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 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like the member to comment on a couple of things that she left out about the budget. In Canada now, we are basically seeing business investment at about 11% of GDP, which is 16th out of 17 OECD countries. Business investment in Canada, per worker, is 40% to 50% less than in the high-productivity countries like the United States and Switzerland, especially the United States, with our competing against them. Taxes in the United States are going down. We are basically at 19% now, from 34.6%. At the same time, her government is increasing taxes that were 17.5% in 2012. Now they are 21%, also with increases in CPP, EI, carbon taxes, and high electrical costs. Even the former Liberal finance minister, John Manley, who is the president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada has said, “Budget 2018 overlooks Canada's competitiveness challenges.”

I come from a community in Oshawa. We depend on being competitive, and the government and its provincial partners are making us less competitive. Could the member please tell us what in the budget, if anything, is going to help address the competitiveness issue that Mr. Manley and many businesses in my community are worried about?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Alaina Lockhart Liberal Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, part of our path forward as a country and for our economy is to make sure we have an innovative economy that includes all people in Canada. That is what the budget focuses on, ensuring that Canadians have an opportunity to participate in the economy, making sure they have the skills training they require, and making sure women are in a position where they can overcome the barriers that have been there for them, not only in small business but also in trade and other areas.

It is important that we invest in Canadians at this time, and it is our Canadian people who will drive this economy forward in the future.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.

I could focus my question on the fact that tax loopholes still exist for corporate CEOs or on the Liberal government's inaction on combatting tax havens, which is costing us billions of dollars. However, since the hon. member talked about the Maritimes, I would like to focus my question on the reality of seasonal work in a number of industrial sectors in her region. I think it is a shame that the Liberal government still fails to understand this issue and is failing to take action and use the employment insurance program to help seasonal workers, who, far too often, are left in the lurch because the program is not adapted to their reality.

I would like my colleague to explain why there is no pilot project and why her government has not addressed the five-week spring gap problem.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Alaina Lockhart Liberal Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for allowing me to elaborate. As I mentioned in my speech, there is in fact a pilot project that was announced for the area of Restigouche–Albert, for New Brunswick, that specifically looks at seasonal workers.

We are looking at not only giving them aid in the immediate term, but also looking at the long term, at encouraging them to return for training, to look at other areas they could improve, and strengthening our workforce.

Seasonal work is a reality in Atlantic Canada. We need to make sure that our EI system supports not only the workers, but also the employers, who are focused on maintaining that workforce and ensuring it is there for them season after season. We have put forward a plan that not only addresses the needs of the workers but also the employers.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Filomena Tassi Liberal Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for the speech, and also for including women in that. She mentioned the women's entrepreneurship strategy. We know that budget 2018 is guided by a gender results framework. I wonder if she could comment on the importance of ensuring that framework includes the results of engaging and empowering women.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Alaina Lockhart Liberal Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, one of the things we are focused on right now in New Brunswick is how to strengthen our workforce. I mentioned the measures we are taking to strengthen the workforce with the EI system, but there are also measures in the budget that look at strengthening the workforce by making sure women are in a position to benefit from the growing economy that we are seeing in Canada.

The women's entrepreneurship strategy is one excellent example. It is $1.6 billion over the next several years, which will focus on breaking down the barriers to accessing capital, to networks, and to attaining the expertise needed. Women have wonderful ideas and have participated in our economy, but there is potential for so much more. The budget focuses on making sure they become a vital part of our economy.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise once again on behalf of the people of Gatineau. They did me the supreme honour of electing me to represent them in this House, and I am grateful to them every day for this honour and the weighty responsibility that comes with it. I am proud to rise today to support this bill and our government's budget plan in general.

Today is our first day back in the House since tragedy struck the community of Humboldt, Saskatchewan. Like Humboldt, Gatineau is a hockey town, a town where parents work hard every day to help their kids take part in organized sports like hockey, a town where parents put their kids on buses and send them off on long overnight trips to all kinds of destinations in the United States, Ontario, the Maritimes, and other parts of Quebec. On behalf of the people of Gatineau, I want to express our deepest condolences and dismay at what has happened. Our thoughts are with the parents and communities affected by this horrific tragedy.

In Gatineau, we introduced a plan based on our national election promises that focuses on the middle class and investing in our communities. That includes public transit, so this year I was very pleased to participate in announcing the Rapibus extension as well as other major construction projects in Gatineau, such as the Parks Canada artifact storage facility, the Library and Archives Canada Gatineau 2 document preservation facility, and the revitalization of Terrasses de la Chaudière. We are investing heavily in federal public assets in Gatineau.

I can assure my constituents that I will continue to fight for more investment in public transit. One of the files I am working on is a sixth interprovincial link between Quebec and Ontario, which people have been debating for the past 100 years. I made it my mission to champion that link, and I will continue to advocate and fight for it until the day the announcement is made.

More generally speaking, our budget plan is working. It is working for parents and for our most vulnerable seniors, whose guaranteed income supplement has gone up by 10%. It is working for infrastructure in Gatineau and across the country. It is working for our small businesses.

I have been very pleased to meet business people in my riding on several occasions. They are very satisfied and very happy that we have delivered on our commitment and are lowering the small business tax rate to 9% beginning next year. Our plan is also working when it comes to unemployment, which is under 6% at just 5.9%. That is the lowest unemployment rate ever seen for as long as Canada has been recording these statistics. Since the second quarter of 2016, GDP growth has been 3.7%, the best rate of any major industrialized country. Wage growth in Canada is tracking at approximately 3%. Once again, that rate is higher than anywhere else in the world. Year after year, the projected debt-to-GDP ratio is going down. Our plan is clearly working. It is improving Canadians' quality of life and prosperity and helping us keep our campaign commitments and the solemn promise we made to hard-working Canadians.

I want to highlight two initiatives in this budget. People sometimes become cynical at election time. People make choices based on personalities and specific commitments, but also based on philosophies. Here are two initiatives that Canadians would never have seen under a Conservative government, because these are not the kinds of things the Conservatives would ever choose. These two initiatives will benefit those who need it the most in our society, specifically people working hard to join the middle class. They are people working hard to become more prosperous and to be more productive citizens for themselves, for their children, and for future generations. Of course I am talking about the Canada workers benefit and the Canada child benefit.

What is the Canada workers benefit? We know that there are people who are receiving social assistance or other benefits. Perhaps they have a family member who is ill. Perhaps they work part time. Perhaps they are caring for their children. Regardless of their circumstances, they find it difficult to make the decision to get off social assistance and enter the labour market with confidence because they may be penalized by doing so. They might not earn enough to justify getting off welfare or other social programs. Obviously, with such a low unemployment rate, everyone benefits when the number of people in the labour force increases. We also want these people to have the dignity that comes with productive work and personal growth. We want them to feel as though they are contributing to the economy and becoming productive citizens.

The Canada workers benefit was created specifically to help those people and provide them with direct assistance. This year, eligible workers will automatically receive the benefit after filing their tax return, without submitting an application. They will be entitled to an increased Canada workers benefit. Our initiative will affect two million Canadians and lift 70,000 people out of poverty. They will be eligible for up to $1,300 in benefits tax free.

There is also the Canada child benefit, which will be indexed this year for the first time. In my riding of Gatineau alone, 11,260 payments were made in January 2018 for 19,860 children. An average payment of $540 a month represents a total of $6.1 million in the pockets of Gatineau parents. I am proud of this, because this money is going directly to those who need it most. These people must make choices for their children. They need to spend money to enrol their children in sports or piano lessons, or to invest in a registered education savings plan. We committed to make these choices, and these are choices that a Conservative government would never have made or maintained, because it wants to eliminate the deficit at any cost. One has to wonder what a Conservative government would cut. This is also a tax-free benefit that is automatically reinvested in our economy and in local businesses.

I am proud of these two measures. Unfortunately, I do not have enough time to talk about the other wonderful initiatives in this year's budget.

I am particularly proud of the fact that we are keeping our word and fulfilling our commitments to the people who need it most. They can access these resources and become good, highly productive citizens who can keep contributing to the Canadian economy.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 4:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that my glass was full with water every time the hon. member blamed the previous Conservative government for the past.

I want to talk specifically about deficits. On this side of the House, we have asked about that on numerous occasions and the finance committee has asked on numerous occasions. The member will recall that the promise in the last election by the Prime Minister was to have minor deficits and to balance the budget by 2019. We now know that the budget will not be balanced until far off. The finance minister is not even admitting when the budget will be balanced.

My question to the hon. member is this: When will the budget be balanced?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 4:55 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, lessons on deficit and debt from the Conservative Party are lessons that we do not normally take. The last balanced budget presented in this House was, of course, presented by a Liberal government. It was absolutely a pride to create a fiscal situation that benefited the previous government when it was first elected. However, the Conservatives automatically, immediately, and systematically, in a structured way, took us back into deficit, and then for 10 years there were deficits as far as the eye could see.

We will take no lessons from the other side of the House with respect to deficits. Those people borrowed and begged every year they were in office, and now they get up and decry it. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 4:55 p.m.
See context

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, people come to my office every week because they are unable to access the benefits to which they are entitled. These people are often poor and unable to get the Canada Revenue Agency to process their files. It is maddening to see the number of documents they are asked to produce, for example, to prove that their children really do live with them. I really do not know where they would be if not with their parents. In every case, these people are poor and could have used that money.

Some people have not received any benefits since 2009, and the government has never helped them get that money. These people come to my office and I help them as best I can to figure out their file with the Canada Revenue Agency. In some cases, they have missed out on $20,000 in benefits.

The member believes that the Canada child benefit lifts all children out of poverty. However, the reality is that many parents never access these benefits and the government is not doing anything to help them. They do not even have access to in-person services and are forced to fight for these benefits. We try to help them as best we can but, sadly, some cases are overlooked because the Canada Revenue Agency does not send me a list of those who might need help.

What are my colleague's thoughts on that?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 4:55 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, we made a commitment in the last election, one that we are working hard to fulfill. That commitment was for automatic enrolment of the people my colleague was talking about. There are indeed people who do not file tax returns. However, we encourage everyone to file a tax return so that we can determine whether they are eligible for benefits. I am especially proud of the fact that, starting this year, eligible workers will automatically receive the Canada workers benefit, without needing to apply.

I just listed a few statistics about my riding, and we can get the figures for my colleague's riding or other ridings. These are, of course, benefits that automatically go into Canadians' bank accounts, under the Canada child benefit, and they are tax free. Yes, we are working very hard.

The member mentioned the people she meets in her riding. I too am meeting people, and we handle their files with care. There are some exceptions, but I am certain that with a little bit of work, we will be able to make sure that Canadians automatically receive the benefits they are entitled to.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 5 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak after my colleague from the Outaouais region, the hon. member for Gatineau, for whom I have a great deal of respect and esteem, despite his oversights, to put it politely.

Before getting down to the nitty-gritty of this budget, let us establish the facts. What was the state of Canada's economy when the Liberal government was elected nearly two and a half years ago? There is no denying that the Liberals are an extraordinarily lucky bunch. When they came to power, the house was in order. Canada had a budgetary surplus, not a $2.9-billion deficit. We like to compare ourselves to the best. Let us compare ourselves to the G7. Canada had the best debt-to-GDP ratio of all G7 countries. Let us not forget that, when we came to power, we had just come through the worst economic crisis on the planet since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In the most challenging economic times, our government was able to keep Canada afloat, allowing it to emerge from the crisis with one of the strongest economies possible.

Then, unfortunately the Liberals came to power. That is the problem. Let us not forget that they were elected on a promise to run small deficits for three years and to return to a balanced budget in 2019. That was the Liberal Party's solemn promise. That promise then vanished into this air as small deficits grew into deficits three times larger than planned and, worse yet, as achieving zero deficit by 2019 went from hypothetical to unrealistic. These people have absolutely no idea when they will return to a balanced budget. We will be in deficit for the foreseeable future.

The finance department says that, if nothing changes, Canada could, technically, in theory, return to a balanced budget in 2045. Our economy would certainly struggle in the meantime. The Liberals were elected on promises that they have now broken. They promised a small deficit, but ran up a big one. They promised a zero deficit and a balanced budget. They said the deficits would support an infrastructure program to stimulate the economy, but that is not what they delivered. They promised hundreds of billions in infrastructure spending, but the finance department's reports show that very little of the infrastructure funding has actually been handed out. The government is using these chronic deficits for routine spending, not investment.

This is economics 101. It makes perfect sense for the head of a household to borrow money to buy a home and then pay that money back, but anyone borrowing money from the bank to buy groceries has a problem. That is not an appropriate way to manage money. Anyone who tries to do what the Liberal government is doing is headed for a brick wall.

My Liberal colleague from Gatineau talked about how amazing the Canada child benefit is, about how the government is lifting people out of poverty and giving them all kinds of money. They have no trouble handing out money that is not theirs, money they are borrowing from our children. A deficit is just deferred taxation, and that is one thing this government is very good at. It is constantly maxing out its credit card.

That is why we completely disagree with the government's policy. The minister, the member, and our Liberal colleagues seem to have forgotten that in their first iteration of the Canada child benefit, which was to be absolutely extraordinary, they forgot a small detail: they forgot to take inflation into consideration. Any accountant at any firm who forgot to factor in inflation would be dismissed with a swift kick in the backside. The government, however, still crows over its lofty principles, claiming to be doing the right thing and giving more money to children. I can see why this is the party for families, the party for children. By working for children, the government is making them foot the bill down the line.

The government boasts about its lofty principles, but reality is catching up to it. For example, the Liberals are always repeating how they are going after the so-called 1%, the richest Canadians. The top 1% of Canadians with the highest salaries are going to pay. The Liberals forgot to mention that these people already pay 70% of the taxes in Canada. They said that these people would definitely pay more taxes. Is that right? Not exactly. In a report released last fall by the Department of Finance, and not by the Conservative Party, we learned that not only do the so-called 1%, the wealthiest Canadians, not pay more taxes, they pay less. The wealthy paid $1.2 billion less under the current Liberal government even though the Liberals kept repeating that they would make the rich pay more in order to give to the poor. Not only are the rich paying less taxes, but the poor were given money we do not have because the Liberals are running up a deficit. They went into deficit financing.

Clearly, this government says one thing and does the opposite. It was elected on promises it cannot keep. Faced with their greatest economic challenge yet, the Liberals are doing nothing.

Now I want to raise the question of competitiveness with the United States of America, our great ally and partner but also our greatest competitor.

We all recognize that the president is not exactly the same kind of man that we had when we were in office. We can like him or we can dislike him, but we have to deal with him. That is the reality of politics. What we see now in the new administration, the Trump administration, is someone very aggressive, someone very productive, and someone who is first and foremost helping small business in America, and big business too. He is helping the business community of America.

What we see in the government is everything but that. Worse than that, it has no plan. The Liberal government has no plan to address the serious issue raised by the new administration in America. There is nothing in the government's budget to help our small business community to face and address the issue of the new competitiveness of America. There is nothing to address the fact that maybe NAFTA will collapse. That would not be good, so we have to be ready for that.

We do not want it to collapse. We were the party that created NAFTA, the first free trade agreement, in 1988, thanks to the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney. We can be proud of this heritage. We also recognize that the other governments pushed that forward, even if at that time they said they were not going to be part of that deal. That was good. Now we have to address the new reality that maybe NAFTA will not be run again.

What can we do? What will the government do? There is nothing in the budget. What is the government doing to help our businesses address the issue of the new help being given by the American administration to their business community? It is doing nothing.

That is also worrisome. The budget needs to address today's realities. However, today's global economic reality is not about the collapse of oil prices as it was in the past. On the contrary, oil prices have risen. It is not about dealing with the worst economic crisis. It is exactly the opposite. We are experiencing an economic boom.

It is not about the collapse of the American economy, like it was in 2008-09. On the contrary, the American economy is booming. However, we are dealing with an aggressive protectionist American President. That is his right. We respect his choice and he makes his own decisions of course. We are dealing with a very aggressive protectionist American President and the government is doing absolutely nothing. The American President strongly supports the private sector and helps entrepreneurs a great deal, unlike Canada, whose government led an unspeakable attack against our entrepreneurs last summer with the reprehensible plan it tabled on July 11, in the middle of the summer, if memory serves. Fortunately, thanks to the extraordinary work of the member for Carleton, Canadian business people across the country united and put a stop to the Liberal government's plan, which sought to punish them for creating jobs and wealth. It is a good thing that we were there.

There is nothing in this budget to help business owners or meet their needs. The government is going on a spending spree, as we have mentioned, and is creating deficits. We are talking about a 20% increase in spending. Twenty percent in three years is a lot. It represents $60 billion. A 2% or 3% increase would be in keeping with inflation. A little is okay, but in this case, we are talking about hyper-inflation, not inflation. A normal increase would have been 6% in three years. However, this government has increased spending by 20% in three years. Such is the hallmark of the Liberal government. We think this is very bad. The spending was supposedly for investments in infrastructure, but there have not been any infrastructure investments. The government is investing just 0.1% of our GDP on creating wealth and jobs in our country. This is not what the government promised during the election campaign. It promised to run small deficits. This is no surprise, given that the Prime Minister may not have studied at the great schools of economics. This is no guarantee, but three years ago, the Prime Minister introduced an unprecedented economic policy, or economic philosophy. I remind members that when the hon. Joe Oliver tabled the final budget of the previous government, the leader of the Liberal Party said that the budget would balance itself.

I was in university when I was young. I studied a lot, and I have never seen the fiscal or economic theory elsewhere, other than from the present Prime Minister, that a budget balances by itself. If there is someone else who has some information about that, I will welcome it. I really want to understand how someone can seriously speak such stupidity, but that is the signature of the present Prime Minister.

The Liberals have attacked businesses in several ways, by raising their taxes and reducing the government assistance they might be eligible for. The best way to help our businesses is to tax them less. However, in the past three years, the government has done something entirely different. First, it imposed a carbon tax, which will come into force across Canada in a few short months. Next, it reduced all the tax credits we had introduced for research, recruitment, and business development. The tax credits we brought in have been abolished by this government. That is the kind of thing that makes businesses owners lose confidence. This is troubling. All the economic indicators of business confidence are negative. Private investment in Canada is down 5% since 2015. Compared with the United States, it is not just a drop of 5%, it is actually another 5% to 9% on top of that. That is a difference of 14%. Canadian business owners feel uncomfortable and are investing less, while American business owners are investing three times more, relatively speaking. That is not a good thing.

Foreign investment in Canada has fallen by 42% over the past year. This means that less wealth is being created, since nothing is better for a nation's economy than foreign investment. It is a real source of wealth creation. When entrepreneurs create jobs and wealth, it is basically because their products are sold abroad, whether in Europe, Asia, or the United States. This is about the Canadian dollars, yen, euros, or even pounds that might be invested in our economy. That is the real source of wealth creation. That is why we are very worried about the fact that foreign investment has fallen by 42%.

As a final point, I want to talk about the debt. I have a bit of an obsession with the debt, because those folks over there were elected on a promise that they would run up small deficits and balance the books again by 2019, but they are not keeping their promises. On top of that, the debt generated by deficits is money that we cannot spend for our children. Quite the opposite, it is our children who will be forced to pay because of today's mismanagement. This government will go down in history for bringing Canada's national debt to $1 trillion. This is not “billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles” for those familiar with Tintin, but rather $1 trillion. This has “Liberal government” written all over it.

All these bad signs have shaken people's trust in their political leaders. A party can be elected on a certain campaign platform and then change direction based on external factors; however, in this case, there are no external factors. It is nothing but bad faith that has led the Liberal government to run up such huge deficits, rather than the small deficits promised and the balanced budget promised by 2019. Instead, it has absolutely no idea when we will return to a balanced budget. This government has just catapulted Canada towards the sad reality of a trillion-dollar debt. That is right, I said $1 trillion.

For all these reasons, we will vote against this budget. We feel it is an irresponsible, wrong-headed budget that will force our children to pay the price. It does nothing to help our economy and our entrepreneurs prepare for the new reality of a powerful neighbour that is both our number-one partner and our number-one competitor, the United States of America.

We hope this government will get public finances under control and take the bull by the horns so that one day, maybe a year and a half from now, we will be fortunate enough to have a realistic and responsible government led by the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I really enjoyed my hon. colleague's speech even though I subscribe to neither his opinion nor even remotely his economic theory.

In the budget, we allocated almost $100 million to Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions to support economic development in Quebec. My colleague's party opposed that investment during the sitting that lasted all night. I would like to know if my colleague agrees with his colleague from Beauce.

Is he against Canada's regional economic development agencies, including the one for Quebec?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is so easy to spend money you do not have and to send the bill to our grandchildren. My colleague can go ahead and bring up the $330 billion in this budget, but the reality is that we are living beyond our means.

The member talked about regional economic development. For the first time, a single person, the member for Mississauga—Malton, is responsible for this file. I have great respect for him, and no offence to the charming hon. member, but when the time comes to work on regional economic development, he will naturally think about his region. What a surprise. I see him shaking his head.

Need I remind my colleague that Bombardier publicly asked for a contribution for the C Series, which is assembled in Mirabel, and that the government loaned Bombardier twice as much money for the Global 7000 than for the C Series, even though the company had not asked for money for the Global 7000? Why? Because the Global 7000 is assembled in Mississauga. Shocking.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

April 16th, 2018 / 5:20 p.m.
See context

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech, which was just as inspired and dynamic as usual. I will give him a chance to catch his breath, but I want to continue talking on regional development with him.

I want to talk about regional development in a corner of Quebec that is quite a bit closer to his riding than mine, but that concerns us all. I want to talk about the Davie shipyard, which has already had to lay off more than 800 workers over the past few months because it did not get the Liberal government contract to carry on its operations, when we know that the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy have needs to be filled.

When he was in the region, the Prime Minister promised icebreakers. However, it is already mid-April, spring is around the corner, and no contract has been signed.

I would like my colleague to say a few words about the consequences to the economic development of the Quebec City region when good jobs disappear because of the Liberals.