Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2

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

Sponsor

Bill Morneau  Liberal

Status

In committee (House), as of Nov. 8, 2017

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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) removing the classification of the costs of drilling a discovery well as “Canadian exploration expenses”;

(b) eliminating the ability for small oil and gas companies to reclassify up to $1 million of “Canadian development expenses” as “Canadian exploration expenses”;

(c) revising the anti-avoidance rules for registered education savings plans and registered disability savings plans;

(d) eliminating the use of billed-basis accounting by designated professionals;

(e) providing enhanced tax treatment for eligible geothermal energy equipment;

(f) extending the base erosion rules to foreign branches of Canadian insurers;

(g) clarifying who has factual control of a corporation for income tax purposes;

(h) introducing an election that would allow taxpayers to mark to market their eligible derivatives;

(i) introducing a specific anti-avoidance rule that targets straddle transactions;

(j) allowing tax-deferred mergers of switch corporations into multiple mutual fund trusts and allowing tax-deferred mergers of segregated funds; and

(k) enhancing the protection of ecologically sensitive land donated to conservation charities and broadening the types of donations permitted.

It also implements other income tax measures by

(a) closing loopholes surrounding the capital gains exemption on the sale of a principal residence;

(b) providing additional authority for certain tax purposes to nurse practitioners;

(c) ensuring that qualifying farmers and fishers selling to agricultural and fisheries cooperatives are eligible for the small business deduction;

(d) extending the types of reverse takeover transactions to which the corporate acquisition of control rules apply;

(e) improving the consistency of rules applicable for expenditures in respect of scientific research and experimental development;

(f) ensuring that the taxable income of federal credit unions is allocated among provinces and territories using the same allocation formula as applicable to the taxable income of banks;

(g) ensuring the appropriate application of Canada’s international tax rules; and

(h) improving the accuracy and consistency of the income tax legislation and regulations.

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

(a) introducing clarifications and technical improvements to the GST/HST rules applicable to certain pension plans and financial institutions;

(b) revising the GST/HST rules applicable to pension plans so that they apply to pension plans that use master trusts or master corporations;

(c) revising and modernizing the GST/HST drop shipment rules to enhance the effectiveness of these rules and introduce technical improvements;

(d) clarifying the application of the GST/HST to supplies of municipal transit services to accommodate the modern ways in which those services are provided and paid for; and

(e) introducing housekeeping amendments to improve the accuracy and consistency of the GST/HST legislation.

It also implements a GST/HST measure announced on September 8, 2017 by revising the timing requirements for GST/HST rebate applications by public service bodies.

Part 3 amends the Excise Act to ensure that beer made from concentrate on the premises where it is consumed is taxed in a manner that is consistent with other beer products.

Part 4 amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act to allow the Minister of Finance on behalf of the Government of Canada, with the approval of the Governor in Council, to enter into coordinated cannabis taxation agreements with provincial governments. It also amends that Act to make related amendments.

Part 5 enacts and amends several Acts in order to implement various measures.

Division 1 of Part 5 amends the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act to update and clarify certain powers of the Minister of Finance in relation to the Bretton Woods institutions.

Division 2 of Part 5 enacts the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Agreement Act which provides the required authority for Canada to become a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Division 3 of Part 5 provides for the transfer from the Minister of Finance to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the responsibility for three international development financing agreements entered into between Her Majesty in Right of Canada and the International Finance Corporation.

Division 4 of Part 5 amends the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act to clarify the treatment of, and protections for, eligible financial contracts in a bank resolution process. It also makes consequential amendments to the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act.

Division 5 of Part 5 amends the Bank of Canada Act to specify that the Bank of Canada may make loans or advances to members of the Canadian Payments Association that are secured by real property or immovables situated in Canada and to allow such loans and advances to be secured by way of an assignment or transfer of a right, title or interest in real property or immovables situated in Canada. It also amends the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act to specify that the Bank of Canada and the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation are exempt from stays even where obligations are secured by real property or immovables.

Division 6 of Part 5 amends the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act in order to expand and enhance the oversight powers of the Bank of Canada by further strengthening the Bank’s ability to identify and respond to risks to financial market infrastructures in a proactive and timely manner.

Division 7 of Part 5 amends the Northern Pipeline Act to permit the Northern Pipeline Agency to annually recover from any company with a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued under that Act an amount equal to the costs incurred by that Agency with respect to that company.

Division 8 of Part 5 amends the Canada Labour Code in order to, among other things,

(a) provide employees with a right to request flexible work arrangements from their employers;

(b) provide employees with a family responsibility leave for a maximum of three days, a leave for victims of family violence for a maximum of ten days and a leave for traditional Aboriginal practices for a maximum of five days; and

(c) modify certain provisions related to work schedules, overtime, annual vacation, general holidays and bereavement leave, in order to provide greater flexibility in work arrangements.

Division 9 of Part 5 amends the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 to repeal the paragraph 167(1.‍2)‍(b) of the Canada Labour Code that it enacts, and to amend the related regulation-making provisions accordingly.

Division 10 of Part 5 approves and implements the Canadian Free Trade Agreement entered into by the Government of Canada and the governments of each province and territory to reduce or eliminate barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, services and investments. It also makes related amendments to the Energy Efficiency Act in order to facilitate, with respect to energy-using products or classes of energy-using products, the harmonization of requirements set out in regulations with those of a jurisdiction. Finally, it makes consequential amendments to the Financial Administration Act, the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act and the Procurement Ombudsman Regulations and it repeals the Timber Marking Act and the Agreement on Internal Trade Implementation Act.

Division 11 of Part 5 amends the Judges Act

(a) to allow for the payment of annuities, in certain circumstances, to judges and their survivors and children, other than by way of grant of the Governor in Council;

(b) to authorize the payment of salaries to the new Associate Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta; and

(c) to change the title of “senior judge” to “chief justice” for the superior trial courts of the territories.

It also makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Division 12 of Part 5 amends the Business Development Bank of Canada Act to increase the maximum amount of the paid-in capital of the Business Development Bank of Canada.

Division 13 of Part 5 amends the Financial Administration Act to authorize, in an increased number of cases, the entering into of contracts or other arrangements that provide for a payment if there is a sufficient balance to discharge any debt that will be due under them during the fiscal year in which they are entered into.

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

Nov. 8, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures
Nov. 8, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures
Nov. 8, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures
Nov. 8, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures
Nov. 8, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my Conservative colleague for his speech in the House on the budget implementation bill.

He talked a lot about business owners. Whenever I meet with small business owners back home, they often tell me about unfair credit card fees. Some businesses are paying extraordinary sums to credit card companies. Some small businesses are paying more than $200,000 per year.

I would like to know whether this is also an issue for small and medium-sized business owners in my colleague's riding.

Do they talk a lot about how the government has not done a thing to better regulate credit card fees?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:25 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the things that I pay attention to on a regular basis are the surveys that come out from CFIB.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which has members all across this country, has a great pulse on what is going on in the world of small and medium-sized businesses. One of the things that continues to come up is credit card fees for CFIB.

What I would say to the member is that this is an issue that continues to come up, time and time again, as an issue of concern. It is one of the things that we looked at when we were in government, and one of the things that I believe needs still more work.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for this debate in the House tonight, for the government bringing forward budget 2017, and now for Bill C-63. The government's actions are in line with and directly support the four initiatives of the Guelph and Wellington poverty elimination task force, by looking at the four areas of income inequality, affordable housing, food insecurity, and health inequities.

There is an old African proverb that states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” This government knows that working together with others, and other orders of government, is crucial. In fact, the whole-of-government approach is the way forward.

On the first point of income inequality, the goal of the Guelph and Wellington poverty elimination task force is that all members of the community have the income, resources, and opportunities to fully participate in the community. Of people living in poverty, 70% are currently working. According to Statistics Canada, Canada has one of the highest proportions of low-paid workers among similarly industrialized countries.

The government believes that the working income tax benefit can do much more to improve the financial security of low-income working Canadians. To this end, in the 2017 fall economic statement, the government is announcing its intention to further enhance the working income tax benefit by $500 million a year, starting in 2019. The maximum Canada pension plan retirement benefits for workers will also be increasing over time by 50%. The government has increased the guaranteed income supplement payments to seniors by up to $947 a year, which is going to help 900,000 low-income seniors, 70% of whom are women.

The Canada child benefit has helped to stimulate the economy. Our economy is growing at 3.7%, leading the G7, and we have created more than 500,000 jobs since it was introduced. There are 12,000 families or 24,000 kids in my riding who receive a total of $8 million per month tax-free. This is an enormous boost to the Guelph economy. The budget implementation act will now index these funds two years ahead of schedule due to the strong growth we have in our economy.

Economic opportunity is the best way to address income inequality. This legislation will take the next steps for our innovation and skills plan, an agenda that focuses on people and addresses the changing nature of the economy to ensure that it works for all Canadians. Bill C-63 will enact several key parts of our plan, including $600 million in new financing for clean technology firms, and $400 million to put in place the venture capital catalyst initiative.

The second point that the poverty elimination task force is looking at is affordable housing, with the goal that everyone in Guelph and Wellington can find and maintain an appropriate, safe, and affordable place to call home. The government will invest more than $11.2 billion over 11 years through the national housing strategy to provide low-income Canadians with improved access to adequate and affordable housing. This is the most significant investment in housing that has ever been made in the history of Canada.

Through the rental construction financing initiative, the government will also offer more than $2.5 billion over the next four years in low-cost loans to support the construction of new rental housing to help increase the supply of rental housing. Budget 2017 also proposes a total investment of $2.1 billion over the next 11 years to expand and extend funding for the homelessness partnering strategy beyond 2018-19. Our national housing strategy will be announced over the next few weeks. We will be meeting with members of the Guelph and Wellington poverty elimination task force to discuss implications for Guelph and how we can work together.

The third point is food insecurity. Everyone has to have access to affordable and healthy food in a dignified manner. We have a shared objective federally. In fact, the agriculture committee that I sit on has repeatedly heard from witnesses on the food policy, addressing the nutritional food that Canada needs to focus on, and working with partners like food banks to reduce food waste and to improve food distribution within our communities.

The Canada child benefit has been mentioned a lot today. It has helped lift 300,000 children out of poverty. Thanks to this benefit, by the end of this year, it is estimated that child poverty will be reduced by 40% from where it was in 2013.

For a single parent with two children and $35,000 of income, the acceleration of the Canada child benefit will contribute $560 toward the increasing cost of feeding children. This increase means more nutritious food for lower-income children and families, allowing for a more engaged and active student population in our schools.

To address food insecurity within indigenous communities, they need employment opportunities. Budget 2017 invests $50 million in the aboriginal skills and employment training strategy, providing the knowledge indigenous peoples need to sustain themselves and build their communities.

Finally, on health inequities, everyone in Guelph and Wellington has to have access to affordable health services. Drug prices in Canada are among the highest in the world. Patented drug prices in Canada are 17% to 37% higher than those in France, Italy, the U.K., Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. Canada's generic drug prices are also comparatively high.

We have heard from Canadians about the need for improved access to prescription medications and lower drug prices. Through budget 2017, we are investing over $140 million over five years to help improve access to pharmaceuticals and support innovations within the health care system, but we know there is a lot more to do.

People may be wondering how these two policies, federal and municipal, are so well aligned and how this can happen. In truth, if a government believes in the whole-of-government approach and serving its people, there can be no other way. Our government understands the needs of our communities, both large and small, from coast to coast to coast, and is prepared to offer communities what they need to realize their goals.

The results of the past two years justify the trust Canadians placed in this government in the 2015 election. We promised we would work together, and we are. I am confident that the measures in budget 2017 and the budget implementation act will continue this positive trend, build our communities, help the most vulnerable, and have a successful economy together.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, something I have heard is quite concerning. Some telephone calls have come into my office. As members know, I am focused on the Indigenous and Northern Affairs file. The calls are from people who are expressing significant concern. They are asking how the government can spend half a billion dollars on infrastructure in Asia, through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, when we have so many desperate needs at home. They ask why the government is putting heated trailers at the border for people when people in the north are freezing.

When the member says that the government is taking care of vulnerable people, I would like him to provide an answer on how spending half a billion dollars to provide infrastructure in Asia or backstopping investors in Asia is helping people in the north, as its communications adviser suggested.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, when we participate in international activities, such as the infrastructure bank, and we are setting up an infrastructure bank within Canada to also attract international investment, it makes us participate in the investment of world development, both in Canada and abroad. We will be looking at significant investments in infrastructure that Canadians will not be paying for by themselves. They will pay for it in partnership with other countries, similar to what we will do in China.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, recently in my riding, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with several doctors. As the representative of North Island—Powell River, a huge challenge for us is attracting health care professionals to the region. The doctors talked about their concerns on the impacts of the small business tax to these types of communities. One thing that is really important for the House and the Prime Minister to hear is how hurt these doctors were by the comments the Prime Minister made about rich doctors and how much of a ramification that had on their offices. People have gone into their offices to chastise them for this.

What I notice is missing from the bill has nothing to do with tax fairness across the board. I see a focus on small business and not at the significant tax loopholes that the very wealthy use every day to not pay their fair share. What are the member's thoughts on this specific issue and how those impacts are meaningful in communities like I represent?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member's question looks at how we work as a country together. Because physicians serve our communities in so many ways and they give so much to our communities, how do we ensure our communities are there for them when they need them as well?

When we look at tax fairness and tax inequities in our system, we will be helping their patients, developing communities, increasing the economy, and helping them to continue to contribute to Canada, which they do in such a great way.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the people in Guelph know how diligently my colleague works on the innovation file. I have had the pleasure of working with him on a number of initiatives. As the chair of a subcommittee on innovation through our Atlantic growth strategy, I have discovered a lot of opportunities available to Atlantic Canadians. Could my hon. colleague talk about how our focus on innovation is helping companies, entrepreneurs, and people in his community thrive in this growing economy?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I almost never have a conversation without innovation coming up in some way, so I appreciate the member coming at this from this angle. Innovation in Guelph and innovation elsewhere includes social innovation. Through the investments our government is making, we see a social innovation that is contributing to our economy, to our environment, and developing social benefits for all Canadians. I thank the hon. member for his focus on innovation. Social innovation is a very important part of our strategy going forward.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-63, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures, which I will strongly oppose.

I would like to talk about Sunday's municipal elections in Quebec. There are 37 municipalities in the riding I represent, and it spans 3,200 kilometres. I would like to congratulate all of the candidates who ran in the municipal elections and all those who won. I care about having a good working relationship with other representatives. I look forward to working with the newly elected officials. I would also like to celebrate the fact that more women were elected mayor. I am very proud to say that we now have more women mayors back home. This is good news.

In my speech today, I want to talk about the issues that are not part of the Liberal government's bill. For example, the government is not doing anything about credit card fees, and more recently, it refused to work with us, the provinces, and other stakeholders to create a universal pharmacare program. I also want to talk about how the government is refusing to remedy tax unfairness by facilitating the intergenerational transfer of family farms. The last issue I will touch on is employment insurance.

I will start with credit card fees, which cost Canadian merchants tens of thousands of dollars. It is their second-largest expense after salaries. Small retailers make up more than 50% of the Canadian economy. For example, a Saint-Boniface service station called Alimentation Lemoyne & Auger in my riding pays $30,000 per year in credit card transaction fees. That is a lot of money. Canadian small businesses pay the highest credit card transaction fees in the world. The Liberal government should do like other countries, such as Australia and EU countries, which have capped fees at 0.5% or less.

This is a measure that the Liberal government should have introduced for small business owners. We really would have liked to see some progress. We would have liked for the government to stand up for small business owners in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada. There is supermarket owner in Laval who spends nearly $200,000 on credit card fees. The government needs to act now to better regulate those fees.

Last month, the NDP used an opposition day to raise a debate in the House of Commons on the need to adopt a universal pharmacare program. In the riding that I represent, the population is aging, so I care about health-related issues. We had a debate in the House of Commons, but unfortunately, the Liberal government decided to vote against our motion.

That day, representatives of the Centre Avec des Elles in Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon and the Centre des femmes l'Héritage in Louiseville came to attend question period. They also got to meet several MPs. These people from my riding, who came to the House the day that we moved an opposition motion on the need for a universal pharmacare program, could not believe that the government was going to vote against such a measure, when, unfortunately, the cost of prescription drugs is rising every year.

The people I represent did not think it was the right approach to lowering the cost of drugs. They were really frustrated to see the Liberal government's inaction and unwillingness to act. We would have really liked to see something in the budget for this. However, there is nothing yet again. There is no action on the part of the Liberal government.

I had have the honour of being the agriculture and agrifood critic since 2015 after being the deputy critic from 2012 to 2015. I have been a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food since 2012. I am the longest serving member of the committee. Anything that has to do with the transfer of farms and fishing businesses is really important. We know that Canada's population is aging and that succession and planning is not going well.

My colleague from Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques introduced a bill to address a fiscal injustice in the transfer of farms. Unfortunately, that bill was defeated in the House of Commons before it could be referred to a committee. We think it is disgraceful that the government is doing nothing to help the next generation of farmers in Canada.

I would also like to raise the matter of employment insurance. I represent a rural riding where many people work in seasonal industries. These people depend on EI, but they do not always have access to it, sadly. The budget contained no changes or assistance to give workers access to employment insurance. Currently, 15,000 Canadians are having to contend with the spring gap. This needs to be discussed, because during the campaign, the Liberal Party said it would fix the problem by improving the system and making it so that these people have access to EI.

There have been some minor changes, but the Liberal government has not carried out a comprehensive reform to improve access to employment insurance for workers in the agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and tourism sectors. These sectors are incredibly important to the economy, and we need to make sure we support the people working in them.

The unemployed workers' movement in Quebec claims that the Liberal government has not reformed the employment insurance system. Forty-four percent of Canadians will not be eligible for employment insurance. That is a lot of people, a lot of Canadians and Quebeckers who need reform and change so they can access EI when they need it. This is really important to them.

We really hoped to see some progress on reducing inequality. We know that a special committee was formed to examine pay equity. A report entitled “It's Time to Act” was even published. The government committed to taking action, but not today, tomorrow, or even in a year. It is going to introduce a bill on pay equity to ensure that women and men earn equal pay for work of equal value. It is going to take until the end of 2018. I am trying to understand why the government is dragging its feet on introducing a bill that would truly further equality.

I think everyone agrees that there is still work to be done. It is 2017. The government claims to be feminist, but it needs to walk the talk. This bill needs to pass quickly. We are deeply disappointed to see so many things missing from this budget, especially since the government is always saying that it can do better.

The government should have done better with this legislation.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Pat Finnigan Liberal Miramichi—Grand Lake, NB

Mr. Speaker, I salute my colleague, the member for Berthier—Maskinongé. She also sits on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. I want to thank her for her hard work.

Let us look at our budget since we have been in power. There are still many things we would like to do, this I know. There is obviously still much to be done.

We increased the Canada child benefit, which was great. We increased the old age security pension, which was also great. Then, we lowered the retirement age from 67 to 65. On the agriculture front, we allocated $250 million to producers and $100 million to processors.

These are some of the positive things we have done in the past two years. There is much to do, of course, but will my colleague at least acknowledge that our government has been very busy? We still have a lot left to do. Does she have anything to say about that?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
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NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

This Liberal majority government is halfway through its mandate. Indeed, it has taken some positive steps, and we must recognize that the government has taken action and implemented measures. We agree, and congratulate and thank them for some things. However, they made a lot of promises. It has been two years, and Canadians expected more.

The government really needs to reduce tax inequities. A bill has been introduced to do so. My colleague and I both sit on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food. Everyone who appears before the committee talks about the importance of fixing the unfair tax measures affecting the transfer of family farms. This is one thing the Liberal government could have done. It should have done it. This measure could have been included in the budget. We would have liked to have seen the bill at least make it to committee.

There are a number of measures that we like, but the government must do better. Canadians expect more.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
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NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her very thorough listing of measures for which ordinary families are waiting.

It appears the government feels it has a lot of money to spend. It is going to send hundreds of millions of dollars over to China to develop infrastructure around the world, and yet, it cannot seem to find the time, the money, or the heart, to provide pharmacare.

The Liberals say we are all in this together, and yet, they vote against every single private member's bill and motion we table. That includes calls for the right to affordable housing, and the right to affordable medicines, so people do not have to decide whether they are going to pay their rent or buy their medicine.

Could the member speak to the fact there are many working families, and many people trying to get into the middle class who are not benefiting yet from the government?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians had a lot of high hopes in 2015. They put their trust and confidence in a Liberal government. The Liberals did a great campaign. However, Canadians are starting to realize they are not getting what they thought they would out of the government.

Before being elected, I worked at quite a few jobs to make ends meet. Many constituents in my riding work really hard, and they still do not make ends meet. In Quebec, we have a great system where we have affordable child care. It was a promise this government made, to develop affordable child care. We are not there yet. The Liberals have created no new child care spaces.

On pay equity, they realize they have to act, but they keep pushing it back. Why do women have to wait for pay equity? It does not make sense. The government says it is feminist, but it does not show us. Where is the bill? Why do women have to wait?

Canadians are disappointed and frustrated, and that is why we are voting against Bill C-63.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:55 p.m.
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Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to speak, on behalf of the people of Fredericton, the riding I have the pleasure to represent, to Bill C-63, the budget implementation act No. 2, which will help us conclude our budgetary measures for 2017.

This bill contains some of the important measures from our government's second budget. These measures are in line with our plan to continue to create jobs, stimulate the economy, and offer Canadians more opportunities to succeed.

In just two short years our government has accomplished a great deal. I hear from people in Fredericton, Oromocto, Maryland, and the Grand Lake region that they like what we are doing. They like the tax cut for the middle class. They like that we have enhanced the Canada child benefit, lowered the eligibility age for the old age pension to 65 from 67, and expanded old age security for low income seniors.

As a result of this government's efforts to ease the burden on our middle class, nine million Canadians are now paying less tax. This tax cut provides about $3.4 billion in annual tax relief to the middle class. Single individuals, who benefit, will see an average tax reduction of $330 every year. Couples, who benefit, will see an average tax reduction of $540. To help pay for this middle-class tax cut, we raised taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Canadians.

We also decreased small business taxes from 11% to 10.5%, and it will drop even further, down to 10% on January 1, and then down again to 9% by 2019.

In the fall economic update, the government announced another enhancement to the Canada child benefit. As a result of this change, an average Canadian family with two children will see about $200 more in the Canada child benefit payments next year and about $500 more in 2019. In New Brunswick, this amounts to 71,000 recipients, with a total investment of $499 million.

The Canada-New Brunswick early learning and child care agreement signed in August will see the federal government invest close to $30 million in improving early learning and child care for pre-school-aged children. By the end of the three year agreement this funding will build a high quality early learning and child care system that New Brunswick families can rely on.

While I am on the subject of supporting families, let me remind the House that Fredericton welcomed more than 500 Syrian refugees, more per capita than any city in Canada.

With an aging population, one-third of which is expected to be over the age of 65 by the 2030s, support for New Brunswick seniors is essential.

During our first year in government, we restored the eligibility age for old age security and the guaranteed income supplement back to 65. We increased the GIS top-up benefit for single seniors by up to $947 per year. We enhanced the Canada pension plan as well.

Budget 2017 further ensures that seniors continue to receive the support they deserve by committing $125.1 million to improve home care for seniors in New Brunswick.

Over the next 11 years, we will invest $3.2 billion to support affordable housing priorities, including initiatives to support safe and independent living for seniors.

Over these 11 years, we will invest an additional $5 billion to establish a national housing fund to help seniors and the most vulnerable.

New Brunswick is the ideal place to rollout bold and transformative approaches that will enable healthy aging. The federal government's $16.6 million investment in the University of New Brunswick's Centre for Healthy Living is an excellent example.

AGE-WELL, Canada's technology and aging network, recently partnered with the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation and Fredericton's York Care Centre to open a new national innovation hub in Fredericton.

AGE-WELL is a network of federally funded centres of excellence that advance innovation in the field of technology and aging in the interest of all Canadians.

The federal government's first health care deal will enable seniors to live longer, healthier lives in their own homes, and reduce financial and administrative burdens on our already over-stretched health care system

As chair of the Atlantic growth strategy subcommittee on innovation, I can assure the House that the federal government is committed to empowering Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs through innovation. Under the Atlantic growth strategy, the government is taking bold action to create more middle-class jobs, strengthen local communities, and grow the economy. The AGS will enhance and enrich Atlantic Canada's innovation ecosystem.

Recently designated community of the year for startups in Canada, Fredericton has built a well-earned reputation as an entrepreneurial hub and a centre of innovation.

Thanks in part to the University of New Brunswick's essential role, the innovation ecosystem of this city is attracting a larger number of creative entrepreneurs.

In our 150th year of Confederation, as we prepare to once again take on a more active and dynamic role in the world, we are committed to the vision of Canada's new defence policy. To meet this commitment, the federal government is investing in an agile, multi-purpose, combat ready military, operated by highly trained and well-equipped women and men.

Over the next 10 years, defence spending will increase by more than 70%, which means that 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, Canada's second-largest military base and home of Canada's army, will take on an even bigger role as an economic generator in our local economy.

Earlier this year, I took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new tactical armed patrol vehicle facility, a $26 million investment by this federal government. When we add this $26 million investment to the $38 million investment in critical infrastructure upgrades at Base Gagetown last year, we get a clear picture of just how big an economic generator Base Gagetown is to the Fredericton region and to all of New Brunswick.

This investment in infrastructure is certainly important, but the federal government's investment in the Canadian Armed Forces is even more important.

For example, since January 1, all troops deployed on international operations have been exempt from federal income tax on their CAF salary up to a pay level of lieutenant colonel. This is in addition to existing allowances that compensate for hardship and risk. Other investments include $198.2 million over the next 10 years to implement a new total health and wellness strategy, providing a greater range of health and wellness services and programs.

There is also an increase of $6 million per year to modernize family support programs, such as military family resource centres, and a new 1,200-person Canadian Armed Forces transition group that would help CAF members and their families transition back into CAF following illness or injury, or into civilian life at the conclusion of their military service.

Budget 2017 would continue to improve the lives of veterans by focusing on three important themes: ensuring the financial security for ill and injured veterans, investing in education and career development to help veterans transition into post-military life, and supporting families.

In the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation and with Remembrance Day just a few days away, I want to underscore the sacrifices that our women and men in uniform have made in service to our country. We are here because of them, and we will remember them.