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 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to speak to the budget implementation act at third reading. As I think all members of this House know, budgets are really where the government shows its hand, and notwithstanding what it might say, what its real priorities are.

We can look at this budget implementation act and what is in it and compare it to what was in the budget document. There were some things the Liberals said they wanted to move ahead with in the budget document that were laudable. The question then becomes, when the time comes to put them into law and decide what we are going to move ahead with, whether they are here in the budget implementation act. If they are not here, then all Canadians get on those issues are the words in the budget document, which by themselves do not do anything for Canadians and do not change anything.

If the government wants to say, as I believe it did in the budget document, that it is going to get hard on CEOs who are abusing tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, that is all well and good. We say that too. However, if it does not put that in the implementation legislation to change the law that allows those CEOs to do that legally, they are just words.

The Liberals said in the budget document that they were concerned about workers, such as the Sears workers. Of course, we know that workers in many other companies, across many other industries, have faced a similar problem: the company declares bankruptcy and the money in its pension plan is doled out to big banks and investors, or in some cases, to the very same CEOs who were underfunding the pension plan for years by taking holidays or in other ways. It is all well and good for the government to say that it is concerned about that in the budget document, but when it comes down to it, even though what is happening is absolutely wrong, it is legal.

The point of raising the issue and what it means to stand up for those workers is for the government to say that it will change the law so that it is no longer legal. If that is done, those companies can be pursued in court and made to face justice. This budget implementation act does not do that, even though the government talked about the issue in the budget.

The Liberals brag about bringing in a new carbon pricing regime on the one hand. On the other hand, they have told us in question period many times over not to worry, because 85% of Canadians already live under a carbon pricing regime. Which is it? Are they providing leadership on carbon pricing, or are Canadians largely already there? I think there is a real tension in that message.

What is a glaring deficiency in the carbon pricing regime they have proposed in this budget implementation act is that for the fallback carbon price for provinces that do not already have their own systems, the government has not proposed any kind of rebate system. In provinces like B.C. and Alberta, the NDP brought in carbon price rebate programs to ensure that low-income Canadians were not disproportionately affected by a new carbon price. That is something the government could have put into this legislation. It is something we would have been happy to push harder for, although we have mentioned it in the House before.

One of the things we tried to do was take those carbon pricing provisions and break them out into a separate piece of legislation so that we could have a more detailed study of those provisions. That would have provided the opportunity to talk about a meaningful rebate program for low-income Canadians, including seniors who are living on fixed incomes, who will be hit by this in provinces where they do not already have that regime or in provinces that will bring in a carbon pricing regime but will not bring in a rebate program. We think that would have been appropriate and that the federal government could have modelled that in this legislation. However, because it insisted on bringing in that pricing regime in an omnibus budget bill instead of breaking it out, we did not have the time it takes to prepare those kinds of proposals. That is one of the problems with these kinds of bills.

I have said this in the House many times, and I truly believe it. Part of the problem with omnibus bills and using time allocation in the way the current government has, which is setting records with respect to the amount it uses it, and the short period of time it allows after imposing time allocation, is that civil society does not get the opportunity to weigh in on these bills.

It is difficult enough for members of Parliament who have not had a lot of time to appreciate what is in a bill to do their due diligence. However, we are supported. We are supported by the Library of Parliament. We have staff in our offices, and still we struggle. In some cases, due to the time constraints imposed by the government, we are not able to do the kind of study and perform the kind of due diligence I think people expect of members in this place. However, for people in civil society who do not have that kind of time and do not have those resources who are trying to educate themselves about what is happening here in Ottawa after work or between looking after their kids, and all the many other things Canadians do during a day, time allocation in this place makes it even harder for them to engage in discourse about what is happening.

Pensions are a big issue for folks where I am from in Elmwood—Transcona. Therefore, it was a big disappointment to see that there was no legislative follow-through on the discussion of pension theft in the budget document. It was a rather weak discussion, I would say. Nevertheless, if one wanted proof that those words were weak and did not mean anything, the fact that there is nothing here, particularly in light of the fact that my colleague for Hamilton Mountain has already drafted the legislation that would be required to get this done and that the government has taken the good ideas of some other NDP members and incorporated them into government legislation already, shows that the government decided not to move forward with it. I think that is a disappointment to a lot of hard-working people across Canada, particularly in Elmwood—Transcona, some of whom worked at Sears and others who saw what was happening to employees. It was a long-standing institution at Kildonan Place mall. People felt that the workers who worked there for all those years ought to get a fair shake. It is disappointing not to see that.

People in Elmwood—Transcona are disappointed to see that the only thing that came of all the talk on pharmacare by the government was the establishment of a simple committee, and there is actually no money even for that committee to operate. Maybe they will find that money elsewhere. Why they would not put it in the budget, though, in terms of being open and transparent about what the costs for that committee are actually going to be, I do not know.

When we talk about fairness for workers and a budget implementation act being an important opportunity for the government to signal its commitment to a good future for workers, where they can go out and get a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, we think of women across this country who have been waiting for a very long time to get pay equity. Again, pay equity was mentioned in the budget document. However, it does not appear anywhere here.

When we talk about pay equity, the debate for decades has centred on the need to bring in legislation. If this was going to happen spontaneously, out of the good will of corporate Canada, presumably it would have happened a long time ago. We know we need legislation. The budget document itself said we needed legislation. The budget document in 2016 said we needed legislation. The Liberals, in the campaign in 2015, said we needed legislation. Here is another opportunity that has gone by to provide that legislation, and people are rightly beginning to wonder if another election is going to go by before we see that legislation presented.

Pay equity is an important component of any real vision for the future in Canada where we manifest real fairness for workers. We cannot ignore over half the workforce and pay them less for doing work of equal value and pretend that we have fairness for workers in the country. That is another example of where this budget implementation act simply does not live up to the kind of vision the Liberals were trying to project in their budget documents.

Therefore, I forgive Canadians who maybe listened to the news coverage or even the budget debate and thought, wow, there is a lot of great stuff in there for workers. The fact of the matter is that this does not really bring us closer to a fair future for Canadian workers. It ought to. That is why I came to Parliament. I know that is why my colleagues here in the NDP caucus came to Parliament. We will continue to hold the government to account until we replace it.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:45 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the budget and its implementation act work in concert with the estimates process that actually gives legal authority for expenditures by the crown. I know that the hon. member is a very diligent and concerned member when it comes to government structures around the spending powers of the crown. I would like him to comment on his concerns about the whole budgetary process, of which this budget implementation is a part, and in particular, on whether he has any further words to contribute in the debate on vote 40.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:45 p.m.
See context

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I wondered perhaps if I could ask for unanimous consent for 20 or 30 minutes of the House's time, but I will not. I will confine my remarks to the time allotted.

There is something genuinely new about this year's budget and estimates process, which is that the government has decided to seek authority for the spending to implement these initiatives in a genuinely new way. Instead of preparing the programs conceived in the budget document and running them through Treasury Board, where the rigorous costing is done, and making sure that ministers have answers for parliamentarians when they ask about that funding, the government has instead lumped it all into one central vote. It is asking for authority for spending of over $7 billion for all the new budget initiatives in one vote. It has been a real problem for committees, which have not been able to get straight answers.

We know from the PBO, who followed a previous year's budget, that 30% of the items in that budget actually cost significantly more or significantly less than what was forecast in that budget.

Ultimately, I think it will be a problem for Canadians who find that their money has not been well spent because the due diligence was not done. That is why I have been endeavouring to stop it.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:45 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague in the NDP criticized the government's position on the legislation, insinuating that there were additional measures put in here that should not be in a budget document. At the same time, he was advocating for pay equity and pension legislation.

Would he agree that those are appropriate pieces of legislation to put in a budget document? I think the two of us would come very close to being in the same place in terms of how we feel about those particular pieces of legislation. Would he say that the budget document would be a proper place to put those pieces of legislation?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would be quite happy to see those initiatives come to Parliament in separate bills, so I have no quarrel with the idea that those would come in separate pieces of legislation. I notice that, in fact, they have not. I notice also that the government is bringing an omnibus bill for the budget implementation to this House anyway. If it is going to do it anyway, at least put the good stuff in it.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to dive a bit into the carbon debate, because in his comments, the member said that they did not know if there would be a rebate. The way the backstop has been designed by the federal government for Bill C-74 is that there will be a carbon price across the country if provinces do not set up their own plans. I actually think the architecture of this is quite good, and it puts a lie to the constant claim by the Liberals that they needed to give Rachel Notley a pipeline or they could never get a carbon price. A co-operative Alberta is certainly better than a resistant Alberta, but we have a resistant Saskatchewan, and we are plowing ahead. The carbon price will be across the country. It will backstop. It is up to every province if it is revenue neutral or not.

I want to get on the record that I regret that the new government in B.C. has moved away from revenue neutrality. For the first time since our carbon tax was put in place in B.C., it will be entering into the general revenues of the province.

I want to give the hon. member a chance to reflect on that. We need a carbon price. We need a much more vigorous, real carbon plan, which we do not have. However, there is a backstop, and it is up to each province if there is a rebate.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the point I was trying to make in my speech was that I think there could have been a rebate factored into the backstop. What I think is deficient about the plan is that it does not do that. That would have been an excellent way for the federal government to model it for provinces that are initiating their own programs and say that this is how it can be done. For those provinces that do not bring in their own regimes, that would mean that low-income Canadians in those provinces would benefit from a rebate program. That is the real missed opportunity I see in the carbon pricing model.

The secondary point I was trying to make was that if we had been successful in separating that into a separate piece of legislation, we might have had the time to debate that point more fully instead of trying to lump it in with all the other initiatives included in the budget implementation act, although, unfortunately, not in the budget. There are a lot of things in the budget we should be moving ahead on that are not in this bill. If the government wants to introduce separate bills for those things, I actually think that would probably be the more appropriate way of going about it. However, if it is committed to the view, and it seems to be, that one act will implement the budget, then surely it could have put some of the better things from the budget in the act instead of leaving them out.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-74 on behalf of the Government of Canada, as well as our government's planned investments to strengthen the middle class and maintain the strength and sustainable growth of the Canadian economy.

Budget 2018, entitled “Equality + Growth: A Strong Middle Class”, represents the next stage in our plan to invest in people and the communities where they live in order to provide the best opportunities for success to the middle class and all Canadians.

The bill we are talking about today, budget implementation act, 2018, No. 1, is the next step in the plan that our government launched over two years ago. When we took office, we jumped into action by helping develop a confident middle class that stimulates economic growth and that is currently benefiting from more opportunities for success than ever.

Giving Canadians the opportunity to reach their full potential is not only the right thing to do, but it is also the smart thing to do for our economy. The decision to invest in the middle class is the right decision. Targeted investments combined with the hard work of Canadians across the country have helped create good, well-paying jobs and will continue to strengthen the economy over the long term.

Before I go into some of the measures introduced in Bill C-74, it is always a good thing to step aside and take a holistic approach to what is going on in the Canadian economy. For example, if we look at the first quarter gross domestic product, we see some continuing good signs. As an economist, I love these terms. We had real final domestic demand rise by 2.1%, driven by a 10.9% increase in business investment.

Recently, off those numbers, the Bank of Canada governor, Stephen Poloz, commented on the signs of the economy of exports and business investment continuing to pick up. Despite the uncertainties in the global economy and the continuing NAFTA negotiations, business investments remain strong.

Those are great signs for our economy, but what does that really translate to? Quite simply, it translates to 600,000 new jobs, 600,000 people working today who were not working two and a half years ago. Those Canadians are our neighbours, our friends, our family. Also, 300,000 kids have been lifted out of poverty because of the Canada child benefit, which we introduced and which is arriving monthly, tax-free, to Canadian families, such as the families in my riding, Vaughan—Woodbridge. Those are great things that we are doing.

The A.T. Kearney foreign direct investment confidence index came out two weeks ago, making comments on what our plan for the economy is doing for Canada. Canada was ranked number two. I would like to read what the A.T. Kearney index said:

Canada moves up three spots to its highest ranking in the history of the Index. An update to the Investment Canada Act, a newly established Invest Canada agency, and new trade agreements [CETA, CPTPP, entering into negotiations with Mercosur] could be boosting investor optimism.

What does a boost in investment translate to? Very simply, it means jobs for middle-class Canadians in my riding, and coast to coast to coast. I am very proud of the measures introduced in Bill C-74.

One of them is the Canada child benefit. We have spoken about it quite a bit, and we should continue to do so. In my riding, Vaughan—Woodbridge, over $59 million was sent via the Canada child benefit to families in a one-year period. It assisted approximately 19,400 children. The number of payments was 10,900, with an average payment of $5,400.

We can throw lots of numbers out there, but behind them are Canadian families like the ones that reside in Vaughan—Woodbridge. These funds are being sent tax-free, not to millionaires but to real Canadian families, families that are working hard to pay their bills every day, assisting them to pay for their kids' sports, lunches, new clothes, and so forth, and maybe save for an RESP for when their children go to university.

I am so proud of the fact that our government indexed the Canada child benefit. What does that mean? Let me simply tell members.

For example, the Canada child benefit is an important government initiative aimed at making a positive change for the millions of Canadian families with children. Close to 3.3 million families with children are receiving more than $23 billion in annual Canada child benefit payments.

A single mom of two children aged five and eight with a net income of $35,000 in 2016 will have received $11,125 in tax-free Canada child benefit payments in the 2017-18 benefit year. Naturally, this $11,125 is absolutely tax free. That is $3,500 more than she would have received under the previous child benefit system.

This means that, for a family making $35,000, once the Canada child benefit is indexed, it would add up to almost $560 more per year. For families in Canada, $500 more a year is a lot of money, to pay for their kids' lunches and school clothes, to bring their son or daughter to a soccer game in the evening or to a soccer practice, and so forth. I am proud that our government has looked at this initiative. I am proud that our government has lifted 300,000 kids out of poverty because of this. I am proud that our government has indexed this. These are real, tangible measures that are assisting families from coast to coast to coast on an everyday basis, and our party should be proud of that.

I am proud to represent a riding, Vaughan—Woodbridge, within the city of Vaughan, that is one of the most entrepreneurial areas of the country. We have approximately 13,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in the city, and I meet with these folks regularly. We are also blessed to have many large organizations. We have Canadian Pacific's busiest intermodal facility in the country, a key barometer of trade and investment. We have Home Depot's eastern Canada distribution centre. We have the FedEx distribution centre for eastern Canada. We have UPS's distribution centre for all of eastern Canada. Again, UPS made that wonderful announcement of investing $500 million in the Canadian economy, creating thousands of additional jobs. We have a furniture maker, Decor-Rest, which employs 700 Canadians, competing globally against furniture makers both here in Canada and in the United States and Mexico, and winning in competing.

I am blessed to have all these entrepreneurs. I am also blessed to have a number of bakeries and great pastry shops, which I have talked about before, especially during Italian Heritage Month. I visit them and we talk about what makes these companies successful.

One big thing we have done, which is contained in Bill C-74, is the reduction in the small-business tax rate from 11% in 2015, which will eventually fall to 9%. We should be proud of that. For small businesses making $500,000 a year in active income, the savings would be $7,500. That can offset other increased input costs they may face. They can use those savings to invest in their businesses, or whatever they choose. That is something we need to applaud.

Looking at our corporate tax system in Canada, the combined federal corporate tax rate in the province of Ontario, roughly 12.9%, is one of the lowest small-business tax rates globally. We have seen that turn up in the job numbers, with 600,000 new jobs, most of them private sector jobs. That is a good barometer for the economy. That is why we have larger companies like CN or CP hiring. However, we also have small companies, because we know that small and medium-sized enterprises and businesses are the backbone of our economy.

That measure, introduced in Bill C-74, is something we should be very proud of. Cumulatively, that measure would result in approximately $3 billion in tax savings due to lower taxes for small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada through the 2022-23 period. This is a substantial reduction in taxes. When we brought in the tax cut for middle-class Canadians, people said, “Whom does it affect?” It affected nine million taxpayers. We brought in a multi-billion dollar tax cut that benefited millions of Canadians from coast to coast to coast, and here we are doing the same thing for small businesses.

We also undertook extensive consultations with small businesses on how we could best work with them to grow their business, because we want to increase jobs and investment and achieve better productivity and a better standard of living for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

We also want to ensure that the businesses that benefit from that low small-business tax rate are the appropriate ones. We undertook a consultation and arrived at a point where we introduced measures where 97% of businesses remain unaffected. If people have an active business, they can continue to invest in it and continue to grow. That is wonderful. These are measures contained in Bill C-74. However, we also have what I think is a very prudent measure. If they have actually accumulated $3 million, $4 million, or $5 million in what is called passive income, which is a little technical to describe, something they can save for retirement or set aside and invest in a separate business, which may not be connected to their own business, that is great. They can continue to do that, and we are not going to change the tax structure within their passive investments. However, at a certain point they will no longer benefit from the small-business tax rate of 12.9%, and we will move them up to the 24% tax rate. It is a fair measure.

Canadians expect fairness and progressivity in their tax system. Canadians expect us to do a thoughtful job. When others take a risk, they should be rewarded, but at the same time they should understand that when they have done very well and have been able to set aside some monies within passive investments, they are also going to move up to the corporate tax rate, which is very competitive globally. Even with the United States' adoption of its recent tax reform, our corporate tax rate is very competitive with the U.S. tax rate, and we need to point that out.

There are a lot of good measures contained in Bill C-74, and I am very proud of them. Another one I would like to talk about is the Canada workers benefit. This is something a lot of low-income working Canadians are going to benefit from. There are a couple of measures that I think are very good and long-lasting, and they will proceed beyond this Parliament and many others.

One is working with CRA and undertaking automatic enrolment. Automatic enrolment means that those in society who do not have the means or access that many of us here enjoy are automatically enrolled to receive these benefits. According to the estimates, just this measure alone is going to lift 70,000 people out of poverty and provide additional benefits. Someone making $15,000, a student or a retiree, can receive up to nearly $500 more with the new Canada workers benefit. It is something I am very proud of. My progressive roots cheer this on. It is something that all Canadians can be very proud of.

We realize that some people, especially indigenous people living in northern and remote communities, have often faced barriers when it comes to accessing essential government services and federal benefits such as the Canada child benefit. With Bill C-74, our government will take steps to ensure that anyone who is eligible for support receives it.

Through Bill C-74, the government proposes to expand outreach efforts to all indigenous communities on reserves and in northern and remote areas, and to conduct pilot outreach projects for urban indigenous communities so that indigenous peoples have better access to a full range of federal social benefits, including the Canada child benefit.

Now I would like to talk about the Canada worker's benefit. Canadians working hard to join the middle class deserve to have their hard work rewarded with greater opportunities for success. We know that these Canadians are working to build a better life for themselves and their families. Low-income Canadians are sometimes working two or three jobs so that they can give themselves and their children a better chance at success.

That is why the government is proposing a new benefit in budget 2018 and in Bill C-74: the Canada workers benefit. This benefit builds on the former working income tax benefit and would put more money into the pockets of low-income workers. It would encourage more people to join and remain in the workforce by letting them take home more money while they work.

Through Bill C-74, the government would increase the overall support provided for the 2019 and subsequent taxation years. In particular, the government proposes to increase maximum benefits under the CWB by up to $170 in 2019, and increase the income level at which the benefit is entirely phased out. As a result, low-income workers earning $15,000 could receive up to almost $500 more from the CWB in 2019 than they could receive this year under the current working income tax benefit. That is $500 to invest in the things that are important to them, and to make ends meet.

The government is also proposing changes to improve access to the Canada workers benefit to allow the Canada Revenue Agency to calculate the CWB for anyone who has not claimed it starting in 2019.

Again, having the CRA automatically register people who are eligible for these programs and others is a large step forward for our tax system.

One thing I would like to comment on is the framework we have introduced for the pricing of carbon. We have done this in a very thoughtful and prudent manner. It is a backstop, and 85% of Canadians are covered by a form of carbon pricing system. The provinces are permitted to do what they wish with the revenues.

However, I agree with the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands. It was very disappointing that the NDP government in B.C. would move away from a revenue-neutral price on carbon. I am very disappointed. It speaks to fiscal foolishness. We need to allow provinces to do what they wish, but we need the provinces to be transparent. Our carbon pricing system is transparent. The funds flow back to the provinces and the provinces then decide how to allocate those funds, but they should also be transparent about it.

We have an opportunity in this world that we are moving into. Many countries have already adopted this pricing system, and many industries in the private sector, which I am a big champion of, have looked at this. We have companies all over the world, such as Daimler in Germany, FCA, Ford, or any automotive company, looking at adopting electric vehicles, at technology on clean tech, and at renewable energy. We have the system going on. We have this shift going on. We need to be a part of it.

However, this is not, as my Conservative colleagues are saying, scaring away investment. It is not. We saw it in the first quarter GDP numbers. Business investment in Canada is rising. We see that every day, whether it is Samsung announcing its AI facility in downtown Toronto, or Montreal being the gaming sector of North America when it comes to enterprise arts. We see it in Vancouver, with the clustering that is going on, and in the Kitchener—Waterloo area. We see it with many auto parts suppliers in Ontario, and then there is Toyota's announcement. Foreign direct investment in Canada is creating jobs. It created jobs yesterday, it is creating jobs today, and it will create jobs in the future, because we are making those conditions very strong.

Finally, when we talk about Canada's fiscal position, we maintain a AAA credit rating, which we have had for so long. It has been affirmed recently. Our debt-to-GDP ratio is declining. I would argue that we have the best fiscal position of any G7 country on any fiscal measure, and that is something we need to be proud of. It is something our government is proud of.

Therefore, when I hear the banter from the other side, I would love to sit down and chat with them and show them a couple of measures on the economy. These measures that show how well we are doing include the 600,000 new jobs we have created, the 40-year low in the unemployment rate, the increase in wages that Canadians are seeing from coast to coast to coast, and the infrastructure we are building in this country.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

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

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know my colleague has a background in finance and investment banking, and in his speech he spoke about the importance of supporting the middle class. In particular, he mentioned the Canada child benefit, which has done so much to strengthen the Canadian economy and attack the problem of child poverty.

I wonder if he could compare the CCB with the previous government's approach to child benefits, which was not tax-free, whereas the CCB is. The CCB is also means-tested, unlike what existed under the previous government. I wonder if he could compare and contrast those two different approaches and what they mean for Canadians on a general level.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

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

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is great to work with my hon. colleague from London North Centre and be on the same side of the aisle with him.

The Canada child benefit has had a profound impact on families and our economy, to the point where it actually boosted GDP in a year. The approach we took was to send cheques to the families that need them the most. It is kind of an interesting approach, when one thinks about it. We thought we should the cheques not to millionaires, but to the families that need them the most.

Yes, it is means-tested. For those who make over $200,000, it will be diminished. For someone like myself and my family, we do not receive it any more, but we are fine. It is for Canadian families who are working hard to make combined family incomes of $70,000, $75,000, or $80,000, who have one, two, or three children at home. I have two daughters at home, and I know how much it costs. It will help families. It is going to be tax-free. At the end of the year, those with higher incomes will not get a bunch of tax back, because that does not make sense. That was bad policy under the prior government. We fixed it, and we are proud of that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 5:15 p.m.
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Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Flamborough—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was awoken by this unbelievable analysis of how child benefits are delivered in Canada. I wonder why the member did not include in his characterization of the child benefit that the universal child care benefit went to everybody. For people with high incomes, it was neutralized by being taxed back.

He did not mention the arts credit that the Liberals removed. He did not mention the sports tax credit that the Liberals removed. He did not mention the transit tax credit that Liberals removed, which most families enjoyed. Amazingly, he did not mention income splitting for lower-income families, so that they could enjoy that as well.

All of this profoundly diminishes this current child benefit and puts families way behind where they were, including a family I know very well in Winnipeg, a stay-at-home mom with two kids. This family pays $1,500 more in tax because of this crazy policy.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 5:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe my hon. colleague is reading information from the Fraser Institute, so I will leave it at that and put that aside.

In terms of how tax credits work, some can be refundable, and some can be non-refundable. You need taxes owing or taxes payable. A lot of the tax credits that were introduced by the prior government were for families that would not benefit from them because they did not have taxes payable. It is unfortunate. The CCB goes to all families that need it, up to $200,000, and it is something we are proud of.

The member brought up income splitting. If we look at the evidence, that benefited more well-to-do families than anything else. It is something I have read about extensively and something I do not support as an economist. There are other policy measures that would have been much more effective, which could have been but were not adopted by the prior government. Conservatives were actually warned not to adopt income splitting by their prior finance minister, God rest his soul.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 5:15 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I did not know my colleague from Vaughan—Woodbridge was an economist, so I will ask him a question. I am not an economist but I have two daughters and I am fully aware of the cost of prescription drugs. I am a Quebecker and I live in a society which made the effort of setting up a pharmacare program. Even then, it is complex. When someone has a pharmacare plan as part of employment benefits, they have to join it, but when you do not have such a plan, you are covered by the public system, and managing income tax becomes all the more complicated as you have to file two tax returns.

However, the logic behind it has often been explained and it is clearly beneficial for Canada to have a pharmacare program for all Canadians. Why not do it, then? What a disappointment to see nothing in the budget implementation bill when such a program was mentioned in the budget plan.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 5:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the province of Ontario, and I have to give credit where credit is due to the Ontario government and the provincial Liberals, we have OHIP+. All children are covered up to the age of 25. It is universal. It was introduced last year. I am very proud to say that. It is going to be a legacy measure.

Federally, we have indicated that Dr. Eric Hoskins, a former Liberal cabinet minister from Ontario, is leading a task force on this. Frankly, 80% of Canadians are covered with some form of pharmacare coverage, but there is a gap.

We need to sit down with all the provinces to come up with a pan-Canadian solution. We are looking at taking measures to lower drug prices all around. We recognize that, and that has been ongoing. We need to sit down with all stakeholders to have a substantive, prudent, consultative process on how we can reach the point where no Canadian family is impacted by the cost of prescription drugs.

That is something we can all come to an agreement on in this House. There are different ways of getting there, but the ultimate goal is that no Canadian family should go to bed at night worrying about the cost of prescription drugs or how they will be covered.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 5:20 p.m.
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Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my distinguished colleague's speech and comments earlier. He was talking about some of the measures the previous government had taken that would in fact benefit the wealthiest. One of these measures was doubling the TFSA limit.

We know that the original thinker who came up with the idea of a TFSA said at the time that this would put the state in a fiscal straitjacket. When the former finance minister, Joe Oliver, was asked what kind of situation it would put the state into, in terms of deprived revenues, he said that is a problem for Stephen Harper's granddaughter to solve.

We have taken a different approach and brought the limit back to what it formerly was. When they say they are working for working-class Canadians, I always smile and wonder who the working-class Canadians are that they have in mind, who have $11,000 at the end of the year to put in a TFSA account. Their constituents might be very different from mine.

I am just wondering if the member has any comments on the kinds of policies we saw from the previous government, as opposed to the ones we have adopted, where we try to give more to those who need it most instead of having an approach that is focused on the wealthiest.