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.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / 11:30 a.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, in budget 2017, the government promised greater access to mental health, wellness, and suicide prevention services for indigenous young people. It did this without designating the actual program investments that are desperately needed in their communities. These are encouraging words to read in a federal budget, but they are meaningless for the young people who are without the community supports that are only possible with actual program investments.

Where will the funding come from for mental health counselling for youth, traditional healing programs, culture, recreation, and language programs? Important for the people in my riding of Courtenay—Alberni, when will these investments find their way to remote and isolated communities? I know the member cares deeply about this issue. I know that this is a high priority for the Nuu-chah-nulth people in my riding.

Perhaps the member could speak to how this will get to communities. This is urgent and a high priority for the people in my riding.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / 11:30 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Dan Vandal Liberal Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, MB

Madam Speaker, I agree with the hon. member. There is nothing more important than our relationship with indigenous peoples. Mental health is clearly a priority in the budget. We have tabled extra dollars, new dollars, not repurposed dollars, for mental health with the provinces that sign on. No government in recent memory has invested in indigenous communities the way this government has over the last two years. That is simply a fact. There were $9 billion in new money last year, over $5 billion in new money this year, and that is over and above what is in the line items in the departments. It is not a sleight of hand that governments often do, calling it new money but taking it from somewhere else. These are new dollars.

In my province, there are $58 million being spent, as I speak, on water treatment systems and clean water for indigenous communities, and that is not enough. We know there is more work to do. We have to do a better job, and we are committed to doing it.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / 11:35 a.m.
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Liberal

Paul Lefebvre Liberal Sudbury, ON

Madam Speaker, on March 22, our government delivered its second budget and today I rise to talk about the ways in which budget 2017 is meeting the needs of my riding of Sudbury and, indeed, all of northern Ontario.

Budget 2017 continues on our government's plan to strengthen the middle class, the heart of Canada's and Sudbury's economies, and makes responsible investments. These will provide Canadians and Sudburians with good, well-paying jobs and opportunities in our new innovative economy. Budget 2017 makes smart investments to help adult workers retrain and upgrade their skills, adapt to changes in the new economy, and help young people get the skills and work experience they need to start their careers.

Budget 2017 invests in seniors and in youth.

We are investing in social housing, as well as making investments to support our veterans and first nations. These kinds of investments are needed for communities like Sudbury, which has achieved some measure of success.

For starters, budget 2017 provides a further $25 million in core funding for FedNor, the federal economic development agency for northern Ontario, over the next five years. The increase will boost FedNor's base budget to $46 million a year, reversing years of budget cuts.

Last fall, I worked with my colleague, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, the member for Thunder Bay—Superior North, to draft a growth strategy for northern Ontario. One of the things we heard loud and clear was that northerners want a budget increase for FedNor. They want to reverse years of Conservative government cutbacks. The recommendation to increase FedNor's budget was also supported by our northern Ontario caucus.

I was very pleased to see that our recommendation was taken into account in the budget and that our growth plan for northern Ontario is moving forward.

This is just the start of the good news, because there is a lot more for northern Ontario.

We are very pleased that budget 2017 is advancing Canada's efforts to build a clean economy. It is investing almost $22 billion in green infrastructure, including initiatives that will support the implementation of a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. Sudburians understand that a strong economy and a clean environment go hand in hand.

As I have said in this chamber many times before, my riding of Sudbury is an established global leader in the innovation of mining and of mining technology.

Sudbury has built quite a reputation. We are leaders in the mining sector. Our methods are more effective and proven than those anywhere else in the world.

Sudbury companies have been providing clean tech solutions to mining challenges for a generation, and now we are marketing these clean tech solutions all over the world. Today, Sudbury's mining and clean tech cluster consists of more than 300 companies. They employ almost 14,000 skilled workers and experts. Sudbury alone generates approximately $4 billion in revenue each year.

Increasingly, these mining supply and services companies are testing international waters. They are making inroads in the United States, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Russia. The Sudbury companies behind these projects are using innovation to drive economic and environmental benefits. They are using innovation to create jobs and help strengthen this vital economic engine for Canada. They strengthen Canada's middle class in the process.

I want to share something that makes me even prouder: our government believes in the potential and power of green technologies, which create jobs and fuel innovation.

The global market for clean technologies is already more than $1 trillion per year and it is growing. It is creating well-paying, secure jobs for Canadians. Clean technology has contributed to the fight against climate change and it makes our economy more sustainable. I am proud that our government understands this potential.

This is why our recent budget makes significant investments in clean technology, including $200 million in support of clean technology research in Canada's natural resources sector, $12 million for a clean growth hub that will improve access to federal resources in labs for Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators, and more than $14 million to track our progress so we can report to Canadians. Canadian companies are capturing their share of the emerging global market for mining innovation in clean technology, and we support their efforts. We support them from waste management to biofuels to greener solutions for the oil and gas industry.

This is just the beginning of what budget 2017 means for Sudbury and northern Ontario.

Almost 10% of Sudbury's population is indigenous. There are several dozen first nations communities in northern Ontario, including some of the most remote communities in Canada. Budget 2017 includes a $4-billion investment into on-reserve infrastructure. This much needed investment will provide housing, health centres, and water treatment systems to communities that need them the most. As well, first nations people living off reserve will have access to a $225-million investment over the next 11 years. These investments will go toward needed repairs, renewals, rental subsidies, and new construction. These are important investments being made in first nations communities across northern Ontario.

Already this year, I have had the privilege of announcing $10 million for seniors' health and children's welfare for first nations people in northern Ontario. On top of that, on behalf of the Minister of Health, I was pleased to announced a $1-million investment to support the work of two top researchers in the Health Sciences North Research Institute at Laurentian University.

Their work will focus on finding new ways to address two serious challenges, specifically aging and dementia in first nations, Inuit, and Métis populations.

As well, I was proud to stand with the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to announce an investment of more than $9 million to help first nations in northern Ontario raise their children in healthy and safe environments.

Our government will invest more than $11 billion under its new national housing strategy. These investments cover initiatives designed to build, renew, and repair Canada's stock of affordable housing. They will ensure that Canadians have adequate and affordable housing to meet their needs. This includes $225 million to improve housing conditions for indigenous peoples, as I have just said.

Through budget 2017, our government is advancing reconciliation as well with the indigenous peoples. It is advancing reconciliation through investments in infrastructure and first nations and Inuit health, through actions to strengthen indigenous communities, funding to support education and training, and measures to promote language and culture.

What I heard most often when I was going door to door before the 2015 election is that Sudburians wanted their federal government to start investing in social housing again. Our government heard that message. Our government has taken the necessary steps and is showing leadership on this.

In fact, housing is the largest single commitment in budget 2017. Our government's commitment is to rebuild, renew, and repair Canada's stock of affordable housing, and we will do that. Those initiatives include responses to indigenous housing crises on and off reserve. It is also promising more money for the provinces and municipal partners to spend on their own housing priorities.

Our government will create a new pooled investment fund that would pool resources among many housing partners, including the private sector. The fund would also expand an existing lending facility for municipalities and for the construction of new affordable housing.

One of the first things I did as an MP was to meet a number of housing service providers in Sudbury. I was shocked to learn that the Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation alone has a backlog of deferred maintenance of more than $10 million. The corporation also has an ambitious energy management plan. The plan would retrofit most of the properties to make them more sustainable, energy efficient, and comfortable. A $3-million investment would pay itself back in 20 years. These are exactly the kinds of projects our government needs to be investing in, and I want to help get these off the ground in Sudbury.

There is so much more in budget 2017 to support middle-class Canadians and those working hard to join the middle class.

There is help for unemployed people to access the training and employment support they need. Budget 2017 boosts the federal support by almost $3 billion over the next six years.

For the people of Sudbury looking for work, this means more chances to update their skills, gain experience, or get help to start their businesses. It also means more support, such as job counselling, for planning their career.

In addition, we are identifying skills gaps with employers and exploring new and innovative approaches to skills development with the provinces. Adult students can face challenges in pursuing learning. Part-time students from Sudbury, as well as adult students with dependent children, will be eligible for Canada student grants. This means more non-repayable assistance for adult learners and workers. It will help them manage the high cost of post-secondary education. It will help them in balancing the financial pressures of raising a family.

As a tax lawyer, I understand the importance of a fair and equitable tax system. Our government has committed to undertake a wide-ranging review of tax expenditures. The review's objective is to eliminate poorly targeted and inefficient tax measures. The review will allow our government to identify opportunities to reduce tax benefits that unfairly benefit the wealthiest Canadians.

Under budget 2017, we are making changes to simplify the tax system by making existing tax relief for individuals and families more effective and accessible. For example, since our new Canada child benefit was implemented, more than 7,400 families in Sudbury alone have benefited from increased payments.

It is quite the investment for families in Sudbury.

The other side of the taxation coin is collections. When some choose not to pay their fair share of taxes, it places an unfair burden on the tax system, and on other Canadians.

Those are only some of the measures that are in the budget. I will take any questions on it, because I am so proud of the budget, which is investing in Sudburians and Canadians across Canada.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / 11:45 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Dianne Lynn Watts Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Madam Speaker, my colleague mentioned many times how proud he is of the budget.

He mentioned child care. While there were billions announced in the budget, 70% of the new money will not be spent until after 2022. There is only $10 million for the entire country this year for affordable housing. Also, nearly $4 billion of the $5 billion is not going to be spent until after 2022. In fact, there is no new funding in 2017-18 for early learning and child care, homelessness, home care, housing, research, northern housing, and indigenous programs.

I wonder if he could explain why he is so proud of the budget.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / 11:45 a.m.
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Liberal

Paul Lefebvre Liberal Sudbury, ON

Madam Speaker, what I am very proud of is these are long-term investments. This is not short term. We are not looking at the next few years. We are looking over 10 years. These are long-term investments that families need. When we invest in housing, we cannot just do it over a number of years. It takes a long time to implement, to make sure the money gets on the ground, and it is done well.

With respect to families, I have been hearing from them at the doors, right now, that the child tax benefit is life-changing for them.

That is why I am so proud of these investments. Again, these are not short term. They are long-term investments in Canadians.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / 11:45 a.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, the member talked about first nations and investments in indigenous peoples. The government said that the most important relationship is working nation-to-nation with indigenous people. It also promised to stop fighting indigenous people in court.

The member said that he is getting funding in his riding, and I appreciate hearing that. I will tell the House what it is like in my riding. The Huu-ay-aht were awarded $13.8 million through the special claims tribunal decision for breaches of duty Canada committed between 1948 to 1969. Instead of going with the decision made by the special claims tribunal, the government decided to appeal that decision. The Nuu-chah-nulth have been fighting in the courts for a decade over their right to catch and sell fish, a right that we already know they have. The government has lost repeatedly. The case was thrown out by the Supreme Court twice.

The Conservatives' strategy was that of appeal and delay. The Liberal government is taking that same approach in dealing with indigenous peoples. Is this the reconciliation the member is talking about?

Maybe the member could talk about how much the government has budgeted to fight indigenous people in court, because I would like to know what those costs are.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / 11:45 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Paul Lefebvre Liberal Sudbury, ON

Madam Speaker, talking about reconciliation, we have invested record amounts with our first nations. It is a long-term relationship that we need to build back. There is no doubt that our past relationship is not something to be proud of, but it is important for us to build the relationship back again. It will not happen overnight. It is a long-term investment. It is a strong change that we need to make happen together. That is why in northern Ontario we have received investments first-hand. These investments are a start not an end. They are a start to reconciliation.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / 11:45 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Salma Zahid Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, housing is a pressing issue in my riding of Scarborough Centre. Affordable housing is increasingly limited and in poor shape. It is our job to make sure we do not pass this infrastructure debt on to our future generations.

Could the hon. member tell me how budget 2017 will help to resolve this issue?

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / 11:45 a.m.
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Liberal

Paul Lefebvre Liberal Sudbury, ON

Madam Speaker, one of the first things I did when I was elected in 2015 was to take stock of where we were with respect to the housing issue in Sudbury and northern Ontario. This issue is across the board. It is not just a northern Ontario thing, not just a Toronto thing. It is an issue across Canada. That is why I was so proud to see, in the last budget, historic investments in housing. However, again, it cannot happen overnight. It is just not a one-time hit. We need to invest over a long period of time, say over the next 10 years. People need to be assured that there is stable funding for housing to make a difference in the middle class and those working hard to join it.

I hear my colleague loud and clear. These investments are important. They will make a big difference in my riding and across Canada.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / 11:50 a.m.
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Conservative

Ron Liepert Conservative Calgary Signal Hill, AB

Madam Speaker, I really do appreciate the opportunity to participate today. I consider myself fortunate because I am going to be one of probably some 50 members of this House who are going to be able to stand and speak to the budget, because of the government invoking closure. That means that some 289 members are not going to get a chance to speak on behalf of their constituents on this budget. We certainly feel in the opposition that it is unfair. After the Liberals campaigned on openness, transparency, not using closure, and not bringing forward omnibus bills, we see where all of those promises have gotten us.

I want to take a few minutes to address a few of the issues in the budget. After the Minister of Finance delivered the budget, I was asked by the media in Calgary for my comments. I said it was a Seinfeld budget, a budget about nothing. Yesterday, the finance committee had Department of Finance officials before it to start to go through the budget division by division. One of the things that became quickly apparent was that I was wrong. It is not a budget about nothing; it is a budget about tax increases and the removal and rescinding of a number of tax incentives that exist.

I want to focus, on behalf of the constituents of Calgary Signal Hill, on some of the taxation measures in this budget document. I know there are other issues that, if one had more time, one could certainly debate. I know some of my colleagues have already debated the division around removing the independence of the parliamentary budget officer. I know we are going to have a debate around the infrastructure bank, so I will leave those to other speakers.

I want to talk about some tax measures and the removal of a tax credit, which is really unfortunate. First, let me talk about the rescinding of the transit pass credit that the Conservative government brought in a number of years ago. The government likes to talk about the middle class and those who are attempting to join it. If there ever was a tax relief that appealed to either the middle class or those hoping to join the middle class, it was this tax credit on the transit pass. It is only $250 for the average user of a transit pass across the country, but that is not that one per cent on whom the government keeps saying it is increasing the taxes. That is a direct tax on Canada's working people and those who use public transit. I know that the bureaucrats have told the minister that this is just a nuisance for them to administer. We have to assume that the government is going to take the advice of the bureaucrats and not listen to working Canadians, who every day try to get to work on our transit systems, and not give them that tax credit. I think it is deplorable, quite frankly.

The second tax measure that is not in this budget bill, but was raised by the minister and is going to be taking place, is the reduction in the petroleum drilling incentives grant that has been in existence for a number of years. I was told yesterday at the finance committee that there will probably be some future consultations and it will appear in the fall budget bill. I would like to be part of those consultations today.

I represent a riding in Alberta that has taken the hit of the downturn in oil prices globally. Recently, with the uptick in oil prices, we have had an opportunity for a number of companies that are in the exploration business to resume drilling activities, which is putting Albertans back to work. With the removal of this drilling incentive, many of those drilling companies are going to do one of two things: they are going to take that drilling rig and park it back in the yard, or they are going to take it across the border and drill in the United States where the incentives and the bottom line are much better.

The government can talk all it wants about creating jobs, but if it wants to create jobs in Alberta, removing this incentive is not a way to do it. If the government is listening and it is not part of the budget bill, I would strongly encourage the government to back off on this initiative before bringing forward its budget bill in the fall.

I know that a number of members have commented on and have raised this issue, having heard from their constituents regarding the increase in what is described as sin tax by governments, the taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. It is hard to argue against an increase in sin taxes; however, what the government needs to take into account is the spinoff effect of the increase in alcohol taxes.

The Canadian restaurant association has been very public about saying that it was blindsided by this, and it is going to significantly impact small businesses in this country. Again, I am an Alberta representative, and we have an Alberta government that has been hammering the same industry with increases in sin taxes and minimum wage, and a carbon tax. Now the federal government loads on additional taxes. Small businesses involved in the restaurant industry, not to mention those in the wine and beer industry, are clearly going to feel the impact of this.

During their campaign, the Liberals promised to reduce small business taxes. In fact, they did that to match what the other parties were saying, and then once they formed government, they reneged on that promise. Now they are hitting small businesses with this additional tax.

Those are just three areas, because I have limited time. I want to focus a little on one other chilling aspect of the budget document. In committee yesterday we were going through the budget implementation bill. There is an important division to which I would draw all members' attention: part 4, division 2, under the title “Public Debt”, “Enactment of Borrowing Authority Act”. What this particular division does is allow the government to go out and borrow up to a maximum. This particular bill, and it is right here in the bill, allows the government to borrow up to $1.3 trillion. We are talking trillions here.

That covers the current debt, which is almost $700 billion today. It covers some $275 billion in debt that crown corporations have incurred. Then there is a bunch of provisions in there, the differential of some $300 billion for future debt and also for a contingency fund.

Let us just take a minute and talk about our debt situation. The member for Louis-Saint-Laurent has asked the Minister of Finance on numerous occasions—I think it is up to 25 or 30 times—when we are going to balance the budget. He refuses to answer that question. We have to assume that he is refusing to answer the question because his finance officials were correct when, the day before Christmas, they released a document that said we will not balance the budget until 2055.

What does that mean to Canadians? First of all, it means that we currently pay $25 billion a year in interest payments alone, and that is only going to go up. What does that mean to an individual Canadian? It means that each Canadian owes $17,563, and it means that, in the 10 minutes that I have been speaking, our debt has gone up by another $0.5 million. That is the seriousness of this particular strategy of the federal government.

I could go on for quite some time, but while I am up, I also want to put my stake in the ground, as the member for Bow River has done. Within the budget, the federal government has said it is going to consult on the proposed tax changes for the farming community. If this is the consultation process, let us be on the record to say that, clearly, this is not something that the federal government should be doing. I hope that when it comes forward in the fall, common sense will prevail and this is one that it will back off on, along with the petroleum drilling incentive that it is planning to cancel.

I will sum up with one—

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / noon
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, the member talked about jobs in the natural resources industry, and I would like to put a challenge to him. In a year and a half, this government was able to not only put in place a process that would take both the environment and economics into consideration in the development of pipelines, but we were also successful at getting pipelines to tidewater. Something the Harper government failed to do in over 10 years we were able to do in a year and a half.

The member made reference to the small business tax, along with small businesses. I would be interested in his thoughts on that. Liberals and the minister have recognized that small business is the backbone of Canada's economy, and one thing we did through a middle-class tax cut was put hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of Canadians, thereby allowing a higher amount of disposal income. That means more consumer spending in small businesses.

Would he not agree that by putting more money into the pockets of Canadians, we are in fact supporting Canada's small businesses?

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / noon
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Conservative

Ron Liepert Conservative Calgary Signal Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I challenge the member to come to Alberta during the summer break. I will take him to Bruderheim and ask him to show me where those two pipelines actually start. There is no shovel in the ground.

The federal government has given approval, which was already given by the National Energy Board, and it cancelled the one that was ready for construction that the Conservative government had approved, called “northern gateway”.

Be careful what you ask for, Mr. MP.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / noon
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciated the member comparing this bill to a Seinfeld show. That can also be used to describe the government's legislative agenda for the spring so far. The government said we have had several days to debate this bill and completely ignored the fact that two of those days were a Wednesday and a Friday, for a grand total of an hour and 15 minutes on that one particular day.

I think the government is looking at the fact that we are in May and is getting quite worried, which why we are operating under the yoke of time allocation. This is all by the government's own doing. Liberals played games in the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs by not agreeing with the opposition and their entire legislative agenda for this term has been a train wreck, but it is all their own doing.

Would the member agree with me and maybe provide further illustrations of the Liberals' wrecked legislative agenda?

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / noon
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Conservative

Ron Liepert Conservative Calgary Signal Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I could not agree more, and it scares me when I agree 100% with the member from the island, but I totally agree.

I think there is one factor at work here. I think the government wants to get this legislation passed and get out of here as quickly as it can, because it knows it is under attack and that the Ethics Commissioner is about to release her report on the Prime Minister's ill-fated Christmas vacation. The government is using closure, and I believe it will use it again in the finance committee, because when the member for Gatineau sat on the finance committee in the last go-round, he put forward a closure motion, so at the next finance committee meeting, I am expecting the member for Vaughan—Woodbridge to bring forward a closure motion.

Second ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2017 / 12:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully and would like the member to perhaps elaborate on the nature of the government's election campaign, in which it promised a one-time stimulatory deficit to fund real infrastructure. It won the election on that promise and on the promise to quickly return to a balanced budget. It completely abandoned these promises and has given us a structural deficit that will last until 2055. It is outrageous.