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

Report stage (House), as of Nov. 22, 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 7th, 2017 / 12:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Madam Speaker, I am happy to have the opportunity today to speak in this debate about Bill C-63, the second act implementing the budget tabled last March in this place. It is a big bill. It is 329 pages and would amend 19 pieces of legislation. It is unfortunate that in recent years budget implementation bills have become so enormous, and the government has allowed so little time for their debate and study, that we cannot possibly discuss them effectively.

This bill changes labour laws. It lays the foundation for Canada's membership in the Asian infrastructure bank. I know there have been points of order raised about whether the bill can be legally considered an omnibus bill under the new Standing Order 69.1. I will not comment on that, but its sheer size is concerning.

One would think that in all those pages, there would be a lot of good news for Canadians. There are a few bits of sunshine there, particularly in provisions that would change the labour code to make the workplace a more flexible place and put in place some protections for unpaid interns. We in the NDP would like to see some of these provisions go a bit further, but in general, we salute any measures that recognize the difficulties workers face these days. These changes are certainly a step in the right direction.

There are some other things I was happy to see, such as support for geothermal projects, although it is tepid, as my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands said. There is a reduction in subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.

There are some good issues raised in the bill, but really, there could have been so much more good news in such a huge bill. We are very disappointed about what is actually missing.

Before the budget was tabled last March, the NDP sent the finance minister a letter outlining some of the things we thought could and should be done to really help average Canadians, really help the middle class and those wanting to join it.

I would like to talk a bit about the items that are missing from the budget. These are truly missed opportunities to help Canadians. First is pharmacare. I know the parliamentary budget officer came out with a report only recently that showed that we could save over $4 billion a year in Canada if we instituted a universal pharmacare program that offered free prescription drugs to all Canadians. That is right. We could save billions of dollars while providing free prescription drugs. Canadians would be wealthier and healthier.

The finance minister did not have access to that report, so perhaps that is why he did not include it in the budget, but there were other, earlier reports, just as credible, that estimated even larger savings, more than $11 billion a year, under the same program. The Liberals voted against an NDP motion last month that simply called for talks with the provinces to begin within a year to look at how such a program could be structured. I am hoping this is not a case of the government not wanting to give credit to the NDP for such a good idea, which would make life better for all Canadians, and that by next spring they will quietly slip universal pharmacare into the 2018 budget. Better late than never.

Another item the Liberals forgot to include in the 2017 budget, and the 2016 budget for that matter, was their promise to do away with the CEO stock option tax loophole. That would have saved Canadians over $750 million a year. The Liberals promised that in the last election. They decided not to go after CEOs. Instead, this summer they went after small businesses across the country. They are going after the small fry, the minnows, instead of the big fish.

Speaking of big fish, we also asked the finance minister to enact legislation in the budget to close down offshore tax havens. Now the paradise papers have shown us why they might not have wanted to do that. It was to protect the Liberals who are using these offshore tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes in Canada.

It is a little ironic to hear the Conservatives asking the finance minister about Morneau Shepell's tax shelter in Barbados, when it was their government that signed the tax treaty with Barbados to allow Morneau Shepell to avoid paying its fair share. However, the inaction on the part of the Liberals is just as disappointing. In fact, they keep on creating offshore tax havens. They just signed a new treaty with the Cook lslands.

We also asked the finance minister to institute a $15-an-hour minimum wage for federal workers. This would have been a great signal to the country that the federal government recognizes that many hard-working Canadians cannot possibly live on the minimum wages they receive for their work. Now the move for a $15-an-hour minimum wage has been taken up by the governments of B.C. and Alberta, and hopefully that good policy will spread across this country. Hopefully, the federal government will make that move for federal workers in next year's budget.

We also asked the minister about the eco-energy retrofit program. I would like to spend some time on that subject. It is one that is close to my heart. I actually tabled a private member's motion that called on the government to reintroduce the eco-energy retrofit program, because it is one of those government initiatives that is actually a win-win-win-win for the government, the economy, homeowners, and the environment.

This popular program ran from 2007 to 2012 and helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians retrofit their homes, lowering their energy bills by 20%. It created thousands of good local jobs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by three tonnes per year for each house.

While the program cost the federal government $900 million over five years, it leveraged more than $4 billion in retrofit investments by Canadian families. The government got five times the economic impact from its investment. When homeowners invest in new windows, insulation, and other energy-saving projects, when they shop at building supply stores in their own communities, that money circulates through their communities and across the country.

When I talk to the Canadian Home Builders' Association here or in my riding, they remind me of the huge positive impact that program had on their members and homeowners everywhere. They really noticed the negative impact when the program was, unfortunately, cancelled.

The government wants infrastructure investment. It wants to reduce carbon emissions. It wants to help the middle class. The eco-energy retrofit program would be a perfect way to do all of that, a proven way, something the federal government could get started on right away, because it has been done before. I know it was the Conservative government that did it before, and the NDP have been reminding the Liberals that it is a good idea, but it is really too good an idea to let partisan politics get in the way.

I could go on, but I think I will stop here. Suffice it to say that Bill C-63, like the budget itself, has been a huge missed opportunity for the government and for all Canadians. We will all have to wait until next year for an improvement, but it will be more than a day late and a dollar short.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1 p.m.
See context

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

I would like to ask my colleague to clarify something for me. Since coming to power, the Liberals have been talking ad nauseam about the middle class, which has a very different definition depending on the speaker.

In my riding, the average salary is about $32,000 a year. When I take a look at the various Liberal measures to support the middle class, it seems that people need to earn between $80,000 and $100,000 a year to benefit from them. I am referring to, among other things, the tax cuts that do not affect low earners, or most of my constituents.

Given the positive economic times we are currently experiencing, wealth is being created, but why are the Liberals not doing a better job of distributing this wealth by implementing such measures as the $15-per-hour minimum wage, which would give those who earn the least some room to breathe?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1 p.m.
See context

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Madam Speaker, the Liberals, as we hear ad nauseam, talk about how they want to help the middle class, and then they introduce tax measures that lower taxes for people who make $80,000, $150,000, or $200,000 a year. They do almost nothing for people who make $50,000 a year and do nothing for those who make less than $45,000 a year.

That is a huge number of Canadians. I do not know the exact number, but probably the majority of Canadians make less than $45,000 a year. One of the first times I rose in this House a couple of years ago I asked a Liberal colleague that question. He went on about how his constituents were applauding him for that move. I looked online to see what the average income was in his riding. I found out that 80% of the people in his riding would not benefit at all from that tax measure.

It is amazing that the Liberals think they are helping the middle class, when they are doing nothing for them.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I am quite puzzled by my colleague's lack of interest in some of the initiatives in the bill.

Let me reference a couple of the things the bill would do. The bill would put measures in place that would give greater flexibility for Canadians working in federally regulated industries to balance work and family responsibilities. It would increase flexibility for annual vacation days and holidays, provide more bereavement days, and provide more unpaid leave for family responsibilities.

The member is a New Democrat. He is a member of a party that touts itself as being progressive in the House. How can he stand up and vote against these initiatives when the time comes to vote?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1 p.m.
See context

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Madam Speaker, my colleague was not listening to my speech because I specifically mentioned those issues are some of the few things that the NDP really likes in the budget. We support them, but Bill C-63 is an omnibus bill. We only have one choice and that is to vote yes or no to the whole bill. That is the real tyranny of omnibus bills. If we could fix that, it would help us support those issues.

We would love to support them. We want workers to have more flexible workplaces. We want to protect unpaid interns but we cannot do that when it is one of the few little nuggets of gold amidst this huge pile of stuff that we really do not like. We do support those things but they are in an omnibus budget bill so we are forced to vote against the bill.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1:05 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech. He is obviously very familiar with the circumstances of the people in his riding. That is to his credit.

I would like to ask him whether he is optimistic that the NDP will be successful and the Speaker will rule that it is possible to have a separate vote on the elements that were not announced in the initial budget.

That would be a good thing because when we hear the comments of our colleague opposite, we lose hope and that fuels cynicism.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1:05 p.m.
See context

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Madam Speaker, I am hopeful, because if we could split these huge bills into smaller parts, it would improve the way that we work in the House. There are just so many different things in these huge budget bills, for example, 19 changes, 19 statutes. It is very difficult to vote for them en masse in any real meaningful way.

Yes, I am hopeful that we will come to a good resolution with respect to this legislation and others like it will be split.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1:05 p.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, it is an honour today to rise to speak on Bill C-63, which would amend the Budget Implementation Act.

Before I get started, I want to give a quick shout-out to my mother. It is her 70th birthday and I am far from home. I say, “Thanks, mom”.

A year ago, I tabled a bill, Bill C-312, for a national cycling strategy. In our country, we have seen soaring health care and infrastructure costs and we need to address our greenhouse gases. In the spirit of Bill C-312, I biked across my riding this summer. My riding is 8,500 square kilometres that consists of 10 nations, seven municipalities, and three regional districts. I had an opportunity to engage people in communities. I visited over 28 communities and had over 20 town halls. My speech today is really a reflection of what people wanted to see in the budget, what they want to see happen in their communities, and what they did not see.

The government likes to talk about a robust economy, job creation, and a growing economy, but that is not being seen in my riding of Courtenay—Alberni. In fact, it is the opposite. Raw log exports have gone up tenfold in 10 years in the Alberni Valley, for example. Port Alberni has been identified as the city in British Columbia with the highest poverty rate. A third of children are living in poverty.

My riding needs a marine economy that works for it. We need to rehabilitate the sockeye salmon fishery. It was in a critical stage last summer and the decline of the stock has cost the local economy millions of dollars, but the multiplier effect is in the tens of millions of dollars. We need urgent investments in stock enhancement, rehabilitation, and salmon protection. The government likes to tout its oceans protection plan, but in its coastal restoration fund, it forgot places like the Somass River, which is critical for the sockeye in British Columbia. It is the third-highest returning river basin in coastal British Columbia.

There are great opportunities to create jobs in the port, which is the only deep-sea port on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The Port Alberni Port Authority has put forward some excellent projects that we hope the government will consider. They would create thousands of jobs in my riding. This is a place that had the highest median income in Canada in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and now has one of the lowest median incomes in Canada. The people of the Alberni Valley sent buckets of money to Ottawa when times were good. They are hoping they will get the same return, and they are not seeing that when they need it the most.

There are excellent opportunities in the aerospace sector. In my riding, there is a global leader, Coulson Aviation, which is selling firefighting expertise and technology around the world. It is that Canadian story, where it is not doing business here in Canada because of regulation and because the government is not doing local procurement. We need government to act on opportunities within our communities.

My riding has a great university, the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences, which is helping to unlock the potential of the 1.2 million Canadians who are out of work or injured in the workplace. We need to make this a priority. This would grow the GDP in our country, help empower people, give people hope who need it the most, and get workers back to work who have been injured in the workplace.

Seniors in my riding and across the country are demanding support for pharmacare, health care, affordable housing, and home care. My riding has an aging population, one of the highest median ages in the country. It is an urgent situation and we need support for initiatives and these important needs. Affordable housing is a huge issue in my riding as well. The spillover from Vancouver is going to Vancouver Island, Victoria, and Nanaimo. It is now going to rural communities, where housing affordability is becoming the biggest issue. The government made an announcement that it is investing $11.2 billion over 10 years in affordable housing, but when we look at it closely, it is $20 million in the first year and $300 million by the next election. That is giving people false hope about the government's real commitment and real change to grow the middle class and help those who are not in it. This is urgent.

There are situations that are of serious and immediate concern. We have an opioid crisis, a fentanyl crisis, that is impacting our communities. In Port Alberni, for example, the Port Alberni Shelter Society, which is a group of people who are relying on local funds to open an overdose protection centre, needs urgent funds from Ottawa to keep that going. It is calling upon Ottawa to make sure this is identified as a national health emergency so that we can help combat that crisis.

We have great people in our communities who are working with people on the street. I have cited case studies here in the House about the cost-effectiveness of putting a roof over someone's head versus having someone live on the street. We know it makes sense.

People are concerned in my riding. They are concerned about the economy. They are concerned about social development and infrastructure. They are concerned about climate change. Floods, forest fires, storms, and seasonal changes are having a significant impact on our environment and our economy.

One thing that I noted on my journey, when going to the remote indigenous communities in my riding, was the people who are earning $235 a month on income assistance in rural communities with 70% unemployment. That is unacceptable. In many of these communities, people have to travel to the grocery store, which is 45 minutes to an hour and a half away. Therefore, for people living in Hesquiat, it is $50 each way to go to the grocery store just to buy groceries. That leaves them $135 to get by on for clothing, medicine, and to survive. This is taking place here in Canada.

Fortunately, on October 1, John Horgan and the B.C. provincial government implemented an increase of $100. However, people are still left with $335 to pay for the water taxi to get to the grocery store, and we know they are not buying fresh food because they cannot afford it. This is at the same time that the Nuu-chah-nulth communities have been in court for over a decade. They had won their court case for the right to catch and sell fish, but the Government of Canada appealed that decision. It appealed that decision twice, not once, and twice it was thrown out by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Instead of doing what it promised to do, which was to work on a nation-to-nation basis, it appealed and fought first nations in court. This is the same government that says that its most important relationship is with indigenous people, yet it is fighting them in court.

People earning $335 a month are not looking for a handout, they are looking to do business with Canada and be a partner in Canada. That is the word from my friend Curtis Dick. My friend Ken Watts quoted his father the late George Watts, who said that they are just looking for “their rightful place in this country”. These are communities that cannot access the fish that are swimming right by their villages. They can be part of this great story of Canada. They just want to feed their families. They want to grow an economy that works for everybody, and be a partner in this nation. They run on the principles of isaak, and that is respect. That is how they have approached Canada.

Canada needs to come back to the nations with the same respect. They need to get to the negotiating table and invest money. However, in this budget there is no money to give back to the nations. They have spent $12 million instead of investing in programs because their food, economic security, and rights are a priority for them. Why will the government not, as an urgent priority, at least get the money they have spent in court back to the nations and stop spending taxpayers' money? Canada must have spent tens of millions of dollars fighting the very people with whom it says it has its most important relationship. As a priority and a way of life, the people of Nuu-chah-nulth live by “hishuk ish tsawalk”, which means “everything is one”. In their traditional territories, which they call their ha-houlthee, they treat everyone as one, and everything is interconnected. When the Leviathan II went down, these same people were pulling $5 and $10 out of their jars to buy gas to go and look for people from another country who were missing, because we are all interconnected.

It is time for Canada to do the right thing, to invest in ending poverty in these nations, and end these discriminatory policies of the past. I hope the government is listening today.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1:15 p.m.
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NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. I want to join him in wishing his mother a very happy birthday. She has every reason to be proud of her son's work.

We know that making a budget is all about making choices, whether it is a personal budget or a government budget. There are always more expenses than income. However, the Liberal government deliberately chose not to crack down on tax havens, which is causing us to lose at least $8 billion a year, each and every year.

Is retrieving that money not the key to providing the funding necessary to meet the member's many goals?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1:15 p.m.
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NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, a part of the speech I wish was able to get to about governing and choices. It is about choosing to ensure people have roofs over their head. It is choosing to resolve a court case with indigenous people to ensure they can access the rights we know they already have, and have won in the courts.

Instead, the government is choosing to protect CEO stock option loopholes, Bay Street, and tax havens. This is shameful. People in my community are dying. People are living without hope. We need to re-instill their hope by ensuring they are put first and foremost, which the policies of the government have not demonstrated.

The middle class-tax break has been forgotten. The government forgot about everybody earning $45,000 a year or less. However, people can put their money in offshore tax accounts. The government protects CEOs on Bay Street, instead of doing the right thing.

I appreciate my colleague and his important values. Canadians know this is wrong and fundamentally unacceptable.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Francis Drouin Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Madam Speaker, in 2015, the NDP promised to balance the budget. The member talks about tax evaders and whatnot. We have invested a billion dollars to go after the tax cheats and offshore tax evaders. I am curious to find out if the member tells his constituents that if we had balanced budget, we would not have been able to do that.

We are not sure yet if his new leader will promise to balance the budget as well, which effectively means those members would not be able invest any dollars to go after tax evaders. Have the New Democrats changed their policy or do they still have the “steady as she goes“ policy?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1:15 p.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, it is really rich to hear my colleague from the Liberal government ask me about balanced budgets. The Liberals are running soaring budgets and creating policies to protect the very wealthy. Instead, they could be closing tax havens, investing that money into paying deficits, or into projects and opportunities for my community and people who need a lift up. Rather, the government is protecting its friends on Bay Street. We have seen that time and again.

Why would the Liberals not follow through with its promise to close CEO tax loopholes, and not support their commitment through an motion the NDP to close tax havens? They are sitting idly by while people have no roofs over their heads and are living without access to medicine. They are not dealing with their real promise to make Canada's indigenous peoples their most important relationship.

If the member came to my riding to see how the government is treating indigenous peoples, he would be ashamed, and so would the government. The Prime Minister has been to my riding and has met with the nations. He made a promise that he would resolve this court case, but he has not followed through on that.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans said this would be a priority. However, the Liberal government has dragged its feet, just like the Conservatives and the Harper government did. The Liberals are leaving people to struggle every day to put food on their table and get to the grocery store.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Madam Speaker, the hon. member talks about reducing of poverty. The government came forward with the Canada child benefit. It has had a significant impact on child poverty, and it will be indexed to the cost of inflation in this new budget implementation bill. I know it will improve the lives of my constituents who are struggling.

Could the member comment on this great new policy that has helped lift 40% of children out of poverty?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1:20 p.m.
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NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, I invite the member and his government to visit my riding. I live in a place with the highest child poverty in British Columbia. One-third of the children live in poverty. The member could come and learn what a national child care plan would do for people in our communities, what it would do to end indigenous children being in care or what giving money to the nations would so they could move forward and stop more children living in care. This was an opportunity. The child care tax benefit does not solve that. However, a national child care strategy and working with indigenous people would do just that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 7th, 2017 / 1:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak to the budget implementation act. The bill is supposed to be the Liberal government's plan going forward for managing the country's finances and for implementing policies that will make Canada a better, stronger, and more cohesive society. However, Canadians who elected the Liberal government to achieve that will be sorely disappointed. In fact, the bill would do the exact opposite.

Members may recall that when the Prime Minister ran for election, he promised Canadians many different things. He has failed to deliver on many of those. For example, he promised Canadians that he would run a prudent government, that he would run only small deficits of about $10 billion. We know that promise is out the window. We know the Prime Minister promised solemnly that he would balance the budget within his term of government. Over a period of four years, he would run a few what he called small deficits and then he would return to balance. We now know the Prime Minister has no plan whatsoever to return to balanced budgets.

The budget implementation act would normally be a bit of a pointer, a signpost to the future, indicating that on such and such a date the government expected to be back to balance and to manage the finances of our country in a way that would not burden future generations with huge debt. We all know that when we run a deficit, at the end of the year, we are short some money. This money is either going to come from taxpayers or it is going to come from borrowing. Sadly, the government is committed to doing both. It is going to borrow heavily to finance its deficits and it is increasing taxes on so many different things, contrary to the promises the Liberals made to Canadians. Now we are at the end of the year and the government is even further in debt. Every year a deficit is run, the debt grows larger. That is what the budget implementation act would do. It shows Canadians, quite starkly, that the government does not know how to manage its finances.

The Prime Minister is now saying to future generations of Canadians, our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, that the government will spend widely today on itself and it will let future generations pay all that money back. By the way, he does not have a plan to balance budgets any time soon. It might be 10, 20 or 30 years out, but those kids can bet their boots that when they grow up, when take over the reins of power and when take their rightful place within Canada, they will have a huge debt hanging over their heads and they will have to repay it somehow, with interest.

That is the story of this budget implementation act. The act effectively would solidify the Prime Minister and his government as being spendthrifts and tax-and-spend Liberals. We have often hear the phrase tax-and-spend Liberals. It is true. It is in the DNA of the Liberals to tax Canadians to death and spend their money on their own priorities rather than on the priorities of Canadians.

This is an example of taxing to death. Since the Prime Minister was elected, he has increased taxes on hydro, gasoline, home heating, and health and dental benefits. Recently, he went after employee discounts. Imagine a McDonald's worker late at night, finishing off a shift, having a Big Mac and some fries. Now the Prime Minister is stepping in with his finance minister and saying that the burger will be taxed because it is an employee discount.

It goes on. The Liberals have eliminated income splitting for couples. Shame on them. This was a way of recognizing that Canadian couples deserved the kind of treatment afforded to single people.

The Liberals eliminated post-secondary tax credits, which helped parents educate their children so they would have good-paying jobs when they came out of university or trade school. They are even going after diabetics. Members will recall in the last few weeks that the government was caught with its finger in the cookie jar so to speak. It was disclosed that it is going after diabetics by taking away their ability to apply for the disability tax credit. The following week, it was disclosed that the Liberals were going after the mentally ill. We know that for half a year, they have been going after small business.

The Prime Minister promised solemnly that he would go after the rich fat cats and stand up for the middle class. Clearly, the middle class does not include small business people, diabetics, those who receive employee discounts, or the mentally ill. It is a scandal what the Prime Minister and his government are doing. They are breaking promise after promise to stand up for the middle class.

Today, 80% of middle-class Canadians pay more tax than they did before the Liberals came to power. It works out to about $840 more each year that middle-class Canadians pay in tax. The Prime Minister will not acknowledge that during question period. He hides behind talking points. He talks about the middle class and those working hard to join it. He never defined the middle class, which certainly does not include diabetics, those who receive employee discounts, the mentally ill, or the autistic. It does not include small business people, like the pizza shop owners in my community of Abbotsford. They have kids who work hard in those pizza shops, trying to make a living. At the end of the day, the government told them that it wanted to tax them even more. If they left money in their company, it would tax it at a rate of up to 73%. Imagine, 73% of tax on hard-working small businesses.

Then there is the scandal of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB. Instead of investing billions of dollars in building our own infrastructure, whether it be roads, bridges, urban transit, our ports, airports, inland ports, and seaports, the Prime Minister recently announced that Canada would join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. This is a Chinese-led bank that will invest exclusively in Asia, not in Canada. There are no investments in Canada. They are all in Asia. He said that it would create jobs in Canada.

I would like to see the Prime Minister's plan for using the AIIB to make infrastructure investments in Canada and to create jobs. There is no guarantee that will happen. In fact, today Canadians already have the right to bid on jobs that are funded by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The reason Canadian companies do not get those jobs is because many of those bidding processes are ripe with corruption. Therefore, Canadians have difficulty competing in that marketplace. This will not change with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Half a billion dollars of Canadian taxpayer money is what the Prime Minister has put into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. This money will be spent in Asia, not creating jobs at home, not building infrastructure here.

We know the Prime Minister is immensely fond of China. This basic dictatorship that is China he has lauded, because it is efficient. It gets things done. Imagine that. He should be lauding Canada and how we are getting things done, and we are doing it by respecting human rights and the highest environmental standards.

Then we can talk about the broken promises on electoral reform. Remember that process?

The Prime Minister promised that the last election would be the last one under the first past the post system. He broke that promise. He held consultations across Canada that were a sham, and then he dropped it all. The Prime Minister misled Canadians, and come 2019, Canadians will hold him accountable.