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

This bill was last introduced in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2019.

Sponsor

Bill Morneau  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

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 5th, 2018 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is an interesting opportunity, because on small business taxes, the Liberals made a promise to follow the Conservative plan, the track we had set forward, to reduce small business taxes in this country. They made a promise on that, and then they subsequently broke it. It was another broken promise. I am hoping that more Liberal MPs will get up and ask me questions directly related to promises that were broken by the LIberal Party.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

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

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

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

It will come as no surprise that I am going to talk about an aspect of the budget implementation bill that bothers me.

I know that my colleague is concerned about the situation of persons with limitations, challenges, or those who are ill.

For years, doctors have been prescribing medical cannabis. For some people, it is the only way to deal with chronic pain or very intense pain. Medical cannabis was not taxed by the federal government. Now, for no reason, under Bill C-74, this product will be taxed, compromising some people's ability to receive care and not live in pain.

I would like the hon. member's thoughts on that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

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

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, it kind of fits a pattern with the Liberal Party wherever there is something that is not taxed. Of course, the Liberals had officials studying everything we can pay tax on to find out where they can realize more revenue, because they know, as I watch what is happening over there, that they are running these budget deficits. Some may want to attribute to them an intent to run budget deficits, and I sometimes do that myself, but I lean more towards the fact that the Liberals have no idea what to do. They are running a deficit, but they made a promise to balance the budget and it is quite clear that they have no idea what to do about it, so from time to time they float things like raising taxes on benefits that employees receive, like a discount on a hamburger or something like that, or taxes on medical benefits and those kinds of things.

Of course, from time to time, Canadians speak loudly against those things and the Liberals have to back down a little bit. However, I think that is what we are in for over the next 17 months: the Liberals will be continually floating new ideas to raise taxes because they have no idea how they are going to get that deficit down.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

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

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it was interesting listening to my friend across the way as he tried to explain to viewers and those who might be listening to the debate. He gave the impression that the Conservatives actually know how to manage a budget, particularly on the issue of deficits. However, it is interesting that what the member did not talk about was that the prime minister who had the greatest contribution to the deficit was Stephen Harper.

Stephen Harper, when he first became prime minister, inherited a multi-billion-dollar surplus. Before the recession kicked in, the turned that multi-billion-dollar surplus into a multi-billion-dollar deficit, and every year after that it continued to be a deficit until the election year, when the Conservatives sold GM shares, among other things, to try to say that they were going to have a balanced budget, but that never happened either.

My question for my colleague across the way is this: Given that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have proven very clearly that they do know how to have deficits and that Mr. Harper added over $150 billion in debt, why should we take advice from the Conservative Party when it comes to deficits?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is really interesting to hear this. I do not think the hon. member was elected in 2008, but I am sure his colleagues could tell him that during those days, when the world was experiencing a global economic slowdown of a kind we had not seen in decades, Liberal members could not demand enough spending by our government. We could not spend enough to satisfy Liberals on that side.

Liberal members will also remember that at that time the government, along with finance minister Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper, laid out a seven-year plan to get our budget back to balance, and we followed that plan perfectly.

We can contrast that to the situation we are in now—not a global economic meltdown, but rather what the Liberals celebrate as some of the best economic times we have ever had, yet they have to run $22 billion in deficit with no plan to get back to balance until 2045.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin for raising the issue of the mandate tracker. I was listening quite carefully to that. We heard some recent testimony at government operations committee about that. I recall from that meeting reading and hearing that under the balanced budget election promise, the mandate tracker characterizes this current performance as “underway—with challenges” in kind of a bizarre euphemism.

Could the member comment on that piece? The mandate of that finance minister was to implement the Liberals' election promises, a question they have ignored every time it has been asked. I wonder if the member would comment on the mandate tracker and the challenges on a balanced budget.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, AB

There are so many places to go with that, Mr. Speaker.

The Liberal promise said that after the next two fiscal years, the deficit will decline and their investment plan will return Canada to a balanced budget in 2019. Now it says “underway with challenges”. I do not even know where to start.

I played a lot of sports in high school, mainly track and field. I am thinking now of the high jump. If I turned around for a second and then turned and started my run to the high jump bar and saw that it was set at 70 feet, that is where we are at right now with the budget. That is how close we are right now to balancing the budget. The Liberals have about as much chance of balancing a budget as I would have of doing a 70-foot high jump. It is not going to happen.

I would love to hear a Liberal member take the opportunity to speak. They get a lot of time to speak here, but of course the time for debate has been limited to five hours. Maybe one of them will use his or her 20-minute opportunity to explain how we are going to get back to a balanced budget by 2019 and overcome those challenges.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:15 p.m.
See context

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, I do not think of myself as naive, so when a budget speech talks about things like pay equity and there is actually nothing in the budget implementation act for pay equity, I do find it a bit disingenuous There are a lot of pronouncements and announcements, but very little follow-through.

I wonder if my hon. colleague could comment on the fact that there is no money in the budget to implement pay equity, yet the Liberal government touts itself as a feminist government.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, a lot of times in the House we focus on the differences between parties. Certainly NDP members and Conservative members have many differences in opinion in terms of policy, as do those who support our parties. However, when I talk to my constituents, no matter whether the individual is an NDP supporter or a Conservative supporter, I find we can unite around our shared frustration about a government that talks a good game on a lot of different things, says what needs to be said to get votes from whichever segment of Canadian society it wants votes from on a given day, but really has no intention in many cases of implementing the things it talks about. I enumerated several of those things in my budget speech, but unfortunately I did not have enough time to enumerate all of the areas of concern.

This is something of major concern to Canadians, and we are hearing it more and more across the country.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:20 p.m.
See context

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank all my colleagues from both sides of the House for agreeing to this humble request, which will allow us to hear my colleague from Elmwood—Transcona's fine speech.

It is a pleasure for me to stand in the House and speak again to the budget implementation bill. As I previously said while asking a question to a Conservative member, I am greatly disappointed and puzzled that the Liberal government decided to tax medical marijuana. Doctor-prescribed cannabis was not taxed before. This new measure will hurt people who need cannabis, a substance often prescribed as a kind of last resort, when other medications did not work.

People in my riding came to see me. They are very concerned because it is sometimes the only thing which works to alleviate chronic pain and help people with cancer, who have undergone surgery or been through an accident. Our veterans also use it sometimes to assist in the treatment of PTSD. I do not quite understand the aim of the government in imposing higher taxes on those people. The government could get considerable sums of money from several other sources, and I might have the opportunity to talk about it. Billions of dollars in revenues are lost each year in tax loopholes for corporate CEOs and in tax heavens.

I do not want those people to have to choose between getting a treatment and not getting it or between getting prescription medication such as medical cannabis and buying groceries to see what food they can put on the table for dinner. I just wanted to say that.

Again, this budget is noteworthy for its glaring omissions. We can always talk about a budget and what it contains, but we can also talk about what it does not contain. Being in government means making choices. Sometimes, that means leaving certain things out. Those choices are significant because they have an impact on people's lives. One of the promises the Liberals made but have yet to keep was to end subsidies to oil and gas companies in Canada. Our analysis shows that these subsidies amount to $1.3 billion to $1.6 billion a year. However, once again, it is not entirely clear, and the government has released no action plan for reaching that goal.

I am a member of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, and this morning, we were fortunate enough to have the Minister of Environment with us. I asked her repeatedly if she could tell me exactly how much taxpayer money goes to oil and gas companies each year. She was never able to give me an answer. The Liberals promised to end these subsidies, but they have no idea how much they are. That is not the worst part. I asked the minister if she agreed with the Auditor General, who reported in May that the Liberal government has not even defined what a subsidy to the oil and gas industry is. I can understand the minister's confusion, as the Liberals do not even understand the nature of the beast they are hunting.

What was the point of the federal government promising to phase out these subsidies at the last few G7 summits and the last G20 summit, if the Liberals do not even know what they are talking about and have no clear-cut definition?

It is obvious that they will not be able to keep this promise. Once again, the Liberal government is all talk and has no specific measures to back its promises and successfully make a just energy transition for workers, which requires many things. Once again, in the last budget, the Liberal government failed to introduce very concrete measures to ensure that we would adopt cleaner, renewable sources of energy, the energy of the future and the energy behind the jobs of today and tomorrow. There is a lack of investment in renewable energy and in the skills training required to ensure this just transition.

A few weeks ago, I attended a summit in Montreal organized by environmental groups, unions, as well as investment funds and business representatives from Montreal. One thing that became very evident was the need to invest in skills training for workers who today can build a pipeline or an oil terminal and could be taught to build a solar panel or a wind turbine. It is feasible and they would be good jobs. People will be ready to work.

However, the government needs to put the money on the table right now, so that we will have well-trained workers who can make this transition in five or 10 years. The goal is to create good jobs in an energy sector that has a smaller carbon footprint than the current one. The government does not have money to invest in renewable energy and no money to invest in training the workforce, but it has money to buy an old pipeline. What a surprise. There seems to be no limit here. No big deal. The government has no idea how much it will cost, but that does not matter.

I want to point out that the Minister of Finance announced that he would spend a surprise amount of $4.5 billion.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Indeed, Mr. Speaker. What a great play on words from my New Democrat colleague. It was a Kinder Surprise. Unfortunately, this surprise could turn into a nightmare in the coming years. The government just said that it would spend $4.5 billion of taxpayer money to buy a 65-year-old pipeline, that is already leaking and that is not very safe. This will not create any jobs. All the government did was buy existing, aging infrastructure and equipment, but it will not create any jobs.

In addition, the American company Kinder Morgan estimated that the pipeline expansion would cost at least $7.4 billion.

A total of $11.9 billion from the public purse is being spent on energy that increases greenhouse gas emissions. This flies in the face of the Paris Agreement targets and will considerably increase the frequency of extreme weather and natural disasters, which are already costing us billions of dollars a year. We simply do not understand why Canada is investing in an energy source of the past rather than today's energy and the energy of the future.

Just how far is the Liberal government going to take this spending spree? We do not know. Infrastructure projects often go over budget in the construction phase. This has been the case for many projects in Montreal, including mega-hospitals and the Champlain Bridge. This is extremely troubling because it really feels as though the government thinks it has its own money printing press and can do whatever it wants.

Investments in renewable energy pay off a lot more in terms of job creation. For every dollar invested in renewable energy, job creation is six to eight times higher than the same investment in fossil fuels, which, unfortunately, are still front and centre around the world. Other countries are currently in transition, but Canada is really falling behind on this. The Liberal budget does not help find a solution or make the transition. Personally, I find that extremely troubling.

There is another thing I want to point out on the environmental front, even if much smaller amounts of money are involved. As environment critic for the NDP, I do not understand how the department in charge of implementing the Species at Risk Act could have seen its budget reduced by $12 million. That is $12 million less for all the programs to protect endangered species in Quebec and across Canada. We have now entered what is probably the sixth greatest extinction period for animal, plant and insect life in our planet's history. It is the sixth largest extinction period, and the government chose to cut funding to implement the Species at Risk Act. I simply cannot fathom why.

What is missing from the budget? All the investments in social housing announced with great fanfare are not in it. Investments over 11 years were announced for social housing, all of which will begin after the 2019 election and after the 2023 election. It is easy for a government to make promises and commitments when it has no idea if it will still be in power at that point. People are in dire straits right now. Thousands of people are in need of social housing because 40% to 50% of their income goes to rent. That leads to poverty. The Liberal government had the opportunity to make massive investments to address that right away.

Tackling tax havens and closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest CEOs would give the government billions of dollars that could then be used to help people who are suffering and who need social housing today. That would make all the difference in their lives. Sadly, the Liberal government has other priorities, which is unfortunate.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:30 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the government is going after tax evaders. We are literally spending hundreds of millions of dollars, close to a billion dollars in the last couple of budgets, to deal with those who are trying to avoid paying taxes. The NDP does not support that. The New Democrats talk about it, but they do not support it.

With respect to housing, we have the single largest investment in a multi-year budgeting housing strategy, which is even greater than the housing strategy commitment he NDP made in the last election. In that election, the NDP said that it would have balanced budgets. Imagine the cuts the NDP would have had to make to get to get to that balanced budget.

Many of the things this government is doing are of a very progressive nature. Why does the NDP consistently vote against measures that are taking kids and seniors out of poverty, that are putting money in the pockets of Canada's middle class? Why does the NDP resist such positive, progressive measures?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:30 p.m.
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NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, simply because I do not see anything progressive about letting the CEOs of this country use tax loopholes that cost us $800 million per year. That is not progressive. The Liberals brag about helping the middle class with a tax cut, but the Liberal tax cut does absolutely nothing for people who earn less than $45,000 per year. It does not affect them. The Liberals seem to think that people who earn $30,000, $35,000, or $40,000 per year are not part of the middle class and therefore do not need help. The people who will benefit the most from the Liberal tax cut are those who earn $100,000 or $120,000 per year. That is not the NDP's definition of middle class.

When it comes to combatting tax evasion and tax avoidance, obviously there is no point hiring more police officers if it is legal to rob the store. The problem is that it is legal. Yes, we need auditors and inspectors. We agree that more of them are needed, but what is the point if the Canada-Barbados treaty makes it okay for people to send money there, pay 1% or 2% in taxes, and then bring the money back here where they pay no tax at all?

These are bilateral treaties. We do not need to wait for the world to wake up and change. If the Liberals meant what they said, they would renegotiate all of these tax treaties with tax havens instead of signing new ones like they did with the Cook Islands.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:30 p.m.
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NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, I want to offer my hon. colleague an opportunity. I wonder if he reflected on this, as I did. When the Prime Minister said “This pipeline will be built”, what an amazing event it would have been if he had said that he would end homelessness or that he would implement a just transition.

When I heard the Prime Minister announce the investment in the pipeline, I simply added to that. What if he had said that he would end homelessness by investing $4.5 billion immediately and that by the end of August this year, the government would have a plan to end homelessness.

I offer my colleague an opportunity to perhaps imagine what that might mean for a just transition if the Prime Minister said that he would implement a just transition for workers in Canada, with an immediate investment of $4.5 billion.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:35 p.m.
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NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, sadly, part of the answer is that the Prime Minister cannot be trusted.

When he was asked in British Columbia if he would review the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain project under the old assessment process, and he said “absolutely not”, that he would change it, that he would evaluate it with a new credible assessment process. Did he? No, not at all.

When he was asked in British Columbia if an aboriginal community disagreed with the construction of a new pipeline would he respect the will of that aboriginal community, his answer was “absolutely”. Let us look at what is happening right now.

The Prime Minister cannot be trusted. This is why we need a just transition for our economy, our workers and families that are working in the energy sectors. However, we see no decision, no action, no movement from the government. We could do a lot with $4.5 billion. This is why we do not think this a good budget or a government we can trust.