Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1

An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures

Sponsor

Bill Morneau  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, 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 March 22, 2017 budget by

(a) eliminating the investment tax credit for child care spaces;

(b) eliminating the deduction for eligible home relocation loans;

(c) ensuring that amounts received on account of the caregiver recognition benefit under the Veterans Well-being Act are exempt from income tax;

(d) eliminating tax exemptions of allowances for members of legislative assemblies and certain municipal officers;

(e) eliminating the tax exemption for insurers of farming and fishing property;

(f) eliminating the additional deduction for gifts of medicine;

(g) replacing the existing caregiver credit, infirm dependant credit and family caregiver tax credit with the new Canada caregiver credit;

(h) eliminating the public transit tax credit;

(i) ensuring certain costs related to the use of reproductive technologies qualify for the medical expense tax credit;

(j) extending the list of medical practitioners that can certify eligibility for the disability tax credit to include nurse practitioners;

(k) extending eligibility for the tuition tax credit to fees paid for occupational skills courses at post-secondary institutions and taking into account such courses in determining whether an individual is a qualifying student under the Income Tax Act;

(l) extending, for one year, the mineral exploration tax credit for flow-through share investors;

(m) eliminating the tobacco manufacturers’ surtax;

(n) permitting employers to distribute T4 information slips electronically provided certain conditions are met; and

(o) delaying the repeal of the provisions related to the National Child Benefit supplement in the Income Tax Act.

Part 2 implements certain goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) measures proposed in the March 22, 2017 budget by

(a) adding naloxone and its salts to the list of GST/HST zero-rated non-prescription drugs that are used to treat life-threatening conditions;

(b) amending the definition of “taxi business” to require, in certain circumstances, providers of ride-sharing services to register for the GST/HST and charge GST/HST in the same manner as taxi operators; and

(c) repealing the GST/HST rebate available to non-residents for the GST/HST that is payable in respect of the accommodation portion of eligible tour packages.

Part 3 implements certain excise measures proposed in the March 22, 2017 budget by

(a) adjusting excise duty rates on tobacco products to account for the elimination of the tobacco manufacturers’ surtax; and

(b) increasing the excise duty rates on alcohol products by 2% and automatically adjusting those rates annually by the Consumer Price Index starting in April 2018.

Part 4 enacts and amends several Acts in order to implement various measures.

Division 1 of Part 4 amends the Special Import Measures Act to provide for binding and appealable rulings as to whether a particular good falls within the scope of a trade remedy measure, authorities to investigate and address the circumvention of trade remedy measures, consideration of whether a particular market situation is rendering selling prices in an exporting country unreliable for the purposes of determining normal values and the termination of a trade remedy investigation in respect of an exporter found to have an insignificant margin of dumping or amount of subsidy.

Division 2 of Part 4 enacts the Borrowing Authority Act, which allows the Minister of Finance to borrow money on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada with the authorization of the Governor in Council and provides for the maximum amount of certain borrowings. The Division amends the Financial Administration Act and the Hibernia Development Project Act to provide that the applicable rate of currency exchange quoted by the Bank of Canada is its daily average rate. It also amends the Financial Administration Act to allow that Minister to choose a rate of currency exchange other than one quoted by the Bank of Canada. Finally, it makes a consequential amendment to the Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1.

Division 3 of Part 4 amends the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act and the Bank Act to

(a) specify that one of the objects of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation is to act as the resolution authority for its member institutions;

(b) require Canada’s domestic systemically important banks to develop, submit and maintain resolution plans to that Corporation; and

(c) provide the Superintendent of Financial Institutions greater flexibility in setting the requirement for domestic systemically important banks to maintain a minimum capacity to absorb losses.

Division 4 of Part 4 amends the Shared Services Canada Act in order to permit the Minister responsible for Shared Services Canada to do the following, subject to any terms and conditions that that Minister specifies:

(a) delegate certain powers given to that Minister under that Act to an “appropriate Minister”, as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act; and

(b) authorize in exceptional circumstances a department to obtain a particular service other than from that Minister through Shared Services Canada, including by meeting its requirement for that service internally.

Division 5 of Part 4 authorizes a payment to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research to support a pan-Canadian artificial intelligence strategy.

Division 6 of Part 4 amends the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act to expand eligibility for student financial assistance under that Act to include persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act, whether or not they are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or protected persons. It also amends the Canada Education Savings Act to permit the primary caregiver’s cohabiting spouse or common-law partner to designate a trust to which is to be paid a Canada Learning Bond or an additional amount of a Canada Education Savings grant and to apply to the Minister for the waiver of certain requirements of that Act or the regulations to avoid undue hardship. It also amends that Act to provide rules for the payment of an additional amount of a Canada Education Savings grant in situations where more than one trust has been designated.

Division 7 of Part 4 amends the Parliament of Canada Act to provide for the Parliamentary Budget Officer to report directly to Parliament and to be supported by an office that is separate from the Library of Parliament and to provide for the appointment and tenure of the Parliamentary Budget Officer to be that of an officer of Parliament. It expands the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s right of access to government information, clarifies the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s mandate with respect to the provision of research, analysis and costings and establishes a new mandate with respect to the costing of platform proposals during election periods. It also makes consequential amendments to certain Acts.

This Division also amends the Parliament of Canada Act to provide that the meetings of the Board of Internal Economy of the House of Commons are open, with certain exceptions, to the public.

Division 8 of Part 4 amends the Investment Canada Act to provide for an immediate increase to $1 billion of the review threshold amount for certain investments by WTO investors that are not state-owned enterprises. In addition, it requires that the report of the Director of Investments on the administration of that Act also include Part IV.‍1.

Division 9 of Part 4 provides funding to provinces for home care services and mental health services for the fiscal year 2017–2018.

Division 10 of Part 4 amends the Judges Act to implement the Response of the Government of Canada to the Report of the 2015 Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission. It provides for the continued statutory indexation of judicial salaries, an increase to the salaries of Federal Court prothonotaries to 80% of that of a Federal Court judge, an annual allowance for prothonotaries and reimbursement of legal costs incurred during their participation in the compensation review process. It also makes changes to the compensation of certain current and former chief justices to appropriately compensate them for their service and it makes technical amendments to ensure the correct division of annuities and enforcement of financial support orders, where necessary. Finally, it increases the number of judges of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta and the Yukon Supreme Court and increases the number of judicial salaries that may be paid under paragraph 24(3)‍(a) of that Act from thirteen to sixteen and under paragraph 24(3)‍(b) from fifty to sixty-two.

Division 11 of Part 4 amends the Employment Insurance Act to, among other things, allow for the payment of parental benefits over a longer period at a lower benefit rate, allow maternity benefits to be paid as early as the 12th week before the expected week of birth, create a benefit for family members to care for a critically ill adult and allow for benefits to care for a critically ill child to be payable to family members.

This Division also amends the Canada Labour Code to, among other things, increase the maximum length of parental leave to 63 weeks, extend the period prior to the estimated date of birth when the maternity leave may begin to 13 weeks, create a leave for a family member to care for a critically ill adult and allow for the leave related to the critical illness of a child to be taken by a family member.

Division 12 of Part 4 amends the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act to, among other things,

(a) specify to whom career transition services may be provided under Part 1 of the Act and authorize the Governor in Council to make regulations respecting those services;

(b) create a new education and training benefit that will provide a veteran with up to $80,000 for a course of study at an educational institution or for other education or training that is approved by the Minister of Veterans Affairs;

(c) end the family caregiver relief benefit and replace it with a caregiver recognition benefit that is payable to a person designated by a veteran;

(d) authorize the Minister of Veterans Affairs to waive the requirement for an application for compensation, services or assistance under the Act in certain cases;

(e) set out to whom any amount payable under the Act is to be paid if the person who is entitled to that amount dies before receiving it; and

(f) change the name of the Act.

The Division also amends the Pension Act and the Department of Veterans Affairs Act to remove references to hospitals under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans Affairs as there are no longer any such hospitals.

Finally, it makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Division 13 of Part 4 amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to

(a) provide that a foreign national who is a member of a certain portion of the class of foreign nationals who are nominated by a province or territory for the purposes of that Act may be issued an invitation to make an application for permanent residence only in respect of that class;

(b) provide that a foreign national who declines an invitation to make an application in relation to an expression of interest remains eligible to be invited to make an application in relation to the same expression of interest;

(c) authorize the Minister to give a single ministerial instruction that sets out the rank, in respect of different classes, that an eligible foreign national must occupy to be invited to make an application;

(d) provide that a ministerial instruction respecting the criteria that a foreign national must meet to be eligible to be invited to make an application applies in respect of an expression of interest that is submitted before the day on which the instruction takes effect;

(e) authorize the Minister, for the purpose of facilitating the selection of a foreign national as a member of a class or a temporary resident, to disclose personal information in relation to the foreign national that is provided to the Minister by a third party or created by the Minister;

(f) set out the circumstances in which an officer under that Act may issue documents in respect of an application to foreign nationals who do not meet certain criteria or do not have the qualifications they had when they were issued an invitation to make an application; and

(g) provide that the Service Fees Act does not apply to fees for the acquisition of permanent residence status or to certain fees for services provided under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Division 14 of Part 4 amends the Employment Insurance Act to broaden the definition of “insured participant”, in Part II of that Act, as well as the support measures that may be established by the Canada Employment Insurance Commission. It also repeals certain provisions of that Act.

Division 15 of Part 4 amends the Aeronautics Act, the Navigation Protection Act, the Railway Safety Act and the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 to provide the Minister of Transport with the authority to enter into agreements respecting any matter for which a charge or fee could be prescribed under those Acts and to make related amendments.

Division 16 of Part 4 amends the Food and Drugs Act to give the Minister of Health the authority to fix user fees for services, use of facilities, regulatory processes and approvals, products, rights and privileges that are related to drugs, medical devices, food and cosmetics. It also gives that Minister the authority to remit those fees, to adjust them and to withhold or withdraw services for the non-payment of them. Finally, it exempts those fees from the Service Fees Act.

Division 17 of Part 4 amends the Canada Labour Code to, among other things,

(a) transfer to the Canada Industrial Relations Board the powers, duties and functions of appeals officers under Part II of that Act and of referees and adjudicators under Part III of that Act;

(b) provide a complaint mechanism under Part III of that Act for employer reprisals;

(c) permit the Minister of Labour to order an employer to determine, following an internal audit, whether it is in compliance with a provision of Part III of that Act and to provide the Minister with a corresponding report;

(d) permit inspectors to order an employer to cease the contravention of a provision of Part III of that Act;

(e) extend the period with respect to which a payment order to recover unpaid wages or other amounts may be issued;

(f) impose administrative fees on employers to whom payment orders are issued; and

(g) establish an administrative monetary penalty scheme to supplement existing enforcement measures under Parts II and III of that Act.

This Division also amends the Wage Earner Protection Program Act to transfer to the Canada Industrial Relations Board the powers, duties and functions of adjudicators under that Act and makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Division 18 of Part 4 enacts the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act, which establishes the Canada Infrastructure Bank as a Crown corporation. The Bank’s purpose is to invest in, and seek to attract private sector and institutional investment to, revenue-generating infrastructure projects. The Act also provides for, among other things, the powers and functions of the Bank, its governance framework and its financial management and control, allows for the appointment of a designated Minister, and provides that the Minister of Finance may pay to the Bank up to $35 billion and approve loan guarantees. Finally, this Division makes consequential amendments to the Access to Information Act, the Financial Administration Act and the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act.

Division 19 of Part 4 amends the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to, among other things, expand the list of disclosure recipients to include the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces and to include beneficial ownership information as “designated information” that can be disclosed by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada. It also makes several technical amendments to ensure that the legislation functions as intended and to clarify certain provisions, including the definition of “client” and the application of that Act to trust companies.

Division 20 of Part 4 enacts the Invest in Canada Act. It also makes consequential and related amendments to other Acts.

Division 21 of Part 4 enacts the Service Fees Act. The Act requires responsible authorities, before certain fees are fixed, to develop fee proposals for consultation and to table them in Parliament. It also requires that performance standards be established in relation to certain fees and that responsible authorities remit those fees when the standards are not met. It adjusts certain fees on an annual basis in accordance with the Consumer Price Index. Furthermore, it requires responsible authorities and the President of the Treasury Board to report on fees. This Division also makes a related amendment to the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 and terminological amendments to other Acts and repeals the User Fees Act.

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

June 12, 2017 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures
June 6, 2017 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures
June 6, 2017 Failed Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2017 Failed Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2017 Failed Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2017 Failed Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2017 Failed Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2017 Failed Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2017 Failed Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2017 Failed Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2017 Failed Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2017 Failed Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2017 Failed Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 5, 2017 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures
May 9, 2017 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.
May 9, 2017 Failed That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following: “the House decline to give second reading to Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures, since the Bill, in addition to increasing taxes and making it more difficult for struggling families to make ends meet, is an omnibus bill that fails to address the government's promise not to use them.”.
May 9, 2017 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures, not more than one further sitting day 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.

Bill C-44—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2017 / 3:45 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, certainly there are significant figures. What I can say in this regard is that we had economic growth of 3.7% in the last quarter. That’s very significant.

In our opinion, the situation and the economic growth rate will improve as a result of the measures contained in Bill C-44. There is another very important figure, and that is the unemployment rate in our country. It is very important to create jobs for Canadians. That is exactly what we have done, with a much lower unemployment rate than before. Moreover, an additional 250,000 jobs have been created over the past seven months. This is very significant, and most of these jobs are full-time.

Time allocation is the only tool the government has to prevent indefinite delays in passing legislation. We do not take this kind of decision lightly, and we remain committed to ensuring that members on all sides of the House are given reasonable time to debate bills. We believe it is time to pass Bill C-44 to create a better future.

Bill C-44—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2017 / 3:45 p.m.
See context

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

§Mr. Speaker, speaking of reasonable or sufficient time for debate, opposition members have proposed over 100 amendments to this bill. That means that the opposition has many concerns.

Does the Minister of Finance seriously think that five hours are enough to deal with all these concerns, these 100 amendments?

This is not nothing, and we need time to debate it all.

Bill C-44—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2017 / 3:45 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we believe that a good number of people have had the opportunity to speak. Fifty-four members have spoken. Debate is important, but we think that 12 hours and 25 minutes is enough. We must now do what we are here to do in the House, which is improve our economic growth. That is the goal of Bill C-44. That is what we want to do, and the time is now.

Bill C-44—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2017 / 3:45 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the best way to think about this is to think about why the government is here. What happened in the years before we got here was that the level of growth was just not high enough to produce the results Canadians need. We knew that the level of unemployment people were facing when we came into office was unacceptably high. I want to remind the members of this House that when we talk about unemployment levels, they forget that there are actually people we are trying to get jobs for, and that is exactly what our plan has done. We have actually increased the number of jobs in this country.

I know that when the members on the opposite side, just like the members on this side, go back to their home ridings and knock on doors, the people who have jobs who did not have jobs before are going to be happy. I know that they know, like we do, that the level of economic growth is much higher than it was in the last number of years. What we are seeing right now is strong growth. That is going to be really positive for people in the ridings of the members on the opposite side of the House. People are going to be happy, and we are fine if, when the members go to those doors, they actually take a bit of the positive impact themselves, because they are in the House where we are creating this growth.

Bill C-44—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, those numbers are available. We believe that our responsibility, and what we are absolutely committed to doing, is moving forward continuously on a program to grow the economy and to create more jobs. The good news is that it is working, and it is working across the country. It is a situation we need to remain focused on so that we can ensure that we are having results all across the country. I can assure the member that when we have economic growth that is 3.7% in the first quarter, when we see parts of our country that had a pretty big challenge last year, like Alberta, that are going to have higher growth this year, we start to realize that there are going to be opportunities for people across the country, and that is positive. We are going to stay on it. In this bill, Bill C-44, the good news is that when the members opposite decide to vote for this, what will happen is better job opportunities in their ridings.

Bill C-44—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am flabbergasted that the Minister of Finance is imposing yet another time allocation motion. Debate is being cut short. The finance minister has the nerve to congratulate himself on letting 54 members speak. We are 338 members in this House. What about democracy?

This is one of the most important bills we can study. It amends 30 pieces of legislation. It is 300 pages long.

We are granted only five hours to debate such a bill? How generous. One hundred amendments have been tabled. How can we go in depth in five hours with less than one-sixth of members being allowed to take part in the debate?

Speaker's RulingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Repentigny concerning an amendment presented in committee to Bill C-44, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017, and other measures.

The member raises two key points in this question of privilege: the first relates to the admissibility of the amendment she presented in committee, which she has resubmitted at report stage; the second issue she raised has to do with her status as a member from a non-represented caucus in committee proceedings. In so doing she is asking the Chair to select her report stage motion, Motion No. 87, for consideration during the report stage debate of Bill C-44.

The member argues that the chair of the Standing Committee on Finance wrongly ruled that her committee amendment was inadmissible because it required a royal recommendation. The member stated that her amendment altered the qualifying weeks needed to claim maternity leave benefits for newly or suddenly unemployed mothers of newborns. She maintained that it did not represent a new or extended charge against the consolidated revenue fund, which would require a royal recommendation. The member simultaneously argued that the employment insurance fund was separate, and that, therefore, additional payments from the EI fund could not be seen as a new charge against the CRF.

On that specific point, I would like to direct the House's attention to a ruling by Speaker Milliken on November 10, 2006, at page 5027 of the Debates. He said:

Although contributions to the employment insurance program are indeed made by employers and employees, appropriations for the program are taken from the consolidated revenue fund and any increase in such spending would require a royal recommendation.

Accordingly, I cannot agree with the member’s view that a royal recommendation is not required. The ruling by the chair of the Standing Committee on Finance was procedurally sound and appropriate. Without a royal recommendation forthcoming for Motion No. 87, I cannot acquiesce in her request that the motion be considered during the report stage of Bill C-44. The Assistant Deputy Speaker indicated on June 2, 2017, that the motion would not be selected as it required a royal recommendation, and I see no reason to go back on that finding.

The member also argued that, because of her status as a member of a non-represented caucus, she did not have the ability to appeal the decision of the chair with respect to the admissibility of the amendment she presented in committee, as permanent members of the committee could.

The member is correct in her assertion that she is not able to participate in precisely the same way as permanent committee members, specifically in this case because committees’ practice is clear that only permanent members can appeal the ruling of a chair. That is not to say, however, that the member for Repentigny has been excluded in all ways from participating in the proceedings on this bill.

My predecessor, in a ruling on a similar question of privilege on June 6, 2013, at pages 17795 to 17798 of the Debates stated:

Turning to the issue of the rights of independent members, the Chair can only observe that the decision of the finance committee permitted them to do something they could not do before: namely, to have their amendments considered in the committee and, indeed, to be granted, pursuant to Standing Order 119, an opportunity to speak in committee. This is something that was not open to them before. In that sense, they succeeded in obtaining a form of participation in committee proceedings, as imperfect as it may have been in their eyes.

In the matter currently before us today, the member may not have been able to participate exactly as other members, but the process did afford her the ability to participate. In fact, she has had the opportunity at report stage to present her case as to why her amendment should have been admissible and the Chair has delivered its findings on that matter. Based on the substance of the member’s complaint, I cannot conclude that she has been impeded in the performance of her duties nor can I find, accordingly, that the Standing Orders or practices of the House have been breached.

I would like to thank all hon. members for their attention on this matter.

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Vancouver East, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; the hon. member for Brandon—Souris, Taxation; and the hon. member for Montcalm, Air Transportation.

Motions in amendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 2nd, 2017 / 10:10 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

moved:

Motion No. 7

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 42.

Motion No. 8

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 43.

Motion No. 9

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 44.

Motion No. 10

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 49.

Motion No.11

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 50.

Motion No.12

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 64.

Motion No.13

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 65.

Motion No.14

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 113.

Motion No. 15

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 114.

Motion No. 16

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 122.

Motion No. 17

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 123.

Motion No. 18

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 124.

Motion No. 19

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 125.

Motion No. 20

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 126.

Motion No. 21

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 127.

Motion No. 22

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 128.

Motion No. 23

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 129.

Motion No. 24

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 130.

Motion No. 25

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 131.

Motion No. 26

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 132.

Motion No. 27

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 133.

Motion No. 28

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 134.

Motion No. 29

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 135.

Motion No. 30

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 136.

Motion No. 31

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 137.

Motion No. 32

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 138.

Motion No. 33

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 139.

Motion No. 34

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 140.

Motion No. 35

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 141.

Motion No. 36

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 142.

Motion No. 37

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 143.

Motion No. 38

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 144.

Motion No. 39

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 145.

Motion No. 40

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 146.

Motion No. 41

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 147.

Motion No. 42

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 148.

Motion No. 43

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 149.

Motion No. 44

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 150.

Motion No. 45

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 151.

Motion No. 46

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 152.

Motion No. 47

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 153.

Motion No. 48

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 154.

Motion No. 49

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 155.

Motion No. 50

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 156.

Motion No. 51

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 157.

Motion No. 52

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 158.

Motion No. 53

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 159.

Motion No. 54

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 160.

Motion No. 55

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 161.

Motion No. 56

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 162.

Motion No. 57

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 163.

Motion No. 58

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 164.

Motion No. 59

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 165.

Motion No. 60

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 166.

Motion No. 61

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 167.

Motion No. 62

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 168.

Motion No. 63

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 169.

Motion No. 64

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 170.

Motion No. 65

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 171.

Motion No. 66

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 172.

Motion No. 67

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 173.

Motion No. 68

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 174.

Motion No. 69

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 175.

Motion No. 70

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 176.

Motion No. 71

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 177.

Motion No. 72

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 178.

Motion No. 73

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 179.

Motion No. 74

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 180.

Motion No. 75

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 181.

Motion No. 76

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 182.

Motion No. 77

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 183.

Motion No. 78

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 184.

Motion No. 79

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 185.

Motion No. 80

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 186.

Motion No. 81

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 187.

Motion No. 82

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 188.

Motion No. 83

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 189.

Motion No. 84

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 190.

Motion No. 85

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 191.

Motions in amendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 2nd, 2017 / 10:25 a.m.
See context

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

moved:

Motion No. 88

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 312.

Motion No. 89

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 313.

Motion No. 90

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 314.

Motion No. 91

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 315.

Motion No. 92

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 316.

Motion No. 93

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 317.

Motions in amendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 2nd, 2017 / 10:25 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

moved:

Motion No. 98

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 442.

Motion No. 99

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 443.

Motion No. 100

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 444.

Motion No. 101

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 445.

Motion No. 102

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 446.

Motion No. 103

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 447.

Motion No. 104

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 448.

Motion No. 105

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 449.

Motion No. 106

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 450.

Motion No. 107

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 451.

Motion No. 108

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 452.

Motion No. 109

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 453.

Motion No. 110

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 454.

Motion No. 111

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 455.

Motion No. 112

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 456.

Motion No. 113

That Bill C-44 be amended by deleting Clause 457.

Motions in amendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 2nd, 2017 / 10:35 a.m.
See context

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend you for reading that long list of amendments.

The situation is critical. Bill C-44 is a mammoth bill, an omnibus bill. It is 308 pages long, amends 47 existing federal laws, and creates five new ones. It covers a whole host of areas. The governing party promised to bring an end to the use of mammoth or omnibus bills, but here we are again. It does not make any sense. Improving legislation takes a lot of debate and a lot of work so that any changes do not infringe on other jurisdictions. This is not the way that things should be done, and I find it very unfortunate.

Clause 18 of Bill C-44 creates the Canada infrastructure bank, which is also being called the infrastructure privatization bank because that is what it does. We are against the creation of this bank.

As proposed, the infrastructure bank or infrastructure privatization bank is completely at odds with the Liberals' election promise. They said that they were going to create an infrastructure bank that would give municipalities a line of credit so that they could build public infrastructure for less. The Liberals changed their minds. They said that this line of credit or assistance would be for private companies and the financial sector, starting with Bay Street.

There is an incestuous relationship between the government and the Bay Street financial lobby. I think that is deplorable. We have seen it in a whole raft of bills and decisions.

Last fall, in Bill C-29, the Liberals tried to make Bay Street exempt from the Quebec Consumer Protection Act. That measure was hidden away in a mammoth bill. We managed to get the government to back down on that, but it did so only at the last minute.

What is happening now with Bill C-44 is even worse. I would need a lot of time to cover everything in this bill that should be changed. The situation being critical, I will concentrate on the main problem, a game-changing move that gives private investors on Bay Street and even from abroad an incredible, impossible advantage: the power to circumvent provincial laws, Quebec laws, and municipal regulations.

As it stands, with Bill C-44, we are no longer masters in our own house. This is unbelievable. This cannot be happening. Why? Because, in Bill C-44, the government is giving agent of the crown status to the infrastructure privatization bank along with all of the projects it handles, even the ones that are entirely private. That is no small thing. It means that private investment will enjoy all the privileges and immunities of government and be able to circumvent Quebec's laws and municipal regulations. This makes no sense. This part of the bill must be removed, and that is the subject of my speech this morning.

More specifically, in subsection 5(4) of the future Canada infrastructure bank act, this is stated in legal terms that seem fine at first glance:

The Bank is not an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada, except when

(a) giving advice about investments in infrastructure projects to ministers of Her Majesty in right of Canada, to departments, boards, commissions and agencies of the Government of Canada and to Crown corporations as defined in subsection 83(1) of the Financial Administration Act;

(b) collecting and disseminating data in accordance with paragraph 7(1)?(g); (c) acting on behalf of the government of Canada in the provision of services or programs, and the delivery of financial assistance, specified in paragraph 18(h); and

This is already confusing, but it gets works in paragraph (d), which states:

(d) carrying out any activity conducive to the carrying out of its purpose that the Governor in Council may, by order, specify.

That is really quite something. This means that, by order in council, the government can give the infrastructure privatization bank the status of agent of the crown, thereby allowing it to operate outside of provincial laws and municipal bylaws. That must be removed from the bill, because it makes no sense whatsoever.

Worse still, according to paragraph 18(c), the privileges granted to the bank can be extended to completely private projects that go through it. That paragraph gives the bank the power to:

...acquire and deal with as its own any investment made by another person.

The privileges of the crown, which allow the government to be above everyone else, would be given to the infrastructure privatization bank, which could then use those privileges to give priority to any project it wants. As a result, foreign investors such as BlackRock, Asian investment firms, or Toronto banks could decide to build a bridge, a water system, or an oil pipeline, and those projects would not be subject to our laws. That is what the bill does. It is a major power grab. For the first time, elected members of Parliament are going to delegate to the government the power to grant crown agent status to the projects that it wants. We would be giving projects a power that we have here. That is unacceptable and must not happen.

Yesterday, constitutional expert Patrick Taillon gave a wonderful presentation in this regard before the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance. We consulted five legal experts, four of whom are constitutional experts, and they all agree. They say that the wording of that part of Bill C-44 raises serious concerns. One constitutional expert even said that the wording was making investors uncomfortable because they think that the legislation might be deemed unconstitutional and challenged in court. Investors would therefore be reluctant to invest in the bank with the wording as it now stands. Of course, if that were to happen, it would be fine with us, since we are against this infrastructure privatization bank. In short, this bill is poorly written and must be clarified.

In the past, the courts have deemed that Quebec laws were not applicable to federal projects, or at least that they applied as long as they had no effect. For example, in the case of energy east, Quebec laws have no bearing on the route, but they can affect the colour of the pipeline. That makes no sense.

When it comes to installing cell towers, we see that there is no compliance with municipal regulations. As for Canada Post and its mailboxes, we saw Denis Coderre, the mayor of Montreal and a former Liberal MP, take a jackhammer to the base on which the mailboxes were to be installed. However, officially, we have no power over that.

Federal infrastructure currently represents only 2% of Canada's infrastructure. However, this infrastructure bank could change things because private funding has a leverage effect. As for crown agent status, it makes no sense. We remember the expropriation of 40,000 hectares for Mirabel and Forillon National Park, among others. This must change.

A number of Quebec laws will go out the window because of Bill C-44. One of those laws is the Environment Quality Act. This means that the BAPE will no longer be able to hold public consultations. Another is the Act respecting the Preservation of Agricultural Land and Agricultural Activities. Quebec is large in terms of land mass but has relatively little arable land. Land use plans, urbanization plans, zoning regulations, and basically all of the infrastructure financed by the infrastructure bank would be exempt from these laws. We will no longer be masters in our own house.

At the Senate committee, the Minister of Finance said there was no link between the government and the infrastructure bank. He clarified that by saying that the bank would operate at arm's length from the government. That is what he said, but according to the constitutional experts we consulted, that is not what is written here. That is why the minister must clarify his intention and state it clearly in the act so that this bill does not end up before the Supreme Court for years, casting the whole thing into legal limbo.

The same goes for PMO spokesperson Olivier Duchesneau, who wrote this to Michel Girard of the Journal de Montréal:

Projects in which the bank invests will be subject to provincial and municipal laws and regulations. Projects financed by the bank will certainly not be exempt from zoning regulations or provincial environmental reviews such as the BAPE.

If that is indeed the government's intention, it must amend the bill now because that is not how it reads. We are going to run into problems. This is a major power grab.

Motions in amendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 2nd, 2017 / 10:45 a.m.
See context

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my Bloc colleague for his comment.

When it comes to this bill, I think that two things are very clear. First, this is indeed an omnibus bill. The bill is over 300 pages long and amends 30 laws of our Parliament with a single vote. It is unbelievable. It is the very definition of an omnibus bill.

I would like to quote what the Liberals said during the election campaign. It was very clear.

We will not resort to legislative tricks to avoid scrutiny.... We will change the House of Commons Standing Orders to bring an end to this undemocratic practice.

On this undemocratic practice, this omnibus bill, the Liberals promised on a stack of Bibles in the last election that they would not do what the Harper government had done in burying important pieces of legislation inside of budgets.

What is one of the pieces of legislation buried here? It is a $35-billion privatization bank whose associated risks are not understood. Even the Senate is giving more scrutiny to it than the Liberals are allowing in the House of Commons. Even the Senate has suggested amendments. Even the Senate has said that the bill needs to be broken up so that it has proper scrutiny, because it is a $35-billion investment that is going to last generations.

Liberal members are going to vote for it without any clue as to what it is going to mean for our communities.

I have a very specific question. People in Quebec and in other provinces are concerned about the fact that this bill will make changes to laws governing critical infrastructure, such as water and roads. Will this law cause constitutional problems for the future of our country?

Motions in amendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 2nd, 2017 / 10:45 a.m.
See context

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his excellent comments. I appreciate his question.

Our party denounces the fact that this is an omnibus bill. Since the Bloc is not a recognized party, we have to do a lot of work and research. The Liberals are not keeping their election promises, and that is fuelling cynicism. We have found two instances where they are trying to give their Bay Street friends improper gifts. That needs to change.

The Minister of Finance said that he had no intention of passing bills that would circumvent Quebec laws and municipal regulations, but that is exactly what this bill does. However, we have not heard what the Minister of Justice thinks about this.

I call on the Minister of Justice. I would like to know her opinion and her interpretation of Bill C-44, since the infrastructure bank and the projects that will go through it may be given crown agent status by order of the government.

Does she agree with the Minister of Finance, or does she agree with the five legal experts, including four constitutional experts, that we consulted?

Motions in amendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 2nd, 2017 / 10:50 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the member for Joliette as he spoke mainly about the infrastructure bank.

If I could put it simply, I would say the member sees a mountain where there is really only a molehill. The outrageous comments the member made about how this infrastructure bank would affect his province, municipalities, and other institutions in a province are just absolutely and purely wrong. It is simply wrong.

What is the infrastructure bank? This bill would establish the Canada infrastructure bank as a federal crown corporation and set out its powers, governance framework, and financial management and control. That is the same as other crown corporations that operate in this country.

As for the $35 billion and making an opportunity for so-called friends, that is purely wrong as well. What this infrastructure bank would do is bring Canada up to the 21st century by providing the opportunity for private investors to partner with public investors to build the infrastructure that our children and grandchildren will need in the future. That is what this bank would do.

This is an opportunity for Canadians to set the foundation for our infrastructure going forward into the next decades. That is what it would really do.

Motions in amendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

June 2nd, 2017 / 10:50 a.m.
See context

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I take great offence to the insults my colleague just levelled against me.

It is ridiculous to say that we are making a mountain out of molehill. I would remind the member of a unanimous motion passed in the National Assembly that supports my argument. It reads:

That the National Assembly affirm the application of all Quebec laws to any future projects supported by the Canada Infrastructure Bank and, in order to clearly reflect this legal obligation, that it call for amendments to Bill C-44, currently being studied by the House of Commons, to ensure that the Canada Infrastructure Bank is subject to the laws of Quebec.

We have the support of five legal experts and four constitutional experts, including Mr. Taillon, who gave an excellent speech yesterday. We also have the support of Michel Girard, who is very highly regarded.

It is not just me that the member is insulting, but rather all Quebeckers. I take great offence to what he said. This must be changed. If that is the government's intention, it needs to change it, because it is too vague. It is not clear.

If this is what it means to be an MP in the 21st century, it reminds me of Ireland's Home Rule movement. As members will recall, Ireland did win its independence in the end.