Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1

An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures

Sponsor

Bill Morneau  Liberal

Status

Awaiting royal assent, as of June 14, 2018

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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 or referenced in the February 27,2018 budget by

(a) ensuring appropriate tax treatment of amounts received under the Veterans Well-being Act;

(b) exempting from income amounts received under the Memorial Grant for First Responders;

(c) lowering the small business tax rate and making consequential adjustments to the dividend gross-up factor and dividend tax credit;

(d) reducing the business limit for the small business deduction based on passive income and restricting access to dividend refunds on the payment of eligible dividends;

(e) preventing the avoidance of tax through income sprinkling arrangements;

(f) removing the risk score requirement and increasing the level of income that can be deducted for Canadian armed forces personnel and police officers serving on designated international missions;

(g) introducing the Canada Workers Benefit;

(h) expanding the medical expense tax credit to recognize expenses incurred in respect of an animal specially trained to perform tasks for a patient with a severe mental impairment;

(i) indexing the Canada Child Benefit as of July 2018;

(j) extending, for one year, the mineral exploration tax credit for flow-through share investors;

(k) extending, by five years, the ability of a qualifying family member to be the plan holder of an individual’s Registered Disability Savings Plan;

(l) allowing transfers of property from charities to municipalities to be considered as qualifying expenditures for the purposes of reducing revocation tax;

(m) ensuring that appropriate taxpayers are eligible for the Canada Child Benefit and that information related to the Canada Child Benefit can be shared with provinces and territories for certain purposes; and

(n) extending, by five years, eligibility for Class 43.‍2.

Part 2 implements certain excise measures proposed in the February 27,2018 budget by

(a) advancing the existing inflationary adjustments for excise duty rates on tobacco products to occur on an annual basis rather than every five years; and

(b) increasing excise duty rates on tobacco products to account for inflation since the last inflationary adjustment in 2014 and by an additional $1 per carton of 200 cigarettes, along with corresponding increases to the excise duty rates on other tobacco products.

Part 3 implements a new federal excise duty framework for cannabis products proposed in the February 27,2018 budget by

(a) requiring that cannabis cultivators and manufacturers obtain a cannabis licence from the Canada Revenue Agency;

(b) requiring that all cannabis products that are removed from the premises of a cannabis licensee to be entered into the Canadian market for retail sale be affixed with an excise stamp;

(c) imposing excise duties on cannabis products to be paid by cannabis licensees;

(d) providing for administration and enforcement rules related to the excise duty framework;

(e) providing the Governor in Council with authority to provide for an additional excise duty in respect of provinces and territories that enter into a coordinated cannabis taxation agreement with Canada; and

(f) making related amendments to other legislative texts, including ensuring that any sales of cannabis products that would otherwise be considered as basic groceries are subject to the GST/HST in the same way as sales of other types of cannabis products.

Part 4 amends the Pension Act to authorize the Minister of Veterans Affairs to waive, in certain cases, the requirement for an application for an award under that Act.

It also amends the Veterans Well-being Act to, among other things,

(a) replace the earnings loss benefit, career impact allowance, supplementary retirement benefit and retirement income security benefit with the income replacement benefit;

(b) replace the disability award with pain and suffering compensation; and

(c) create additional pain and suffering compensation.

Finally, it makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Part 5 enacts the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act and makes the Fuel Charge Regulations.

Part 1 of that Act sets out the regime for a charge on fossil fuels. The fuel charge regime provides that a charge applies, at rates set out in Schedule 2 to that Act, to fuels that are produced, delivered or used in a listed province, brought into a listed province from another place in Canada, or imported into Canada at a location in a listed province. The fuel charge regime also provides relief from the fuel charge, through rebate and exemption certificate mechanisms, in certain circumstances. The fuel charge regime also sets out the registration requirements for persons that carry out certain activities relating to fuels subject to the charge. Part 1 of that Act also contains administrative provisions and enforcement provisions, including penalties, offences and collection provisions. Part 1 of that Act also sets out a mechanism for distributing revenues from the fuel charge. Part 1 of that Act also provides the Governor in Council with authority to make regulations for purposes of that Part, including the authority to determine which province, territory or area is a listed province for purpose of that Part.

Part 2 of that Act sets out the regime for pricing industrial greenhouse gas emissions. The industrial emissions pricing regime requires the registration of any facility that is located in a province or area that is set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to that Act and that either meets criteria specified by regulation or voluntarily joins the regime. The industrial emissions pricing regime requires compliance reporting with respect to any facility that is covered by the regime and the provision of compensation for any amount of a greenhouse gas that the facility emits above the applicable emissions limit during a compliance period. Part 2 of that Act also sets out an information gathering regime, administrative powers, duties and functions, enforcement tools, offences and related penalties, and a mechanism for distributing revenues from the industrial emissions pricing regime. Part 2 of that Act also provides the Governor in Council with the authority to make regulations for the purposes of that Part and the authority to make orders that amend Part 2 of Schedule 1 by adding, deleting or amending the name of a province or the description of an area.

Part 3 of that Act authorizes the Governor in Council to make regulations that provide for the application of provincial laws concerning greenhouse gas emissions to works, undertakings, lands and waters under federal jurisdiction.

Part 4 of that Act requires the Minister of the Environment to prepare an annual report on the administration of the Act and to cause it to be tabled in each House of Parliament.

Part 6 amends several Acts in order to implement various measures.

Division 1 of Part 6 amends the Financial Administration Act to establish the office of the Chief Information Officer of Canada and to provide that the President of the Treasury Board is responsible for the coordination of that Officer’s activities with those of the other deputy heads of the Treasury Board Secretariat. It also amends the Act to ensure Crown corporations with no borrowing authority are able to continue to enter into leases and to specify that leases are not considered to be transactions to borrow money for the purposes of Crown corporations’ statutory borrowing limits.

Division 2 of Part 6 amends the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act in order to modernize and enhance the Canadian deposit insurance framework to ensure it continues to meet its objectives, including financial stability.

Division 3 of Part 6 amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act to renew Fiscal Equalization Payments to the provinces and Territorial Formula Financing Payments to the territories for a five-year period beginning on April 1,2019 and ending on March 31,2024, and to authorize annual transition payments of $1,270,000 to Yukon and $1,744,000 to the Northwest Territories for that period. It also amends the Act to allow Canada Health Transfer deductions to be reimbursed when provinces and territories have taken the steps necessary to eliminate extra-billing and user fees in the delivery of public health care.

Division 4 of Part 6 amends the Bank of Canada Act to ensure that the Bank of Canada may continue to buy and sell securities issued or guaranteed by the government of the United Kingdom if that country ceases to be a member state of the European Union.

Division 5 of Part 6 amends the Currency Act to expand the objectives of the Exchange Fund Account to include providing a source of liquidity for the government of Canada. It also amends that Act to authorize the payment of funds from the Exchange Fund Account into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Division 6 of Part 6 amends the Bank of Canada Act to require the Bank of Canada to make adequate arrangements for the removal from circulation in Canada of its bank notes that are worn or mutilated or that are the subject of an order made under paragraph 9(1)‍(b) of the Currency Act. It also amends the Currency Act to provide, among other things, that

(a) bank notes are current if they are issued under the authority of the Bank of Canada Act;

(b) the Governor in Council may, by order, call in certain bank notes; and

(c) bank notes that are called in by order are not current.

Division 7 of Part 6 amends the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act in order to implement a framework for resolution of clearing and settlement systems and clearing houses, and to protect information related to oversight, by the Bank of Canada, of clearing and settlement systems.

Division 8 of Part 6 amends the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act to, among other things,

(a) create the position of Vice-chairperson of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal;

(b) provide that former permanent members of the Tribunal may be re-appointed to one further term as a permanent member; and

(c) clarify the rules concerning the interim replacement of the Chairperson of the Tribunal and provide for the interim replacement of the Vice-chairperson of the Tribunal.

Division 9 of Part 6 amends the Canadian High Arctic Research Station Act to, among other things, provide that the Canadian High Arctic Research Station is to be considered an agent corporation for the purpose of the transfer of the administration of federal real property and federal immovables under the Federal Real Property and Federal Immovables Act. It also provides that the Order entitled Game Declared in Danger of Becoming Extinct is deemed to have continued in force and to have continued to apply in Nunavut, as of April 1,2014.

Division 10 of Part 6 amends the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Act in order to separate the roles of President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Chairperson of the Governing Council, to merge the responsibility to establish policies and to limit delegation of certain Governing Council powers, duties and functions to its members or committees or to the President.

Division 11 of Part 6 amends the Red Tape Reduction Act to permit an administrative burden imposed by regulations to be offset by the reduction of another administrative burden imposed by another jurisdiction if the reduction is the result of regulatory cooperation agreements.

Division 12 of Part 6 provides for the transfer of certain employees and disclosure of information to the Communications Security Establishment to improve cyber security.

Division 13 of Part 6 amends the Department of Employment and Social Development Act to provide the Minister of Employment and Social Development with legislative authority respecting service delivery to the public and to make related amendments to Parts 4 and 6 of that Act.

Division 14 of Part 6 amends the Employment Insurance Act to modify the treatment of earnings received by claimants while they are in receipt of benefits.

Division 15 of Part 6 amends the Judges Act to authorize the salaries for the following new judges, namely, six judges for the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, one judge for the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, 39 judges for the unified family courts (as of April 1,2019), one judge for the Federal Court and a new Associate Chief Justice for the Federal Court. This division also makes consequential amendments to the Federal Courts Act.

Division 16 of Part 6 amends certain Acts governing federal financial institutions and related Acts to, among other things,

(a) extend the scope of activities related to financial services in which federal financial institutions may engage, including activities related to financial technology, as well as modernize certain provisions applicable to information processing and information technology activities;

(b) permit life companies, fraternal benefit societies and insurance holding companies to make long-term investments in permitted infrastructure entities to obtain predictable returns under the Insurance Companies Act;

(c) provide prudentially regulated deposit-taking institutions, such as credit unions, with the ability to use generic bank terms under the Bank Act, subject to disclosure requirements, as well as provide the Superintendent of Financial Institutions with additional enforcement tools under the Bank Act and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Act, and clarify existing provisions of the Bank Act; and

(d) modify sunset provisions in certain Acts governing federal financial institutions to extend by five years, after the day on which this Act receives royal assent, the period during which those institutions may carry on business.

Division 17 of Part 6 amends the Western Economic Diversification Act to remove the requirement of the Governor in Council’s approval for the Minister of Western Economic Diversification to enter into an agreement with the government of a province, or with a provincial agency, respecting the exercise of the Minister’s powers and the carrying out of the Minister’s duties and functions.

Division 18 of Part 6 amends the Parliament of Canada Act to give each House of Parliament the power to make regulations related to maternity and parental arrangements for its own members.

Division 19 of Part 6 amends the Canada Pension Plan to, among other things,

(a) eliminate age-based restrictions on the survivor’s pension;

(b) fix the amount of the death benefit at $2,500;

(c) provide a benefit to disabled retirement pension beneficiaries under the age of 65;

(d) protect retirement and survivor’s pension amounts under the additional Canada Pension Plan for individuals who are disabled;

(e) protect benefit amounts under the additional Canada Pension Plan for parents with lower earnings during child-rearing years;

(f) maintain portability between the Canada Pension Plan and the Act respecting the Québec Pension Plan; and

(g) authorize the making of regulations to support the sustainability of the additional Canada Pension Plan.

Division 20 of Part 6 amends the Criminal Code to establish a remediation agreement regime. Under this regime, the prosecutor may negotiate a remediation agreement with an organization that is alleged to have committed an offence of an economic character referred to in the schedule to Part XXII.‍1 of that Act and the proceedings related to that offence are stayed if the organization complies with the terms of the agreement.

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

June 6, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures
June 6, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (recommittal to a committee)
June 6, 2018 Failed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (subamendment)
June 4, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 4, 2018 Failed Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
May 31, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures
April 23, 2018 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures
April 23, 2018 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (reasoned amendment)
April 23, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 6th, 2018 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. When you read the motion of the subamendment we are voting on now, you accurately said that I was the seconder to that motion. It was not followed by my constituency name. There being another member in the chamber with the same last name, I would not want some historian to be confused if ever they were to search the records and someone may have made an error between Ms. or Mr.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:20 p.m.
See context

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure and an honour for me to speak to Bill C-74, the budget implementation act, which is important for us and will implement measures that we believe will have a positive impact on Canadians.

This bill continues our government's efforts to reduce inequality and stimulate growth, in particular through the Canada workers benefit, which was revised in budget 2018. This benefit will give more money to those who need it most, that is, low-income workers. We will ultimately increase the benefit by 175%. We are investing $1.75 billion in the Canada workers benefit.

This measure is consistent with the Canada child benefit, which was introduced in budget 2016. As many MPs know, nine out of 10 Canadian families have benefited and received an additional tax-free $2,300. This deserves to be known. We are indexing this benefit two years earlier than planned to keep pace with higher family expenses and needs, and to help as many families as possible. We know the impact of such a measure and I can tell you about it.

All I have to do is visit the food banks in my riding, talk to volunteers at the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, or stand outside of grocery stores, as I often do on weekends to meet my constituents. They often tell me about how this measure has had a positive impact on their lives.

Here is how this benefit came to be. We looked at how the former government administrated family assistance. We implemented a more progressive system that provides assistance based on families' incomes. We stopped sending Canada child benefit cheques to families with over $150,000 in annual income, so that we can give more to those who need it most.

The Canada workers benefit follows the same logic. We believe that Canada's prosperity must be inclusive and help as many people as possible.

This is one thing I think is important in the budget implementation bill, but it is not the only thing. There is also the price on carbon pollution, a commitment we made during the election campaign. Climate change is having a serious impact on all Canadians and on future generations. Climate change also has an impact on our economy.

Take, for example, the claims submitted to insurance companies for damage caused by natural disasters. A few years ago, such claims totalled a few million dollars. Now, that number has increased to over $1 billion per year, and we expect it to continue to rise. For us, climate change is very real, and we have to deal with it.

By putting a price on carbon pollution, as proposed in the budget implementation bill, we are giving Canada a real opportunity to meet its climate change targets and be a responsible global citizen. The carbon tax will also allow us to mitigate and reverse the effects of climate change as much as possible. Those are two very important aspects of the budget implementation bill.

We also ultimately lowered the small business tax rate to 9%. We know how crucial Canada's SMEs are. They help drive our economy and create a large number of jobs in Canada. It goes without saying that we need to support our job creators and SMEs, which day after day, week after week, contribute to Canada's prosperity. We are taking that important step by lowering taxes for SMEs.

I would like to come back to something that I mentioned earlier, and that is the importance of having measures to reduce inequality. We also need to review certain measures that benefit the wealthiest members of society in order to have better targeted measures, such as the Canada workers benefit, and help those who need it most.

This could mean up to $170 a year for an unattached low-income worker. That is more money every paycheque. For a couple, the amount is even higher, of course.

Providing access to this benefit and increasing it is one thing, but we also want to make it automatic. In budget 2018, we announced that we will be implementing automatic enrolment so that every eligible worker receives the benefit without needing to file a claim. This issue is important to us, and I believe it is a positive aspect of Bill C-74, the budget implementation bill we are studying today.

Our government's goal is really to ensure that our growth benefits as many Canadians as possible and that our prosperity is inclusive. We have observed that the countries that have experienced significant economic growth in the decades since the Second World War are often those where inequality is lower and gaps have not been allowed to widen. In particular, I am thinking of Scandinavian countries, which have fascinating models. We have seen that reducing inequality boosts economic performance.

This is where initiatives like the middle-class tax cut for the $45,000 to $90,000 income bracket come in. This is where the Canada child benefit comes in, by giving more money to those who need it the most. We know that this money stays in the Canadian economy and is reinvested very locally, and we know that this has an impact on growth. I can confirm that under the leadership of the Minister of Finance, we fight for every decimal point of growth. That is why I strongly support initiatives to index the Canada child benefit sooner than expected, to make the Canada workers benefit automatic, and to enhance it.

This is where I see broader initiatives putting more money in people's pockets. While these initiatives are perhaps less direct, they are still very useful to people and are helping reduce inequalities. One example that comes to mind is the national housing strategy, where we are investing $40 billion over 10 years, I believe. This really confirms the federal government's commitments regarding community and social housing. Since the 1990s, the federal government has been backing away from its responsibilities with regard to community housing, and this is true of both Conservative and Liberal governments. One only needs to talk to organizations working on the ground to get a sense of how thrilled they are that the federal government is finally re-engaging and investing in community housing and social housing though our ambitious plan. The goal of our plan is to reduce chronic homelessness by 50%, renovate 300,000 housing units and build another 100,000 for those in need. That is one example.

Another area is public transit. We want high-quality, reliable, and efficient public transit systems at the lowest possible cost, systems that are so efficient that some some families can do without a car, or at least reduce their reliance on cars. These savings add up at the end of the day, but good public transit also improves quality of life and is good for the environment. These are all very positive initiatives.

Housing is an issue that is close to my heart. When I was young, I lived in a subsidized housing unit. I know how much of a burden it took off my mother's shoulders. I will never forget the day we got the call from the municipal housing bureau telling us that our application had been accepted. We were on a waiting list, and I know that it was a major change for my mother because she did not have to be afraid to get evicted at the end of the month anymore.

I am heartened to see the housing initiatives taken by our government. I am sure that they will have a similar effect on hundreds of thousands of Canadian families. In a way, it makes me glad that I am paying taxes, because I know that they are put to good use to increase social mobility, strengthen the social safety net and make sure people have access to basic necessities. Housing is a right. The most vulnerable in our society must have that right too, and the federal government needs to be active on that front.

Our government's focus is reflected in the measures we announced in budget 2018, but also since budget 2016. We are striving for a society that is more fair, more compassionate and more efficient, but we also want to create wealth. Indeed, to redistribute wealth, we have to create it first.

We also need to innovate and create a business-friendly climate, which will help fill federal coffers and create jobs. I would remind the House that 600,000 jobs have been created over the past two years. We recorded the strongest GDP growth in the G7 by far during that same period. That is what we need for inclusive prosperity. If we want to invest in useful and generous social programs, we need that prosperity. That is a crucial factor in the creation of a just society. It is important to have both, and we think the two go hand in hand.

When I examined budget 2018, what stood out for me and, I suspect, for many of my constituents, was the historic investments we made in science, especially basic science. Funding bodies across the country were pleased and applauded our initiative. For a decade, their budgets were frozen or slashed. Scientists were even muzzled. Canada fell behind. Anyone who stands still while the world moves forward falls behind.

Canada fell behind in terms of investment in basic research, which is crucial to future innovation, that is, in 5, 10, or 15 years. This is about more than just drugs in the future; it also has to do with innovation and businesses that could emerge as a result of ideas developed in university laboratories.

The Quebec City region is home to many, many businesses that emerged from basic research conducted at Laval University. It is always done by the brilliant researchers I am lucky to represent in my riding who eventually manage to commercialize this research and turn it into businesses that benefit our economy and the other businesses in our region. This helps them innovate and offer technological benefits in health, pharmaceuticals, and technology. This has an impact on people's day-to-day lives and also creates jobs.

There is a reason why the Quebec City region is doing so well. If we consider the research being done and how that is translating into jobs, businesses, and innovation, it is no surprise that the unemployment rate in Quebec City is 3.8%. That is practically full employment and, in practical terms, it is.

This creates another challenge that our region is currently facing, namely, recruiting and attracting a labour force. I hear about this everywhere I go in the riding when I meet with entrepreneurs.

The budget 2018 investments in basic research are historic because they are higher than any previous federal investments in research. We must provide for long-term prosperity. We do not want to stifle innovation in Canada; we want to promote and encourage it, and this is why we are making these investments.

We want to make sure that Canada stays at the forefront of technological advances and science. It goes without saying that investing in science is a long-term investment in our economy and our collective prosperity.

Similarly, putting a price on carbon pollution is a long-term investment in a healthier environment. We will be creating a liveable country and planet, where we have drinking water and as little pollution as possible, and therefore without all the health problems this pollution would cause, like respiratory problems.

The price on carbon pollution clearly shows that we want to develop the economy, which is very important, but at the same time we want to protect the environment, which is just as important. This leaves us with the third option, which is a fair, balanced, and responsible approach. You sometimes hear people say that it must be one or the other. We chose to adopt a more balanced approach.

I want to add that, if you look at the jurisdictions that have put a price on carbon pollution, this measure encourages innovation and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions that the most innovative companies will produce. This is also the objective.

Let us not forget that certain jurisdictions have already put a price on carbon pollution. British Columbia, for example, did so a number of years ago and its economic record is one of the most impressive in Canada. It is the same thing with Quebec and Ontario, two provinces with remarkable economic performances who have put a price on carbon. We think that both can definitely go hand in hand. It leads to a more innovative, responsible and green economy. That is how the transition has to occur.

We know that the transition will not happen overnight, but we know that it can happen gradually. It will need incentives to succeed. For example, putting a price on carbon pollution is an incentive for innovation. Investments in public transit are incentives for people to change the way they commute because they have better options. I am also thinking of tax breaks and support for green energy. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in green and renewable energy. A broad range of measures that ensure both our economic prosperity and the protection of our environment and allow for a gradual and thoughtful transition have been implemented. That is where people expect the Liberal government to be responsible.

I know that my colleague from Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs likes the idea that environmental protection and economic growth can and must go hand in hand. That is our approach. In Bill C-74, pricing carbon pollution fosters innovation and better choices, makes our economy more innovative and responsible, and protects the environment. I think that that idea is what is driving my colleague from Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs and most members on this side of the House.

We believe that economic development and prosperity are important, but that protecting our environment is equally important. We believe that both go hand in hand and that the resulting prosperity should be inclusive.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the last election campaign, the parliamentary secretary's party promised a balanced budget by the next fiscal year. I wonder if he could tell us today whether the Liberals will keep the promise they made during the election campaign and, if not, in what year they will balance the budget.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:35 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is important to remember that we made a very clear promise during the campaign that we would not go down the same road as the Conservatives, in other words austerity measures and cuts at all costs to achieve a balanced budget. We said that it was time to invest and that is still the case.

The Canadian economy that we inherited from the previous government had a low growth rate and a low job creation rate. During the 2015 campaign, I remember very well the debate in the public arena was on the state of Canada's economy and whether the country was in recession or on the brink of one. I am not talking about 2008, I am talking about 2015.

Faced with that situation, when interest rates were low and we knew that there were desperate needs in infrastructure from coast to coast, we said that the thing to do was, yes, to run deficits, but also invest in our infrastructure, our communities, and science in order to stimulate and grow our economy. That decision garnered global praise.

Remember that our deficit-to-GDP ratio as well as our debt-to-GDP ratio, therefore the size of our economy, has been on a downward track and that is what we must ensure for the long term.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:40 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that important question. We know that medication is too expensive in Canada and that many Canadians cannot afford it.

I would remind my colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert that budget 2018 announced the creation of an advisory council led by Dr. Hoskins, who devoted his entire political career to advocating for better access to medication. This council will study the issue and determine the best option for Canada. It is already hard at work, and we will have more on that down the line. For now, our goal is to make sure we get this right.

I know that affordable access to medication is as important to my colleague as it is to me and to most Canadians.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:40 p.m.
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Québec debout

Gabriel Ste-Marie Québec debout Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, fighting against the spruce budworm, a pest causing major problems for our forestry industry, is a good thing. The problem is that the funding announced in the last budget and in the budget implementation bill, if I am not mistaken, is exclusively for the Maritimes, even though the area affected by this pest in Quebec is bigger than the entire province of New Brunswick.

Why is all the help going to the Maritimes? Could this be a gift for the Irvings?

Where is Quebec in all this and in the budget?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I really enjoy working with him.

The spruce budworm is indeed a very serious problem. We know that insects do not respect human boundaries. However, we are always looking at ways to help the regions that may be affected by this problem both in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. All levels of government, including the provinces, need to work together to address this problem.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary touched on a really good point about two-thirds of the way through his speech, when he talked about where Canada was in 2015, technically entering into a recession, and what transpired in order to get us to where we are today.

As a matter of fact, the decision the government made, in terms of putting money into infrastructure and investing in researchers and our educational institutions, had a serious impact on the way people gained confidence in what the Canadian economy was about and how it could continue to build and move forward.

Could the parliamentary secretary put forward his comments on that?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the campaign, our leader, the Prime Minister, clearly indicated that this would be our approach.

When people trust in the future and their chances of success, they are prepared to invest. That is indeed the case today since interest rates are low and needs are great. That is how the Liberals' approach in 2015 differed from those of the NDP and the Conservative Party, who were both obsessed with a zero deficit.

According to Christine Lagarde from the IMF, austerity does not work, as history has shown. When the economy is sluggish, governments have a role to play and can play it by making investments that facilitate the transport of people and goods and investments that are good for the environment.

Take for example, the renewal of waste water infrastructure. It may not be the most pleasant thing to talk about, but we are sometimes losing 40% of our treated drinking water because of outdated pipes and systems, some of which are 100 years old. We need to make investments in that area.

That is why the federal government gave a helping hand to mayors of small, medium-sized, and large municipalities in Quebec and Canada, where investments were long overdue.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague, the parliamentary secretary, spoke about our obsession with a zero deficit. It is an obsession shared by many Canadians.

I could instead talk about the Liberals' betrayal concerning small deficits. They were elected on a promise to run small deficits of $10 billion, $10 billion, and $6 billion, and then balancing the budget in 2019. Today, we know very well that we will not have a balanced budget before 2045. They made false promises.

I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary another question. In the last budget, there was absolutely nothing for agriculture. However, the previous government promised $4.3 billion in compensation to dairy, egg, and poultry producers because of the trans-Pacific partnership and the agreement with the EU on cheese imports. There is absolutely nothing about this in the last budget.

Why?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us go back to the deficit, because I have to go on the record about that.

My colleague from Mégantic—L'Érable will know that the previous government's obsession was such that it sold its GM shares at a loss of $3.5 billion, while Ontario did not incur such a loss when it sold its shares. The Conservatives were so obsessed with balancing the budget, specifically in 2015, for very cynical election purposes, that it sold its GM shares at a loss of $3.5 billion to taxpayers. That would be like telling my spouse that we no longer had a mortgage, but that I had sold the car.

With regard to my colleague's question about agriculture, I know that investments have been made and that the Minister of Agriculture wants to ensure that farmers across the country have what they need to be innovative and productive.

One thing is certain on this side of the House, and it is not so clear on the other side. I talk to a lot of farmers. There are not very many in my riding, but some come to see me because they want to talk to a government representative. They tell me that supply management is non-negotiable for them, that it is important, and that it might even be responsible—

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:45 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is a budget implementation bill. Budgets are not only about spending; they are about how we get the money to spend. One of the things that really affect that here in Canada is offshore tax havens. We are losing $10 billion to $15 billion every year because of money that has gone offshore to avoid being taxed. One mining company in Canada avoided $690 million in taxes because it had a mailbox in Luxembourg, and I guess a part-time employee to check that mailbox. I am wondering if the parliamentary secretary could tell us what Canada is doing to deal with those offshore tax havens. What we see is that more and more are being created every year.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his important and complex question.

I would like to remind members of one thing. The previous government was not worried about tax evasion and tax avoidance, but we invested substantial amounts in our first two budgets to give the Canada Revenue Agency the resources it needed to conduct the necessary audits.

Tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance through tax havens is not the same as petty theft at a convenience store. It takes considerable resources. That is why we allocated $1 billion in our first two budgets in 2016 and 2017 to give the CRA the resources it needed.

To answer my colleague's question about tax havens, we need to take a multilateral, concerted approach. The OECD is currently discussing such an approach because one country acting alone will have little or no impact compared to many countries working together.

That is why I think that the OECD's base erosion and profit shifting project, or BEPS, is a good thing. This initiative seeks to combat treaty shopping and tax treaty abuse to ensure a fair tax regime and to ensure that governments seek to obtain the taxes they are owed from abroad. However, this issue is much more complex than it seems.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, it was interesting listening to the Liberal member talk today about obsession. He talked about our government being obsessed with fiscal responsibility. We are guilty as charged. I am very proud of the fact we were obsessed with fiscal responsibility during our time.

The hon. member referred to Christine Lagarde, who during the time of the global slowdown in the world economy from 2008 to 2010 was very positive and complimentary of the Canadian Harper government's approach at the time in doing what needed on behalf of Canadians to make sure that Canada weathered the storm better than almost any other country in the world.

The hon. member might remember that during that time we set a five- to six-year plan in place to stimulate the economy, but then to get the budget back to balance by 2015. I had the honour of serving on a cabinet committee that evaluated plans by ministers and departments to contribute to getting the budget back to balance, and I am very proud of the fact that in 2015, we balanced the budget. That is the situation the current government inherited.

It is interesting to contrast that with the Liberal approach to the budget. The hon. member alluded to it, but he never actually answered the question on the promise made by the Liberal Party during the last election campaign to balance the budget by 2019, a promise that seems to have been completely abandoned at this point. He never mentioned the fact that the 40% of Canadians who voted for the Liberal Party to govern voted for a government that promised budgetary balance, with modest $10 billion deficits leading up to a balanced budget by 2019. Of course, 60% of Canadians voted for parties that ran on a promise to balance the budget, but the 40% who voted for the Liberals were, of course, duped by their completely broken promise, a promise they obviously never had any intention of keeping.

I represent the largest constituency by population in Canada. Edmonton—Wetaskiwin is probably zeroing in on about 180,000 people right now. It is the constituency where oil was discovered at its heart in 1947 at Leduc No. 1, something we are very proud of in my area. We have the Nisku Industrial Business Park, which is one North America's largest business parks and is central to the economy in the region, in Canada, and around the world. It is a very significant source of pride for people in our region.

To reach out to my constituents, I regularly host round table meetings and will probably do about 50 of them this year, each with 15 or 16 constituents around a table talking about the issues of the day. We have hosted several hundred of these over the years. Recently we have noticed a trend in the topics of discussion. The top two topics of discussion and the top two questions asked at these meetings are now: one, how do we get rid of this Liberal government at the federal level; and, two, how do we get rid of the NDP government in Alberta? We talk about the democratic process and, unfortunately, at this point in time we still have 17 months until the next election when Canadians will have their say on these governments.

The other top issues are broken promises by the Liberal government. We hear a lot about debt and deficits in Canada and concerns about the future. We hear a lot about pipelines. Constituents want to talk about pipeline policy in Canada. We hear about carbon taxes and their impact on the Canadian economy. I am going to talk about some of those things and relay some of the concerns my constituents have been communicating to me.

On broken promises, I hear about these more and more from people across the political spectrum. It is not just Conservatives coming to the round table meetings, but also people who voted voted Liberal and NDP. They come to these meetings and they have been talking a lot about the Liberal platform in 2015, promises that were made and completely broken.

Predictably, the Liberals have set up a web page. It is a mandate letter tracker to evaluate themselves, and on the tracker the Liberals get straight A's on everything, with almost no broken promises mentioned. In fact, they do not refer to broken promises; they refer to promises that are not being pursued, and I think they only have three of them. Of course, there is an independent tracker of Liberal promises. It is named after the Prime Minister and has counted 40 broken promises to date, which is a bit more accurate. It is interesting that Andrew Coyne had this to say about the mandate letter tracker:

Of course, it’s especially galling to see such opacity being deployed in what is supposedly an example of the government’s commitment to transparency. But transparency, gloriously, may nevertheless be the result. In one clueless swoop, the Liberals have managed to call attention not only to all the promises they have broken, but to their comical inability to admit what is plain for all to see.

That is a good summation of the Liberals' own website to track their own progress on promises.

I thought I would talk a bit about some of the promises that were made during the last election. I look here at page 29 of the Liberal election platform. If the Liberals who are in the room want to follow along, they can pull up their own platform and would read the following. On electoral reform, the Liberal platform stated, “We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first- past-the-post voting system.” I looked that up on the mandate letter tracker and apparently that is not being pursued. It is one of the three promises that are not broken, but just not being pursued anymore. We all remember the process that led to that decision. The Liberals tried to put forward a process to have a committee of parliamentarians from all parties study the electoral process in Canada. They went across the country and heard from various stakeholders, a lot of Canadians, about what they wanted to see in electoral reform. The committee worked together. Members of opposition parties came to agreement. That does not always happen in this place. We saw the Green Party, the NDP, and Conservatives come to agreement on a way forward and, of course, the Liberals then scuttled that agreement because it was not their chosen system. They had one particular system they wanted to go with that would have enhanced their numbers in the House of Commons. Right now about 60% of the MPs have been elected with 40% of the vote, and the system the Liberals wanted would have given them 70% of the seats. In the absence of the committee's reporting what the Liberals wanted to hear, they just abandoned the committee's report and broke their promise, or decided not to pursue it.

I turn to the very next page in the Liberal platform, for those following along. Indeed, I see there are a few people on their computers on the Liberal side. I hope they are following along as I am saying this. They will read on page 30, regarding free votes, that “For members of the Liberal caucus, all votes will be free votes with the exception of: those that implement the Liberal electoral platform; traditional confidence matters, like the budget; and those that address our shared values and protections guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” Those are the only three exceptions in the Liberal platform, and there is another promise.

Those who watch the proceedings in the House of Commons on CPAC could go back to the 10 years we were in government. The Conservative Party had more free votes than any party in the House of Commons at that point. The Liberals at that time were second. The NDP whipped its vote more than any other party. However, what we have now seen is the Liberals whipping their vote like no other government we have seen in the past. I will speak from personal experience. I moved a motion almost exactly a year ago on a Canadian autism partnership, which seemed to have strong support from Liberal members when I talked to them ahead of time. We had 12 of them show up on the Hill for World Autism Awareness Day, but when it came time to vote on the measure, they were whipped and every single one of them voted against having a Canadian autism partnership, which would have cost all of $20 million over five years. It was a partnership that experts had been working on for a couple of years. Clearly, that did not fit any of the Liberal exceptions and yet Liberal members were whipped to oppose it. Here is the clincher. In the mandate letter tracker, the Liberals have given themselves an A-plus on that, meaning it has been completely and fully met. The Liberals apparently have free votes on every single vote that does not fit those exceptions. Hopefully, the Liberals in the House right now who are looking at their computers are putting an X beside that one, and maybe they can answer that in their comments as we move forward.

We are just dealing with two pages so far. We were on page 29, and now we have page 30. On page 30, here is what the Liberals had to say on the subject of omnibus bills:

Stephen Harper has also used omnibus bills to prevent Parliament from properly reviewing and debating his proposals. We will change the House of Commons Standing Orders to bring an end to this undemocratic practice.

They were going to bring an end to it.

We could have a debate as to whether the government should use omnibus bills. It has been an important topic of conversation for a long time how governments conduct themselves in the House and what tools they use or do not use. However, this is an example of a clear promise the Liberals made, and what are we debating today? We are debating an omnibus bill. The bill is 540-plus pages long, dealing with matters across government. On top of that, the government has used time allocation twice on the bill, at report stage and now at third reading, limiting debate at third reading to just five hours for a 540-plus page budget implementation bill.

Those who have been in the House for a long time would remember the Liberals decrying any use of time allocation on any bill when we were in government. The Liberals used it five times last week alone. In just three days they used it five times, including the time we have right now to debate this.

On the omnibus bills promise, the Liberals gave themselves another A-plus in their mandate letter tracker, as being completed and fully met. I wish I could have had a class with a professor like the Liberals when they evaluate themselves over there. I would have had a 100% average.

The following is the most critical promise. I could spend the entire five hours, if I were given the time, just talking about broken Liberal promises from their platform alone. However, I will finish with page 12 of the platform, where it talked about the budget. This is interesting, because the member for Calgary Rocky Ridge asked a question about this. It feels like it was probably our thousandth question on this subject. He asked when the budget would be balanced. Of course, he got a meandering response that had nothing to do with the question. Every time a Canadian hears that question asked, they should refer back to the promise from page 12 of the Liberal platform. I will give my hon. colleagues across the way time to look this one up, in case they do not remember, because it seems like no one over there remembers this promise. Here is a direct quote from the Liberal platform:

We will run modest short-term deficits of less than $10 billion in each of the next two fiscal years

—this was back in 2015, and I think we are three times that now—

to fund historic investments in infrastructure and our middle class. After the next two fiscal years, the deficit will decline and our investment plan will return Canada to a balanced budget in 2019.

This is kind of funny. The mandate letter tracker evaluates this one as “underway with challenges”. I do not even know what that means.

I could probably give another 20-minute speech analyzing those three words, but I am going to come back to the debt and deficit promise, the promised modest $10 billion deficits that would be balanced by 2019. The reality is that the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the finance minister's own office have said that the budget will not be balanced until 2045. Some say it will be 2052, or more than a generation away.

The really interesting contradiction here is that the Liberals, whenever they get up and answer questions in question period, or Q and A time here, point to how fantastic things are in the Canadian economy.

The Liberals say the Canadian economy is doing great, and yet, as great as they claim the Canadian economy is doing, they cannot find a way to balance the budget. They are running a $22-billion deficit right now and claim the economy is doing fantastically, leading the world, but they cannot balance the budget, which is in a $22-billion deficit.

I will give a bit of a history lesson. In 1968, Canadians elected a Trudeau government, and Canada had almost no debt in 1968, or very little debt. That Trudeau government ran deficits in 14 out of 15 years in power. In 14 out of 15 years, it ran deficits. In 1984, when the Liberals were finally defeated, Canada had high interest rates, our economy was in a shambles, and for the next nine years the Mulroney government ran deficits. The Liberals like to point to those deficits as being very large, but what people do not realize is that if we look at the numbers behind those deficits, we see that the Conservative government, during those years, brought in about as much money as it spent, and, on top of that, the interest payments on Trudeau's debt were among the biggest deficits in Canadian history at that time.

The interest payments on Trudeau's debt accumulated over nine years, to the point where, in the mid-1990s, another Liberal government came to power. Canadians across the country who were around at that time remember the devastating cuts of the mid-1990s. Thirty-five billion dollars was cut from health care spending, social services spending, and education spending through the Canada health transfer and the Canada social transfer. If we were to talk to virtually any stakeholder who works in the kind of world that the Liberals describe as important, those stakeholders would say that those cuts in the mid-1990s, such as to international development, were absolutely devastating to the things that Canadians hold dear and the things that Liberals purport to hold dear.

Where are we going now? The projection for a generation from now says that we will be running continued deficits, that we will be in the neighbourhood of $1 trillion in debt by the time these deficits accumulate, and our demographics will have changed. Some have said that for every senior citizen right now, there are about four people in the workforce. We will have two and a half people working for every senior citizen by 2030, the numbers show, and those two and a half people are going to have to pay down the Liberal debt. There is no way.

We saw it before, in the mid-1990s, and we are going to see it again. If we keep going in the direction we are going, we are going to be looking at massive cuts to health care, education, social services, international development, cuts to whatever is important. Governments of the day a generation from now are going to have to take a look at cutting those things to pay down this Liberal debt. Remember that in the mid-1990s, it was a Liberal government that had to make those cuts to pay off the Trudeau debt, and we are looking at the same situation repeating itself.

I will quickly touch on pipelines, because that is a big issue in my constituency. On top of the debt that we are running up, we are completely hamstringing ourselves when it comes to the revenue side. The situation the Liberals inherited was that northern gateway had been approved, and we had energy east, which they regulated out of consideration. After TransCanada had spent over $1 billion on red tape, they finally decided to make, as the Liberals called it, an economic decision—of course, they made an economic decision not to move forward on something that had already cost them over $1 billion in red tape—and they had to nationalize Trans Mountain to make it work.

I have a lot more to say, but I will move an amendment. I move:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:

Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, be not now read a third time, but be referred back to the Standing Committee on Finance for the purpose of reconsidering clause 186 with the view to requiring the government to reveal how much the carbon tax will cost.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech today. I did listen to it, despite the fact that I may have been one of those people who was also working at my computer here researching some of the information and facts that he was talking about.

The one thing in particular that I picked up on in his comments was with respect to the whipping of votes. I can tell the member, at least from my perspective, that my votes do not need to be whipped to vote in favour of a small business tax reduction. My vote does not need to be whipped to vote on introducing the Canada workers benefit, nor does my vote need to be whipped to vote for indexing the Canada child benefit.

What I noticed yesterday when we voted for four hours on amendments to the budget was that the member, along with every other member in the Conservative Party, voted on an amendment to delete the reduction in the small business tax rate for corporations. I am curious. Can the member explain why, on at least that one amendment, he did not vote in opposition to the amendment?