Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2

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

Sponsor

Bill Morneau  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

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

Part 1 implements certain income tax and related measures by

(a) introducing rules intended to provide greater certainty with respect to various tax consequences arising from certain foreign divisive reorganizations;

(b) ensuring that the existing cross-border anti-surplus stripping rule cannot be circumvented through transactions involving the use of partnerships or trusts;

(c) introducing rules to prevent misuse of the foreign accrual property income regime through the use of tracking interests involving foreign affiliates;

(d) ensuring consistency between the trading or dealing in indebtedness rules and the investment business rules within the foreign accrual property income regime;

(e) ensuring that the at-risk rules apply appropriately at each level of a tiered partnership structure;

(f) providing that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness can determine international operational missions for the purpose of the deduction available for income earned by members of the Canadian Forces or police officers on such missions;

(g) amending the synthetic equity arrangement rules and securities lending arrangement rules to prevent the artificial generation of losses through the use of equity-based financial instruments;

(h) ensuring that social assistance payments under certain programs do not preclude individuals from receiving the Canada Child Benefit;

(i) ensuring that an individual who is eligible to receive the Canada Workers Benefit can receive the benefit without having to claim it;

(j) introducing a refundable tax credit for the purposes of the climate action incentive;

(k) providing allocation rules for losses applied against Part IV taxes;

(l) preventing the creation of artificial losses on shares held as mark-to-market property by financial institutions;

(m) revising the rules relating to the non-partisan political activities of charities;

(n) ensuring that a taxpayer is subject to a three-year extended reassessment period in respect of any income, loss or other amount arising in connection with a foreign affiliate of the taxpayer;

(o) providing the Canada Revenue Agency with an extended reassessment period of an additional three years, to the extent that the reassessment relates to the adjustment of a loss carryback for transactions involving a taxpayer and non-resident non-arm’s length persons;

(p) extending the reassessment period of a taxpayer by the period of time during which a requirement for information or compliance order is contested;

(q) requiring that information returns in respect of a taxpayer’s foreign affiliates be filed within 10 months after the end of the taxpayer’s taxation year;

(r) enabling the disclosure of taxpayer and other confidential tax information to Canada’s bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty partners for the purposes of non-tax criminal investigations and prosecutions of certain serious crimes; and

(s) providing a deduction for employee contributions to the enhanced portion of the Quebec Pension Plan.

Part 1 also amends the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act to, among other things, define the term “agreement” as applying, among other things, to tax information exchange agreements and tax treaties to which Canada is a party, and provide for orders to produce financial information for the purposes of investigation and prosecution of certain offences set out in subsection 462.‍48(1.‍1) of the Criminal Code. The enactment also amends paragraph 462.‍48(2)‍(c) of the Criminal Code to provide that information may also be gathered under Part IX of the Excise Tax Act and under the Excise Act, 2001.

Part 2 implements certain Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) measures by

(a) replacing the requirement that GST/HST be collected on a sale of carbon emission allowances with a requirement that the purchaser self-assess that GST/HST;

(b) extending the assessment period for group registered education savings plan trusts that make a special relieving election in respect of their past HST liability;

(c)  introducing GST/HST rules in respect of investment limited partnerships;

(d) clarifying the intended tax policy of excluding books that are sold by a public service body from the GST/HST rebate for printed books;

(e) introducing amendments similar to those to the Income Tax Act to extend the assessment period of a person by the period of time during which a requirement for information or compliance order is contested; and

(f)  introducing amendments similar to those to the Income Tax Act to enable the disclosure of confidential information to Canada’s bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty partners, or to Canadian police officers, for the purposes of non-tax criminal investigations and prosecution of certain serious crimes.

Part 3 implements certain excise measures by

(a) broadening the refund regime in respect of excise tax on diesel fuel to allow a vendor to apply for a refund where a purchaser will use excise tax-paid diesel fuel to generate electricity, if certain conditions are met;

(b) introducing an anti-avoidance excise measure relating to the taxation of cannabis in respect of the rules establishing the value of a cannabis product on which an ad valorem duty is calculated;

(c)  introducing amendments to the Air Travellers Security Charge Act and the Excise Act, 2001 that are similar to those to the Income Tax Act to extend the assessment period of a person by the period of time during which a requirement for information or compliance order is contested;

(d) introducing amendments to the Excise Act, 2001 that are similar to those to the Income Tax Act to enable the disclosure of confidential information to Canada’s bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty partners, or to Canadian police officers, for the purposes of non-tax criminal investigations and prosecution of certain serious crimes; and

(e) making housekeeping amendments to the Excise Act, 2001 in order to ensure consistency between the English and French version of the legislation.

Part 4 enacts and amends several Acts in order to implement various measures.

Division 1 of Part 4 amends the Customs Tariff in order to simplify it and reduce the administrative burden for Canadian businesses and the Government of Canada by consolidating similar tariff items that have the same tariff rates and removing end-use provisions where appropriate. The amendments also clarify existing tariff provisions and make other technical amendments.

Division 2 of Part 4 amends the Canada Pension Plan to modify the calculation of the amount to be attributed for a year in which a contributor is a family allowance recipient and their first or second additional contributory period begins or ends.

Subdivision A of Division 3 of Part 4 amends the Trust and Loan Companies Act, the Bank Act and the Insurance Companies Act to, among other things,

(a) establish thresholds below which the acquisition of control of certain entities, or the acquisition or increase of a substantial investment in them, does not require the approval of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions;

(b) allow financial institutions to invest in the Canadian business growth fund; and

(c) ensure that customers can provide consent electronically to receive electronic documents.

It also corrects a reference to the Insurance Companies Act in the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1.

Subdivision B of Division 3 of Part 4 amends the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act to, among other things,

(a) make technical amendments to clarify the method of calculating insured deposits, to remove outdated references, to repeal certain provisions not yet in force and to clarify that withdrawals made following the amalgamation of two or more member institutions or the continuance as a federal credit union will be considered to be made from pre-existing deposits and that the separation of accounts following the amalgamation is limited to a period of two years;

(b) exclude amounts borrowed by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation under paragraph 60.‍2(2)‍(c) of the Financial Administration Act from the calculation of the Corporation’s total principal indebtedness; and

(c) clarify that the liquidator of a member institution of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation must not apply the law of set-off or compensation to a claim related to insured deposits.

It also repeals two sections of the Financial System Review Act.

Subdivision C of Division 3 of Part 4 amends the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Act, the Trust and Loan Companies Act, the Bank Act and the Insurance Companies Act to, among other things, clarify that providing legally privileged information to the Superintendent of Financial Institutions does not constitute a waiver of the privilege.

Division 4 of Part 4 amends the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to remove the right of persons to decide not to proceed further with importing or exporting currency or monetary instruments that are required to be reported.

Division 5 of Part 4 amends the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act to, among other things, allow for the application, within the offshore area, of the provincial greenhouse gas pricing regime and to confer powers and impose duties and functions on the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board for the application of that regime. It also amends the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act to provide that the provincial regime does not apply if the offshore area is mentioned in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to that Act. Finally, it amends the Offshore Health and Safety Act to postpone the repeal of certain regulations.

Division 6 of Part 4 amends the Canada Business Corporations Act to set out criteria for identifying individuals with significant control over a corporation. The Division also sets out a requirement for a corporation that meets certain criteria to keep a register of individuals with significant control and requirements respecting the information to be recorded in it. Finally, the Division includes applicable offences and punishments.

Subdivision A of Division 7 of Part 4 amends the Patent Act in order to

(a) provide a regulation-making authority for the establishment of requirements for written demands relating to patents;

(b) specify that an act committed for the purpose of experimentation relating to the subject matter of a patent is not an infringement of the patent and that licencing commitments that bind the owner of a standard-essential patent or the holder of a certificate of supplementary protection that sets out such a patent bind any subsequent owners or holders;

(c) expand the rights of a person in respect of a claim in a patent who meets the requirements to be considered a prior user;

(d) ensure that patent prosecution histories may be admissible into evidence for certain purposes;

(e) clarify when a late fee must be paid in respect of divisional applications as well as when the confidentiality period begins in the case where a request for priority is deemed never to have been made.

Subdivision B of Division 7 of Part 4 amends the Trade-marks Act to, among other things,

(a) add bad faith as a ground of opposition to the registration of a trade-mark and for the invalidation of a trade-mark registration;

(b) prevent the owner of a registered trade-mark from obtaining relief for acts done contrary to section 19, 20 or 22 of that Act during the first three years after the trade-mark is registered unless the trade-mark was in use in Canada during that period or special circumstances exist that excuse the absence of use;

(c) clarify that the prohibitions in subparagraph 9(1)‍(n)‍(iii) and section 11 of that Act do not apply with respect to a badge, crest, emblem or mark that was the subject of a public notice of adoption and use as an official mark if the entity that made the request for the public notice is not a public authority or no longer exists; and

(d) modernize the conduct of various proceedings before the Registrar of Trade-marks, including by providing the Registrar with additional powers in such proceedings.

It also makes certain housekeeping amendments to provisions of the Trade-marks Act that are enacted by the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 and the Combating Counterfeit Products Act.

Subdivision C of Division 7 of Part 4 amends the Copyright Act in order to specify that certain information is not permitted to be included within a notice under the notice and notice regime and to provide for a regulation-making power to prohibit further types of information from being included within such a notice.

Subdivision D of Division 7 of Part 4 enacts the College of Patent Agents and Trade-mark Agents Act. That Act establishes the College of Patent Agents and Trade-mark Agents, which is to be responsible for the regulation of patent agents and trade-mark agents in the public interest. That Act, among other things,

(a) requires that individuals obtain a licence in order to act as patent agents or trade-mark agents and that licensees comply with a code of professional conduct;

(b) authorizes the College’s Investigations Committee to receive complaints and conduct investigations into whether a licensee has committed professional misconduct or was incompetent;

(c) authorizes the College’s Discipline Committee to impose disciplinary measures if it decides that a licensee has committed professional misconduct or was incompetent; and

(d) creates new offences of claiming to be a patent agent or trade-mark agent and unauthorized representation before the Patent Office or the Office of the Registrar of Trade-marks.

That Subdivision also makes consequential amendments to certain Acts.

Subdivision E of Division 7 of Part 4 amends the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to provide that intellectual property users may preserve their usage rights when intellectual property rights are sold or disposed of in an insolvency proceeding or when the agreement relating to such property rights is disclaimed or resiliated in such a proceeding. It also amends the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to provide that intellectual property users may preserve their usage rights when intellectual property rights are sold or disposed of.

Subdivision F of Division 7 of Part 4 amends the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act to provide that the head of a government institution may refuse to disclose, under either of those Acts, information that is subject to the privilege set out in section 16.‍1 of the Patent Act or section 51.‍13 of the Trade-marks Act. It makes a related amendment to the Pest Control Products Act.

Subdivision G of Division 7 of Part 4 amends the National Research Council Act to clarify that the National Research Council of Canada has the authority to dispose of all forms of intellectual property that it develops, including future rights to such property and to provide the Council with the authority to dispose of real, personal, movable and immovable property, complementing the current provision in the Act that allows it to acquire such property.

Subdivision H of Division 7 of Part 4 amends the Copyright Act in order to modernize the legislative framework relating to the Copyright Board so as to improve the timeliness and clarity of its proceedings and decision-making processes. More specifically, it repeals spent provisions and

(a) codifies the Board’s mandate and establishes decision-making criteria;

(b) establishes new timelines in respect of Board matters, including earlier filing dates for proposed tariffs and longer effective periods for approved tariffs, and empowers the Governor in Council to make additional timelines by regulation;

(c) formalizes case management of Board proceedings;

(d) reduces the number of matters that must be considered by the Board;

(e) streamlines procedural steps across different tariff contexts, maintaining differences between them only where necessary;

(f) amends relevant enforcement provisions, including the availability of statutory damages for certain parties in respect of Board-set royalty rates and enforcement of Board-set terms and conditions; and

(g) modernizes existing language and structure for greater clarity and consistency.

Division 8 of Part 4 amends the Employment Insurance Act to, among other things, increase the maximum number of weeks for which parental benefits may be paid if these benefits are divided between claimants. It also amends the Canada Labour Code to, among other things, increase the aggregate amount of leave that may be taken by employees under sections 206.‍1 and 206.‍2 if that leave is divided between employees.

Division 9 of Part 4 enacts the Canadian Gender Budgeting Act in order to state the Government’s policy of promoting gender equality and inclusiveness by taking gender and diversity into consideration in the budget process. It also establishes related reporting requirements.

Division 10 of Part 4 amends the Bank Act to strengthen provisions that apply to a bank or an authorized foreign bank in relation to the protection of customers and the public. It implements enhancements in the areas of corporate governance, responsible business conduct, disclosure and transparency, and redress. It also amends the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act to strengthen the mandate of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and grant additional powers to that Agency.

Division 11 of Part 4 amends the First Nations Land Management Act to give effect to amendments to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management respecting, among other things, procedures for obtaining community approval of a land code, the lands to which a land code may apply, the addition of lands to First Nation land by order of the Minister and the transfer of capital moneys.

Division 12 of Part 4 amends the First Nations Fiscal Management Act to, among other things,

(a) enable more Aboriginal organizations and First Nations to benefit from the provisions of the Act in order to strengthen their financial management systems and give them access to long-term financing;

(b) address certain administrative issues identified by the bodies established under the Act; and

(c) provide another option for First Nations to access moneys held by Her Majesty for their use and benefit.

Division 13 of Part 4 amends the Export and Import Permits Act to give the Minister of Foreign Affairs the authority to issue an import allocation for goods that are included on the Import Control List under subsection 5(6) of that Act.

Division 14 of Part 4 enacts the Pay Equity Act to establish a proactive process for the achievement of pay equity by the redressing of the systemic gender-based discrimination experienced by employees who occupy positions in predominantly female job classes. The new Act requires federal public and private sector employers that have 10 or more employees to establish and maintain a pay equity plan within set time frames so as to identify and correct differences in compensation between predominantly female and predominantly male job classes for which the work performed is of equal value. The new Act provides for the powers, duties and functions of a Pay Equity Commissioner, which include facilitating the resolution of disputes, conducting compliance audits and investigating disputes, objections and complaints, as well as making orders and imposing administrative monetary penalties for violations of that Act. The new Act also requires the Pay Equity Commissioner to report annually to Parliament on the administration and enforcement of the new Act.

Division 14 also amends the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act to provide for the application of the Pay Equity Act to parliamentary employers with certain adaptations and without limiting the powers, privileges and immunities of the Senate, the House of Commons and the members of those Houses.

It also makes the Minister of Labour responsible for the administration of the Federal Contractors Program for Pay Equity.

Finally, it makes related and consequential amendments to certain Acts and repeals the section of the Budget Implementation Act, 2009 that enacts the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act.

Subdivision A of Division 15 of Part 4 amends the Canada Labour Code to, among other things,

(a) provide five days of paid leave for victims of family violence, a personal leave of five days with three paid days, an unpaid leave for court or jury duty and a fourth week of annual vacation with pay for employees who have completed at least 10 consecutive years of employment;

(b) eliminate minimum length of service requirements for leaves and general holiday pay and reduce the length of service requirement for three weeks of vacation with pay;

(c) prohibit differences in rate of wages based on the employment status of employees;

(d) address continuity of employment issues when a work, undertaking or business becomes federally regulated or in cases of contract retendering; and

(e) update group and individual termination provisions by increasing the minimum notice of termination.

Subdivision B of Division 15 of Part 4 amends the Canada Labour Code to allow the Minister of Labour to designate a Head of Compliance and Enforcement who will exercise most of the powers and perform most of the duties and functions that are related to the administration and enforcement of Parts II, III and IV of the Code.

Division 16 of Part 4 amends the Wage Earner Protection Program Act to, among other things, increase the maximum amount that may be paid to an individual under the Act, expand the definition of eligible wages, expand the conditions under which a payment may be made under the Act and create additional requirements related to Her Majesty in right of Canada’s right of subrogation in respect of payments made under the Act.

Division 17 of Part 4 amends the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Agreement Act and the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act to harmonize the periods within which the reports under those Acts must be laid before Parliament in order to better communicate Canada’s international development efforts. It also repeals the definition of “official development assistance” in the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act and confers the power to define this expression by regulation.

Division 17 also enacts the International Financial Assistance Act, which provides the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for International Development with powers, duties and functions to support the delivery of a sovereign loans program, an international assistance innovation program and a federal international assistance program that promotes the mitigation of or adaptation to climate change through repayable contributions.

Division 18 of Part 4 enacts the Department for Women and Gender Equality Act which, among other things, establishes the Department for Women and Gender Equality to assist the Minister responsible for that department in exercising or performing the Minister’s powers, duties and functions that extend to and include all matters relating to women and gender equality, including the advancement of equality in respect of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression and the promotion of a greater understanding of the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors. It also contains transitional provisions. Finally, Division 18 makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Division 19 of Part 4 enacts the Addition of Lands to Reserves and Reserve Creation Act which authorizes a Minister, designated by the Governor in Council, to set apart lands as reserves for the use and benefit of First Nations. The Division also repeals Part 2 of the Manitoba Claim Settlements Implementation Act and the Claim Settlements (Alberta and Saskatchewan) Implementation Act.

Division 20 of Part 4 amends section 715.‍42 of the Criminal Code to require the publication of any decision not to publish a remediation agreement or order related to that agreement and of any decision related to the review of such a decision, to specify that the court may make the first decision subject to a condition, including one related to the duration of non-publication, and to allow anyone to request a review of that decision.

Division 21 of Part 4 enacts the Poverty Reduction Act, which sets out two targets for poverty reduction in Canada.

Division 22 of Part 4 amends the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 to, among other things,

(a) authorize the Governor in Council to make regulations respecting the protection of the marine environment from the impacts of navigation and shipping activities;

(b) authorize the Minister of Transport to

(i) make an interim order to mitigate risks to marine safety or to the marine environment, and

(ii) exempt any person or vessel from the application of any provision of that Act or the regulations if doing so would allow the undertaking of research and development that may enhance marine safety or environmental protection;

(c) increase the maximum amount of an administrative penalty that the Governor in Council may fix by regulation;

(d) authorize the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, pollution response officers and accompanying persons to enter private property in the case of a discharge of oil from a vessel or oil handling facility; and

(e) double the administration monetary penalties for certain violations.

Division 23 of Part 4 amends the Marine Liability Act to modernize the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund, including, among other things,

(a) removing the Fund’s per-occurrence limit of liability;

(b) in the event that the Fund is depleted, authorizing the temporary transfer to the Fund of funds from the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

(c) modernizing the Fund’s levy so that the Fund is replenished by receivers and exporters of oil;

(d) ensuring that the Fund’s liability for claims for economic losses caused by oil pollution aligns with international conventions;

(e) providing that the Fund is liable for the costs and expenses incurred by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans or any other person in respect of preventive measures when the occurrence for which those costs and expenses were incurred has not yet created a grave and imminent threat of causing oil pollution damage;

(f) authorizing the provision of up-front emergency funding out of the Fund to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for significant oil pollution incidents;

(g) creating an expedited, simplified process for small claims to the Fund; and

(h) providing for administrative monetary penalties for contraventions of specified or designated provisions under that Act.

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

Dec. 3, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures
Dec. 3, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures
Dec. 3, 2018 Failed Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (recommittal to a committee)
Nov. 27, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures
Nov. 27, 2018 Failed Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
Nov. 27, 2018 Failed Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
Nov. 27, 2018 Failed Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
Nov. 27, 2018 Failed Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
Nov. 27, 2018 Failed Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
Nov. 27, 2018 Failed Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (report stage amendment)
Nov. 27, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures
Nov. 6, 2018 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures
Nov. 6, 2018 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures
Nov. 6, 2018 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (reasoned amendment)
Nov. 6, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:15 a.m.
See context

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to have this opportunity to talk about Bill C-86.

Over the past three years, our government has been guided by the fundamental principle that real economic progress comes from carefully crafted, targeted investments in people and in communities, and not from austerity and cuts, as we saw in the previous government.

Bill C-86, also known as the budget implementation act, 2018, No. 2, or BIA, 2, is legislation that delivers the next phase of our government's commitment to invest in Canadians and build a vibrant and equitable economy that is fair to all.

Since 2015, we have already taken bold steps, and the impressive returns we are seeing on our investments in Canadians are clear evidence that our economic policies are working well and for the good of the many.

First, we started by asking the wealthiest to pay a little more, so we could lower taxes for the middle class. Today, this tax cut means that some nine million Canadians have more money in their pockets and good reasons to feel more confident about their financial situations.

We are also making significant investments in Canadian children through the new Canada child benefit, which helps Canadian families meet the high costs of raising their kids. This new benefit, or CCB, is tax free. Compared to the previous system of child benefits, the CCB is also simpler, more generous and better targeted to those who need it most. It has left nine out of 10 Canadian families better off.

In keeping with our commitment to reduce inequalities and to offer all Canadians equal opportunities to succeed, the Canada child benefit, or CCB, provides even more financial assistance to the low- and middle-income families who need it most. Roughly 65% of families receiving the maximum CCB amount are headed by single parents, of whom over 90% are single mothers.

Since July 2018, the Canada child benefit has been indexed to keep up with the cost of living. We implemented that measure two years ahead of schedule. Thanks to the middle-class tax cut and the Canada child benefit, by this time next year, a typical middle-class family of four will receive on average about $2,000 more each year. That is $2,000 more than they could expect to receive under the previous Conservative government of Stephen Harper.

For single-parent, average-income households with two children, or for families with two children where only one parent is earning an average income, the benefits are even more significant. When the tax-free Canada child benefit and other benefits are added to family income, those families pay effective personal tax rates of less than 2%, which means they keep more than 98% of what they earn.

Through these measures, more families will be able to buy things such as healthy food, warm clothes or winter boots for their growing children. On average, families who receive the Canada child benefit get $6,800 every year. The CCB has helped lift more than 520,000 people out of poverty, including nearly 300,000 children.

That is not all. Salary increases for average Canadians are currently outpacing inflation. If the current trends hold, 2018 is on track to see some of the highest salary increases since the 2008-09 recession. Generally speaking, as we look at the legislative provisions to implement the measures in budget 2018, our economy is strong, healthy, and growing.

Since 2015, we have also been looking beyond our borders in order to reach new, modern trade agreements that will create jobs and help us be more competitive around the world. The fact that Canada is the only G7 country to have trade agreements with each of the other members of the G7 is a testament to the work we have done internationally. The recently negotiated USMCA will give the international business community the confidence it needs to continue investing in Canada.

The many innovative domestic and international economic measures we have put in place mean Canada's economy is strong and growing. Our economic growth rate of 3% in 2017 was the highest in the G7, and we expect to stay among the fastest-growing economies this year and next year.

Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, the past three years have seen the creation of more than half a million new full-time jobs. These new jobs have pushed the unemployment rate to a 40-year low. For the average Canadian worker, wage growth is outpacing inflation. If current trends hold, 2018 could mark one of the strongest years of wage growth in almost a decade.

Confidence is nearing historic highs, both among consumers and business owners, and leading to business expansion and the hiring of new employees.

All hon. members know that small businesses are a key driver of Canada's economy and account for 70% of all private sector jobs. When small businesses succeed, Canada succeeds. That is why we cut the small business tax rate to 10% last January and will lower it to 9% effective January 1, 2019.

In 2019, the combined federal-provincial-territorial average income tax rate for small business will be 12.2%, by far the lowest in the G7. Several federal departments and agencies, including the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada, are working hard to help these important job creators succeed and thrive.

This overall positive outlooks reflects Canada's many competitive strengths, including a highly-skilled labour force, preferential access to global markets and a strong research and start-up capacity in emerging fields. We know that nurturing and expanding these competitive strengths demands policies that keep the focus on people and gives every Canadian the means to contribute fully to our society and our economy.

Wage growth is outpacing inflation for the average Canadian worker, as I mentioned, and we could see that growth mark one of the strongest years of wage growth in a decade.

Overall, as we consider this legislation that would implement measures from budget 2018, it is important to note that our economy is strong, healthy and growing.

I would like to briefly describe the essential pillars of Bill C-86.

The legislation includes an important measure to further stimulate economic growth, namely the new Canada workers benefit. The Canada workers benefit is an improved version of the current working income tax benefit. It is designed to encourage people to enter and stay in the workforce.

Under the Canada workers benefit, a low-income worker earning $15,000 annually could get almost $500 more in benefits in 2019 than he or she would get this year. In addition, the Canada workers benefit's expanded eligible income range would ensure that more workers would be entitled to it.

The new CWB would also be more accessible than the benefit it replaces. The legislation includes amendments that would allow the Canada Revenue Agency to calculate the benefit amount for all eligible tax filers, even if they do not claim it. These improvements to ensure access to the new benefit could be particularly useful for people with limited mobility, those who live far from points of service and those without Internet access.

The government estimates that, as a result of these changes, an additional 300,000 low-income workers in Canada will receive the Canada workers benefit for the 2019 tax year.

This is a major step forward in reducing inequality in Canada. What is more, it is estimated that the investments in the new Canada workers benefit will help lift roughly 70,000 Canadians out of poverty.

Another important aspect is addressing gender inequality, which is a vital component of the bill. Canadian women are among the most educated in the world, but they are less likely to participate in the labour force than men and are more likely to work part-time. Canadian women are too often working in unpaid jobs, which prevents them pursuing the opportunities that would help them reach their full potential.

There is an under-representation of women in leadership positions and the vast majority of Canadian businesses are still run by men. No economy can claim to be operating at full capacity if women are not being offered the same opportunities, including at leadership levels. Gender equality benefits everyone and benefits the whole economy.

We know that the participation of women in the labour market has been one of the key drivers of our economic growth in recent decades. During the past four years, the increased number of women in the labour market accounted for about one-third of real per capita GDP growth in the country. Indeed, RBC Economics estimates that adding more women to the workforce could boost Canada's GDP by as much as 4%.

The increased presence of women on the labour market is increasing household income and making a big difference to hard-working families across the country.

We need to establish an economic climate that will give all Canadians, particularly women, the opportunity to succeed and be leaders.

That being said, the gender budgeting act, which is part of budget implementation act, 2018, no. 2, will make gender budgeting an integral and permanent part of the federal budget-making process.

The bill will also convert Status of Women Canada into a new department, the department of women and gender equality, which will be responsible for the advancement of equality in respect of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The gender gap remains too large and the evidence shows that taking steps to reduce that gap is not just the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do.

Finally, I would like to talk about the measures that we are taking to protect the environment, which are an essential component of Bill C-86. We believe that putting a price on pollution is the best way to reduce emissions because it will encourage businesses and households to make more environmentally friendly choices and find more innovative solutions.

It is clear to us that pollution should not be free. Canadians are aware that that is the reality and that this is the right thing to do. We can see the costs of polluting everywhere. All one has to do is watch the evening news or take a look at the paper to see that droughts, floods and forest fires are becoming regular occurrences. That is not to mention the effects of pollution on our physical and mental health.

By implementing these measures to protect our precious environment, which is under increasing threat, Canada joins 67 other jurisdictions that have already taken this important step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Together, these jurisdictions represent about half of the global economy and more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite efforts in some quarters to persuade Canadians otherwise, this is not an attempt to add to federal coffers. Provincial systems will apply in the several jurisdictions that are either already implementing their own carbon pollution pricing systems that meet the federal benchmark or are on track to do so.

The federal fuel charge will apply, starting in April 2019, in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick. Those governments have not developed a system to price carbon pollution that meets the federal benchmark.

In those four provinces, the federal government proposes to return the majority of direct proceeds from the fuel charge directly to individuals and families through climate action incentive payments, starting in early 2019. Every dollar will remain in the province of origin. For most households, these payments will help offset their increased costs related to pollution pricing and help them to make more energy efficient, greener choices. The remaining proceeds that are not returned directly to households will go toward providing support to sectors within these provinces that will be particularly affected.

We estimate that climate change will cost our economy $5 billion a year by 2020. If we want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change, we have to accept the fact that polluting our environment costs us dearly and that it is very logical that polluters pay for the damage they cause.

Canadians can rest assured that they do not have to convince this government to protect the environment because we truly believe that doing nothing would be a failure to live up to our responsibility as federal legislators and would also betray current and future generations of Canadians, who have the right to a healthy, peaceful and prosperous life in a healthy environment.

Our shared quality of life and our economic prosperity are closely linked to the environment we live in. That is why it makes sense to build an economy that benefits all Canadians while protecting our environment and seeking to repair the damage we have already caused.

We want Canadians to feel confident about the future, to be better prepared for what awaits them and not to be concerned about those elements that sustain life, namely, the air we breathe and the water we drink.

The essence of this bill is that we are investing in Canadians, we are sharing the fruits of our strong economy with all Canadians, and we refuse to renege on our environmental commitments. Budget 2018 will help make a better Canada for all Canadians.

For these reasons, I am very proud to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-86, the budget implementation bill, at third reading. I think it gives Canadians measures that will grow our economy, which has always been our goal, and also protect the environment. We believe that these two things go together.

We also think that a greener economy, a green shift towards renewable energy sources and more effective environmental decisions offer some worthwhile business prospects. As has been proven many times, this is also a major market.

Furthermore, we think that putting a price on pollution is the right thing to do. As I explained in my speech, more than half of world economies have put a price on pollution. Quebec has done so since 2013, and British Columbia has for many years. These two economies within Canada are seeing impressive growth records and have had economic success. This shows that the environment and the economy can and must go together.

Furthermore, a measure like the Canada workers benefit reflects another essential pillar of our goal, as a government, to reduce inequality. For too long, under the former government, our government lacked leadership on reducing inequalities. In fact, the previous government created more inequalities than it reduced.

The measures we have implemented since taking office prove that we are different. We raised taxes on the wealthiest 1% so we could reduce taxes for nine million middle-class Canadians. The previous government sent cheques to millionaires' families, but we put a stop to that with our Canada child benefit. We decided to make that system much more progressive so we could help those who needed it most, and that move is clearly having an impact.

That is one way our government's approach differs significantly from the approach taken by the previous government. We are absolutely committed to reducing inequality and poverty in this country by means of a very ambitious strategy spearheaded by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Another way we are different is our national housing strategy. Under the former government and some of its predecessors, the federal government stepped away from playing a role in social housing, but our government launched an ambitious $40-billion strategy. That is the kind of measure Canadians wanted to see, because they want a fairer country where economic growth and prosperity benefit everyone, a country where prosperity is inclusive. I think Bill C-86, the budget implementation bill before the House today, reflects that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:35 a.m.
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Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, before the last election, the Prime Minister made a promise that he was going to balance the budgets, and he said he would do so in 2019. However, not once during the hon. member's speech did he even speak about balancing budgets. In fact, as we know through Finance Canada, we are going to see a prolonged period of deficits in this country. In fact, my 14-year-old will be roughly 43 by the time we return to balanced budgets.

My question is simple: When will the budget balance itself?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:35 a.m.
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Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, we cannot forget that in 2015, the country was facing some questions. I remember it very well, since I, like all members here in the House, was in the thick of that election campaign. Canadians were debating whether the country was in a recession or heading for into a recession. The previous government's austerity measures and cuts were taking us in that direction.

We took a different approach, the one that Canadians voted for. Our approach was to make necessary, useful investments, either in infrastructure or in Canadians, that would reduce inequality and stimulate growth, such as the Canada child benefit, or in research, which was largely forgotten for a decade. Today, Canada is experiencing strong growth. Last year, we had the strongest growth in the G7.

As for the deficit, I want to point out that our debt-to-GDP ratio is on a downward track precisely because our economy is growing. This is good for the country and places Canada in the best economic position in the G7. This is something to be proud of.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:35 a.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, here we are under time allocation, debating the budget implementation bill, Bill C-86.

We have been waiting three years in this Parliament for pay equity legislation to be tabled. Canadian women have been waiting 42 years since the first Trudeau prime minister promised to implement pay equity legislation.

Having spent three years ostensibly consulting with employers, the labour movement and the lawyers who have been litigating pay equity in the absence of federal legislation, the government finally jams it into this 800-page bill.

We thought it would really reflect the advice the consultations had gathered. Instead, under extremely tight timelines, the NGOs, the labour movement, teamsters, the Canadian Labour Congress and the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition all proposed extremely detailed amendments. They said the pay equity parts of this legislation would not work, and that women would not get equal pay.

I proposed dozens of amendments at finance committee that were written by the lawyers who have been litigating this all this time. Liberal members voted every single one of them down.

Why did the government not take the advice of the people closest to pay equity and get this right after waiting 42 years?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:35 a.m.
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Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is important to remember that we debated Bill C-86 in the House for 15 hours. Four committees also studied the bill for more than 20 hours and heard from 45 witnesses.

Indeed, it has taken far too long, 42 years, to bring in proactive pay equity legislation in this country. After a decade of inaction on this file by Stephen Harper's Conservative government, I am very proud that the current government has decided to take action and inspiration from what is being done elsewhere. Quebec, for example, has proactive pay equity legislation that is working very well and served as a model for our government's bill.

I am proud that federally regulated businesses and Crown corporations will henceforth be governed by proactive pay equity legislation that reflects our government's goal of having a society that respects gender equality and allows everyone to reach their full potential.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:40 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague talked about a number of different themes, two of which were the questions of social and income equality, and the other of which was that of climate change and the government's carbon tax proposal. I do not believe these two objectives need to be at odds. We can fight climate change in a way that also advances social equality.

However, the Liberal government has put forward a plan where the brunt of the pain will be felt by those who can least afford it. They are proposing a carbon tax, but they are giving a break to large industrial emitters.

People realize that, very often, the kinds of transitions that allow people to significantly reduce their carbon footprint involve significant capital expenditures, such as buying an electric car or doing an energy retrofit to a home. Whereas one might consider programs like a home renovation tax credit, which allow people to make those kind of investments, the government's punitive approach does not leave any wiggle room for those who cannot afford to make those kinds of capital investments but will still have to pay the tax.

Why does the member not advance an approach to climate change that advances social equality at the same time, instead of giving a break to the wealthy and big industrial emitters while ensuring the pain—

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:40 a.m.
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Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I cannot help but wonder where my honourable colleague has been all these months. Our plan clearly states that in provinces and territories that do not put a price on pollution, an incentive that is greater than the cost of pollution pricing will be paid directly to citizens. The average family in Ontario, for example, will have more money in their pockets.

I do not understand why my colleagues opposite are so intent on impoverishing their constituents, who will receive more money with this incentive to fight climate change, and on making pollution free in this country when we know the impact that carbon pollution and climate change are having on our environment. It is absolutely ridiculous. I am having a really hard time understanding it.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:40 a.m.
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Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Louis-Hébert for his intervention and speech.

Through Bill C-86, we are making ongoing investments in the economy, in middle-class Canadians and in those working hard to join them. As well, the investments in our recent 2018 fall economic statement will help businesses and individuals in his wonderful riding of Louis-Hébert. Perhaps he could he expand on that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:40 a.m.
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Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.

Joël Lightbound

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Vaughan—Woodbridge for making an effort to speak French. His French has improved markedly since he first arrived here in Parliament. I also thank him for the important work he does at the Standing Committee on Finance. It is greatly appreciated by all members of the committee.

One thing becomes quite clear when we look at the economic situation across the country, and nowhere is it more apparent than in my region, where the unemployment rate is 3.8%. I am talking about full employment. The corollary is a labour shortage. Employers are looking for skilled workers. In a way, that is a good problem to have, but it is a major challenge that we must address.

I look at how families are doing. Even the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, which provides help to those less fortunate in my riding, is seeing what a positive impact the Canada child benefit is having on local families. They have more money at the end of the month, especially those who need it most. That is why I got involved in politics, and I am very proud to see that our policies are having a very real, very direct impact on the lives of those who need it most.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, given that the parliamentary secretary will not answer the question about the timing for a balanced budget and the finance minister has repeatedly refused to even acknowledge the question as being asked, I wonder if we could go about this another way.

Does the member actually deny having made a clear and explicit promise to balance the budget by 2019?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:45 a.m.
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Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, our commitment was clear. We were not going to offer Canadians the same outcomes, the same abysmal failures as the previous government did with respect to growth and vital infrastructure investments.

The previous government made cuts at the expense of veterans, at the expense of our security agencies and at the expense of pay specialists, which is what caused the problems with the Phoenix pay system. That was the Conservative government's approach. They had the worst record in the area of export growth since the Second World War and the worst record on job creation. The Conservative record is really nothing for them to be proud of.

Our approach, unlike theirs, is working and is producing tangible results. We have created 550,000 jobs, most of them full time. We have seen wage growth in 2018 that is on track to become the strongest wage growth in a decade. We have the strongest growth in the G7, and we have achieved all that while reducing inequality and protecting the environment.

I think they need to take a closer look at their record and see what did not work. I cannot find the right word in either French or English to describe the enormity of the mess they left to Canadians after 10 years in power.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 10:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be joining the debate on this bill at third reading.

In the next 20 minutes what I hope to do is to lay out a case as to why the government has failed to look after the interests of the middle class, has failed to look after the interests of upper energy workers, upper energy families, and then draw attention to a clause found in the BIA, this omnibus piece of legislation, that I think is deserving of an amendment. Mr. Speaker, I am going to request that two minutes before my time is up, I be given notice so that I can move an amendment. Before that I would like to provide commentary as to why I am moving it.

This BIA is the second bill to implement provisions in the budget. The government has added more deficits and more accumulated debt in the last three non-recession years than I think at any time in modern history by any government. The prior government had a great recession to deal with. Governments before that in the 1990s had to deal with the debt wall they had hit and simply could not borrow more money. Difficult choices were made then. The government is basically laying the groundwork for those difficult choices to come in the future. Future governments will be constrained by difficult choices they will have to make.

We all know that the debts accumulated today are the taxes of tomorrow. If we value social programs, if we value retirement pension plans, if we value the services provided by the government, we have to ensure the proper management of government finances and that is not what we are seeing from the government side of the House. It is not what we see in this piece of omnibus legislation.

At the Standing Committee on Finance which I sit on, multiple members, even the members of the New Democratic Party, brought up the fact that the government repeatedly broke promises to not introduce more omnibus legislation. I note that twice already the Speaker has ruled and has divided up the budget bill, and taken out parts that violate the rule that measures found in the budget must be connected to measures found in the budget implementation act. The two cannot be separated.

The budget is three times the size of what was promised in 2015. Canadians made a choice in 2015. We can agree to disagree on the wisdom of that but they made a choice. They were promised multiple series of measures. The budget was supposed to be balanced by 2019, and it will not be. In fact, there are deficits and new debt as far as the eye can see. The government cannot give us in this chamber, at committee, or in public a fixed date of when the budget will be balanced.

We know that the Department of Finance has produced numbers showing that 2045 is likely the date when the budget will balance itself. Hopefully, it will not come to that and we will find some way to balance it before then.

An often-stated goal of the government is to ensure that we have the best GDP growth in the G7, the best GDP growth in the OECD. Different metrics are used to look at it. I am actually looking at OECD data right now. When looking at the data, we see that we have the weakest growth in North America. In 2019, we will be behind Mexico and the United States. In 2018, we are behind Mexico and the United States. The farther back we go, the more often we see that is the case. Actually, there is only one year in the last few years where we had stronger growth than they did. As well, when we project it into the future, that weakness in growth continues.

Our closest competitors, the places to which we are losing manufacturing jobs, the places to which we are losing energy jobs, the places to which we are losing auto jobs, are having stronger growth. That relates to the policies of the government: high carbon taxes, higher taxes in general, uncertainty in the investment climate, $78 billion lost in LNG development. That all adds to an epic failure of leadership on behalf of the government.

This second budget implementation act continues that failure. It continues a record of failure.

In my home province of Alberta we have lived it for three years now, dealing with a government that has as its sole intent the phase-out of the oil sands. Initially, when the Prime Minister said it, he said it was a gaffe, a mistake. He repeated the same thing in Paris at France's legislative assembly. He repeated it in French of course, hoping that we would not know what he had said, but we do. It is twice now he has said it.

There is a tanker ban on the west coast. It is a false tanker ban because it does not apply to the south coast of British Columbia.

Bill C-69 is regulatory legislation that would ensure that no major energy infrastructure project ever gets built again in this country. I am sure a government caucus member will stand and say I am wrong, that I have made a mistake, that a $40-billion LNG project is going ahead. What Liberals will not tell us is that LNG project was approved in 2012 and the recent decision was a business decision to proceed, but wait: The contract says it is exempt from the carbon tax. It is exempt from many of the measures introduced both by the federal government and the B.C. provincial government, so it makes business sense to proceed.

That is telling. It is telling that the decisions being made by governments over the past three years are costing jobs and investment and only when they are removed does private business proceed with construction and provide the much-needed, much-wanted middle-class energy jobs.

That is also telling of the business climate we live in. We had an emergency debate yesterday on the plight of energy workers across Canada. Energy jobs are fleeing this country. Alberta is often called Texas north. I prefer to think of Texas as Alberta south as so many families from Alberta are there. They are just trying to make ends meet. They are trying to pay their mortgages, send their kids to good schools and save for their retirement. They will go where they need to go.

They have skill sets that it took Alberta a generation to attract and develop. It was not easy to convince people to come to Alberta. Typically, when people fly from eastern Canada to western Canada, they fly over Alberta and head to the beautiful west coast. To convince people that it is worth staying in our province, they have to be provided great benefits, great pay and a great place to live to raise their families. We have done so, but it took us 25 years to get there. In the span of three years, the Liberal government is robbing an entire generation's worth of work that was done to make Alberta the most productive and best place to raise a family.

That is one of the reasons I moved to Alberta. It was for work. I know that is the same reason everybody living in my area, the suburbs of Calgary, came to Alberta. We all became Albertans because of the work ethic that we bring, the can-do attitude. That is why there is a very common slogan in Alberta now, which the Prime Minister heard last Thursday, “build that pipe”. We should probably replace the provincial slogan with “build that pipe”. Whatever it takes we should build that pipe.

The government's solution has been to expropriate Kinder Morgan and take it into its administration for $4.5 billion of taxpayer money that is now being used by Kinder Morgan to finance pipeline construction in Texas. I do not know in what world that is good policy-making, but it is not. Why are we financing our competitors? It simply does not make any sense.

The government uses numbers to crow about its GDP growth. We should be looking toward the future. The government and government caucus members, especially in the past year, have been really interested in litigating the past. It is something they like to often engage in. Liberals are in government. Government caucus members defend three years of policy decisions that have led to a point where the oil price differential on Western Canadian Select and synthetic crude oil is at a record high.

I worked for the Chamber of Commerce years ago, almost 10 years ago now, and there was an oil price differential back then as well. It was about $15 or $20. It kind of fluctuated. Back then, people talked about how big an issue it was, how we needed to fix it and make good decisions for the future to ensure that pipeline capacity matches expected production growth. That is what many companies in the private sector were trying to do. They were trying to figure out where capital could be expended in the most profitable way possible to maximize their equity return in the most responsible way possible.

Many people in my riding who are now unemployed or underemployed used to work in quality assurance ensuring that pipelines were built safely and in a way that ensured the absolute minimum amount of risk to the population around them. Most Albertans have pipelines in their backyards. They know where they are. There are utility corridors all over the province because this is what Alberta has a competitive advantage in.

I will now move to the clause I mentioned before and the substance of the amendment I will be moving at the end of my speaking time. During debate on budget implementation act, no. 2, clause 470 was brought up. The clause deals with the Canada Labour Code and provides for leave. The member for Foothills proposed an amendment at committee to provide 12 weeks of bereavement leave for parents dealing with the death of a child or the perinatal death of a child. That amendment was voted down by the government.

To head off possible arguments against the amendment I will be moving at the end of my speech, there are three main arguments I heard that I want to elaborate on and explain why they are not good arguments to vote against providing 12 weeks of bereavement leave.

First, an argument was made that there are other types of leave being amended within the BIA. A good argument could be made as to why we are doing it in this way, in the BIA, in a budgetary implementation bill when we are amending the Canada Labour Code. I believe there are over 850 pages in this bill, and we may sometimes wonder why it is being done in this way.

One of the arguments was that there is another type of leave which people could be eligible for. Mothers are allowed 17 weeks of maternity leave now. Within that 17 weeks, if their child passes away they can take the full length of the leave as bereavement leave. When I asked officials whether this applied to fathers, they said it did not. Fathers do not get this bereavement leave.

Fathers only get five days, which is consistent with the Canada Labour Code. They get five days, three of which are paid and two of which are unpaid. I thought this was patently unfair. In fact, I asked officials what happens in the case of 17 weeks plus one day. These are very difficult cases, where parents have lost a child, for example, from SIDS, a pre-existing condition or a rare condition. Many members will know that I lost my youngest daughter in August, so this issue really speaks to me. I thought this was a much rarer issue in Canadian society than it actually is. Fathers get three paid days and two unpaid days. This argument that there are other mechanisms to use is not a good one in this particular case.

As I mentioned, we moved an amendment at committee. We had the debate. There was some willingness at least to hear the argument. There is a great Yiddish proverb which speaks to the situation we find ourselves in, “From success to failure is one step; from failure to success is a long road.” My amendment will be proposing a long road to get to success.

Another argument advanced at committee was that there was a motion under consideration at a different committee which considered the situation that parents, mothers and fathers who have lost a child, find themselves in. Motion No. 110 is at the HUMA committee. It does not deal specifically with bereavement leave in the Canada Labour Code, which was perhaps an error in the argument being used at committee to provide a reason for why we should vote down an amendment to provide equality to both parents, mothers and fathers, with 12 weeks of leave.

It is a good argument that work being done by a committee of the House, with a report that will come some day, hopefully before the election, should not stop us from doing the right thing right now when presented with an opportunity to do so in the BIA. The BIA is going to deal with different pieces of legislation, from the Canada Labour Code to budgetary measures, to spending announcements, to changes to the accelerated capital cost allowance, to changes to export and import permits. Therefore, why not deal with this too? We are already making modifications to it. We are making small amendments to it.

It is not a good argument to say that another committee is taken with the issue when it is not actually this specific issue it is reviewing. It is reviewing it in a broader sense. It is looking specifically at employment insurance. Although important, that committee's work should not preclude us from making a decision in this chamber that parents are deserving of equality. That is a very important concept here.

Another argument advanced at committee was that we did not have all the facts of the impact that introducing up to 12 weeks of bereavement leave would have compared to 17 weeks in maternity benefits being offered, which specifically applies to mothers, as I mentioned. Again, I found this argument unconvincing.

I offered at the time a subamendment. We could have delayed clause-by-clause consideration of the BIA before it came back to this chamber to give ourselves an extra day so that the Department of Justice lawyers could provide us with an opinion. I think it is not a good argument until we have all the facts before us.

As opposition members, and I am sure many New Democrats will agree, we are saddled with these omnibus pieces of legislation, and they have gotten longer and more complex. I see some nodding heads. Not only are we now sitting down, and our staff is sitting down, to compare what is in the budget implementation act and what is in the budget to make the connection between the two so that we can then rise in this chamber and explain why certain parts do not belong in this particular budget implementation act and could be separated out so we could go into the details, the specifics, clause by clause, section by section, but on top of all that, the government used cloture, a guillotine motion, to send the bill to the finance committee as quickly as possible, limiting debate in the House of Commons on the generalities at second reading.

The government then produced a programming motion, a guillotine or closure motion, at committee to force us to consider it expeditiously within just a few weeks, which included a constituency week. There was very little time for the finance committee to actually give the bill a fulsome, in-depth review.

Of course, we pick and choose the portions that are most interesting to us. The most interesting to the Conservatives is the case of bereavement leave and the Canada Labour Code provisions, because there is an issue of unfairness that is embedded right now. That will continue if we do not propose an amendment, which I mentioned I will be proposing, to fix this issue so that fathers would be provided with the same equitable benefits mothers are provided. More broadly, I think it will give us an opportunity to get at all the facts and have an opportunity to have officials return to committee and explain to us in a more fulsome way how it would work.

As I mentioned, we had officials at committee, and they provided some information, but not all of it. An argument advanced by the government caucus members was that, in fact, we did not have all the facts and therefore we should not proceed but should let another committee of the House do some other work on a related issue not specific to this particular one. However, if it is found in the BIA, my argument is that we should deal with it. It should not be that whatever the government proposes in a budgetary bill simply passes and we should just accept the fact that it will be carried forward.

This has happened before in the last few years. The Senate actually had serious misgivings about a specific portion that dealt with and affected Desjardins Caisse populaire, so that measure was eventually dropped by the government. Therefore, it is not unheard of for the government to accept amendments to slow down and have reconsiderations.

I think it would be a wise decision in this situation to offer mothers and fathers, especially fathers, in this case, an opportunity to take advantage of bereavement leave of up to 12 weeks. This would be for federally regulated employees, of course. We know that in the private sector, employers offer varying types of leave.

Having presented the case, I believe the amendment I am proposing is reasonable. It will give us time to reconsider the matter. I think the House, in its infinite wisdom, can provide the committee with this type of direction. Therefore, I move, seconded by the member for Elgin—Middlesex—London:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word "That" and substituting the following: Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, be not now read a third time, but be referred back to the Standing Committee on Finance for the purpose of reconsidering Clause 470 with the view to ensuring that every employee, regardless of gender, be entitled to and shall be granted a leave of absence from employment of up to 12 weeks if the employee is the parent of a child who has died, including in cases of perinatal death.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 11:05 a.m.
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Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague and friend from Alberta, who I have the pleasure of sitting on the finance committee with and who I have also worked with extensively over the last few months in the Kurdish friendship group.

I wish to speak to the amendment as well as provide some thoughts on this bereavement leave. I have spoken to the member several times about this recommendation. It is an issue that is very important to many Canadians. However, I want to ask him for clarification. Currently, if a situation arises where a perinatal child passes away, the mother is permitted to take up to 17 weeks of leave. My understanding is that the amendment would reduce that to 12 weeks and would also apply to fathers. It would be unfortunate if the unintended consequence of this sort of policy, and we spoke about this at committee, was that mothers could potentially see the time they were given to recover and get support from family and friends reduced from the current 17 weeks to 12 weeks.

I do not believe that is the intended purpose of the amendment and what was debated at the finance committee. Therefore, I would ask my friend to provide clarity.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 11:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the amendment I proposed in the House of Commons is to take this matter at third reading stage and return it to committee for a full consideration of this issue of bereavement leave.

I do not believe the member is correct. With respect to the 17 weeks that are provided, when we talked to officials at committee, they said it included time for recuperation after giving birth, for which 17 weeks is very reasonable. If within that time a mother lost her child, she would only get up to 17 weeks. She would not get anything in addition. If at 17 weeks plus a day her child were to pass away, the mother would get nothing. She would get the three paid days and two unpaid days. I also think that is patently unfair to a mother who loses a child.

The second part is that 12 weeks be provided to fathers. There has to be some type of equality provided to fathers and consideration of their feelings and what they are going through. That is not currently the case in the Canada Labour Code.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 11:10 a.m.
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NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague would be surprised to know that I do not agree with all of his speech, although I very much agree with some of what he said. However, I agree with the amendment he has brought forward.

This was discussed at committee, and like every other amendment brought forward by the opposition designed to fix some of the glaring holes, problems and mistakes in Bill C-86, it was rejected by the committee. It defies understanding why when opposition members bring forward, in good faith, amendments designed to improve legislation, the government simply, with the back of the hand, slaps all of that back. The amendment the member tabled today is very much in keeping with that. It was not supported in any way by government members.

I would like to hear the member's perspective on why government members rejected something that is clearly needed and fits with the principles and values of the vast majority of Canadians.