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 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, certainly, on this side, we all agree that we could do no greater activity this coming weekend than to take the time at many different events in our ridings to pay tribute to the men and women in uniform who have fought and died for the very values that we hold dear, so I thank my hon. colleague for that.

In his speech, the member talked about entrepreneurship, innovation, and innovation hubs, which we certainly applaud on this side. I am blessed to have in my riding Communitech, which is an incubator that is going worldwide. I certainly applaud the work the people there do. However, it is not good enough to encourage innovation in these incubators, get people excited about projects they have developed for use by Canadians, and then to have repressive policies placed on them that actually make it hard, or almost impossible for them to actually start the business in which they have invested so much energy.

Recently this summer, on July 18, we had this proposal to change the tax system for small and medium-sized enterprises, and to go after the so-called tax cheats. I have spoken to people in my riding who currently have small businesses, and have created their own enterprises. Even though they are already created, they are actually thinking of moving them south of the border, because of the repressive tax scheme we have here.

If a company that is already here in Canada finds it impossible to continue to operate under this scheme, how in the world would it be possible for a fledgling start-up company, that has not even gotten its own business started yet, to put roots in the ground and establish that business and create jobs here in Canada?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey Liberal Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to being at the cenotaph in downtown Fredericton on Saturday. My thoughts will be with the people in Oromocto at their ceremony, in New Maryland, at Barkers Point, and in the Grand Lake region. My thoughts will also be with those who are holding Remembrance Day ceremonies while I am here in Ottawa this week.

I mentioned that Fredericton was recently named Canada's entrepreneurship start-up capital. We are home to UNB, Canada's most entrepreneurial university, with incubators such as Planet Hatch and Energia, which the government supported in its launch. We have focus clusters on cybersecurity, on green energy, and on smart grid growth.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, through the Atlantic growth strategy, is focused on supporting the start-up and life-cycle of entrepreneurs in our community, through supporting them in innovative new processes.

In addition, as I said in my speech, we are lowering the small business tax burden from 11% to 9%. The government will always be there for small businesses right across the country. Finally, after 10 years, small businesses in Atlantic Canada can also count on the government's support.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to share with the member how much I appreciate his city. On 9-11, I was stranded in Fredericton when the towers came down. Fredericton was very kind to all of us who were in an international meeting.

I would like to ask the hon. member a question about global co-operation, work of the federal government on climate change and clean energy. What is troubling to me is there are several things missing from the budget. One is a tiny inkling of a measure to begin bringing down the $5 billion to $6 billion perverse subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, which Canada has committed to bringing down expeditiously.

Second, regrettably, there is nothing in this budget, which is one of the big topics happening at COP22, which is happening as we speak, and that is a just transition while providing capacity building. When Canada signed on to the Paris agreement, it committed to contributing toward capacity building.

Could the member speak to why he thinks the government has not stepped forward to support the provinces in building capacity for those workers who would like to get into the renewable energy sector?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 5:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Matt DeCourcey Liberal Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's comments about the generosity of people in Fredericton. It has certainly been my experience over the course of my life.

I have had the pleasure of travelling abroad and witnessing first-hand the impact our contributions have made to the global climate fund through other infrastructure development banks and in places like the South Pacific that are losing coastline.

Canada is a leading contributor in helping with coastal degradation and renewal projects. We are a leading contributor through those multilateral funds. We also have local initiative funds that are putting people on the ground in these developing countries to work to help tackle climate change matters.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 5:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to the House today about the Liberal government's economic update.

Halfway through their term in office, the Liberals seem to be celebrating, but we think their economic update is cause for concern. What worries us the most is that this Liberal government seems to be hurting the very people it says it wants to help. Are the measures it announced mere smokescreens? That is a perfectly legitimate question and one we should be asking. That is what scandals like the paradise papers seem to suggest.

The government is making the middle class, job creators, farmers, and even our most vulnerable citizens, such as diabetics, pay for the deficit. Meanwhile, it is turning a blind eye to Liberal friends who avoid paying taxes in Canada.

Before telling everyone else how to do things, maybe the Liberal government should get its own house in order. A Fraser Institute report showed that 81% of middle-class families have been paying more tax during the Liberals' two years in office than they were paying under the former Conservative government at the end of its term in office. On average, each family is paying $840 more per year.

The Liberals answer by telling us not to worry, because the economy is growing. We know that the economy is growing right now despite the Liberals, not because of them. The measures being taken by the Liberal government now will not really have an effect until a few years from now, and the positive growth we are seeing is a direct result of our Conservative measures taken by the previous Canadian government.

The Minister of Finance also confirmed that the Liberals will borrow $20 billion this year to pay for their spending spree. This is on top of the $25 billion they borrowed in the first year of this government's mandate. They answer by telling us again not to worry and that the budget will magically balance itself, but no one knows when. The truth is that by announcing a $20 billion deficit again this year, the Liberals are breaking another election promise they had made, which was to not exceed a $10 billion deficit in the first two years, and that is already a huge amount, all things considered. Now it is going to be double that for each year.

That is not all. The government broke a second promise because the Prime Minister promised to balance the budget by 2019. Now, we have learned that he has no plan to ever balance the budget. If I understand the Liberals' message correctly, that means that the Minister of Finance is racking up debt twice as quickly as planned and that the deficit will continue to steadily grow for several more years. There is no escaping it. Someone will have to pay the bill at one point or another. That someone will be our children and grandchildren and all middle-class Canadians.

By way of evidence, first, the Liberals eliminated the universal child care benefit. Then, they did away with the children's fitness tax credit and the children's arts tax credit. They also eliminated the post-secondary education and textbook tax credit, not to mention the fact that they did away with income splitting as soon as they took office. That is not all. Next, they cancelled plans to reduce the small business tax rate and employment insurance contributions, while increasing payroll taxes and creating a new carbon tax.

That is still not all. We must not forget that the Liberals eliminated income splitting; halved the TFSA contribution limit; scrapped the public transit tax credit, even though they claim to be a green government; introduced an Uber tax; and raised taxes on beer, wine, and spirits. Finally they tried to impose a tax on health and dental benefits and even on employee discounts for retail and restaurant workers, who need a bite to eat and are trying to save a few dollars on each meal at the end of their shift. Now that is really meanspirited.

The Liberal government's strategy involves trying to smother the flames of its out-of-control spending by asking the middle class to come to the rescue.

The problem with this Liberal government is that it seems to be completely out of touch with Canadians. It seems to belong to a different class, the small percentage of wealthy people. This leads it to make decisions that make no sense to most Canadians who are living from paycheque to paycheque. When these Canadians found out that the Prime Minister and his family spent their vacation on a private island at the enormous cost of $215,000 and that taxpayers would have to foot the bill, no one could understand it. How can the Prime Minister believe that he acted responsibly? How could he have made that decision without seeing that it was problematic, contradictory, and hypocritical? How can he be concerned about the growing tax burden on Canadian families when the measures that have been put in place do not affect his family fortune?

Maybe the Liberal government needs to be reminded that the interest on the debt exceeds $15 billion per year. I am not talking about the deficit; I am talking about the interest on the debt. Those billions are gone and will never be invested. Increasing the deficit by $50 billion will not help us deal with the debt, which has grown that much in just two years. The $15 billion annual interest on the debt could pay for three tunnels between Quebec City and Lévis, three Champlain bridges, or 187,500 kilometres of repaired roads, which is the equivalent of 12 trips across Canada and back from coast to coast. It could pay for 40 huge multi-purpose arenas, four major hydroelectric dams, 500,000 daycare spaces, 11,500 affordable housing units, 2,500 MRI machines in hospitals, 75 F-18 fighter jets, 1,625 water treatment plants on reserves, or 300 rail bypasses for places like Lac-Mégantic. As an aside, we are still waiting for the results of that study.

The Liberals will reply that they created the Canada child benefit, but that benefit, which gives families a maximum of $560, is a smoke screen. Indeed, for every $560 a family receives, it will have to write off its share of the deficit. It will simply be added back into the line of credit. This year alone, after each family receives its Canada child benefit, it will still have to pay another $3,547.90 sooner or later to cover the cost of the deficit. What the Liberal government gives with one hand, it takes back with the other. All they are doing is leaving this debt to future generations.

These reminders and new perspectives might give the Liberals some idea of the repercussions of their out-of-control spending on Canadians. What we need, and what the Conservative government would deliver, is sound management of public finances, lower taxes, greater justice for victims, and a more affordable lifestyle for all Canadians. This must begin with a crackdown on tax avoidance and tax evasion, which does not appear to be one of this Liberal government's priorities, as we learned this week, based on how it is protecting the Liberal Party bagman. This close friend of the Prime Minister is suspected of hiding money in tax havens, as shown by investigations by several internationally recognized media venues.

Unfortunately, we are now dangerously on the wrong track with this other update and this other budget tabled in 2017.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 5:20 p.m.
See context

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there are many parts of the member's speech that I take some exception to. I sat in opposition and saw a Harper government do absolutely nothing to deal with issues such as tax avoidance, or anything of that nature. I sat in opposition when the Harper government allowed the debt to grow to $160 billion. We have seen so much progress within two years of this administration, far more than we saw in 10 years of the Harper government.

The member talks about tax fairness. What did the Conservative members opposite do when it came to increasing the taxes of Canada's wealthiest? They voted against it. What did they do when it came to the tax break for Canada's middle class? They voted against it. What did they do on the Canada child benefit enhancement? They voted against it. What did they do on the guaranteed income supplement? They voted against it.

Why is their voting record so bad when it comes to representing real Canadians?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 5:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, it really seems as though the hon. member on the other side of the House missed the point of my speech. I wonder if he even bothered to listen to what I said.

He is going after the former government, but his government is the one that is hypocritical with respect to our current fiscal situation. This government has a minister who was found guilty of a conflict of interest by the Ethics Commissioner. This government's Prime Minister went to a private island to spend taxpayer money. This government cancelled income splitting for families, which allowed them to save on taxes. This government is irresponsibly putting our families, children, and grandchildren in debt, without any plan to return to a balanced budget.

The government's budget is, quite simply, mind-boggling. The people watching right now know better. They understand what is going on. We cannot wait to change sides in the House.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 5:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his speech.

I would like to ask him specifically about the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. In this budget implementation act, the government is taking a half a billion dollars and giving it to wealthy bankers to build infrastructure in Asia, not in Canada. We have heard examples of the government taking away money from diabetics. We have heard of it taking away money from people with autism. It has taken money away from people suffering from mental health conditions, and it is giving money away to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

I want to talk about priorities and get the member to talk about the priorities of his constituents. When he was campaigning, did anyone say, “Please give away a half a billion dollars to an infrastructure bank in Asia instead of taking care of Canadians' interests first”?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 5:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to my colleague for his highly relevant question. I would have liked to talk about the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Canada infrastructure bank, which the government is in the process of setting up, but I had only 10 minutes to speak.

It makes absolutely no sense that this government is taking money from Canadians and investing it in an Asian Infrastructure Bank that will develop infrastructure located not in Canada, but on the other side of the ocean. This infrastructure is not even in our own country.

Since the members on the other side of the aisle dispute our extremely severe, yet legitimate, criticism of their budget, I must also talk about the credits and money this government is taking away from our most vulnerable citizens, like diabetics. This government is clawing back money that these people are entitled to, money that helps them provide for their needs, and using it to fund its own reckless, out-of-control spending.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 10:35 a.m.
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Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is my distinct pleasure to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-63, the budget implementation act, no. 2. The bill would implement certain provisions of our government's second budget, budget 2017, that was tabled in the House on March 22.

Following in the footsteps of budget 2016, budget 2017 offers immediate help to those who need it the most and helps ensure that everyone has a real and fair chance of success.

In the 2015 campaign, when we knocked on doors we listened to Canadians, how they were struggling to find jobs and pay for their families, or working extremely hard to make ends meet. We listened to them and we invested in Canadians, in our communities, and in our country.

That is why the first thing we did as a government was to lower taxes for the middle class and raised them for the wealthiest 1%.

We introduced the Canada child benefit that helped nine out of 10 families and lifted over 300,000 children out of poverty.

These investments made by our government in our people, in our communities, and in our economy are now bearing fruit.

We have been able to add nearly 500,000 new jobs in our economy in the last two years. Just this past October, 89,000 full-time jobs were created. The steady rate of job growth has led to the unemployment rate dropping to 6.3%, the lowest level in over a decade.

Additionally, due to the historic investments made by our government, youth unemployment is also at the lowest level in decades. In Brampton West, I had the privilege this summer to visit many local organizations taking part in the Canada summer jobs program. This program helps provide essential experience for youth all across Canada. Our government doubled the funding and doubled the number of jobs for students. In Brampton West, organizations were able to hire over 150 youth through the summer jobs program. That is real change.

Our economic policies have also made a mark on the international stage. Canada has seen the highest growth rate of all G7 countries, with our economy growing at an average rate of 3.7% over the last year. As a result of of this strong economic growth, our government is able to invest more in Canadian families and our communities.

In our fall economic statement, we announced a number of measures aimed toward ensuring that those in the middle class and those working hard to join it share in the success we achieve as a country.

We announced further action to strengthen the Canada child benefit. When it was first announced, the Canada child benefit helped provide more money to nine out of 10 families and lift 300,000 children out of poverty. This was significant for the people of Brampton West.

Starting in July 2018, the Canada child benefit will increase with the cost of living, two years ahead of schedule. In my riding of Brampton West, this means that a single parent of two making $35,000 will receive over $560 more next year tax-free for books, for skating lessons, or for warm clothes for winter for their children.

Additionally, our government announced an enhancement of the working income tax benefit. By letting low-income workers take home more money, the working income tax benefit offers real help to over 1.5 million Canadians. Our government is doing more to help those working hard to join the middle class by enhancing the WITB by an additional $500 million per year starting in 2019. These changes will encourage more Canadians to enter the workforce and further boost our economy.

Now, let us talk about our job creators. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and they help create jobs in our communities and throughout the country. That is why in our fall economic statement we announced that the small business tax rate would be cut from 10.5% currently to 9% in 2019. This will provide small businesses with up to $7,500 in tax savings per year to reinvest in their businesses. For a local small business in my riding of Brampton West, such as AJ's Bar and Grill, this means more money to hire new employees and expand its services.

The steps we have taken since being elected have helped create this environment of growth and optimism. Bill C-63 looks to build on our policies and bring more prosperity for middle-class Canadians.

This budget implementation act would support the middle class and those working hard to be part of it by protecting the rights of federally regulated workers when they seek flexible work arrangements from their employers. Some of the ways we are helping Canadian families balance work and family responsibilities are by providing greater flexibility for annual vacation days and holidays, more bereavement days in the event of losing a loved one, and more unpaid leave for family responsibilities. These changes would greatly impact the young families in Brampton West who are just starting out in their lives.

Our government also recognizes that many young Canadians are undertaking internships to gain hands-on experience. While internships can help young Canadians make a successful transition into the workforce, some internships, in particular those that are unpaid, can be unfair. The budget implementation act proposes to eliminate unpaid internships in federally regulated sectors where the internships are not part of a formal educational program. These changes would also ensure that unpaid interns who are part of an educational program are entitled to labour standard protections, such as maximum hours of work, weekly days of rest, and general holidays.

It is a well-known fact that our government is committed to strengthening the middle class by promoting strong, inclusive economic growth in Canada and around the world. Investments in high-quality infrastructure contribute to long-term growth and a better quality of life for people at home and abroad.

As part of Canada's commitment to engage, collaborate, and invest with other global partners on development projects in Asia, Canada's decision to apply for membership in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was announced in August 2016. Canada's investment in the bank will be included as part of Bill C-63. This would help sustain growth in Asia and represents an opportunity for Canada to further engage in multilateral infrastructure efforts that support inclusive economic growth at home and abroad. By doing this, we would contribute to global economic growth, and help Canadian companies to explore new commercial opportunities.

The steps taken in budget 2017 and Bill C-63 address the very real issues facing Canadians every single day. Our government plans to strengthen the middle class and ensure that Canadians have the support, resources, and confidence they need to succeed, create jobs, and grow our economy.

I am proud to be part of a government that is committed to improving the lives of so many people across our country. I am proud to support this piece of legislation, and I encourage all members to do the same.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 10:45 a.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, as usual from that side, we hear about the middle class and those trying to join it, and that this budget is so good for them. The Liberals talk about how they are lowering taxes on the middle class when, of course, those taxes were lowered on, if you can call it, the upper-middle class, people who are making $150,000 or $200,000 a year. Middle-class people who are making $40,000 a year or less got absolutely nothing. The Liberals could have lowered the taxes on that group and helped all Canadians, but instead they chose to leave them out and lower taxes on the people above that.

However, I really wanted to ask why the Liberals left out the big fish. Why did they not follow up on their promises about closing the tax loopholes that CEOs use when they are paid in stock options? It would have netted the government $750 million or so and really sent a message that it was going after the people who really could pay more of their fair share.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 10:45 a.m.
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Liberal

Kamal Khera Liberal Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to set the record straight. One of the first things we did as a government was lower taxes on the middle class and raise them for the wealthiest 1%. We introduced the Canada child benefit, which has helped nine out of 10 families in Canada and has taken 300,000 kids out of poverty.

With respect to my hon. member's question, I would like to remind him that it is our government that invested over $1 billion in CRA to fight tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. Because of that, we are well on our way to recouping over $25 billion. We have identified more than 627 cases, which have been transferred for criminal investigations. There have been 268 warrants and 78 convictions.

We will continue to work hard every day for a tax system that is fair for all Canadians.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 10:45 a.m.
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Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to hear the hon. member elaborate on the measure that is going to provide flexibility. The changes in Bill C-63 would allow more flexibility for families when they need an opportunity for some special time for a variety of issues.

Could my hon. colleague elaborate on the flexibility side as well as on closing the many loopholes in the tax system? Both are important issues for Canadians to know more about.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 10:50 a.m.
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Liberal

Kamal Khera Liberal Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, what my hon. colleague said is extremely important and true. That is why this bill would put measures in place to give flexibility to Canadians working in federally regulated industries to balance work and family responsibilities. There would be greater flexibility for annual vacation days and holidays, more bereavement days in the event of losing a loved one, and more unpaid leave for family responsibilities.

I believe other programs we have implemented, such as the Canada child benefit, will also assist single parents who may need help in these specific cases.

There are a lot of good measures in this bill, and I hope my colleagues, even on the other side, support this bill.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 10:50 a.m.
See context

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to give a speech on Bill C-63, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures. This is an omnibus budget bill.

In speaking to this, I wanted to also start with the big picture. Most of the speeches in this place since we began the debate at second reading of Bill C-63 have not delved very much into Bill C-63 itself. I plan to go into it in some detail. Most of the speeches have dealt with the general question of how much we, depending on which side of the House we are on, like or dislike the budget itself. There are some big picture comments I also want to make.

In debates in this place, the Conservative official opposition members berate the government for spending too much and adding to the debt. It is as though we have forgotten how to distinguish between the deficit, which is rising, and debt. Debt is a more permanent condition, and unfortunately, it is very hard to eliminate debt once it has been added on. We have not reduced any of the $150-billion addition to the national debt accrued under former prime minister Stephen Harper. The debt increased quite a lot in that period, although in the final term, we saw a balanced budget. Deficit is an issue of concern, but not nearly as much as debt.

In looking at the deficit and deficit spending, this current Liberal government was elected promising to run a deficit, although a much smaller one than the one we now see.

Here is what concerns me on the subject of government spending and increasing deficits. We are actually in a situation in this country where we need more, not less, government spending. The strictures on spending the current government appears to feel constrained by on things that need to be addressed come from an unwillingness to spend more than the large spending announcements that have already been made, which were for needed spending.

We need spending on infrastructure across Canada. In a sense, we have been like a homeowner who has deferred maintenance on the home in order to afford the other things we need in our household budget. However, deferred maintenance adds up. When the deferred maintenance is on water works and sewage systems, bridges and roads, and social infrastructure, such as affordable housing, and those things come home to roost, we need to spend more.

At the same time, there is a deep aversion to raising taxes. There have been a lot of claims that the opposite side has raised taxes a great deal. The reality, which I support, and it was in the Green Party platform to reduce the tax on small business to 9%, is certainly applauded. However, we in the Green Party are urging the government to look at the need to raise taxes on large, profitable multinationals.

The tax on large business was, in the year 2000, 28%. It is now down to 14%. It certainly should be raised, because if we look at the percentage of our total government revenues that come from corporations versus individual citizens, the portion on individual citizens has gone up while the portion on large corporations has shrunk dramatically.

As the economy is recovering, and that is good, there certainly is no reason or excuse to not go after, as my hon. friend from South Okanagan—West Kootenay just pointed out, the big fish. The big fish are in offshore tax havens. The big fish are in large, profitable multinationals. Going after people who are seeking to avoid, or worse, criminally evade, taxes should be a top priority.

I note, and it is a personal story, but I think it is quite bizarre, that my daughter, who is a university student, reported to me that the CRA is wasting tax dollars asking for proof of various items on her income tax return. She is a student. She is not making enough money to pay much in taxes or anything in taxes, I think. However, she is being asked to provide proof of the cost of books. I said that it was bizarre, and she said that another friend of hers is doing the same thing.

I would suggest that CRA could adjust its sights on millionaires and billionaires as opposed to students. I think that would be something most Canadians would support.

Turning to Bill C-63, I have to say that I read it with a growing sense of happiness. No doubt it will surprise people that anyone on the opposition benches would. However, when I pick up an omnibus budget bill I still have a sense of, I guess, PTSD from having read the omnibus budget bills in the 41st Parliament, particularly Bill C-38, which destroyed our environmental assessment regime and wrecked the Fisheries Act; and Bill C-45, which devastated the Navigable Waters Protection Act, removed the inspector general for CSIS, and various other measures that had nothing to do with each other.

Reading Bill C-63 confirms in my mind the strong need to simplify our tax code. When we talk to tax accountants, they generally agree that it would be wonderful if the Minister of Finance went in for root-and-branch tax reform to simplify the tax code to remove so many boutique exemptions. I commend the Minister of Finance for removing a number of boutique exemptions, but the tax code, and therefore the omnibus bill we have before us, is very complex on very specific items, such as straddling tax years and figuring out how to deal with different derivatives and the use of various tax mechanisms, such as going through trusts or going through additional corporations and how we end up taxing.

For the most part, I actually find myself wondering if I am going to vote for this particular budget bill if we can make some amendments. I want to point out the areas I like in this bill and the areas I think would benefit from amendments.

As it is an omnibus budget bill, I am pleased to see that there has finally been a tepid move, although it could go much further, to eliminate some of the fossil fuel subsidies. This was a large-ticket commitment in the Liberal campaign platform. Most of the large fossil fuel subsidies remain in place, despite a pledge in the Liberal platform to eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels.

This would be a parallel and needed measure that would go along with eliminating the market distortions that are created by both subsidizing fossil fuels and failing to put a price on dumping waste into the atmosphere. That is equivalent to having a municipal waste dump where there is no tipping fee. People are not encouraged to avoid dumping if it is free. That is why a carbon price makes sense, but we need to move to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.

The move that is happening here is in relation to changes to the Canadian exploration expense. This happens to be in part 1 of Bill C-63. It would change the tax treatment of Canadian exploration expenses to reduce the tax deductions that are available now from 100% to about 30%. By the way, the way this is structured has created an incentive for accelerated drilling prior to this kicking in in 2019. This could be an unintended but environmentally damaging period. I am holding in my hands advice from Bennett Jones to that corporate sector suggesting that if any oil and gas companies can hurry up and start exploration activities and get commitments in writing before 2019, they can continue to take advantage of the 100% deduction on capital expenses.

I also welcome the changes to the donation of ecologically sensitive lands. I worked on this, back in the day, on the now defunct National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, repealed in the omnibus budget bill, Bill C-38. We worked to persuade the minister of finance of the day, the Right Hon. Paul Martin, to create special tax treatment for the donation of ecologically sensitive land. The revisions in Bill C-63 continue along that road to clarify and improve that system.

I am not at all unhappy to see the follow-through on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. This is part of Canada's development portfolio. We still lag far behind the commitments made by previous governments, including every government back to Lester B. Pearson, Jean Chrétien, and the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney, who all committed that Canada's development assistance should equal 0.7% of our GDP. We are nowhere near that, but certainly the provisions around the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are welcome.

There are a number of other provisions I was pleased to see, particularly those in the Canada Labour Code that would provide more flexible work arrangements and give Canadians prescribed statutory time off work to recover after experiencing family violence. I would like to see those sections amended. I would like to see that time off work as paid leave. I would like to see a single woman without children receive some assistance if she has been the victim of violence. There could be some tweaking of provisions in there.

I am very happy to see the new tax treatment for geothermal energy and an Energy Efficiency Act.

There are many provisions in a bill of 275 pages, but I will stop there and say that I am generally pleased with the contents of this bill.