Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1

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

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

Sponsor

Bill Morneau  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

Part 1 implements certain income tax measures proposed or referenced in the February 27,2018 budget by

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

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

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

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

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

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

(g) introducing the Canada Workers Benefit;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) create additional pain and suffering compensation.

Finally, it makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

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

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:15 p.m.
See context

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Madam Speaker, I want to remind my colleague that I was in fact elected 14 years ago, but he is right, I was elected to the government for the second time two and a half years ago. It is an honour to have been elected to serve in that regard.

I want to remind the member, who was himself more recently elected, that under the previous government, in fairness, and objectively, the national debt was increased by $160 billion. It is true that the previous government faced the 2008 economic crisis, as did the Canadian provinces. It is true that for some sectors, the government begrudgingly worked, for example, with the Province of Ontario to provide assistance to the auto sector. Of course, since then, every loan has been paid back with interest.

It is important to remember that we had a choice to make, and it was a stark choice. The Conservative Party ran on a platform of austerity and cuts, and we ran on a platform of investing in Canadians and in core infrastructure. This is our moment not just to keep the pump primed but to lay the groundwork for a century of success for Canadians by making sure that we have the hard infrastructure we need and that more and more Canadians are joining the middle class and have great, equal opportunities to succeed, contribute, and thrive.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Madam Speaker, I wonder how often the member actually gets out of the Ottawa bubble, because the jobs he says are being created in this area, government jobs, are not translating into rural Canada. In Saskatchewan, the unemployment rate has gone up two per cent since the government has been in power. In fact, in the last month, it has gone up 0.2% again. We are seeing people without jobs.

He talked a bit about the infrastructure building. There are no infrastructure builds going to rural Saskatchewan. I am wondering if he can comment on that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:20 p.m.
See context

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Madam Speaker, I would just remind my good friend that in the national capital region, the top employer is, in fact, the tourism sector, followed by the government sector, followed by 2,800 IT firms. Now, it was 5,000 high tech firms at one point. We were called Silicon Valley North. We are working hard, as a community, to reclaim some of that space. We are very proud of the investments our government is making across the country, including in Saskatchewan right now in one of the superclusters, to help give rise to new start-ups and new companies to compete and to win.

When it comes to the question of unemployment and investments, the numbers are undeniable. These are the lowest unemployment rates in 42 years across the country. It is the lowest unemployment in the greater national capital region, in 18 ridings, in 30 years. Clearly, something is working. We believe that we have the right combination of investing, stimulating the economy, providing the right tax incentives, investing in our people, supporting research and development, and helping our competitive companies conquer global markets through EDC and other institutions. We believe that we have put together the right kind of amalgamated approach, which increasingly is the envy of the world.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:20 p.m.
See context

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, my colleague had the chance to remind everyone that he was elected 14 years ago and served his constituents for that period of time.

We have to remember that there is a lot of inequality here in Canada, and it seems to be increasing. A promise the Liberals made during the election campaign was to table legislation to deal with pay equity. We know that the latest census data show us that indigenous women in Ontario face a 43% gender pay gap. Racialized women face a 38% pay gap. Immigrant women face a 34% pay gap. Why did the Liberals not include anything to deal with this in the budget?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:20 p.m.
See context

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Madam Speaker, I first want to agree with my colleague that pay equity is a big challenge for Canada. It is an area and a theme we have to work harder on addressing. It is one that manifests unfairness in the workplace. It hearkens back to something I said earlier in my remarks. When it comes to gender, when it comes to country of origin, and when it comes to linguistic background, it does not really matter, does it now? Only a foolish country would not want to avail itself of all the talent within its borders. That is exactly what we are trying to do with this budget and the budgets that preceded it and the ones that we hope will follow it, which is to give the support Canadians need to get the best out of themselves so that we, as a people, can continue to build a society that is not only fair, where there is equality of opportunity, but that is effectively the envy of the world.

I like to remind people all the time that an economy is not a society and a society is not just an economy. It is actually more. We are trying to bring in a series of balanced measures that will address exactly the kind of important issue the member has raised here this evening to make progress.

Once again, I had the privilege of living and working in over 70 countries for a decade, before being elected to this House, while serving as a public servant in another setting. Let me assure this House of one thing I have retained since that time and still see now: Canada is increasingly being seen as the envy of the world and is leading as an example that is worthy of following.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:25 p.m.
See context

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, I wonder if my colleague could talk about the importance of infrastructure. It is so critically important that we invest in Canada's infrastructure, and that infrastructure takes many forms. I know that my colleague has given a great deal of thought to the importance of supporting Canada's middle class, and one of the ways we can do that is by investing in infrastructure. Could he provide his thoughts on that?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:25 p.m.
See context

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Madam Speaker, it is 2018. So much of the infrastructure we benefit from in this country was built perhaps 50 or maybe even 100 years ago. It is time to invest for the future.

Let us take, for example, light rail investments or transit investments in our major urban areas. The city of Montreal is now 53% of the population of Quebec. Gatineau, right across the river, is the fastest-growing city in Quebec. Metropolitan Toronto is pushing eight million people. We are increasingly becoming an urban country. There are merits to that. There are challenges to that. We are investing very heavily in light rail and transit systems with our provincial and municipal partners.

A second area we are investing very heavily in is water and waste-water systems. We are blessed with so much fresh water, one of the most precious resources we possess in this country, and we have an obligation to protect it. We have to reinvest in our water and waste-water systems to stop waste, because so many water systems are leaking so much water. We have to improve secondary and tertiary water-treatment systems. By the way, as we do that, we develop and implement technologies that can be sold all over the world.

In housing, we are talking about green housing. We are talking about housing that is affordable for our needy, for our veterans, and for our seniors. We are talking about energy efficiency when it comes to housing. We are making progress in infrastructure, not just because it has to be replaced but because it has to be replaced to higher energy efficiency standards and water standards.

It goes back to what I was saying earlier. That is the race. As we do more of that here in Canada, we can sell more technology, more know-how, and more products, and that is exactly how we have tied together these investments in infrastructure with our foreign global market opportunities.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:25 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.

I am grateful to have this opportunity to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-74, the budget implementation act. This piece of legislation is concerning for a number of reasons, including the fact that it is an omnibus bill that is not being given proper consideration, as the Liberals continually shut down debate.

The Liberals promised not to use time allocation or omnibus bills in this way, but we have unfortunately learned that keeping promises to Canadians is not the government's forte. To name a few, do electoral reform and an end to first past the post, an end to omnibus bills, or balanced budgets sound familiar?

During his campaign, the Prime Minister committed to running a deficit of up to $10 billion during his time in government, with a promise to balance the budget by 2019. We now know that this was patently false. This year's budget is $18 billion and climbing, and the Liberals have added $60 billion-plus to the national debt in just three years. Figures show that the budget will not return to balance until 2045, and now we have nationalized a pipeline with public money, when private money would have done it. We cannot forget the fact that in this budget, there are no plans if NAFTA fails.

The Liberals keep adding to their reckless spending. In football, they would call a penalty for piling on.

In Saskatchewan, we have a tradition at the Kinsmen Kinettes Telemiracle fundraiser, when throughout the event, the show host puts up the totals board and chants, “Where are we going to go?”, and the audience replies, “Higher”. I would point out, however, that this is with private money, not public money, unlike for the Liberals, who throw taxpayer dollars around like it is nothing.

This means that our children and grandchildren will have to foot the bill for the government's reckless spending. The Liberals fail to see that their spending is actually being done at the expense of the very people they claim they are trying to help: the middle class and those who wish to join it.

This omnibus bill contains many provisions, but the most important one for my constituents, and indeed for all people in Saskatchewan, is the carbon tax, yet while the government has the numbers, it will not tell Canadians what it will cost them.

As many members in the House know, the oil and gas industry has suffered greatly in recent years. In my hometown of Estevan, I witnessed the exodus first-hand. Many companies were forced to shut down, and not just those directly in the energy industry. The trickle-down effect killed services too, and restaurants and hotels were forced to close, because the business just was not there anymore. It was and still is a hard time, and we have not bounced back anywhere close to where we were in the past, though the Liberals seem to think that the hard times are over.

Canadians who bought houses now have no jobs or have jobs that pay significantly less, and they cannot afford to pay for the houses they have. Innovation jobs and infrastructure jobs do not exist, and there is nothing for them to grasp onto, not to mention that everyone in the community is in the same boat, and there is no confidence to buy a house or in the housing market generally.

Now, here comes the carbon tax.

I am proud to be from Saskatchewan, the province that thus far has refused to bend to the federal government on its forced carbon tax. The provincial government understands what the federal Liberals do not, that the people of Saskatchewan simply cannot afford another tax, especially since Canadians across our country are already paying more tax under this Liberal government.

This budget gives $1.4 billion to provinces that have signed on to the government's climate agenda. Of the four maritime provinces that have signed on, not one has a carbon scheme or plan. One has a tax that it will rename.

Saskatchewan has a plan and is denied access to these funds. We have learned time and time again that if one does not conform to Liberal values and ideals, there will be a penalty to pay.

When the Government of Saskatchewan put forward its plan to reduce emissions, it was immediately rejected by the federal Minister of Environment. It is her way or the highway.

Saskatchewan's climate change strategy was well thought out, taking into account all aspects of the province. However, it was not deemed good enough by the Liberals here in Ottawa. There was seemingly no consideration given for the work that is already being done in my province to reduce emissions.

I would argue that farmers in my riding have a far better grasp of climate change than the majority of Canadians. These men and women have been stewards of their land for generations. They have spent time, money, and energy in trying to figure out the best, lowest-impact methods to farm, such as zero tillage, air seeding, and crop rotation, which put in and take out nitrogen and carbon from the soil. However, the budget had no mention of farmers at all. Not one word.

Farmers are the epitome of innovation. They have done it through centuries, through droughts, floods, and grasshopper infestations, all of which come regularly and are dealt with using the skill sets these people have developed over generations. They respect the land, because it is their livelihood, and it is only reasonable to assume that these individuals would do whatever possible to ensure they are farming in the most sustainable and responsible way.

Instead of helping out these farmers and ranchers, the Liberals are making their lives significantly more expensive and difficult with a carbon tax. They will now need to pay more for fuel, a huge expense in any farming operation; more for supplies, because transportation of these pieces will go up, and it is not like there is a manufacturer around the corner in rural Saskatchewan; and more for labour. I would be lax if I did not mention that the Liberal government implied that farmers and small business owners were tax cheats.

I have not spoken to a single agriculture producer in my riding who is in favour of a carbon tax, despite what the Liberals claim. Again, the federal government is absolutely failing when it comes to helping the middle class. Perhaps those in the middle class only matter when they are willing to donate to the Liberal Party of Canada, because my constituents do not feel valued by their Prime Minister and his members of Parliament.

One thing that frustrates me in this discussion on the carbon tax in relation to Bill C-74 is that there is almost no consideration given to the work already being done in Saskatchewan to reduce emissions. The coal-fired power plant in Estevan at Boundary Dam utilizes a world-first technology in one of its generators, which has been proven not only to reduce emissions but also to utilize the by-products of this technology, like sulphur, sulphuric acid, and fly ash for cement to the benefit of other industries.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that the carbon is sequestered in the ground. It is called carbon capture and sequestration, CCS, although members may not have heard of it since the minister does not champion it beyond saying, “I've been there”. The public safety minister has stood up and said that he started a study on CCS 25 years ago, yet where is he today, and where is the promotion of CCS at Boundary Dam? It was the Conservative government of Stephen Harper that gave $250 million dollars towards it and actually championed this new technology.

CCS is a technology that allows emissions from coal-fired power plants to be captured and sequestered kilometres underground. Since it has been in operation, the CCS facility at Boundary Dam has already captured and removed over two million tonnes of the CO2 emissions from the environment. This is the equivalent to roughly 500,000 cars being taken off our roads.

As I said, this is a world-first technology. Governments across the world regularly send envoys to Boundary Dam so they can take a look at using this technology to reduce their emissions as well. It is green, it is innovative, yet it gets barely any recognition from the government.

The western states in the U.S. have signed a memorandum of understanding for further investigation of CCS. The country of Taiwan is interested in the technology, as they are shutting down their five nuclear power plants. With all that said, the budget will give $500 million to a foreign infrastructure bank to build pipelines and coal energy plants in China without this technology. Here is where the Public Safety Minister could say, “Let's keep the money at home in Canada.”

It is absolutely frustrating that the Minister of Environment fails time and again to give Saskatchewan and the CCS technology in Estevan its due. The Minister of Public Safety, the lone minister for Saskatchewan, does not champion his own province's initiatives to reduce emissions. It is shameful, and even more so since it is the good people of Saskatchewan who must ultimately pay the price.

Bill C-74 would mean that costs will go up across the board because of this carbon tax. I will repeat that while the Liberals know the cost, they will not tell Canadians. Canadians are sick and tired of being told they need to pay more money when their federal government keeps spending recklessly and adding more and more to our national debt.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very interested in what my colleague has to say. A few moments ago he talked about the investments that our government made in the environment and research when we were in office.

In my riding, there is a company called CO2 Solutions, which seeks to find environmentally friendly solutions to reduce the environmental impact of our oil production, particularly with regard to the oil sands. CO2 Solutions has been working with the Department of Natural Resources for over 10 years.

When we were in office, we also established the ecotrust program to the tune of over $1.5 billion. With the support of the provinces, we made investments in the environment and in research in order to improve the environment.

Obviously, there are also these types of businesses in my colleague's riding. Can my colleague tell us more about the businesses in his riding and his province that worked with the Conservative government to improve environmental costs?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to hear the hon. member's comments. He works tirelessly for his constituents, and I commend him for that.

The CCS plant that I have mentioned takes the carbon and sequesters it under the ground, which enhances the industry and the oil industry, as well as cement companies, who capture and use the fly ash, shipping it off and selling it. They take 98% of the sulfur out of the air, which they then utilize and sell.

As well, our farmers take the benefit of their knowledge and sequester that carbon into the ground. The simple fact of photosynthesis that everybody learned about in grade 9 is basic science, and our farmers in this country do that all the time, and yet no credit is given to them for that.

I would like to mention one other, and that is the fact that in my riding, just about a half hour away from where I live, they are starting an investigation plant for geothermal energy, taking the geothermal and pumping pipes many miles underground. I cannot remember exactly how many miles it is. However, they are utilizing that to generate thermal energy, to see how beneficial it would be for a possible five megawatt energy plant.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:40 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, when I look at the bigger picture and at what has taken place over the last two to two and a half years, I see a very healthy economic plan that, between the Government of Canada and Canadians, generates the types of jobs that are necessary, 600,000-plus.

We have seen the enhancement of some fantastic social programs that have lifted individuals, whether seniors or children, out of poverty. We are talking about tens of thousands of Canadians in all regions of the country.

We can talk about the infrastructure. The Government of Canada has done so much to invest in Canada's middle class.

Would my colleague across the way not agree that by investing in Canada's middle class, we are actually investing in our economy because it is our middle class that ultimately drives our economy? A healthy middle class means a healthy Canadian economy. That is what the government has been focused on for the last two and a half years.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member had a number of points in his question, and I would like to address one or two of them.

Perhaps the member did not hear my speech, where I talked about the loss of jobs in Saskatchewan, where the unemployment rate has gone up since the Liberal government came to power. That is not creating jobs. It may be creating jobs in his community; that is where the government is building infrastructure. However, there is no infrastructure being built in my province.

It is not like the government is building a green transit line from Maryfield, Saskatchewan to Regina so that one person can take that train. It is not happening. It is not going to change the patterns that rural Canadians have to live with.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start my speech by recognizing that tomorrow is the 74th anniversary of the storming of Juno on D-Day. On behalf of the Conservative caucus and the people of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, to those who sacrificed their lives, who fought for freedom, who went through pain and danger that we cannot even imagine today, I say thanks so very much. Without them, we would not be working in the best Parliament in the best country in the world. We thank our veterans so very much.

This is my second opportunity to speak on the budget. When I had an opportunity to speak last week, we were talking about a number of items. We talked about Kinder Morgan, the many issues in this budget relating to youth, including the amount of debt we are leaving them with. After I spoke, the Auditor General's report was released. He had an incredibly scathing report in his spring audits, and there were two that really stuck out. In fact, the first line of the Auditor General's report refers to “incomprehensible failures”, not just one but many, with the Phoenix pay system. I acknowledge that the system was developed over two governments and implemented by the current one, but certainly the failure of government, the culture of government, and the failing culture of government was at the centre of the Auditor General's report.

One of the audits was on indigenous affairs. When I was knocking on doors, every single day I would hear people say they just do not get it. They would say they live in the best country in the world, in a country that has one of the best qualities of life, but there are Canadians who do not have clean drinking water and do not have the same opportunities. They said they just do not get it. They said they would hear all the announcements from government after government of all stripes, indicating that so much money is going to indigenous affairs, for a certain program or for the education of aboriginal young people, and yet it feels like it never changes, that this is a perennial issue that constantly has to be dealt with.

The Auditor General, in his opening remarks to his 12 audits, said:

The ministerial focus on the short term explains why the Indigenous file has been so intractable. A long-term view has to dominate that file, but because it usually only brings political problems in the short term, government tries to stay in the safe space of administering payments instead of being an active partner with Indigenous people to improve outcomes.

This next line is the crux of the issue. It states, “The measure of success has become the amount of money spent, rather than improved outcomes for Indigenous people.” I feel like we can apply that across government as a whole. How many programs do we fund and tell people how much money we are going to spend on said program, but we never tell them what the effects will be of the money being spent?

It is deplorable. People in the private sector are measured by their results. Yes, the effort put in counts. Yes, research and data count. However, the real data that counts is the data that comes out the back end that says x number of dollars have been spent and x has been achieved. The Auditor General recognizes this, but, unfortunately, the government culture does not.

From what I have seen, it certainly extends into the current Liberal government. I was at the industry committee about a year and a half ago when Minister Bains came and the government had funded—

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Yes, I apologize, Mr. Speaker.

The Minister of Innovation joined us. One of the programs the government had funded was the car of tomorrow program. Interestingly, the previous government had put in a few bucks as well, but there was now a $20-million investment taking place into that program.

I asked the obvious question: What is it that the people of Canada, the ratepayers, the citizens are getting in return for $20 million of investment? He proceeded to give an answer. I asked what the measurables were. It was an answer that did not give me measurables. I asked how many jobs were being created. Three to five, I believe, was his answer.

The report actually said that three to five jobs were indirectly created, meaning that we were investing $20 million as a government in a program that created zero jobs. That is the problem of the political class within government, the culture that exists, and we see it over and over again in the budget this year.

The Auditor General said it more succinctly:

In the current culture, the two perspectives are out of balance, with the political perspective being dominant. This is largely because of instant digital communication, which means that politicians are more concerned with message and image management.

When I came to Ottawa to represent the people of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, I really hoped that the most important thing would always be the people we serve. However, we see in announcement after announcement that it is not about the people we serve, or there would be measurables put in place. It is actually about looking good in front of the public.

That will not do for our citizens. It will not do for the taxpayers we represent. Again, last week we saw a $4.5-billion investment into Kinder Morgan when the private sector was walking away. I will call it an investment, although I am not sure it is one. The Liberals say they are trying to de-risk the project. They are not de-risking the project; they are de-risking the owners and investors of Kinder Morgan and then taking that risk and putting it on the taxpayers of Canada.

This is the type of spending we are seeing. There are no measurables in place. I wonder whether the $7-billion fund that is being staked out by the treasury, the fund we do not know where it is being spent, is where the $4.5 billion for Kinder Morgan is coming from.

It did not matter whether I was at the municipal level of government or in the private sector, in finance; one thing was always consistent: There need to be measurables put in place when the government is investing dollars. As I look through the budget, it talks about spending, spending, spending, but it fails to talk about how it is actually going to influence the lives of Canadians, the measurables that are being put into effect to show us that the dollars are actually well spent.

It may come at some point during the year, and if it does, I will be the first to congratulate the Liberals, but I have a feeling, based on the last two and a half years and perhaps even longer, considering it is not just the current government, that it will not happen. I ask the government to start putting measurables in place for the dollars it is spending so the taxpayers and citizens of Canada know that the dollars being spent on their behalf, taxpayers' dollars, not government dollars, are spent correctly.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:50 p.m.
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Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his plea, which is a plea that comes from business, where the mantra is usually “You can't manage what you don't measure.” I would like to give an example of managing what one measures. At the Treasury Board, we are making progress when it comes to the government's own greenhouse gas emissions and efficiencies. The Treasury Board is now moving, under Bill C-57, which is linked to this budget bill, to measuring the GHG emissions from its fleet and buildings, and very actively reporting to Canadians. Canadians will be able to see the progress that is being made. They will understand the expenditures that are being made to retrofit buildings and to lease better buildings in order to reduce the overall emissions. Canadians can get a much better sense of value for money.

I think the member would agree with me that this is one example where the government deserves a bit of credit for moving the yardstick forward to be judicious and wise with Canadian taxpayer dollars, to be able to show that in fact we are making progress, and if we are not, Canadians can hold us to account accordingly.