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 / 7:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, if there are places within the government's programs where the Liberals are putting measurables in place, then I congratulate them. The problem is that, if there are, it is not the norm. When we look at the spending that is being outlined, we have $60 billion in new spending over the last three years. Where are the measurables for $60 billion in new spending? If we are investing in a tax cut, can the government show me what the measurables are, and what the projected measurables are against the end result on a year-over-year basis? We are just not seeing it. In fact, the GDP has grown 0.1% in two years, but spending has gone up far more significantly.

These are major issues that need to be dealt with, and the only people who lose by our not measuring the effects of our spending are the taxpayers. They are the ones who do not get to see the accountable government they believe should exist. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to step up, measure, and ensure that they have the information they need to determine whether the member for Ottawa South, or the member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro—Medonte, or anyone else is doing a good job.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Ottawa South talked about the importance of measurables. We have a $7.2-billion slush fund. I do not see anywhere in the budget where that will be measurable, because I do not believe it is designated for anything. The other part is the carbon tax. Let us measure its cost in terms of its benefit for a family. I do not think we see that. Would both of those be measurable if we had the numbers?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to address both of those separately. In terms of the $7-billion slush fund, there cannot be measurables in place for something that has not been allocated to where it is going to be spent. That is a major issue in and of itself. I hope that over the coming year we will see what is going to happen there from the Treasury Board, and that for any dollars that are eventually designated there will be measurables put in place for whatever programming or investment they are put into. I do not think the fund should exist at all.

Second, on the carbon tax, I actually think the government has determined and measured what the effects of a carbon tax will be on the Canadian economy and on the different splices of Canadians, those who are perhaps hurting a little financially, versus the middle class, versus those with a lot of money. At the end of the day, what we have seen is that the government has not been willing to allow the opposition to have all the data. Therefore, the citizens do not have all the data.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 7:55 p.m.
See context

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Joliette.

I want to start by talking about four major policies that have come out from discussions over the last week to 10 days. First and foremost, I want to express how much I believe and have confidence in our trade negotiators. Our trade negotiators are the very best in the world. I appreciate and value the fine work they do, and I am very pleased with the way Canadians have come together and recognized how important that trade file is. We often hear it with regard to the Team Canada approach in dealing with the North American Free Trade Agreement.

I want to recognize how important that particular policy is to our government, and to assure members and those who are watching or tuning in on the issue of trade that we have the very best civil servants addressing this issue, and we have a Prime Minister who is right on, in terms of the positions we have taken and the posturing that is absolutely important to support a healthy trade agreement that is ultimately in Canada's best interests.

Another major issue that came up in the last seven days is the Trans Mountain pipeline. I felt very good the day I found out that the government was stepping in to acquire the pipeline. That is what the government needed to do. It is interesting that, for so long, the Conservatives were criticizing us because we were not doing enough. When it came time to get ourselves into a position to acquire, we did just that. Not only were there fantastic consultations on the project, but the science is there to support it, and we are talking about thousands of jobs and about the economy. There are so many benefits, and that is why that project is in the best national interest.

I am discouraged to see the official opposition take the position that it has in regard to the cost factor. There is a time when the government needs to get involved. It was the Harper government that got involved and spent more than that on the automobile bailout. If we had not participated in that, who knows what would have happened to the automobile industry in Canada?

This is something that was absolutely critical, and I am very proud of the government for taking the actions that it has, whether it be the Prime Minister or the Minister of Natural Resources. We will see the dividends into the future, whether it be the thousands of jobs, the care of our environment, or the ongoing consultations with indigenous people and other stakeholders.

Another major announcement was about the rail line going to Churchill. This will have a profound impact in the province of Manitoba, but I would argue that it is ultimately in Canada's best interest. Without that rail line, the whole viability of Churchill was being put into question. The Port of Churchill is Canada's northern port. It is very important that we do not neglect that port. For months on end, we tried to put people in a room together to get something to happen on that particular file. Last week, we saw a consortium come together, with very strong community involvement. From indigenous and non-indigenous groups to international trade and finances, it was a great group to see come together, not only for the well-being of the community of Churchill, but ultimately for the well-being of our country.

Just yesterday, we had an announcement of a $1.1-billion infrastructure agreement in the province of Manitoba.

A week or so ago I was out knocking on doors in Shaughnessy Park. A lot of individuals talked to me about the importance of infrastructure. They talked a lot about road conditions. I had indicated that I would bring that concern here to the floor of the House. Those residents, and in fact all residents of Winnipeg North, know that I understand and appreciate the importance of building infrastructure in the form of roads. This is something I communicate to the city, whether it is through this particular speech or in person to city representatives, as well as to provincial representatives when I get the opportunity. We have demonstrated through our infrastructure program that we want to have partnerships with municipalities and provinces to identify the priority areas that need the dollars that are so critically important in continuing to build Canada's infrastructure.

Those are some of the things that have occurred in the last seven days. I have not even talked about some of the fantastic work by the labour minister in making sure we are assisting or playing some role in encouraging an agreement with CP Rail and averting a potential strike. Again, that was very good news for many of the constituents I represent. I am thinking of the terminal in my area, but the bottom line is that we all benefit when we have better, healthier labour relations, and the government is there to encourage and promote that.

All of that was just in the past week. This is a government that believes that there is a need to be involved, get involved, and make a difference, and that has been demonstrated in the success of Canada over the last two and a half years.

When we talk about this budget and its implementation, one of the things I like right from the get-go is the indexing of the Canada child benefit program. That will ensure, once again, that more disposable income will be going to the families that need it the most in our communities. Those are real dollars.

In Winnipeg North alone, we are talking about millions of dollars going into our communities every month to support our families. Millionaire families do not need to receive this support for their families and children. We need to ensure that those children who need it the most are getting the most. That is something the government is ensuring, not only in its last budget, and that is going to happen by indexing. We also put it in our first budget, in the announcement that as a government we want to support our children in our communities, and we have seen that happening through the Canada child benefit program.

I had the opportunity to ask one of my Conservative colleagues a question. He made the statement that government does not really play a role in the creation of jobs. I disagree. The government does play a role. The example I gave the member was the Canada child benefit program. The individuals who receive it are spending and consuming the products. They are living in our communities, buying and consuming things for their children and others, whether at Giant Tiger stores or local restaurants or other small community businesses out there. I agree with members on all sides of the House when we say that small business is the backbone of our economy, and we need to support our small businesses.

One of the best ways we can support small businesses is by increasing disposable income from Canada's greatest consumers, those in the middle class and those aspiring to be a part of the middle class. By doing that, what we are really doing is allowing Canada's economy to grow. A healthy middle class, I would argue, would allow us to have a healthier economy. To me, that is what the Canada child benefit program does in a very big and tangible way.

That is why I say to my colleagues across the way that they should be supporting the program wholeheartedly.

If we want to take a look at how this government is supporting Canada's middle class, we could go back to the very first budget. Members will recall when we had the special tax break for Canada's middle class.

Have I already run out of time, or am I getting close to running out of time? I have run out of time.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 8:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my friend across the way about the way this budget has approached the issue of parental leave.

Right now, the way parental leave operates is that parents get to decide how they divide leave between them. This budget wants to change that approach so that in order to get the full allotted amount of parental leave, each parent would have to take some of that time. It essentially tries to micromanage and direct families to how it wants them to divide up child care, and it does so in the so-called name of reducing inequalities in the division of child care responsibilities.

However, many parents have concerns about the government intervening in this way. Certainly a single parent or one parent who might not be able to take parental leave as a result of the position they have would be negatively affected by the government's wish to control the direction of that parental leave. This seems very much out of touch with young families who want to be able to make these choices themselves.

Does the member not think that a better approach is to leave these decisions on which parent takes the parental leave up to the families themselves?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 8:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, to be completely honest, I am not familiar with the specifics the member is asking about. Rather than trying to bluff a way through it, I would rather continue to focus on what I believe complements all parents of children. Through the Canada child benefit program, where there is a high need, there is a higher percentage of support coming from the government. I would encourage members to look into their ridings and find out the degree of support they are receiving every month. That is the nice thing about it. Since it is universal, every riding in every region is receiving money, in my case literally millions. I think it is close to about $9 million a month going into the riding. That is helping the parents.

I will have to look into the other issue the member raised, and maybe he and I can talk on the side in regard to it. I just do not know the details or how I could better respond to his question.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 8:10 p.m.
See context

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in my riding of Kootenay—Columbia, there were protest rallies held in both Cranbrook and Nelson against the $4.5 billion going to the pipeline. When I talk to people in my constituency, they tell me they would prefer to see $4.5 billion going to actually implement universal pharmacare, not just talk about it; provide a national $15-a-day day care subsidy across Canada; provide true wage equity for women across the country, and get serious about equality for women; provide clean drinking water for first nations reserves; properly pay our public servants and get the Phoenix pay system on track; provide more money for seniors and more money to rural infrastructure, and not into a Canada infrastructure bank, which because of the minimums then takes all the money away from small rural communities like mine.

Would the member not agree that there were lots of better ways to use $4.5 billion than buying a 65-year-old pipeline?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 8:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, absolutely not. I think the member is so wrong on so many accounts. I wish I had a half hour in which I could explain it thoroughly to the member. Let us realize that it is in Canada's national best interest.

What is clear is that the NDP does not support any pipeline; that is very clear. It does not realize the billions of dollars of potential revenue that come in annually and ultimately support wonderful social programs. For example, Manitoba receives billions every year to support its infrastructure, things such as health care and so forth. Without those dollars, we would not be able to provide the type of services we do.

There is so much potential. This is something that is in the national best interest. What this debate really demonstrates is that the NDP—and it should be honest with Canadians—does not support any pipelines. If it cannot support this one, it does not support any, and that is a shame, because the NDP is not being truthful about the impact of the billions and billions of dollars that would be lost.

Where would the NDP get that money?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 8:15 p.m.
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Québec debout

Gabriel Ste-Marie Québec debout Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons for sharing his time with me and giving me this opportunity to speak on behalf of the Groupe parlementaire québécois.

Unfortunatley, Bill C-74 is another mammoth bill that is being debated under another time allocation motion.

The government is blaming the opposition for opposing this bill, claiming that that is what forced it to use time allocation. However, blaming the opposition for doing its job as the opposition is like blaming the Canada Revenue Agency for collecting taxes from people or blaming meteorologists for forecasting rain.

Of course we oppose bad policies. Would the government have me believe that it did not expect us to ask questions and that it did not fully expect us to oppose certain aspects of this bill?

This is ridiculous. Here we are with only 10 minutes to discuss an immense omnibus bill that is 560 pages long.

I will therefore try to be as brief as possible and get right to the point: this budget does not address the needs of Quebeckers; it is as simple as that.

As I said at second reading, there is not much for Quebeckers in this budget, apart from a handful of minor measures that will give the minister a chance to strut all over Canada just before the election. Targeted announcements pay off in swing ridings during elections, as we know. We are seeing that right now in the Chicoutimi byelection. Journalist David Akin said that in his entire career, he had never seen so much money and so many announcements being lavished on a single riding.

They are desperate to win this byelection at any cost. They have some nerve. Our Liberal colleagues are lucky that they do not have to pay for their own gas. Otherwise, they would think twice before taking a limousine hundreds of kilometres to make a $10,000 announcement.

In Bill C-74, we see a $75-million gift to the Irvings to fight the spruce budworm. This is a perfect example. The spruce budworm is also a problem in Quebec. In fact, the infested area in Quebec is bigger than the entire province of New Brunswick, yet Quebec is not getting a single cent. Every penny is going to help the Irvings. That sums this budget up perfectly. This is not a budget for Quebec. It is, first and foremost, a budget for the Liberal Party. It is clear that this old party will never change.

Do not get me wrong, it is not all negative. For example, the Canada workers benefit is interesting. It will help out low-income workers. The small business tax cut from 10.5% to 9% is another good measure.

As hon. members know, Quebec's economy relies heavily on small business owners. Quebec is known for its creativity. With our good ideas we are able to develop businesses that can penetrate markets all around the world. Lowering the small business tax rate will give our businesses the boost they need to create our flagships of tomorrow.

However, the context in which this was announced raised some eyebrows. The Minister of Finance was criticized from all sides for the tax reform he announced last summer. Then out of nowhere he announced the tax cut in order to save face for the government, but at the end of the day it is still a good measure and the tax reform was largely abandoned.

The government kept the proposal to restrict the use of passive income, but it diluted the proposal so much that the reform will not do much. Instead of going after our farmers and small businesses, the government could have gone after the massive problems with its tax reform. I should also mention that there is nothing in the budget to address tax havens.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, we lose at least $9 billion a year in revenue to tax havens.

It is not complicated. If we recovered just a fraction of this amount, we would have some serious breathing room to balance our budget. Bay Street would obviously be angry, which would not fly with the current government, but it would be fair to the people and businesses here that pay their taxes.

The government should be closing loopholes instead of creating more tax havens by signing information sharing agreements with countries that do not have tax return obligations.

Once again, Quebec is demanding that it be able to collect all taxes, but the Prime Minister thumbed his nose at Quebec's unanimous motion, showing his arrogance yet again.

I do not think that any party in power in Quebec would turn its nose up at billions of dollars hidden in tax havens, unlike the Liberals, who are creating more loopholes. The same goes for Netflix, an American multinational corporation.

Quebec and Canadian companies that provide a similar service must charge sales tax, but the government is doing everything it can to exempt Netflix and other U.S. giants from this requirement. That is completely unfair. It is offering a competitive advantage to foreign businesses to the detriment of our own. That must change.

Speaking of handouts to foreign businesses, let us talk about the environment and Trans Mountain. The government just gave a $4.5 billion gift to a U.S. company to develop a pipeline that British Columbia opposes.

The 2015 Liberal platform had this to say about environmental projects:

Canadians must be able to trust that government...will respect the rights of those most affected [by these resource-based projects]...While governments grant permits for resource development, only communities can grant permission.

The government just reversed its position. This budget is more of the same on the environment: a lot of talk and not too many concrete measures. It is simply disappointing.

Quebec is asking for help with the electrification of transportation, but there is nothing for that in the budget. This corner of the House has asked for this funding several times.

Time is running out so I will start to wrap up. This budget is above all for Liberals. It sprinkles around some tax breaks in order to win elections. The government still has not resolved the problem of health transfers that are below the acceptable minimum threshold. While the Liberal Party is playing Monopoly with our money, Quebec is confronted with real problems every year because of a significant increase in health care costs.

I would like the government to start listening instead of always being so arrogant, as we saw with the single tax return and the migrant crisis. On our side, we are going to continue tirelessly defending the interests of our people, Quebeckers.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 8:20 p.m.
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Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I had the privilege of joining my colleague from Joliette and going to the Atikamekw of Manawan First Nation.

We could see that there are desperate needs on this territory. Together with Chief Jean-Roch Ottawa and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, we embarked on a day-long tour of the community. We saw that there are some serious needs and we were able to make a small announcement and start helping.

Can my colleague talk about this issue and what we can do in budget 2017-18 and what work we can do in general to improve things in these regions and these communities?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 8:20 p.m.
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Québec debout

Gabriel Ste-Marie Québec debout Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. It is good to use concrete examples and to apply them in a budgetary context.

I thank my colleague from Laurentides—Labelle as well as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services for their visit in my riding yesterday to see the community of Manawan. It was an opportunity for us to cut the ribbon on some lovely new housing for the Atikamekw of Manawan First Nation. There was a good financial contribution from the federal government for these housing units. I welcome this good news.

At the same time, my colleagues were able to see all the needs. The crown has committed to providing the same service level to indigenous communities across the country as is provided to other Canadians. We were able to see that it is not the case. There are still huge housing needs. The timing is good since, in previous budgets, important announcements were made regarding indigenous infrastructure. The money has barely been spent if at all. We must therefore make sure that amounts which were announced for infrastructure are indeed allocated, in order to improve indigenous peoples' quality of life in Canada.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 8:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question about pipelines.

Of course we do not agree with the government's decision to buy a pipeline, but at the same time, Quebec imports foreign oil from countries such as Saudi Arabia and it is more expensive than Canadian oil.

Would my colleague agree with the general principle that it would be best if Quebec was using Canadian oil? Does he think it is a good idea?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 8:25 p.m.
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Québec debout

Gabriel Ste-Marie Québec debout Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I would like to correct one thing. Quebec does not import oil from Saudi Arabia. Our imports vary each year, but come primarily from the United States as well as England and Norway, as far as I know. We have also imported a great deal of oil from the west since the reversal of Enbridge pipeline 9B. That is the situation.

Like the Conservatives, we condemn the purchase by the federal government with public money of Trans Mountain and the Enbridge line. We believe that it is a bad decision. That is all we agree on, however. We are more supportive of a greener economy and decisions that lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. With respect to the international community, we support the COP21 Paris Agreement. According to our analysis, which is consistent with scientific studies, in order to comply with this agreement we must stop all new development of the oil sands, which, I would remind members, is extremely polluting. Furthermore, new pipelines are used not just to move existing oil at a good price, but also to extract more. This will prevent us from honouring the commitments we made in Paris.

We prefer to develop other energy sources and to start by reducing energy consumption in the 21st century. This works out well because Quebec has everything it needs to develop its renewable energy and is a world leader in the area. Economic development choices, however, are more focused on the oil sands than on the economy of the future. For that reason we rise in the House to defend the environment.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 8:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to speak tonight to the budget implementation act and in general to the budget policy of the government.

I thought what I would do tonight is speak to some of the specific debate we are having around budget measures and the fiscal policies of the government. At the same time, I will set that in a sort of philosophical context. I will talk a bit about what a Conservative vision of economic policy is and what the fixed principles and values of that approach is rooted in. I will then work that into some of the particulars of the policy debate we are having tonight.

A discussion of economic policy has to start with a commitment to justice. After all, it is not purely a discussion when we talk about budgets but rather what is just with respect to government policy. By just, I mean what is due. Justice is the virtue of doing that which is due to others and government policy should be informed by that.

There are a number of different principles and applications of justice of course, such as justice to whom. Are we talking about giving to another that which is due? I want to talk about some of those particulars as I work through my speech.

One of the issues we speak about often in the context of justice is the question of intergenerational justice; that is how we as the present generation gives that which is due to the next generation. This is a fundamental question of justice. We can choose to enjoy as much as possible for ourselves the goods of our society and leave as little as possible for the next generation or we can govern ourselves with an eye to preserve as much as possible for the next generation to give them the same or a better life, a better set of opportunities. That is a question of intergenerational justice, one that is fundamental.

Maybe another way of thinking about that is sustainability. Is our fiscal environment, our institutions or other aspects of our society sustainable in the sense that we are preserving them and setting them up so they are passed on in a similar or better condition to the next generation?

Conservatives, in thinking about the issue of intergenerational justice, will often reflect on the work of a great English philosopher and parliamentarian, Edmund Burke. He talked about the fragility of society, how we received society from our ancestors, and we ought to preserve it with prudence and with caution as we pass it on to the next generation.

This is why Conservatives who follow Edmund Burke are instinctively skeptical of extreme proposals for revolution. Sometimes we perceive proposals from Liberals and New Democrats as saying that we should radically reorder and change the way we do things. Conservatives are often a voice of caution in those situations, saying that while we support change, we want to ensure we are always preserve the benefits of society that we received from our ancestors and that we pass them on to the next generation, again out of a concern for fundamental justice. We preserve traditions and we are prudent in recognizing what we owe to the future.

It is my sincere belief that the present approach to budgeting is a great betrayal of that principle of intergenerational justice. The rhetoric from the government is that we have to spend and invest, but we have to spend now and we have to spend far more than we are taking in.

The inevitable consequence of spending more than we have today is that subsequent generations will have to pay more in tax to pay the interest on the expenditures that we enjoy now, and not even to pay off our present expenditures. I do not understand how anyone could get out of the fairly simple logic of that argument.

If we spend money today, it has to be paid off at some point in the future. The government will come back at this argument in various ways. For instance, It will say that these expenditures are actually stimulative, that deficit spending creates economic growth which then benefits everybody else in the long term.

The economic logic of that comes from John Maynard Keynes, who talked about stimulative spending during economic downtimes, which then has to be balanced out during good years. There has always been a recognition, even among economists who have favoured a stimulative approach to fiscal policy, that governments still have to pay that off at certain times. Maybe the argument goes that a government runs deficits during bad years and then it pays it off during good years. However, the idea of running deficits constantly is not a recognizable economic theory that has been advanced by serious economic thinkers.

Eventually, a government does have to pay it off, and eventually the next generation or the one after it will have to pay the price for the excesses of the present. It is bad economics to think a government can run perpetual deficits, but it is also a violation of the great principle of intergenerational justice.

I think Canadians get this intuitively, by the way, because in the last election, the Prime Minister was able to sell to 39% of Canadians a deficit spending proposal, albeit a very limited one. He said that his government would run deficits for three years, deficits that would not exceed $10 billion, and then the government would balance the budget in the fourth year. We are coming up to that fourth year and are nowhere near a balanced budget.

The Liberals were able to sell that because Canadians thought it was a limited approach to deficit spending. After the election, the government totally betrayed the commitment it made previously. Now it does not have a plan to ever balance the budget.

I note that every province in this country that runs a deficit has a timeline for getting out of that deficit. This is the only finance minister in the country who does not have a timeline for that deficit.

This is a violation of the principle of intergenerational justice. My kids are going to have to work harder and pay more in taxes, which they will not enjoy in services back from the government, because our generation has chosen this present government that is spending more than it has. I would submit that is fundamentally unjust.

Our alternative approach, which emphasizes balanced budgets, is sustainable in the long term, and allows us to make investments in social programs that we know will be able to continue, and it ensures that whatever we do within the framework of a balanced budget, we will be able to sustain and provide a continuing level of opportunity in social programs to the next generation.

In every case, in Canada and elsewhere, when a government has persistent deficit spending, eventually the party ends. Eventually, someone in the future has to do the hard work of cutting back, and has to endure the loss of services and increase in taxes associated with an inevitable reckoning. I would submit that it is not just, right, or moral to ask my kids and other kids to pay for what we are not willing to pay for in the present.

In pursuit of an economic policy that is just, we seek intergenerational justice, respect for the next generation, and sustainable fiscal policies that do not involve perpetual deficits.

There is another argument that the government often brings up in this case. It talks about the debt-to-GDP ratio and says that it is maintaining that ratio relatively consistently over time.

First of all, Canadians should be concerned about the overall debt-to-GDP ratio because, although our federal debt-to-GDP ratio is relatively lower than many other countries', our total government debt-to-GDP ratio is comparable to those countries'. Since far more services are provided in this country at a sub-national level than in most other countries, as we are more decentralized as a federation than many of our partners, it is important to compare apples to apples when talking about the debt-to-GDP ratio and look at total government debt-to-GDP in Canada as compared to other countries. Unfortunately, in that comparison, Canada is certainly right there in the rest of the pack in terms of this challenge.

The other thing I would say about the debt-to-GDP ratio is that it is a measure of the debt that we could plausibly carry. However, it does not change the fact that the debt still has to be paid off. With a higher GDP, a government can carry more debt, but it still has to pay it off and it still has to pay interest on it in the meantime, and that is still an injustice to the next generation.

Our party believes that we need a sustainable fiscal policy, one that does include, and I am sure this will come up in questions, running deficits during periods of major economic downturns, or periods of national crisis and disaster. That is precisely what we did. However, at the same time, we had a long-term sustainable fiscal policy that was stimulative for those periods and paid off debt outside of those periods. The government seems to believe that debt and deficits should be run in perpetuity, and that is certainly a policy that we very strongly disagree with.

Another element of justice in the context of the budget is justice for taxpayers. Taxpayers who work hard and have to pay part of their hard-earned income to the government have certain legitimate expectations about the spirit in which their money should be spent. They have an expectation that it will be spent on things that are in the public interest and that relate to their interests, not their own personal immediate interests necessarily, but that are reflective of the interests of the population as a whole, such that taxation is more than just a means of well-connected insiders accessing the public largesse. That is the ideal, that taxes be collected with the public interest goal in mind.

Unfortunately, we see so many elements of spending in this budget and other government budget documents that are really disconnected from any rational calculation of the public interest. Rather, they are clearly reflective of the fact that the government wants to use public dollars to reward well-connected insiders, to reward their friends, and establish relationships they perceive to be in their interest.

I will give one example of this. It is something that clearly and obviously goes against the principle of justice for taxpayers. It is something called the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Hundreds of millions of Canadian taxpayer dollars are going to fund a bank that builds infrastructure in Asia, headquartered in Beijing, and controlled by the Chinese government as an instrument of its foreign policy. We are putting up hundreds of millions of dollars for Canada to be a voting member of this organization, but in reality to control something around less than one per cent of the shares.

In any event, we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars being put into this infrastructure bank, and the only argument the government can come up with for giving money overseas to this instrument of Chinese foreign policy is that it will create opportunities for Canadian companies to be able to get contracts through this bank. Allegedly Canadian participation in the infrastructure bank means that Canadians companies could now join in projects they would not have been able to join before.

However, that is not true. I have visited the headquarters of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing and officials told us that they have a totally open staffing and procurement policy, which means that Canadian companies could participate in these contracts and would have an equal opportunity to bid on these projects in any event. The only justification the government has for this is simply not correct.

The government in Beijing obviously wants other countries to put their money into this as a tool of their foreign policy, and it is maybe a way of getting a nice pat on the back from someone for doing it, but this is a case of grievous injustice to taxpayers who would rather see their money spent at home on things that are reflective of their understanding of the Canadian public interest, of the common good here rather than advancing the PRC's foreign policy goals.

There are many aspects of this. There is corporate welfare through programs like the supercluster program. How is it just for taxpayers that small business owners and the middle class and those working hard to join it have to pay taxes to the government, which are then used to subsidize already very successful, well-connected businesses? That is fundamentally unjust to those less well-connected taxpayers.

Taxes are not supposed to be a reward for rent seekers. They are not supposed to be a reward for those who invest in having close relationships with those in power in order to realize some benefit from them, or what economists would call rent seekers. Taxes are supposed to advance the public interest. Unfortunately, in this government, there are many examples of the Liberals using money in an ineffective way that really rewards their friends instead of being connected to the public interest.

Other elements of justice that should inform a rational and effective fiscal policy is that include a concern for social equality expressed through equality of opportunity and policies that encourage self-reliance. Our view is that the best way to ensure justice for all and equality of opportunity is to cut the taxes of those who need those tax cuts the most. If we look at the record of the previous Conservative government and the taxes we cut, tax relief was always targeted to those who were struggling, those who needed that tax relief the most.

I hear a member laughing over there. I invite her to ask a question in questions and comments and identify a tax that we cut that benefited primarily or exclusively the wealthy. I do not think I will hear that question, because there were none. The tax cuts by the previous government included cutting the GST and the lowest marginal rate of the small business tax rate. Yes, we cut the business tax rate, and that benefits all Canadians. Our approach was not to exercise corporate welfare but rather to cut taxes for businesses that would encourage economic growth, and thereby benefit the employees and customers. We did not impose punitive taxes on Canadians like the current government is doing, for example, with its carbon tax.

We have challenged the Liberals on the issue of the carbon tax from multiple angles. Of course, there is the fact that they will not even give us the information about how much the carbon tax is going to impact the average Canadian. However, I want to talk specifically about it in terms of justice and social equality.

The thing with the carbon tax is that it is designed to create an incentive for people to change their behaviour. It is a punitive approach to creating that incentive. It says to people that if they do not change their behaviour, they will have to pay a higher tax. There are some people who might be able to afford the investment of changing their behaviour. Yes, they can afford to retrofit their home. They can afford to move closer to the city. However, the problem is that there are also many Canadians who cannot respond to that punitive approach, because they simply cannot afford to make those kinds of behavioural changes. There could be an alternative way of helping people who I think want to do their part for the environment, but who cannot respond to the stick. They might respond better to a carrot. In any event, they cannot respond to the punitive approach of a carbon tax.

A carbon tax would tax home heating fuel, and gas for those who cannot necessarily afford electric hybrid cars. The carbon tax really is a tax that hits those who can least afford to pay it.

There is an alternative approach when it comes to the environment. One only has to look at the previous government's environmental record. It was to be the first government in Canadian history under which emissions went down, or up by less in every single province compared to the previous government. To members who are laughing and shaking their heads, I look forward to their questions, because if you look at the numbers, it is very clear that that is the real record on the environment of the previous government.

How did we achieve those reductions? We had binding sector-by-sector regulations and we gave Canadians incentives that involved rewards. We gave things like a home retrofit tax credit, instead of punishing people for not making certain environmental decisions. We gave them a tax credit, which gave them the means to make investments they probably would want to make anyway, such as making their homes more energy efficient. We moved forward with things like the transit tax credit, which the current government, in fact, got rid of.

It is clear that there are two different visions of the economy, and ours, on many scores, is a more just approach to the economy. That is why we propose it as an alternative to the government's budget.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2018 / 8:45 p.m.
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Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to take my colleague to task for some of the revisionist history he has put forward here this evening. Canadians should pay close attention to some of the wording he has put forward. He has been careful to construct a theory about Conservative spending, Conservative legacies, and an approach to the economy that he talks about in terms of intergenerational justice.

Let us talk about intergenerational justice. Let us remind the member opposite that when the previous Liberal government achieved power in 1993, it inherited a massive annual deficit and a massive national debt. It took us two or three years to turn it around before delivering five successive surpluses and paying down tens of billions of dollars of national debt.

Cutting the previous government some slack, given the 2008 economic slowdown, which, by the way, accounted for so much of the decline in greenhouse gases, not any turning-the-corner plan the member was not here to defend, let us just look at Mr. Harper's Conservative approach to debt and deficits. He inherited a $13-billion surplus when he came to power. He ran a deficit every single year as Prime Minister of Canada and perhaps balanced the books in the last year by slashing spending. By the way, it is reminiscent of the old nightmare we have seen, from Reagan to Harris to Harper, and soon, to Trump: they borrow money, they slash taxes, they drive up the national debt, and they leave lingering deficits.