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

April 16th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
See context

Whitby Ontario

Liberal

Celina Caesar-Chavannes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Mr. Speaker, over this past weekend, I had a round table, an open discussion, about budget 2018 in the riding of Whitby. My hon. colleague had an opportunity to visit the riding a little while ago. In Durham region, of which Whitby is a part, over the last couple of years, we have seen unemployment decrease to the lowest it has been in 15 years. When I was knocking on doors, it was about 11% or 12%, and now it is down to 5.6%. Members in my riding are excited about that. They are excited about the fact that we have been reducing the small business tax rate, we have indexed the CCB, and we have introduced the Canada working income tax benefit.

One of the things that people were questioning and a bit concerned about is what we have done for seniors. I wonder if the hon. member could address some of the concerns that the residents of Whitby have had.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is true that I was in the member for Whitby's region. I was impressed by the dynamism of the local entrepreneurs and also the community members I met, who are very involved and shared their concerns with me. It is a region that is very dynamic. With regard to making sure that this growth is sustained, though it was not part of the member's question, I would like to highlight the investments in 2018 in science. They are historic and will make sure that we continue to innovate in this country and create well-paying jobs for Canadians as Canadian scientists are hard at work finding the bright ideas of the future.

In terms of seniors, it is important to remember that one of the things we have done as a government is to increase the guaranteed income supplement by 10%. That is helping close to a million seniors with a little less than $1,000 per year every year. That is something we should be proud of. That is on top of the national housing strategy we have put forward, which will help provide more housing for senior citizens across this country. These concerns have found an echo in the actions of this government, and I could go on for longer.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, in regard to the national carbon tax and imposing one upon provinces that may not be in agreement with the government's aims, the courts previously found, in the Vander Zalm ruling regarding the HST, that a province not only needed to be consulted, but there needed to be agreement by the province in order for the feds to collect a tax that would normally be collected by the province. It was under the good governance clause that it was allowed.

Does the member or his government have an opinion from the Minister of Justice's officials that he can share outlining the constitutionality of a nationally imposed federal carbon tax? Our Constitution would allow an environmental program to be tabled by the Minister of Environment, but a tax by a federal minister of finance basically engaging in energy regulation, I believe is ultra vires and outside its constitutionality. Does the member have any evidence that he can table, or will his government be tabling such an opinion, so that members can know this has been thought through? He said in his speech “a legal framework” for the imposition of this national carbon tax? Is it legal?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, obviously we would not introduce a bill if we did not believe it to be legal.

Here is where I disagree with my esteemed colleague: we see this as a price on carbon pollution. My colleague calls it a tax, but it is actually a price on carbon pollution. I think this shows how the Conservatives' vision contrasts with ours. Members on this side of the House believe it is important to grow our economy in a way that protects and preserves our environment. I would also like to remind him that this type of system is in place in four Canadian provinces so far, four provinces that account for 80% of the population.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are only two questions that Parliament must ask when presented with a budget: what does it cost us, and what do we get for it as Canadians?

Let us start with the cost of this budget. Costs are borne out through government in three ways: spending, debt, and taxes. Debt and taxes are the symptoms; spending is the cause. Whatever Parliament agrees to allow the government to spend, it must ultimately tax or borrow from the citizens and from bondholders.

The Liberal government loves to spend. The stats show that it has been increasing spending at an annual rate of roughly 6.5% to 7% per year, which is three times the combined rate of inflation and population growth. In other words, spending is growing three times as fast as the need. That spending, of course, requires a source. The government has been plundering taxpayers and borrowing to pay for that spending ever since it took office.

Let me talk briefly about the government's approach to spending. In an adjoining piece of legislation to this budget bill, the government will attempt to change the way in which Parliament approves the executive branch's expenditure of money. We, as Canadians, live in the British parliamentary system, which for roughly 800 years has meant that the power of the purse rests with the elected officials and that the crown cannot spend what Parliament does not approve. That principle originated in the fields of Great Britain at the time that King John signed the Magna Carta.

Typically governments have come forward before the House of Commons with detailed spending plans, item by item, agency by agency, department by department, and purpose by purpose, saying “Here is what we want to spend. Here is what it is for.” Then, Parliament has scrutinized that spending and passed it, and that government has been restricted by the specificity that it put in that legislation. In other words, it can only spend the money on the things it said it would, and only in the amounts that it said it would spend.

Instead, this year the government wants to do something that has only once been done in Canadian history, and then only during a crisis, and that is for Parliament to approve $7 billion of discretionary spending, which ministers on the government's Treasury Board can spend whatever they want on, as long as it stays under that $7-billion limit.

As I said, normally that $7 billion would be carefully earmarked in the main estimates that come before the House, and we as parliamentarians would approve or reject it. If it were approved, then the government would have to spend each dollar where it said it would. However, not this time.

The government has changed the system in a way that allows the government to have a big bundle of cash for a group of politicians sitting on the Treasury Board to allocate as they wish. As it stands, based on the system of financial reporting, the results of that spending will only come out in subsequent public accounts.

The public accounts for the fiscal year we have just entered will not come out until the fall of 2019. As members all know, we will be in an election at that time, and therefore those accounts cannot be tabled in the House until after the election. What the government is asking us to do is approve $7 billion of discretionary spending, and it will get back to us after the election on how it spent it.

One example of the attitude of the government to spending money was what the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Finance was saying. He was bragging that the government has spent an extra $1 billion on tax collectors. Normally, most governments blush when they talk about the resources they put into tax collecting departments. The Liberal government openly brags about it.

We all know that tax collection is necessary for any functional country. We also know that given their druthers, the Canadian people would like to see lower taxes and lower costs, and less money spent on bureaucrats hounding our small businesses and workers, as has become the customary practice of the government. We have seen tax collectors go after the tips of waitresses, shoe salesmen's discounts, and the disability tax credit for people suffering with diabetes.

However, the government brags openly about its expenditure on those same tax collectors, which is the Liberal approach to spending: Spend more. Spend now. Spend faster. What does that bring? It brings debt, which is the next pillar of the current Liberal government's plan. It is more debt.

The Liberals ran in the last election on a $10-billion deficit, which meant they would increase the national debt by a mere $10 billion a year. In the first two budgets, that deficit was twice what they promised. This time, it will be three times what they promised. Not only that, they promised that the deficit would be gone by 2019, which is next year. Now they say that will not happen for another quarter century. During that time, Canada's national government will add almost half a trillion dollars in additional debt. That assumes that the government introduces no additional spending in the upcoming pre-election budget next year—an unlikely story. It also assumes that direct program spending will only go up by about 1.5% over the next five years, when the government has been increasing that spending at a rate of about 5.5% since it took office. Therefore, we are expected to believe that the Prime Minister is a new man, that he has changed, and that he will not increase spending at 5.5% but only 1.5%. Who believes that the Prime Minister has even the intention of changing his ways, when his words have not suggested that he believes restraint is necessary?

Originally the government told us that its plan, its anchor, was that the deficit must never be more than $10 billion. Now the Liberals have shattered that promise. The Liberals said their anchor was that they would not add more than $25 billion total. Well, they have already done almost double that in new debt since taking office. They released that anchor as well.

However, the new anchor that the Liberals say will guide them in their spending is that the debt-to-GDP ratio will decline. That is, the debt will never be allowed to grow faster than the economy. Now, there are problems with using that measurement as an anchor, which I will list. One, the debt-to-GDP ratio of the Government of Canada is an incomplete measure of the country's ability to withstand indebtedness.

The Canadian government is supported by taxpayers. Those taxpayers have to support other levels of government which also have debt. Alberta is adding almost $10 billion to its debt this year, which means that one-fifth of every expenditure that the Government of Alberta makes is paid for by borrowing. Ontario has doubled its debt in the last 10 years alone, and it is the most indebted subnational government in North America. Atlantic provinces are similarly indebted. Their aging populations will retire in disproportionately large numbers, meaning fewer taxpayers and more people needing health care at a time when their provinces are already struggling with large debt interest payments to lenders. Therefore, the same taxpayers that the federal government are relying on to support the federal debt also have provincial debts that are growing exponentially. Finally, those taxpayers have personal debts, which happen to be among the largest in the OECD. Right now, the average Canadian household has $1.70 in personal debt for every dollar in disposable income.

If we take the personal debt, the corporate debt, and the government debt of the entire economy, it is three times the size of GDP, which is a larger ratio than Greece, Spain, or other basket cases on debt around the world. This is according to Gluskin Sheff, which is a major financial firm that performed that calculation just a month and a half ago. Therefore, if we take all the debt that the Canadian economy is supporting, we are in a worse financial position today than is Greece.

The government just assumes that all of its good luck will continue. Oil prices have doubled. The American economy is roaring. The world economy has picked up. Interest rates have been at historic lows. The real estate bubble in Toronto and Vancouver has created a short-term and unsustainable employment boom and revenue for the government it cannot count on. All of these events are temporary. They are out of the government's control, and they could be gone just as quickly as they appeared.

If we are running massive, promise-shattering deficits today, while lady luck is smiling, how will we pay the bills when she starts to frown? The government has not prepared for those eventualities. In fact, its arbitrary debt-to-GDP ratio anchor creates a whole series of perverse policy incentives.

The debt is the numerator in that measurement, and the GDP is the denominator. If we were hit with a financial crisis that caused the GDP to shrink, to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio, as the government claims is its promise, it would actually have to cut spending dramatically in the middle of a recession, which is exactly the opposite of what it claims should be done during such economic times. It would have to cut spending to reduce the size of government faster than the economy overall was reducing in size, and it would have to do so in a way that would allow it to run budget surpluses in order to pay down the debt at a faster rate than the economy was shrinking.

Who in the House would really think it was responsible to prepare for a rainy day by suggesting that if a financial crisis were a problem and an external threat were to arise, the solution, according to the government's plan, would be to cut spending and dramatically reduce the government's ability to respond? That is effectively what the government's current anchor would require it to do to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio in the event that a crisis came along and shrunk the GDP. Nevertheless, that is the anchor it chooses to rely upon as it goes forward.

That brings me to taxes, because, as we know, today's deficits are tomorrow's taxes. The government cannot ultimately spend any money that it does not tax, either by taking it out of the pockets of people today or by forcing them to pay interest on debt tomorrow. That interest, by the way, is going to rise by one-third over the next five years under the government's plan, from about $25 billion to $32 billion. That is an increase of $7 billion or $8 billion in the amount Canadian taxpayers will give wealthy bondholders. That is another wealth transfer, by the way, from the working class to the super-rich. That always happens through higher taxes.

What do we know about the government's record already on taxes? According to the Fraser Institute, which conducted an objective and scientific analysis of the taxes paid by middle-class Canadians, 80% are already paying higher taxes under this government, on average $800 more. With other projected tax increases, those the government has already legislated or committed to, it will be about 90% of Canadian taxpayers, and they will pay, on average, over $2,000 more in taxes once the government's full plan is implemented.

Taxpayers are already contributing more to feed the government's insatiable, uncontrollable spending. However, the government is just getting started. It has an additional carbon tax it wants everyone to pay. That tax is laid out in a 206-page section of the budget bill we are now debating. Let us step back a minute and ask ourselves what we were told about this carbon tax.

First, we were told that it would be revenue neutral, that the government would cut taxes as much as it raised them. While people might pay more for gas, groceries, electricity, and other basic essentials, they would get an income tax break or perhaps a consumption tax break. As a result, it would be a strictly neutral transaction shifting taxes from what we earn to what we burn. That was the promise. However, nowhere in these 206 pages of legislation on the federal carbon tax is there any mention of a tax reduction to offset the new burden to be paid by Canadian taxpayers for the carbon tax.

Second, we were told that the carbon tax would be simple. There would be a wholesale levy, and then the marketplace would do its work. The government would put a price on something we do not want, and people would therefore consume less of it, that being carbon-intensive goods, and the problem would solve itself. We would not need all this bureaucracy: regulators, administrators, rules, and accountants to administer the tax on the end of the small business or household. That would all be behind us.

We now have the legislation, and it is 206 pages long. There are permits. There are credits that could be traded between provinces, and there are different rates of taxation for different kinds of carbon products, all of which will have to be sorted out through endless paperwork by high-priced accountants and lawyers who will then administer this scheme.

This carbon tax, as established by this legislation, would benefit some. It would benefit those who are wealthy and well-connected and who have the ability to get their hands on the resulting revenue.

Ontario already has a carbon tax, and while it takes one-third more of the income of a low-income household than that of a rich household, it provides benefits to people who can afford to buy a $150,000 electric Tesla. If someone is a millionaire and can buy a Tesla, that person will get $15,000 as a bonus, but a low-income single mom trying to keep the lights on or pay for gas to get to work will pay more so that the rich guy can have his fancy electric car. It is another wealth transfer to the privileged elite using government as the delivery mechanism to move money from those who earned it to the privileged few who did not.

Herein lies the worst part of the carbon tax, and it is the cover-up, the carbon tax cover-up. For the last two years, I have asked the Liberal government what it would cost the average family to pay the $50-a-tonne carbon tax. The good news is that the government has that information. I know, because I submitted access to information requests for which it released the information. However, it released the information with some black ink over the numbers. We are not allowed to know the numbers. We know there is a cost, and we know that the government knows the cost, but it does not want us to know the cost.

This is the first time in my parliamentary career that a government has imposed a tax without telling people what it will cost them. The basic principle of parliamentary democracy is that the commoners must approve any tax the common people must pay, but we cannot approve what we do not know. If the government is so proud of its carbon tax, why does it not tell people what it will cost them?

Finally, the government will not tell us how much greenhouse gases will be reduced. We do not know the cost and we do not know the benefit, yet we are supposed to judge the cost-to-benefit analysis.

This budget costs too much and will achieve too little, so I am moving a motion to amend the budget bill. I move:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following: the House decline to give second reading to Bill C-74, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, since the Bill: (a) fails to address the cost of the government's carbon tax to the average Canadian Family; (b) neglects to implement, or to even mention, the government's promise of a balanced budget; and (c) will continue on the path of adding debt at twice the rate foreshadowed by the Minister of Finance.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
See context

Whitby Ontario

Liberal

Celina Caesar-Chavannes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member took me back to my fourth grade days when he mentioned that debt was the numerator and GDP was the denominator and that if, for example, we got into a fiscal crisis, we would need to cut services to maintain our debt-to-GDP ratio.

I am wondering if my hon. colleague remembers the days before the last election, when that is exactly what his government did. It cut services and essential programs needed by Canadians to create a fictional surplus before the last election. During the election, his government then ran on an austerity budget at a time when the economy was stagnant, such that at this time, we would not see Canada as the fastest growing country in the G7, we would not see the job creation we have seen so far, and we would not see the economy booming as we do.

I am wondering if the hon. colleague can speak to that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I certainly can, as a matter of fact. She said we would not have seen Canada as the fastest job-creation jurisdiction in the G7 if Conservative policies were in place. Actually, that is exactly what we saw. When the great global recession struck here in Canada, we had the best job record anywhere in the G7. In fact, we were the last country to go into deficit and the last country to go into recession, and we were the first to come out of recession. That was the result of careful planning in the good times.

In the years leading up to that great global recession, which originated outside our borders, our previous finance minister, Jim Flaherty, paid off $40 billion in debt so that we had a cushion and could absorb those external shocks. We then quickly recovered and turned that short-term, externally caused deficit into a surplus so that when the next worldwide shock struck, the 70% drop in oil prices in late 2014, we were once again insulated against its effects, and we were able to move forward with a solid economic position. That is a good reminder that when times are good, we should squirrel away everything we can so that we are prepared for the bad times that may come ahead.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I like the hon. member, and he is certainly very articulate, but I really have to ask where he was over the past decade, particularly under the Harper government. We saw the worst deficits in our nation's history under the Conservatives, and we saw the highest family debt load in Canadian history. It has gotten worse under the Liberals.

He mentioned in his speech the question of transferring money to the privileged few. This was a practice started by the Harper government, and it has been amplified by the Liberals, particularly when we look at overseas tax havens. We lose anywhere from $10 billion to $40 billion each and every year. No one knows how much, because the Liberals, up until a few weeks ago, refused to give the figures to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, as the Conservatives did before them. We lose billions and billions of dollars a year that could go to job creation, building social programs, and providing the things Canadians really need. What we have seen is the Liberals continuing the practice of signing these tax treaties with notorious tax havens.

My question to the hon. member is very simple. Does he think it is bad, as I do, that the Liberals are continuing the practice of signing these agreements with overseas tax havens and allowing tens of billions of dollars to leave the country untaxed, when they could be serving to build job creation, build a better economy, and build programs for Canadians?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I like the member as well. He talks about the Liberal approach to tax fairness. In the last election, the Prime Minister said that he would go after wealthy tax cheats. It was not until after the election that we found out whom he meant. He meant pizza shop owners, farmers, and welders who own small businesses. He meant waitresses who might get a discount on a sandwich during their break at the restaurant. He meant diabetics, from whom his government attempted to take away the disability tax credit. Those were the wealthy tax cheats the Prime Minister had in mind.

That reminds us that whenever government gets big, costly, and expensive, it is always the working class that pays the bills. That is because capital and higher income people are more mobile. They have the ability to reap the benefits of big government without absorbing the cost. Of course, workers do not have the same ability. They cannot hire a fancy accountant or move their money offshore. They cannot get on a plane and just move somewhere else to work for another company around the world somewhere. As a result, when all the bills come due for big government programs, it is always working people who end up shouldering the burdens.

The solution to that is to contain government and allow people to keep more of what they earn to expand free enterprise, a system based on voluntary exchange, where one can get ahead only by offering something to someone else that is worth more to that person than it costs to pay for it. That system of voluntary exchange and free markets has lifted literally billions of people around the world out of poverty. It is the number one determinant of economic success, and it is the greatest invention for the creation of material prosperity and the defeat of poverty ever conceived by any human being.

I am sure the hon. member from the NDP would agree with that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate this member's contribution to the debate today. Absolutely, government debt is at a high when we add in the provinces. However, we also add our demographics, and it becomes incumbent upon any responsible government to make sure it is not taking on more debt than it needs, particularly since there is no war, recession, or public safety concern.

Could the member extrapolate a little on the issue of carbon pricing or carbon taxes? When the carbon tax was brought in, the cement industry in my province of British Columbia was hit extremely hard. Since Washington state and Alberta did not have a carbon tax, and Washington state still does not have one, that industry has been hit particularly hard, and now taxpayers are permanently subsidizing millions of dollars every year, which was supposed to be temporary, just to keep the cement industry going.

I would appreciate if the member could extrapolate more on how carbon taxes actually end up pushing people's behaviour in odd ways.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member from British Columbia is a great champion for entrepreneurship. He understands that entrepreneurship is about allowing people to produce prosperity for themselves, their families, and their communities. That is one of the points of distinction between this side and that side. As he correctly points out, governments tax industries and people into submission. As Reagan put it, “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

We see it over and over again. Let us just consider the current example of the Trans Mountain pipeline. The government has wrapped the project in so much bureaucratic red tape that the proponent has suggested that the project may no longer be economically viable and they may cancel it altogether. Now the government is saying, “It is okay. We will just take taxpayers' money to prop up what we have been holding down.” One wonders why it did not just get out of the way in the first place and let this ecologically friendly, safe, and secure project go ahead without so much burden.

Again, the government imposes taxes, regulations, and other costs until businesses finally cannot operate. Then it says that it needs to spend more money to prop up all these failing businesses. We saw it impose massive new taxes on small businesses, or at least attempt to, in the fall, before we stopped it. Simultaneously, it is saying that we need billions of dollars of corporate welfare to save businesses from collapse. Why not just get out of the way in the first place, so that enterprise can rely on investment and sales to generate its revenues and pay its bills, rather than constantly forcing businesses to hire lobbyists, suck up to politicians, and turn to government?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
See context

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will talk about the size and scope of Bill C-74. I would like to start with the size. I have been here for a few years, and a number of my colleagues have been as well, and we recall the worst years of the Harper government, when massive 300- and 400-page bricks would be dropped in the middle of the House of Commons.

Those omnibus bills, as part of the budget implementation act, were designed to hit sometimes a couple of dozen areas and various pieces of legislation. It was a deliberate tactic, which was anti-democratic and designed to hide from the Canadian public what was actually in the budget implementation act. Of course, we spoke very loudly about that, as did many Canadians, seeing it as a fundamentally anti-democratic approach to government, with 300 or 400 pages touching 24 or 25 different pieces of legislation. What it did was hide the intent of the budget in a very real way.

At that time, we were the official opposition, but the Liberals, as the third party, also rose in this House and repeatedly condemned the Harper government for putting in place anti-democratic omnibus legislation. My colleagues will recall Liberal members standing up and saying that having 300 or 400 pages of legislation that is dumped in one brick hitting 24 or 25 different pieces of legislation is fundamentally anti-democratic. It does not allow Canadians to know what is really in the budget implementation act, and it does not provide the kind of clarity and transparency that hopefully we would all seek to see in a budget implementation act, which is perhaps one of the most important pieces of legislation brought forward by Parliamentarians, who are elected by the people of this country to come together and discuss transparently and democratically the nation's business. This piece of legislation is one of the most important.

Thus, my colleagues can understand my complete dismay when the Liberals, just a couple of weeks ago, tabled their budget implementation act. We have had previous budget implementation acts of 300, 350, 400, and sometimes as many as 450 pages of legislation tackling 27, 28, even 29 different pieces of legislation.

The Liberals made commitments of sunny ways and a new approach to transparency. We all recall, back in 2015, the Prime Minister making those commitments, that the Liberals would take a completely different approach to governance, that they would have respect for democracy and bring in a different type of electoral process, putting away first past the post. The Liberals also said very clearly, many times, that they were going to do away with omnibus legislation.

However, what did the Liberals table? They tabled the largest omnibus bill in Canadian history, 556 pages, amending not just 28, 29, or 30 different acts, but 44 separate pieces of legislation. It is nearly 100 pages longer than any of the omnibus legislation we have seen in the past, which the Liberals used to criticize and attack. We are 100 pages beyond what the Conservatives used to do, 100 pages beyond the Harper record. We have the biggest, fattest, and least transparent budget implementation act in Canadian history.

There is no other way to put it. This is a profound betrayal of everything the Liberals said they stood for in 2015, every commitment they made to Canadians at that time, and every speech the Prime Minister and other Liberal MPs made in the House of Commons saying that they were going to do away with omnibus legislation. The size of this is beyond belief. We have never seen anything like it, 550 pages. It is beyond anything the Harper government imagined or was able to table. It is that much worse.

It will come as no surprise to you, Mr. Speaker, that in the coming days we will be endeavouring to put the case to you, because, as Speaker of the House of Commons, on behalf of all Canadians, you have the ability to divide or carve up this omnibus legislation and create stand-alone bills that can be voted on separately. That power, which has been given to you, Mr. Speaker, is sacrosanct and so important. When the government is refusing to heed Canadians' calls, when it is refusing to be transparent and democratic, then the Speaker of the House of Commons has the ability to intervene, and we will be asking and laying out the case in the coming days for you to do just that. It is fundamentally important.

That is the start of what is probably one of the most cynical budget implementation acts we have ever seen, cynical in its size and in its scope. Before I go into those details, let us talk about what the current situation is for the vast majority of Canadians, because this is very germane to the debate we are going to be having over the next few days. Far from having sunny days and sunny ways, as the Prime Minister likes to say, as he goes around the globe to various meetings, Canadians are actually struggling to make ends meet in a way that is perhaps unprecedented, beyond the depressions and recessions we have seen in the past. We now have a new reality that the government should have taken account of.

The new reality is that the average Canadian family now has, inflation-adjusted, the worst family debt load in any period in Canadian history. The average Canadian family is struggling under a worse debt load than it had under the Great Depression or under recessions. It is struggling under a massive debt load far beyond its annual earnings. That debt load is making it difficult for so many families in this country to make ends meet.

The average Canadian family is now surviving on temporary or part-time work. Despite the fact that the finance minister will stand in the House and say how things are rosy out there, the jobs that are being created tend to be temporary in nature. They do not allow for the family-sustaining type of employment that the NDP has always promoted and that we believe very strongly in achieving. However, that takes investments, forethought, and planning, which we do not see from the government.

When we look at the situation of the average Canadian family, as the price of housing goes up and rents go up, the homelessness and the housing prices are beyond belief. The debt load is considerable and growing. For most Canadians, temporary or part-time work, or cobbling together a series of part-time jobs, is the alternative they have economically.

That is the context of the budget, the context that the government should have paid close attention to. Instead, the Liberals tabled the largest and most fundamentally anti-democratic omnibus piece of legislation in Canadian history, 100 pages beyond anything Mr. Harper did, and they did so in such a timid way that even the scope of the budget itself has been eroded.

It is profoundly cynical as a budget implementation act because it goes far below where the budget was, which was already very timid, so we are looking at an extremely timid budget implementation act in terms of what it seeks to achieve. At the same time, it is fundamentally anti-democratic in the size of what has been dumped into this omnibus legislation.

What could have been in this budget implementation act and should have been in the budget? We talked about this a number of times. I spoke at a press conference with Jagmeet Singh, the national NDP leader, a very charismatic and energetic guy, and we gave some direction to the federal government as to what it should put in the budget. One of the most important items was tackling what is a profoundly unfair tax system. I also intervened in a letter to the finance minister with the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith, who is an extremely effective member of Parliament, and we spoke about gender equality.

When we look at what is in the budget, we see absolutely nothing that touches on the issue of tax fairness. Tens of billions of dollars is going offshore that the government refuses to cap or take action on in any way. In fact, on the current government's watch, more of these very egregious tax treaties, which are basically no-tax treaties, are being signed with notorious tax havens like Antigua, Barbuda, Grenada, and the Cook Islands. The Conservatives signed them all the time. However, the Liberals are signing even more.

The Liberals did nothing to tackle the issue of the stock options loophole, which is a nefarious loophole that in the latest year we have figures for helped 75 wealthy corporate CEOs pocket $6 million each, for a grand total cost to Canadian taxpayers of half a billion dollars. That was $6 million each, on average, for 75 of Canada's wealthiest corporate CEOs who used the stock option loophole. Jagmeet Singh and I directed our comments to the finance minister and the Prime Minister stating that it needs to end. The Liberals could have chosen to end the stock option loophole and take action on the issue of tax havens. However, they did neither. They are allowing that privilege, the transfer of wealth that we are seeing, and a growing inequality in this country, such that now a third of the Canadian population has as much wealth as two Canadian billionaires, something that came out just a few months ago and continues to reverberate with regular Canadians because they see the inequality in the tax system. They see a tax system that is built to be profoundly unequal, and of course they are reacting, because the Liberals and the Prime Minister promised in the last campaign to take action against the proliferation of tax havens and the profoundly unfair tax system that makes sure that tradespeople, small business owners, nurses, or truck drivers pay their fair share of taxes, yet someone who is running one of Canada's biggest and most profitable corporations does not have to worry about that.

As members know, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has now estimated the real marginal income tax rate for Canada's biggest corporations at less than 10%. It is at 9.8% on average. There are a lot of corporations that are not paying any tax at all. However, the average tax rate is now 9.8%, which is far lower than for regular individuals, who are working hard each and every day to put food on the table, seeing an erosion of their services, and participating in a tax system that is absolutely and profoundly unfair.

That is what could have been in this budget implementation act. However, there is no sign of that at all.

We would expect that there would be provisions from the budget in the budget implementation act. This is something I would like to tackle now.

When we talk about the scope of the budget implementation act, there are two things that come to mind immediately. The first is the issue of pharmacare. I have spoken in this House many times about constituents, as have my colleagues. All of us have raised specific cases as to why it is important to have pharmacare in this country. First off, as a country we pay too much, and many Canadians are left to choose between putting food on the table or paying for their medication. Jim, whom I have cited a number of times, is outside here, just off Wellington Street, and begs every day for the $580 he needs every month to pay for the medication that keeps him alive. Because there is no pharmacare, Jim and so many others like him are forced into that awful choice.

We, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and every expert who has analyzed this issue have said that bringing in pharmacare makes sense from a whole range of perspectives. Overall, it actually saves money for Canadians. It allows us to bring down the costs of medications. It reduces costs for some small businesses that pay up to $6 billion a year for medical plans that allow their employees to have access to medications.

Therefore, for all of those reasons, it made sense to bring in pharmacare. We certainly heard in the weeks coming up to the budget a refrain that the Liberal government was going to bring in pharmacare, so we should watch out, because this budget was going to steal the NDP's thunder. We are happy to have our ideas stolen; we just do not like to have them gawking at our ideas, because gawking does not mean they are implementing them, which is what they should be doing. They should be implementing pharmacare right now. That is what they should be doing.

We saw in the budget that instead of doing anything practical to address the issue of pharmacare, the Liberals promised a study, and that was it. There was nothing more. As a result, the scope of the budget implementation act is a mighty failure when it comes to actually putting in place programs that matter.

We then come to the issue of gender parity. My colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith has been a very articulate spokesperson on this issue. We raised it with the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister prior to the budget. There were some words in the budget about moving forward on pay equity. We saw that. We read that. Yes, the government was going to implement pay equity, finally, after decades.

Then, as I madly perused the 556 pages of the most massive and most bloated omnibus legislation in Canadian history, I looked for something that indicated that the Liberals would implement pay equity, but there was nothing, not a word. The Liberals promised it in the budget, and they have already broken their promise with the budget implementation act a couple of weeks later. It is unbelievable. It was an issue that the Liberals admitted it was time to take action on. In the transfer from the budget to the budget implementation act, it is not as if they were trying to scale it down. At 556 pages, they were dumping everything they could into it, but they decided not to dump in pay equity, which was actually in the budget and could be in the budget implementation act as a respectful and democratic way of processing the commitment that was made in the budget, but there was absolutely nothing. It is another broken promise, another fail. It is appalling to me.

Therefore, looking at the scope of the budget implementation act, not only do we see all sorts of things thrown into the BIA that should not be there and that we will be requesting that you remove, Mr. Speaker, so that we can have the appropriate democratic process even though the government does not seem to want to respect that, but there are also things that should be there that are simply not. That is the real failure of this budget implementation act.

It is so cynical in its nature. Everything that the Liberals said they stood for in 2015 they no longer stand for. We all saw those promises about making Parliament work, making it more transparent and democratic. On every commitment that they made to the public in 2015, we are seeing exactly the opposite in the greatest, most bloated omnibus legislation in Canadian history, not tabled by the Harper Conservatives, as bad as they were, but tabled by this Prime Minister's Liberal government. What a failure for those Canadians who have been waiting for decades for pay equity. What a failure for those Canadians who have been waiting for decades for pharmacare so that they do not have to beg to raise enough money to pay for their medication or do not have to choose between paying the rent and paying for their medication. On behalf of all those Canadians across the country who were hoping to see a different approach from the current government, I can say we are all profoundly disappointed by this budget implementation act. As a result, we will be voting against Bill C-74.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 1:20 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Filomena Tassi Liberal Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, to be fair, I know that when the Liberals ran, their platform was different from that of the opposition parties. It was different in that we committed to invest in Canadians. We made that commitment because we believed that this investment was important and worthwhile. We know what Canadians are about, and we know that this investment is going to pay off.

Those investments have paid off. In fact, over 600,000 jobs have been created since November 2015. Canada has the best balance sheet in the G7, with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio. It is projected to soon be at the lowest point in almost 40 years.

We will index the CCB this July. That is what the budget implementation bill will do. We know that when the CCB was first introduced, nine out of 10 families benefited, raising over 300,000 children out of poverty. In the budget implementation bill, the Canada workers benefit is going to raise approximately 70,000 Canadians out of poverty. We have reduced small business tax. There are many things that our budget will do, because we want to invest in Canadians, we believe in Canadians, and we are very proud of the results.

I recognize that the opposition party took a different approach. However, in terms of the budget implementation bill, I would like to ask the hon. member about one thing in particular. I would like to hear his comments on the new gender results framework. How does the member feel about that framework? Does he believe that this is important for Canadians? Does the member see the merit in implementing it the budget implementation bill?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 1:20 p.m.
See context

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think the answer is quite simple. It is the actions brought forward in the budget implementation bill that will actually make a difference for Canadian women. It is not there, nor are the commitments around pay equity that were made, and these were commitments made in the budget. We are not talking about a broken Liberal promise from five years ago, 10 years ago, or 15 years ago; we are talking about a few weeks ago.

A commitment was made in the budget, but it is not contained in the budget implementation bill. For all of the Canadian women who have been fighting for pay equity and for all of them who have said that they have waited long enough, both Liberal and Conservative governments have been responsible for that broken promise.

There would have been the light of hope, when the budget came out, that the budget implementation bill would contain those provisions, but it did not. There is not a word. It is a tragically broken promise.

What makes this such a cynical budget implementation bill is that a commitment made just a few weeks ago is already being broken by the Liberal government.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 1:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I could not agree more with the member on his enumeration of the many failed and broken promises of the Liberal government in relation to its platform and all of its great plans. Suddenly, all of those promises are being broken.

My question relates particularly to the carbon tax. If I am not mistaken, my colleague and his party do support a carbon tax. We know that the government knows what the carbon tax will cost, but it has not been willing to divulge that information.

I wonder if my colleague and his party have done any substantive studies on what this carbon tax will actually cost the average Canadian family.