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 (Senate), as of Dec. 5, 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

Dec. 4, 2017 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures
Dec. 4, 2017 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures
Dec. 4, 2017 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures
Dec. 4, 2017 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures
Dec. 4, 2017 Passed 3rd reading and adoption 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. 28, 2017 Passed Concurrence at report stage 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. 28, 2017 Failed Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
Nov. 28, 2017 Failed Bill C-63, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures (report stage amendment)
Nov. 28, 2017 Passed Tme allocation for Bill ,
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 2nd, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I found it quite shocking what was just said in the House by one of the members from the Liberal Party on this issue around how the Minister of Finance has not been seen to have done anything wrong. Maybe the member can confirm for me because I may have read the news wrong, but last I checked, the Minister of Finance was actually fined. He was seen as doing something wrong by the Ethics Commissioner, and he should be paying the price for that. However, maybe I got the message wrong.

On the point the member was making with regard to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, I share his concerns. This is a government, on the other side of the House, that has made these pronouncements about investment in infrastructure in Canada. Last I checked, China is not a province. Last I checked, China is not part of our sovereign nation. Could the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley comment on that, and how, I am sure, he agrees with me that we should be investing in infrastructure in Canada and not abroad?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 2nd, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, maybe the Prime Minister's plan is the opposite, which is to make Canada a province of China. If we look at the way the Liberals have gone through reviews of state-controlled companies from China buying up technology and aerospace firms, and firms that work alongside the military, we see it has been the Americans who have been raising far more concerns, even in the pick-up of a concrete and construction company that China is looking to buy right now. When I say China is looking to buy, I mean the Government of China. However, it is the Americans who are saying that, if we allow that sale to go ahead, they have concerns with the company and it will not be allowed to operate in the United States anymore, but go ahead and let the purchase go forward.

As for the finance minister, he has been fined. The Liberals stand up day after day and say that the finance minister has done everything right, and in fact, he has gone beyond. Why did he go beyond? It is because he got caught. What type of integrity is that when one does the right thing after being caught?

I have seven-year-old kids, and we talk about this kind of stuff. We try to guide them along the way to do the right thing out of the gate, so then they will not have to pay a fine, admit all these things, and start to suddenly make new-found charitable donations after realizing there is an investigation into their ethical behaviour.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 2nd, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-63. Budgets and budget implementation bills really tell us a lot. They tell us where a government's priorities lie, the political will of the government, so to speak, and how it will tackle the major issues that communities are faced with today. There are a few priorities and initiatives in this budget implementation bill that are welcome, but when we talk about a 329-page document containing 20 pieces of legislation embedded in this giant bill, a few are simply not enough.

New Democrats have been very clear about what we had hoped to see in this budget implementation bill. We wanted measures that make substantial strides in making our country greener and more equitable, measures that would make significant improvements in workplaces so that Canadians could have a better quality of life and seniors entering retirement would not see their savings ripped out from under them, such as what the government is doing in Bill C-27. We wanted an expansion of our health care system. There are a lot of seniors in my community who say they cannot afford their medications. There are a lot of people in my constituency who say they want dental care to be part of our pharmacare system. None of that is in this 329-page budget implementation bill.

The government is so good at saying there is a new nation-to-nation relationship and it wants to do right by the indigenous community. What do we not see? We do not see real action to address historic systemic discrimination against indigenous peoples in this budget implementation bill. We do not see any actions there. The government, despite all of its lofty rhetoric, fancy Facebook posts, tweets, social media, and so on, has failed once again, in my view, to adequately prioritize these important areas for Canadians.

This can be seen not just in Bill C-63, as I mentioned. We can also see what the government is trying to do in Bill C-27 and other tax measures. I will get into that a little. The government suggests that it is making the tax system more fair for Canadians, and yet its consultations—on the small business tax changes, the provisions in Bill C-27, which go after seniors' pensions, and the lack of action in Bill C-63 to address the real issues of the day—show otherwise.

Over the last 30 years, workers have helped our economy grow by some 50%, and yet salaries are stagnating and retirements are becoming less secure. Now the inequality gap in Canada between the richest and the majority of Canadians is growing faster and wider than in other developed nations. The richest 100 Canadians now have the same wealth as 10 million less fortunate Canadians combined. Canada's top 100 CEOs now make 193 times more than someone earning an average wage, and these CEOs had already out-earned the average Canadian's annual wage by 11:50 a.m. on January 3 of this year.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canada loses at least $8 billion a year through tax evasion and avoidance by the richest and largest corporations; 91% of this lost revenue goes back to the top 10% of income earners; and 50% of that goes to the top 1%.

New Democrats have been clear that regressive tax measures, such as the CEO stock option loophole, which costs the treasury an estimated $800 million per year, need to be closed. By the way, the Liberals promised that during the campaign. They said they were going to close the stock option loophole. What happened after the election? It was not on the agenda anymore.

The Liberals continue to fail to deliver with Bill C-63. The increasing use of tax havens to avoid taxes costs the treasury an estimated $7 billion per year. The NDP has called for action. The Liberals have yet again failed to deliver in Bill C-63 so that we can direct that $7 billion into much-needed support for Canadians in each of our ridings. The Liberals refuse to do that, and they justify it every day in the House with their talking points, pretending that they are doing right by Canadians.

We saw during the consultations that they floated ideas that do not address the main issues of the day, the things they promised during the campaign. Instead, they chose to target the small business community.

If that was not enough, the government then attempted to target low-earning retail workers, many of whom are minimum wage earners who are just trying to survive in an era when housing costs are increasing and they cannot afford to put food on the table. That is the government's priority.

I think the government did that so it could cast a shadow over the real agenda. They did it so that their friends on Bay Street would not have to be faced with the tax measures they promised they would bring in after they formed government. They did it so they could protect their friends and the well-to-do. As it happens, the Minister of Finance is among them, as we see in the ethical scandal he is mired in right now. Every day we learn more, although sometimes less, because he is working so hard to hide all that information. We are learning, though, that the finance minister is making a decision on Bill C-27, on pension benefits, so that he can, it turns out, benefit himself and his family with the shares he holds in the company.

We also learned that the finance minister is using numbered companies to avoid paying taxes. Is it any wonder the government has turned a blind eye to the priority of tackling where the low-hanging fruit is in terms of redirecting those monies to the treasury?

I do not see measures in Bill C-63 that many of the people in Vancouver East would like to see, and that I would venture to say many Canadians would like to see. Young parents and working mothers, who are often impacted the most, need better access to affordable, high-quality child care, yet we do not see any provisions in the bill for a national child care program. It would be an enormous benefit for women who need child care. It would benefit not only their family units and the children in terms of early childhood development but would benefit our overall economy. The government has failed to deliver on that.

I fail to see in this legislation anything to do with safe, secure, and affordable housing, which a lot of people are struggling with. The government talks a good talk about delivering a national affordable housing program, but where is that in Bill C-63?

Let me close with what Dr. Cindy Blackstock said:

There's nothing new in the budget for First Nations children and their families, in child welfare, or their implementation of the Jordan's Principle, even though they've been found out of compliance with legal orders to stop that inequality. It's a moral issue: is Canada so broke that the finance minister and the Prime Minister have made a deliberate choice to discriminate against little kids?

Bill C-63 misses the mark.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 2nd, 2017 / 5 p.m.
See context

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, earlier in this debate, the member for Oshawa talked about financial literacy. Unfortunately, he is regrettably confusing the situation of an individual with that of a country, which is more akin to a business. When one is confident in one's business or one's country, it can be wise to borrow so as to invest in needed infrastructure and to invest in Canadians. I am sure that he was not suggesting that Christine Lagarde, of the IMF, or the World Bank are financially illiterate when they say that Canada's approach is one that should be emulated around the world and should go viral.

In the interest of financial literacy, I would like to know the member's plan. When the New Democrats pushed for a progressive agenda back in 2015, under an austerity bound Conservative budget, how would they have achieved that progressive agenda? We are pushing that forward with the approach we have taken, which is working for the Canadian economy and for a more prosperous and inclusive economy.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 2nd, 2017 / 5 p.m.
See context

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Liberal members need to review what they promised during the campaign and the things they are failing to deliver on. It is now two years into the election cycle, and the list of broken promises the Liberals have brought forward is astounding.

On tax measures, the government likes to say that it wants to bring in measures to benefit the middle class and those working hard to join it. How about working hard to deliver for Canadians and less for those who are French villa owners, because that is what the government is doing.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 2nd, 2017 / 5 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Cathay Wagantall Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, we have heard over and over again, and even through question period today, the government's response to our questions about misbehaviour on that side of the House. The response has been to trumpet the child benefits they have given to Canadians and how wonderful they are. They have even given us numbers, for each riding, as to how much each family has grown in income, with $500, $600, and $700 of income. This has been said over and over again for the past two years. I think it is the only thing they think they have actually accomplished, yet at the same time, we have been told that every family in Canada is now paying $800 more a year in taxes. That is not even including a lot of other things that are coming into play on the tax front.

How do you see their record as far as actually enabling Canadians to have more money to spend versus their fear that the taxman is coming to take it all away?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 2nd, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I come from Vancouver East. We are not a particularly rich riding. In fact, we are one of the lowest-income ridings in the country. What my constituents consistently have said is that they want a government that will support them by providing the necessary services they depend on. For example, the seniors who are trying to go into retirement were not expecting the government to bring in a bill, Bill C-27, that would actually rip the pension they have earned right from under them so that companies, like the one the Minister of Finance has a personal interest in, would benefit.

My constituents have said that they want to see a national child care program so they can afford to go to work and support their families and their children can get the best support in early childhood development in those early years. We do not see that.

Housing affordability is a major issue in my community. It was the Liberal government back in 1993 that cancelled the national affordable housing program. As a result, our country lost more than half a million units of affordable housing. The Liberals campaigned on bringing back a national affordable housing program. It is now two years in. They say to wait for it, that it is coming. Why is it not here now? Do the people who are homeless today not deserve housing? Why is the government making them wait if it is really going to bring back a national affordable housing program?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 2nd, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is great to be here this afternoon with other passionate speakers we have heard from today on Bill C-63. I would like to present my humble view on Bill C-63, the budget implementation act, 2017, no. 2, which is the second and final piece of legislation to implement budget 2017.

Budget 2017, much like budget 2016, is built on a number of transformational measures our government has put in place that are benefiting Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Our government's commitment to the middle class and those working hard to join it is unwavering. Budget 2017 is delivering results in my riding, my dynamic and beautiful riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, and across Canada.

We see the results of our plan with an economy that is growing at rate of over 3%. More importantly, approximately 450,000 Canadians now have jobs, most of them full time, and they are now able to provide a better future for their families.

In my riding, Vaughan—Woodbridge, we are seeing the impact the Canada child benefit is having.

In just a one-month period, families in my riding received a total of 9,140 payments that benefited 16,110 children, with an average payment of $470, and a total payout of $4.3 million. That is change. That is hope and hard work. That is keeping a commitment. On an annual basis, that is nearly $52 million going to families in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge. Those are monies that are going directly to help families pay for educational expenses, clothing for their children, and children's sports activities.

In fact, I am proud to say that the Governor of the Bank of Canada commented this week at the Standing Committee on Finance that the Canada child benefit provided a boost to the Canadian economy, a boost to the gross domestic product, of 0.5%. That is something to be applauded.

Our government believes that better is always possible, and I am proud to say that we have now committed to indexing the Canada child benefit, the CCB, a full two years early. Due to a strong economy, the fastest growth rate in the G7, and prudent financial management by our Minister of Finance, the member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, starting in July 2018, families will see their CCB indexed. This measure alone will provide Canadian families with an additional $5.6 billion to support them over the 2018-19 to 2022-23 period. For example, a single parent of two children, making $35,000 a year, will receive $560 more next year. It is tax-free, monthly, very simple, and very effective. They can use this money for books, skating lessons, or as winter approaches, warm clothes.

Governing is about helping families, and I am proud to state that the CCB has lifted approximately, looking at the data from 2013 to now, 300,000 children out of poverty in our country. Again, that is something to be applauded, and I would hope my colleagues on the other side would applaud that and vote for that.

When we speak about growing the economy and increasing the potential growth rate of the economy to improve the standard of living for all Canadians, the focus must be through the lens of innovation. Innovation is something that was absent in this House of Commons for the last 10 years. We need a focus on innovation and on helping companies in Canada innovate, grow, commercialize, and yes, earn money for their shareholders and do well.

Our government is delivering on this agenda. In the past few weeks, the minister of innovation announced the superclusters agenda, something that has been applauded by individuals and stakeholders from coast to coast to coast. It is something I am very proud to support, because it is the right thing to do to increase the capacity of this economy and to get Canadians working in good, high-paying jobs.

In the budget implementation legislation we have before us, we will include this innovation through further investments through the business development corporation. It will include $600 million in new financing for clean technology firms and $400 million that will be put in place for the venture capital catalyst initiative.

When we are thinking about clean technology and venture capital, we are thinking about incubators. We are thinking about people taking risks. We need to be there, partnering with these individuals.

When I think of clean technology, and I see what is happening globally with the amount of renewable energy being put in place to run facilities, whether it is a hospital or a school, Canada needs to be at the forefront. Even today, the Prime Minister was in Toronto with representatives from Alphabet, looking at how technology was transforming the world. We are partnering with these entities.

If we look at our skills training and immigration programs, we want the best and the brightest to come to Canada. We want to harness that human capital. Clean technology is about that. That is where we are going. If I could use a hockey analogy, that is where the puck is going. I was glad to play ice hockey for 20 years of my life, and, to me, that is where we need to be going.

Again, this financing will be put in place with the Business Development Bank, with an increased capital contribution of $1.5 billion to $4.5 billion.

Our government believes in tax fairness. During consultations with small business owners, manufacturers, and professionals, including my own extensive consultations with leading tax experts, we found that tax fairness, done right, both strengthens our economy and our middle class. That is what we will do, and what we are doing.

On this front, Bill C-63 phases out billed-basis accounting practices for designated professionals, but for the law profession, I want to note that we are protecting legal services provided through legal aid or on a pro bono basis, as well as measures are put in place for contingency fee arrangements. In addition, we will give professionals a five-year period to adjust to the new rules. This is both fair and right. This has been done after extensive consultations with these designated professionals.

I have the privilege of representing a riding that contains thousands of private businesses. In fact, the city of Vaughan, which I have the pleasure of representing, along with the member for Thornhill and the member for King—Vaughan, contains nearly 13,000 private businesses. It is one of the most entrepreneurial cities in Canada. I am proud to state that in 45 days from now, people will be able to take the subway, arriving in the city of Vaughan from the city of Toronto. Those decisions were made in prior years. We are executing them and we are quite happy. I would like to invite members of Parliament in the GTA to visit the riding, take the subway, and come visit our great bakeries, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

I am proud to be part of a government that invests in small businesses and that will lower their taxes from 11% in 2015 to 9% in 2019. Promise made; promise kept. It was in our platform, and we have fulfilled that commitment. Businesses will receive up to $7,500 of tax savings. They can choose to invest that in human resources, human capital, or capital equipment, return it to their shareholders, or invest to grow their business. That is what is growing our economy. That is what it means to deliver on our campaign commitments.

As a trained economist, someone who worked on Bay Street, someone who worked on Wall Street, but, more important, someone who grew up on Main Street, in very humble surroundings, I understand that businesses are the main drivers of economic growth and job creation. Our government is committed to ensuring that businesses, whether it is the local bakery, the manufacturer, or the tech startup, operate in an environment that allows them to be successful. More important, as a competitive individual, it will allow them to win and compete globally and take a market share.

Canada is considered an open economy, dependent on trade and global investment. We need to strengthen our bilateral and multilateral relations with our trading partners in other countries throughout the world. We succeed as a country, as a nation and its people, only when we have the foresight to make those policy choices that focus on measures to grow the economy for the long term, not short-sighted policies like augmenting the long-form census, like the prior government did. We need to make decisions based on evidence, based on what works and what does not work. We can only know that with good data. Thankfully, our government put the long-form census in place again.

Trade and investment has literally lifted hundreds of millions of people on this globe out of poverty. In Canada, it has improved the standard of living for millions of Canadians.

As part of Canada's commitment to its global partners, we will now move forward as the first North American member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. I am proud of this. There are currently 57 founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. I challenge the members on the opposite side, because I have heard some of the questioning on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, why we should not be a partner with it, why we should not be at the table there. The Germans are there, the Brits are there, the Italians are there, the French are there, the Australians are there. Why should Canada not be there as well? I have heard that question. I was very disappointed in the other side.

This represents a long-term economic opportunity for Canada and Canadian companies to explore new commercial opportunities. We know that jobs connected to trade on average pay higher and provide better benefits to Canadians. We see that through our ports, whether someone is a longshore person, whether it is in the Port of Halifax, the Port of Montreal, the Port of Vancouver, the Port of Prince Rupert. I am proud that in September we had the preliminary application of the comprehensive European free trade agreement and that our government continues with with its global partners. We must do so.

It is clear that the government's investments in people, our communities, and our economy are working.

We have the fastest-growing economy in the G7 and that is something we should be proud of. We are reinvesting the benefits of that growth back into the people who contribute most to that success.

Our economy is growing faster than it has in a decade, growing 40% faster than the United States or Germany. We all know that as a country we must always assist those who need a hand on occasion and are working hard to join the middle class. Yes, we talk about the middle class, but what does it really mean? What does it really mean to put in place policies to assist them? There are the Canada child benefit, cutting taxes for nine million Canadians and providing over $20 billion of tax relief over a five-year period, and increasing student loans for low- and middle-income Canadians. I can go on and on.

As a nomination candidate, I argued for an increase in the working income tax benefit, and I was very proud to say that our government will move forward with an enhanced working income tax benefit. This benefit is a refundable tax credit that would support low-income workers and provide important financial support to low-income Canadians to improve their financial outcome when working. This is important. A work income tax benefit encourages the labour force participation rate to rise. It was first introduced in a Liberal government under former prime minister Paul Martin, and augmented by the other side but the idea came from us.

In 2015, there were 1.4 million Canadians who benefited from the working income tax benefit, and our investment of an additional $500 million in this expansion is an investment that is, for me as a sort of policy wonk and an economist, something I fully support. This is something that is moving people off welfare to work, encouraging people to join the labour force. It is something very important, that is transformational. It gives people who may be in a precarious job situation, part-time workers, and those earning $16 or $17 an hour a bit more cash at the end of the year, some money for them to put more food on the table and pay for school supplies for their kids. That is what our government, which I am proud to be a part of, is fighting for every day. That is what I fight for in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge. I know my riding is blessed with many entrepreneurs and we are doing phenomenally well with a number of investments from all three levels of government. At the same time, any government should only be judged by how it treats those who are less fortunate, those who need a bit of assistance.

There are many items in Bill C-63, and one of them is to include legislation on flexible work arrangements for federally regulated entities. That speaks to the changing nature of work and the changing nature of responsibilities that families have, whether that is for bereavement leave, for when someone gets sick, or a family member having to augment his or her work-life balance. It is something that we recognize and that is contained in Bill C-63. We all should be proud of it. I hope other employers, even in the private sector, where possible, could put it into effect.

In Bill C-63 we have also introduced changes to the tax code that will ensure that the sale of principal residences by all Canadians remains unchanged, but at the same time that there are no concerns raised by the sales of residences in Canada by non-residents in particular, so that our Canadian housing market will remain strong and stable. We have ensured improved tax fairness for homeowners, something I am very proud of.

In Bill C-63, we have made changes to the Bank of Canada Act, specifying that the bank may make loans or advances to members of the Canadian Payments Association. We clarified some rules regarding CDIC, specifying that the Bank of Canada and CDIC are exempt from stays, where obligations are secured by real property or immovables.

Budget 2017 is the next step in our government's ambitious plan to make smart investments that will create jobs, grow the economy, and provide more opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it. If we look at the foundations we have put in place, Bill C-63 continues the investments we need to make in our economy for Canadians. Whether it was increasing the guaranteed income supplement by nearly $900 million so that over one million single seniors are better off today than they were in the beginning of 2015, our government was there. Whether it was listening to the provinces and hammering out an agreement on an enhanced Canada pension plan, we were there and got it done. Whether it was listening to auto manufacturers' concerns and changing their program through the auto innovation fund to remove the strings attached to as to whether the terms of the funding provided is a grant or a repayable loan, we were there, because we know that we need to be at the table in today's economy. Whether it was our skills agenda, we made the strategic investments that we needed to make. Whether it was ensuring that low and middle-income Canadians have access to Canada student grants or assistance so that they can get the education they need for better jobs, we were there.

I am also proud of the Minister of Immigration who yesterday tabled the government's increased immigration levels. I do not really want to use the word “immigrant”, because my parents were immigrants. I look at them as newcomers, newcomers whose hopes and dreams are being fulfilled in Canada on a daily basis.

We know the demographic challenges that we face here in Canada. We understand them quite well. We know the retiree-to-worker ratio and understand that we face demographic headwinds. The only way to solve these challenges it is to bring newcomers to Canada. Canadians from coast to coast to coast are accepting, diverse, inclusive, and tolerant. They will welcome these folks and build an even stronger country.

I was very proud to rise today to talk about a number of measures contained in Bill C-63, which builds on budgets 2016 and 2017. Our government has laid out a road map with the measures in Bill C-63 and has continued to grow our economy, with an unemployment rate now at the 6% level, something we have not seen in many years, with full-time jobs and the labour force participation rate ticking up. Even the governor of the Bank of Canada commented that our labour force productivity over the last two years has increased to levels not seen in over 10 years.

As an economist and someone who is fiscally responsible, I know that the government has done everything with an eye to maintaining Canada's AAA credit rating and a strong fiscal foundation. Our fall economic update shows that we have been able to lower the debt to GDP ratio, the anchor I look at, which will be trending below 30%. It is something that we can all be proud of. It is something that we need to keep our eye on as a government to measure how our investments are doing in growing the economy at over 3%, a rate that has not been seen in a number of years, and creating full-time jobs, over 15,000 a month, and ensuring that we make key investments in the industries where we know that growth is happening and where our innovation strategy is taking hold.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 2nd, 2017 / 5:25 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, first, allow me to say that the hon. member used the Liberals classic talking point, “the middle class and those working hard to join it”.

I say this facetiously, but in Canada there are people who are bilingual and those working hard to join them. The hon. member is one of those and I commend him on his efforts to learn French.

The member addressed an issue with which I totally disagree, and he forget a few very important elements. He talked about the fact that families had more money in their pockets. However, he forgot to say that this money was not available now. We are borrowing this money from our children, because the government is creating a deficit. Our government gave many tax credits to help families with sports activities, artistic activities, student loans, and all of that, but the Liberal government cancelled those.

The member also raised the issue of Paul Martin as the one who killed the deficit in the 1990s. He was a great prime minister, but unfortunately the current Prime Minister is recreating the deficit, and that is wrong.

The member also talked about the 1% who paid more taxes. That is not true. The finance department concluded in a report a few weeks ago that the 1% paid $1 billion less.

Speaking of millionaires, could he identify a Canadian millionaire who hired two nannies and sent the bill to the Canadian taxpayers?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 2nd, 2017 / 5:25 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from the beautiful province of Quebec for his question.

The results of our plan speak for themselves. Whether it is on the job front, the unemployment rate, or wage gains that Canadians are making, the evidence is clear. Two years in, we have created 450,000 new jobs. We have just indexed the CPP, which is a transformational measure to help Canadian families and reduce poverty. We will continue working on that front.

We will continue working with Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We will continue consulting and working with all our stakeholders to ensure we get things right. We are listening to everyone. Our economy is going the right way. The country is doing great. We will continue to do the good work that Canadians expect us to do.