, for those who receive their pay in stock options. Again, I am thinking about the middle- and working-class Canadians I know. Not a lot of them get paid in stock options.

People who get paid in stock options pay almost half the tax that everyone else does. Is that not nice? Is it not nice to get paid in stock options and only pay half the tax? For people making north of $250,000, $350,000 a year, times are tough.

There is a $750 million per year loophole in the tax code now that we said should be closed. It is easy, it is understandable, and we know what to do with it: take every single dollar from that loophole and help eradicate child poverty in Canada. Who is going to vote against that? Who is going to stand in this place and say no, no, no, the folks in the corner offices, the CEOs, the guys driving the Maseratis and the Ferraris, they need that money. It is hard to get to St. Barts and St. Kitts these days. Prices are high for that second, third, and fourth vacation home.

Instead, New Democrats said to use it to eradicate child poverty, which would help right across the board, not only the children and families involved who are living below the poverty line but our education system and our health care system, and it would help Canada be a more productive and prosperous nation.

We have also seen in this massive bill the ramming in of an entire veterans bill, which was before the House, Bill C-58, and that the government has been stalling on for years, to help out our veterans. After the Conservatives' shameful treatment, which continues to this day, denying veterans of this country the benefits they are so deserving of, they decided to pick it up holus bolus and drop it into an omnibus bill.

Just before this debate started, we sought the strength of the House of Commons to take that veterans bill and move it right to committee today. What did the Conservatives say? No. They said no. They said they did not want to do that. They would rather have it go through this process that will take weeks and perhaps months and go to the Senate and all the rest of that stuff. That is how much they care about veterans. It is a political football for them to toss around again and again.

The changing of Hill security, the changing of a constitutional decree about how security should be done on the Hill, is also in this.

New Democrats have been fighting, through the good work of a number of our MPs from all across the country, to protect unpaid interns from unreasonable work and sexual harassment at work. We had a bill we have been fighting for through Parliament. The Conservatives denied it. They put something in here, but they forgot to put the part in to protect unpaid interns from sexual harassment. They forgot, they said. It did not come up, they said. We had legislation going through the House. These are disproportionately young Canadians and they are vulnerable in the workplace because obviously, if they are seeking an internship, particularly an unpaid one, they are trying to get a resume together, trying to get a foot in the very difficult marketplace and job market. Yet Conservatives found no room in their hearts to actually fix this.

I have to say a couple of things that are positive, because I am an optimistic guy. There are four things out of 157 pages. That is not bad. Unsurprisingly, they were proposals we put forward to the House of Commons.

Before I went into politics, I was a small-business owner. I know intuitively, and the facts back it up, that small businesses are the engine of the Canadian economy. They create eight out of 10 new jobs in Canada in the private sector. They account for almost 45% of our GDP, the strength of this economy. While Conservatives and Liberals alike have been handing out billions upon tens of billions of corporate tax cuts to the largest corporations, we said how about a little break for small businesses. The NDP proposed a 2% drop in the small business tax rate.

We also said that manufacturing has been hammered. More than half a million jobs have been lost in just 15 years, and more than 400,000 jobs have been lost in manufacturing since the government took over. We said let us help out manufacturing.

We also said that we want to see innovation, because Canada's private sector consistently has one of the lowest levels of innovation in research and development of any of the developed nations. We have to change that, so we put a motion to the government and debated all day in the House of Commons. What did the government say? It said that is was bad economics and a bad idea, and the Conservatives voted against the NDP motion.

Lo and behold, surprise of surprises, those very same ideas ended up in the omnibus budget bill. I guess they were such bad economics that the Conservatives found themselves agreeing with the NDP's ideas. Good for them. Imitation is the best form of flattery, but imitation is obviously not as good as the original. The Conservatives decided to lower the small business tax rate twice as slow as what we had proposed. There is urgency in trying to buy some votes from wealthier Canadians, but they will take their time when it comes to helping small businesses.

Conservatives also changed some rules about RRIFs, which the member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River had proposed, and they extended the compassionate care benefits in EI to help people who are caring for a loved one at end of life. We think that is good. We think we need to change the rules around EI so that more people, particularly women, who are the ones who do 75% of this palliative care, actually qualify for EI.

In summation, to say this is yet another failed opportunity is far too gracious. This is a government so focused on its own prospects it is unable to see the concern we have, shared by the governor of the bank, by private sector economists, and by developed nations, writ large, that the Canadian economy is sputtering. It is not creating the jobs. It has not recovered those jobs.

Mr. Speaker, I move:

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-59, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 and other measures, because it:

a) fails to support working- and middle-class families through the introduction of affordable childcare and a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage;

b) imposes wasteful and unfair income-splitting measures which primarily benefit the wealthy and offer nothing to 85% of Canadian families;

c) fails to protect interns against workplace sexual harassment or unreasonable hours of work;

d) implements expanded Tax-Free Savings Account measures which benefit the wealthiest households while leaving major fiscal problems to our grandchildren;

e) rolls a separate, stand-alone, and supportable piece of legislation concerning Canada's veterans into an omnibus bill that contains vastly unrelated, unsupportable measures; and

f) attacks the right to free and fair collective bargaining for hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers.”

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4:25 p.m.
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The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The amendment is admissible.

Questions and comments. The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4:30 p.m.
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Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate many of the comments made by the New Democratic finance critic. It is safe to say that there are certain aspects we are in agreement with.

For example, in questioning the parliamentary secretary, I emphasized how unfair the taxation policy in this budget is. In the amendment being proposed, the member made reference to income splitting. We are in complete agreement that income splitting would benefit fewer than 15% of Canadians, and we are talking about some of the wealthiest Canadians.

We can talk about the tax-free savings account and how, again, it is disproportionately Canada's wealthiest people who would be able to take advantage of what would be provided by the government.

It seems to me that it would be the middle class that would be taxed to pay for these benefits. Therefore, the budget is an unfair budget, and we need to see some changes.

My question for the member is related to what has been a fairly well-received plan espoused by the leader of the Liberal Party and the Liberals. It deals with the 7% cut in income tax for the middle class. I have not heard what the NDP's position is on that sort of tax cut. Are the New Democrats in favour of the 7% tax cut the leader of the Liberal Party and the Liberal caucus have been advocating? It would be a fair tax cut and would assist Canada's middle class, because a healthy, strong middle class means a strong economy.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4:30 p.m.
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Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, my friend from Winnipeg was doing so well right up until the end there. We have to differentiate a couple of things that are important here.

The income splitting that has been in place for a number of years for Canadian seniors has within it a great deal of equity. It helps wealthier seniors but more importantly it gives middle-income and lower-income seniors the ability to split income. We want to maintain that.

The TFSA originally, with the cap of $5,500, was a fine measure. It did not increase savings at all in Canada, which is purportedly the reason the government brought it in. However, in and of itself it is fine; it is the doubling. The Conservatives take two ideas that are okay and then warp them into something that is inherently unfair, which I think speaks to my friend from Winnipeg's point.

I have spent some time looking at the current version of the Liberal leader's tax plan. It has changed a couple of times. The only concerns I would raise is that two-thirds of Canadian filers do not receive any benefit whatsoever under the plan. That is according to Finance Canada and Statistics Canada numbers. There is a second piece where the largest share under the Liberal leader's plan goes to incomes between $90,000 and $200,000. That is the lion's share of the benefit. Last, I would say that the numbers are not yet quite complete for the Liberals' plan. There is at least $2 billion they have admitted to, probably another billion dollars, that is missing, as well as just over-assuming the revenues from their tax augmentation and those north of $200,000.

We have looked at it. We think we have a better offer. The $15 a day child care for Canadian families would directly help the middle- and working-class Canadians, as well as a national $15 minimum wage. That would clearly bring at least a few more people up into just approaching the poverty line, which I know sounds radical to the Conservatives, but this is something that the New Democrats believe we should at least aspire to.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1Government Orders

May 13th, 2015 / 4:30 p.m.
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Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, if my colleague's intervention is not informative it certainly is entertaining. I did like the point he made about imitation being the finest point of flattery. That might explain why he has adopted my hairstyle. He does recall that he did also say in his own words that the imitation is not as good as the original. Therefore, I will claim to be the original bald guy here right now.

The member talked about the budget measures we are putting in place benefiting largely people with Maseratis and Lamborghinis, but nobody in my riding owns a Maserati or a Lamborghini. I have never even seen one.

This budget increases transfer payments to my home territory to record levels, in fact, 63% higher than previous Liberal government investments. It has record health care transfers. It is allowing local governments to determine their own priorities and needs at a local level. There are excellent measures in here to let local jurisdictions decide what their priorities are and then deliver them for the people of the north.

I am just wondering if the member opposite could explain this to us. If all these measures are so bad, why is it that the member for Ottawa Centre has been communicating in his riding about all of the measures that we are putting in place and why would he promote those measures if the New Democrats are so against them?