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 8th, 2017 / 3:40 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise in this House to speak to Bill C-63, the budget implementation bill, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget, that was tabled earlier this year, in March.

As always, my comments are made on behalf of the residents of Davenport, who I am blessed to serve and who always inspire me with their passion for life, their love for their families, their love of community, and their desire to do their part to make our community, our country, and our world a better place.

In talking about the budget implementation bill, I would like to focus on what our budget this year does for women, for seniors, and, if I have time, for workers.

On women, our budget this year produced the first-ever budget gender statement, an assessment of how gender was considered in budget 2017 measures. For me this is vital to do, because I believe it is important to be transparent on how budgetary measures and spending are impacting women. This budget gender statement will not be a panacea for gender equity, but it will help the Canadian government assess and target how we can best allocate our resources so that both our men and women are supported equally. It is a long time coming, as there are many other countries that have already done this, but I am so glad we are doing it now and that we have committed to doing this on an ongoing basis.

One of the biggest stresses for Davenport parents continues to be the high cost of day care. Therefore, I was pleased to see that over $7 billion over a 10-year period was committed in budget 2017 to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across Canada. I know that our Minister of Families, Children and Social Development has worked hard with all the provinces to create a framework to foster fully inclusive early education and child care services across the country while respecting the needs and circumstances of each jurisdiction. Under the agreement, the federal government will send billions of dollars to the provinces and territories to focus on creating new child care spaces for families. Our plan is anticipated to create up to 40,000 new, affordable, accessible spaces across Canada over the next few years.

This is a good beginning. Indeed, this is a great beginning, and I think we need to go further and do more. Until we close the gap in women's participation in the workforce, until we ensure that every single family in Canada has access to affordable child care in this country, we have not finished our job.

There is currently a 10 percentage point gap between the labour force participation rates of men and women in Canada. According to the International Monetary Fund and a large body of research from a number of places around the world, the more women who enter the workforce, the more productive its economy will be. The best way to boost women's participation rates is to ensure not only affordable day care but also maximum flexibility for women in the workforce.

At this point, too many families in my riding still have to make a choice between either having one spouse at home to take care of the kids or having both parents work to earn enough to cover the high cost of day care in downtown Toronto, where the monthly costs are around $1,200 per month. Therefore, while we have made enormous, laudable progress, our work is not yet done.

One of the key areas I am very proud of that does support families and is helping with some of the costs of day care is our Canada child benefit. This is a huge benefit for working middle-class families in Davenport. I asked for the numbers to date with respect to the amount of money going to Davenport families, and what I received was this: from July 2016 to June 2017, there were a total of 9,210 payments, with an average payment of $5,880 for the year. The total amount that went to Davenport families over that one-year period was $54,164,000. That is an enormous amount. I know that Davenport families are very happy to have received this. I know that it goes a long way to support them, to support their lives, and to support their families.

I also should note that in the recent fall economic statement, which was released on October 24, the government announced that it would strengthen the Canada child benefit by indexing it to an annual increase in the cost of living, effective July 2018, which is two years earlier than planned. This will put more money in the pockets of Canadians immediately to help with the ever-increasing cost of living.

There is great progress and support for both women and families in our budget this year.

Now I want to move on to seniors. In the cold air of November that is a harbinger of the winter to come, the past summer now seems so long ago, but I did a lot of canvassing during the summer, and I had an interaction with a Davenport senior that is seared in my mind. The woman saw me canvassing, and she came up to me to tell me to make sure to tell the Prime Minister not to forget seniors. I relayed to her all the things we had done to support seniors. I told her we were going to continue to work hard to make sure that seniors continue to feel supported.

According to Statistics Canada, Canada's elderly poverty rate has fallen by a remarkable 25%, from 37% in 1976 to 12% in 2010. However, since the mid- to late 1990s, poverty rates have actually been growing among seniors, and 60% of low-income seniors are women. Therefore, I was very proud that as of July 2016, our government increased the guaranteed income supplement to $947 a month for the most vulnerable single seniors. We also restored the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS to 65 from 67. That will also go a long way to support our seniors, sooner rather than later, and make sure that they do not fall anywhere near the poverty level. I am pleased to say that this year's budget would take even more steps to support our seniors.

We have invested $6 billion over 10 years for home care. That will go a long way for those who want to be taken care of at home and not in hospitals. We have committed $2.3 billion over two years to expand affordable housing, which is expected to improve the housing conditions for all seniors, especially senior women. We provided an additional $4 million over two years to the enabling accessibility fund to improve the accessibility of public spaces. I know that is something that was very important for my mum, so I am glad that is something we have introduced right across the country. I am very proud of our Minister of Finance, who reached a historic agreement to enhance the Canada pension plan to ensure that there will be more money for Canadians when they retire.

A lot of work has been done to support our seniors. I want to give a shout-out to a couple of my colleagues who are doing such a tremendous job in terms of trying to make sure we create a national seniors strategy. They are my colleague from King—Vaughan and my colleague from Nickel Belt.

Finally are workers. The world of work is rapidly changing. What I hear are a lot of concerns about more contract work. We hear that there is more precarious work. There is more artificial intelligence and a continued loss of manufacturing jobs. In general, with the advances in communications technology, there is an anticipated way of working in the future that is causing quite a bit of consternation among many Davenport residents and among Canadians in general. Therefore, I am proud that our government has taken action to support workers who are looking to train in different jobs. There is also support for workers who are trying to improve or upgrade their skills, and there is more support in general for workers in an ever-changing workforce. Some of those changes include $2.7 billion over six years to boost skills training and employment supports for unemployed and underemployed Canadians. Under the labour market transfer agreements, we have put in $132 million over four years to expand flexibility within the employment insurance program to enable more unemployed workers to pursue self-funded training while remaining eligible for EI benefits.

I do not have time to go through the rest of the amazing things we are doing to support workers. There is more that needs to be done. One of the key areas I am hoping our government will start looking at is a basic income as a way to support workers in the future.

I will end on a wonderful note. Our economy is doing well. Over the last two years, we have created over 450,000 new full-time jobs. We have a historic low unemployment rate of 6.2%, the lowest since 2008. We have a youth unemployment rate at a historic low of 10.3%. Canada is the fastest growing economy in the G7, with an average rate of 3.7% over the last year. I know that more good news is to come.

I appreciate the wonderful opportunity to present on behalf of the residents of Davenport today, and I urge all my colleagues to support Bill C-63.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, the residents of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, my constituents, are very concerned that the recent economic update from the finance minister suggested that over the next six years, we are going to add $100 billion to Canada's national debt.

According to the finance minister's figures in that document, the interest paid per year will rise from $24 billion per year to $32 billion per year in 2022. The constituents of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry ask how we can possibly afford that increase in interest each and every year. When they think about it, that is $3 billion a month, and that is if the interest rate stays the same.

I wonder what the constituents of Davenport think of increasing the interest on Canada's national debt by $3 billion per month.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, I did a lot of canvassing over the summer. I did reach some doors where I had similar questions.

What I was said to them was the following. Canada has one of the best balance sheets in the world. We have probably the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the world. We have a lot to be proud of. We have an economy that is growing faster than all other economies at the moment. We are spending responsibly. That was validated by the IMF when Christine Lagarde came here just over a year ago.

We are spending responsibly, we are investing in infrastructure, we are investing in our future, and we are doing everything we can to keep our debt at a manageable level.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 3:55 p.m.
See context

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, there are many things we can agree on. I am going to bring to my colleague's attention, as I have to her colleagues, the Labour Code changes.

One of the areas I am concerned about is the unpaid leave for domestic violence. I am hoping the government will be open to listening to experts, both legal experts and people who work in the area of domestic violence. The challenge for many in those circumstances, who are often mostly women, is that their ability to take an unpaid leave to deal with creating a safe plan, hiring a lawyer, and perhaps finding a new place to live will not happen right away. It will happen over months or a year. However, when they come home to their abusive partners with a paycheque that is less, because they have taken unpaid leave, that might be a serious safety issue for that family and that partner.

I am encouraging the government to look at that again and to make those paid days for domestic leave.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 3:55 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of areas we need to continue to look at to better support our workers across this country. I appreciate the member putting a wonderful idea on the table.

I will say that I am very proud of what we have done so far in terms of supporting workers. I asked the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour a question in the House today about an announcement made this week about measures we are taking to protect workers from harassment and sexual violence in the workplace.

I know we will take more steps to support our workers in the days and years to come.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 3:55 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the election, we campaigned that an economy that works for the middle class is an economy that works for everyone.

The member has done a lot of work with immigrants in her community. Could the member comment on how these changes we are putting forward will help immigrants in her community?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 3:55 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, in Davenport we are very blessed to have 52% of the people in my riding born in other countries. They are very happy with the changes introduced in the budget not only this year but last year. Mainly it is because we actually spent quite a bit of time and money and resources making our system more efficient. For example, to process spouses went from 26 months to 12 months. That is just one of the many great changes new Canadians are seeing in our system that will very much benefit not only our immigrants but our economy, both today and tomorrow.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 3:55 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to join this debate on the budget implementation bill. I have seen many of these go through and I can say that I am really pleased with what I have seen in it. It is going to make a significant difference in the lives of all Canadians. As always, it is an honour to rise in the House today to speak about the budget implement act, Bill C-63.

Our government is making intelligent investments that will have a direct impact on job creation and strengthening our economy while at the same time creating opportunities for success for all Canadians.

Our government is taking the right steps to give all Canadians, including the middle class especially, a brighter future. Allow me to take this opportunity to tell everyone about some of these investments and what I consider to be the right steps.

For example, the richest 1% of Canadians will be asked to pay a little more tax than others so that we will be better able to provide the middle class with some tax breaks they very much need. This tax cut has directly benefited nine million Canadians and is something that we Canadians will be proud of.

Second, let me talk about the Canada child benefit. The Canada child benefit has lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. I know this for a fact because many of these children are in my riding of Humber River—Black Creek, and I will mention some of their stories.

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting the hon. Minister of Families, Children and Social Development in my riding of Humber River—Black Creek, and as we walked through Yorkgate Mall, we encountered a constituent who was expecting her first child. The hon. minister and I took this opportunity to explain the financial opportunities this new mother stood to gain from our government's new Canada child benefit. This constituent, about to be a new mother for the first time, was overjoyed with a sense of relief to know that there would be financial help from the government and she thanked us for making a difference in her life and the life of her baby.

It would be a good idea to dig even deeper into the numbers on how the Canada child benefit is helping ridings like mine and many others throughout Canada. As of July 2017, there were a total of 12,250 payments provided in the riding of Humber River—Black Creek, which directly impact more than 20,000 children, who are so much better off as a result of the Canada child benefit. Their moms have extra money to be able to invest in everything from winter clothes to assisting with dancing or piano lessons, things they certainly could not do before. With some families, that money is putting more food on the table.

The average payment to a family is $770, and families in my riding have already received a total of almost $10 million dollars. That is $10 million dollars more that has gone into the riding of Humber River—Black Creek to help the single moms, the families, the children to have a better quality of life. That is all part of the budget implementation act. It is making a difference in their lives in that one riding. Repeat that throughout our country and think how much better off so many families and children are. These numbers cannot be ignored and do make a significant difference.

It is stories like these that allow me to rise today and speak confidently that the bill would help make a positive difference for Canadian families. The investments our government has made in people, in our communities, and in our economy are working. Canada has the fastest growing economy in the G7 and we are reinvesting the benefits of that growth back to the people who contribute most to that success.

Because of Canada's strong economic growth, our government's bottom line is better and we can, as a result, do even more to help the middle class and those working hard to join it. With lower taxes on small business, more support through the Canada child benefit, and an enhanced working income tax benefit, it will be an enormous help.

One of the things I have often heard from some of the parents or families who come into my office is that if they go to work, they will be worse off because everything they make will get clawed back. The working income tax benefit will help those families so they can go out and get a second job and not be penalized for it.

When the Canada child benefit was first introduced in July 2016, the extra money in parents' pockets had an immediate effect on consumer confidence and economic growth. Canada, as I said, has the fastest growing economy in the G7, giving our government the flexibility to reinvest a lot of these benefits.

With the increased cost of living increases to the CCB starting in July 2018, two years ahead of schedule, for a single parent with two children making $35,000—and I have a lot of them in my riding of Humber River—Black Creek—the strengthened CCB will mean $560 more next year, tax free, for books, skating lessons, or warm clothes for winter. The added confidence these increases bring to families is proven to have an immediate impact on economic growth.

Because the economy is growing so well, we are allowing low-income workers, including families without children and a growing number of single Canadians, to keep more hard-earned money from every paycheque by further enhancing the working income tax benefit by an additional $500 million per year, starting in 2019. This enhancement is in addition to the $250-million annual increase that will come into effect as part of an enhancement to another program the Liberals are strengthening, the Canada pension plan, to help people have a more secure retirement. That is very much top of mind for a lot of people given what has happened recently with Sears. We saw what happened with Nortel previously. These events really shake the foundations of many people. Taken together, the two enhancements that we have made will boost the total amount our government spends on WITB by about 65% in 2019, increasing benefits and expanding the number of Canadians who qualify.

Let us talk a little more about cutting taxes on small businesses. Our government committed to reducing the small business tax rate to 9% from 11%, effective January 2019. That represents a considerable amount for many small businesses. We want them to flourish and grow, while ensuring that Canadian-controlled private corporation status is not used to reduce the personal income tax obligations of high-income earners rather than supporting small businesses. This is about reinvesting money back into businesses so they will grow, can hire additional people, and certainly do much better. This means up to $7,500 in federal corporate tax savings per year to help entrepreneurs and innovators do what they do best. Small businesses are a key driver of our economy and a cornerstone of communities across the country. As our plan works to grow the economy, small businesses see the benefits of that growth with lower taxes.

As we continue to move forward, we want to ensure that the average Canadian has a good quality of life and can take the opportunities the government is trying to provide them by tax advantages that only the richest individuals, using high-priced accountants, were able to take advantage of in the past. Instead, the government has listened to small business owners, professionals, farmers, and fishers and will move forward in a way that protects all of them, innovators and entrepreneurs as well. As we lower taxes on small business, we are committed to ensuring that they support business growth and investment and not give personal tax advantages to the wealthy over the middle class.

We are doing very well. As I said earlier, we are the fastest growing economy in the G7; we have the lowest debt to GDP ratio and have created over 500,000 more jobs, many of them full-time, good jobs, in the last two years; the economy is great, and our country is doing very well. I am very happy to support Bill C-63 and hope that everyone in the House realizes the benefits to all Canadians of supporting it.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:05 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my colleague for receiving the Maclean's Parliamentarian of the Year award for being a mentor. It is certainly well deserved.

However, on this particular issue, I am not sure I want her to be mentoring anyone. There were a number of things she totally ignored in her comments. She ignored the fact that this budget will increase our debt. In fact, the interest costs alone will rise by $9 billion per year to $33 billion a year by 2021. She talked about not having personal tax advantages for the rich. I am wondering if she was including the finance minister and Prime Minister in that. It does not seem like it from some of the questions that have come up. She talked about the small business tax cut. My colleague and all of her colleagues know that there is no way that would have happened were it not for the immense pressure put on them by the opposition and hundreds of thousands of Canadians who protested the proposed tax changes that were going after so-called tax cheats. Because of the pressure by the opposition and Canadians who were going to be negatively impacted, the government capitulated and reduced the small business tax credit, which is a good thing. However, to imply that the government members it out of the goodness of their hearts is a little rich.

Finally, my question relates to infrastructure. She commented about the infrastructure they are investing in, but the problem they are not talking about is where they are investing in infrastructure, namely Asia. There is nearly $500 million, almost half a billion dollars, being invested in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which Canada will have about a 1% say after investing that money. We know that the infrastructure investments that bank will be making will benefit Canadians, but will cost Canadians all kinds of money. How can she really honestly support that kind of spending?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, investing in infrastructure is a fabulous way of creating jobs and wealth and helping to grow the economy. Over $36 billion in projects have already been announced and are under way through our infrastructure plan. By investing in both the Asian infrastructure bank and our own infrastructure bank, it will provide lots of opportunity to invest in bridges and sewers. So many things throughout our country that have been neglected for many years by many governments will now receive infrastructure investments that will help keep our cities strong. Cities have clearly not had the money to do that, which has led to many bridge and road collapses. This money will begin to ensure that we are building a strong Canada that will stay attractive to many other people to live and invest in.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, on this side, we certainly welcome some of the changes proposed to the Canada Labour Code that would prohibit unpaid internships unless they are educational, and provide flexibility within the workplace for people to take important leaves.

I want to draw to her attention one of the leaves I find problematic, and that is unpaid leaves for victims of domestic violence. I want to point out to her the issues that may be a barrier to victims accessing that leave. Because it is unpaid, it will put victims in a vulnerable state within domestic relationships where one partner is controlling the other economically. If that individual is coming home with a paycheque that is less than what it should be, it could actually put the family and the individual in harm's way. I encourage her to support looking at this particular part and being open to amendments at committee.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the best parts of this budget implementation act is this whole issue of flexible work arrangements. We just have to recognize that we are in the 21st century. Many women are working, many families experience pain and difficulty together and need to find ways for their employers to give them the help they need. Certainly, my colleague raises a very good point, but as with everything, we have to start to introduce change. As we go forward at committee, I am sure there will be a variety of amendments that will be costed out. The flexible work arrangements are something moving us in a much more positive way throughout Canada.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, with regard the budget implementation act, I would like to talk about the climate around investment these days.

It is important to understand that while the government can create jobs, programs, and a number of different things, it is ultimately entrepreneurs who create the work, the employment, and the wealth in our country. I say that because one of the things the government fails to understand, or one of the challenges it has had over the last little while, is the uncertainty that small businesses face.

There is a number of issues and a number of things the Liberals are trying to do in stimulating the country, such as universal child benefit and other that obviously will make families better off. We do not have a problem with that. The challenge we have is the instability of what entrepreneurs face. Let me give an example.

While we were in government, we did a number of things to try to encourage entrepreneurs to start businesses. I used the acronym called “TIRE” because it was a multi-pronged approach. We lowered corporate taxes to one of the lowest in the G7, down to 25%. We can say okay, it was great that we lowered corporate taxes, but what did that do? That was just one thing in a number of things we did, but it was important to create certainty for entrepreneurs to flourish.

Let me talk about the acronym of TIRE and what it stands for. The “T” stands for taxes and trade. One of the things we did was lowered taxes for corporations because we wanted to increase investment in Canada and we wanted to create a favourable environment to encourage other crown corporations and individuals to invest here.

The second thing we did was trade. We worked on the CETA deal, which we pretty much got to the finish line. It was nice to see the Liberals complete it. However, we were there. We negotiated it over the four years we were in government.

The second one was TPP, another agreement we worked on and had actually signed it but were waiting for ratification on it. This is important because Canada has about 35 million people and they cannot possibly sell all their goods to each other. We are definitely a trading nation. These are important things. We count very heavily on the U.S. That number used to be 85% to 90%. I realize now it is down to 75%. However, we need to create other opportunities. This was one of the reasons why we worked on trade along with taxes.

The “I” in TIRE, is infrastructure, investments, and immigration reform. We worked on these things. We spent major amounts of money in infrastructure across the country, and we got it out in record time. The Liberal government has also promised infrastructure money, but we have not seen a whole lot in the first two years. There is always some concern with a half billion dollars going to the Asia Infrastructure Bank, but the budget officer has said that almost $2 billion have been unspent at this point in time.

The “R” stands for research and development, and red tape reduction. If we look at the R and D, the government continues to spend money on it and continues to commit money to it. These are good things, but sometimes it misses the mark. We have talked about superclusters being important. My challenge is that as a small business person, it is very hard to access those things. Most businesses in the country are small businesses. While there is probably nothing wrong with the concept of superclusters, the challenge is that money needs to go to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Entrepreneurs tell us all the time that it is always difficult to raise capital. If we look at some of these things, this always seems to be the number one issue. When we look at places like San Francisco, silicon valley, Boston, Israel, and a number of other places around the world, there is great entrepreneurship. A lot of times Canadian companies have to go south of the border to raise money for second rounds, third rounds, VC rounds, and those kinds of things. These are some of the things with which we are challenged. When we look at R and D, absolutely important is the number of programs. The government has programs such as SR&ED a few others that are effective and helpful.

I sat on the red tape reduction committee. We travelled the country, and red tape was another thing that frustrated entrepreneurs to no end. We have to find ways to continue. One of the things we implemented was the one for one rule. When a new regulation was introduced, we would reduce a regulation.

One of the challenges is this. The federal government regulates a number of areas. However, then there are provincial and municipal jurisdictions and each of these add a layer and make it difficult for entrepreneurs to get started.

The last thing, the “E” in TIRE, is entrepreneurship and the economy. One of the things I always tell people when I talk to them about business is that there is a whole suite of things that we need to do in order to encourage entrepreneurship in this country. Right now, there are obviously a number of incubators and accelerators. Members are obviously familiar with Communitech in Waterloo, which does an amazing job. There are a number of other incubators and accelerators across this country. I always wonder if it would not make sense, as we move forward, to encourage colleges and universities to look at making that part of their mandate. I realize that is not always possible, but I think if we are going to teach entrepreneurship, if we are going to talk to people about starting businesses, then we also have to give them a place to actually help hone their craft.

Some of the things that are helpful for incubators are, obviously, that there is access to capital and money, that there are mentors, and that there is an environment where there is a chance to work and feed off what is going on with other individuals. As I visited a number of incubators in Silicon Valley, one of the things that was amazing was this whole issue of like-mindedness. People could come together, share their ideas, have access to capital, and all those other things.

However, one of the things we struggle with in this country is that we do not have a culture of entrepreneurship. I talk to students taking business programs all the time and ask them what they think they are going to do. They tell me that once they get their MBA, they want to work for a big company. Now, there is nothing wrong with working for a big company, but one of the challenges we have in this country is that we do not have enough people willing to start businesses and be entrepreneurial.

As I look at these things that we worked on as a government, I use TIRE, where the “T” is for taxes and trade; the “I” is for infrastructure, investments, and immigration reform, which is trying to help businesses bring in the people they need; the “R” is for R and D, and red tape reduction; and, of course, the “E” is for entrepreneurship and economy.

One of the things that has been a challenge with the latest implementation, or the thought process of taxes and taxation, has been the uncertainty for small businesses. I have literally had all kinds of phone calls coming into my office. People were saying that they were not happy and were not sure what they were going to do.

I co-hosted a round table here on Parliament Hill as the co-chair of the entrepreneur caucus with my colleagues. We had the CFIB and a number of individuals. We had a high-net-worth accountant, who represents a lot of money. He said that since this has happened, over $1 billion has gone south of the border. Now, we are never going to see a press release sent out on who was going to invest in Canada but will not now. Money is fluid, and it can move in different directions. Quite frankly, when there is uncertainty, it makes it a challenge.

I also want to talk about the unintended consequences of some of the proposed tax changes. Remember, in previous years, it took the Carter commission four years to look at tax changes and another six years to implement them, which is over a decade. However, this was done in less than 75 days in the middle of the summer.

Doctors are a segment of people who were singled out as not paying their fair share of taxes. I have an individual in my office who lives in my riding but has a practice in Welland. She is a dermatologist, and her husband is an orthopaedic surgeon. She feels totally vilified with what is going on here. She and her husband have over $400,000 in debt, with another $100,000 for her to set up her practice in Welland. She said that if things do not change that, in two years when her lease runs out, she will be moving south of the border. I am not saying that every doctor is leaving, but there are certainly individuals out there who do not feel like the hard work and time they put in is going to be rewarded.

As I look at some of the budget implementation act, I see large deficits, which are for a time when the economy is not doing that well. Right now, the economy has been doing relatively well. What happens if we continue to spend all of this money that is for a rainy day? Our growth is better than average, and maybe better than expected, but I believe that on the horizon we will see less than 2% growth, or 1% and change, over the next couple of years.

If we stack up some of things that are going on here, such as the uncertainty with the tax proposals, the fact remains that it is still hard for entrepreneurs to access money. When we look at taxing passive income, it makes it very discouraging for people trying to grow the economy, create jobs, and, quite frankly, trying to help Canada grow as a nation.

I would encourage my friends on the other side of the House to reconsider what they are looking at, where they are going with these tax changes, and the deficit, because there will be lasting and long-term results.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member across the way for his intervention today, and for giving us the letters T-I-R-E to consider and to remember the points he has given. It always helps when in a presentation to have something to refer to.

My question is whether the TIRE was flat or not, and whether maybe we did not get economic growth with $150 billion in increased debt in the country. Our strategy of investing in the middle class seems to be getting the growth that the previous government did not get by giving tax breaks to the wealthy.

Could the member comment on the different strategies that are being used by the member's party and our party?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 8th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the members that the TIREs were full, we were running on all four TIREs, and everything was working well.

We can look at what happened with the great economic downturn in 2008. It was Canada that actually did better than any country in the G7. It was Canada that led the way in growth. While other countries had this huge fall, we continued to maintain.

We spent money. It was the opposition that said we needed to spend more. We spent what we felt was important at the time to get the economy back on track. I will just say that we want to be careful looking at this quarter. Things are well, but I believe there are huge troubles on the horizon. We have mortgage rates that are going to change in January. They are going to raise the benchmark by over 2% to qualify for first-time homebuyers or for homebuyers in general. That will mean that less than 75% of what homebuyers qualify for in 2017 is not going to be there.

There is a whole bunch of these small cuts that are happening. I would encourage the members to be cautious, because as we move forward into 2018 and 2019, I really believe there are storm clouds on the horizon.