Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1

An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures

Sponsor

Status

Second reading (House), as of May 11, 2021

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Summary

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

Part 1 implements certain income tax measures by

(a) providing relieving measures in connection with COVID-19 in respect of the use by an employee of an employer-provided automobile for the 2020 and 2021 taxation years;

(b) limiting the benefit of the employee stock option deduction for employees of certain employers;

(c) providing an adjustment for payments or repayments of government assistance in determining capital cost allowance for certain zero-emission vehicles;

(d) expanding the scope of the foreign affiliate dumping rules to further their objectives;

(e) providing change in use rules for multi-unit residential properties;

(f) establishing rules for advanced life deferred annuities;

(g) providing for an option to deduct repaid emergency benefit amounts in the year of benefit receipt and clarifying the tax treatment of non-resident beneficiaries;

(h) removing the time limitation for a registered disability savings plan to remain registered after the cessation of a beneficiary’s eligibility for the disability tax credit and modifying grant and bond repayment obligations;

(i) increasing the basic personal amount for certain taxpayers;

(j) providing a temporary special reading of certain rules relating to the child care expense deduction and the disability supports deduction for the 2020 and 2021 taxation years;

(k) providing flow-through share issuers with temporary additional time to incur eligible expenses to be renounced to investors under their flow-through share agreements;

(l) applying the short taxation year rule to the accelerated investment incentive for resource expenditures;

(m) introducing the Canada Recovery Hiring Program refundable tax credit to support the post-pandemic recovery;

(n) amending the employee life and health trust rules to allow for the conversion of health and welfare trusts to employee life and health trusts;

(o) expanding access to the Canada Workers Benefit by revising the applicable eligibility thresholds for the 2021 and subsequent taxation years;

(p) amending the income tax measures providing support for Canadian journalism;

(q) clarifying the definition of shared-custody parent for the purposes of the Canada Child Benefit;

(r) revising the eligibility criteria, as well as the level of subsidization, under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), extending the CEWS and the CERS until September 25, 2021, providing authority to enable the extension of these subsidies until November 30, 2021, and ensuring that the level of CEWS benefits for furloughed employees continues to align with the benefits provided through the Employment Insurance Act until August 28, 2021;

(s) preventing the use by mutual fund trusts of a method of allocating capital gains or income to their redeeming unitholders where the use of that method inappropriately defers tax or converts ordinary income into capital gains;

(t) extending the income tax deferral available for certain patronage dividends paid in shares by an agricultural cooperative corporation to payments made before 2026;

(u) limiting transfers of pensionable service into individual pension plans;

(v) establishing rules for variable payment life annuities;

(w) preventing listed terrorist entities under the Criminal Code from qualifying as registered charities and providing for the suspension or revocation of a charity’s registration where it makes false statements for the purpose of maintaining registration;

(x) ensuring the appropriate interaction of transfer pricing rules and other rules in the Income Tax Act;

(y) preventing non-resident taxpayers from avoiding Canadian dividend withholding tax on compensation payments made under cross-border securities lending arrangements with respect to Canadian shares;

(z) allowing for the electronic delivery of requirements for information to banks and credit unions;

(aa) improving existing rules meant to prevent taxpayers from using derivative transactions to convert ordinary income into capital gains;

(bb) extending to a wider array of eligible automotive equipment and vehicles the 100% capital cost allowance write-off for business investments in certain zero-emission vehicles;

(cc) ensuring that the accelerated investment incentive for depreciable property applies properly in particular circumstances; and

(dd) providing rules for contributions to a specified multi-employer plan for older members.

It also makes related and consequential amendments to the Excise Tax Act, the Air Travellers Security Charge Act, the Excise Act, 2001, the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, the Income Tax Regulations and the Canada Disability Savings Regulations.

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

(a) temporarily relieving supplies of certain face masks and face shields from the GST/HST;

(b) ensuring that non-resident vendors supplying digital products or services (including traditional services) to consumers in Canada be required to register for the GST/HST and to collect and remit the tax on their taxable supplies to consumers in Canada;

(c) requiring distribution platform operators and non-resident vendors to register under the normal GST/HST rules and to collect and remit the GST/HST in respect of certain supplies of goods shipped from a fulfillment warehouse or another place in Canada;

(d) applying the GST/HST on all supplies of short-term accommodation in Canada facilitated through a digital platform;

(e) expanding the eligibility for the GST rebate for new housing;

(f) expanding the definition of freight transportation service for the purposes of the GST/HST;

(g) extending the application of the drop-shipment rules for the purposes of the GST/HST;

(h) treating virtual currency as a financial instrument for the purposes of the GST/HST; and

(i) clarifying the GST/HST holding corporation rules and expanding those rules to holding partnerships and trusts.

It also makes related and consequential amendments to the New Harmonized Value-added Tax System Regulations, No. 2.

Part 3 implements certain excise measures by increasing excise duty rates on tobacco products by $4.‍00 per carton of 200 cigarettes along with corresponding increases to the excise duty rates on other tobacco products.

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

Division 1 of Part 4 amends the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act to, among other things,

(a) specify the steps that an assessor must follow when they review a determination of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation with respect to the payment of compensation to certain persons;

(b) clarify that the determination of whether or not persons are entitled to compensation is to be made in accordance with the regulations;

(c) prevent a person from taking certain actions in relation to certain agreements between the person and a federal member institution by reason only of a monetary default by that institution in the performance of obligations under those agreements if the default occurs in the period between the making of an order directing the conversion of that institution’s shares or liabilities and the occurrence of the conversion;

(d) require certain federal member institutions to ensure that certain provisions of that Act — or provisions that have substantially the same effect as those provisions — apply to certain eligible financial contracts, including those contracts that are subject to the laws of a foreign state;

(e) exempt eligible financial contracts between a federal member institution and certain entities, including Her Majesty in right of Canada, from a provision of that Act that prevents certain actions from being taken in relation to those contracts; and

(f) extend periods applicable to certain restructuring transactions for financial institutions.

It also amends the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act to

(a) specify the steps that an assessor must follow when they review a determination of the Bank of Canada with respect to the payment of compensation to certain persons or entities; and

(b) clarify that systems or arrangements for the exchange of payment messages for the purpose of clearing or settlement of payment obligations may be overseen by the Bank of Canada as clearing and settlement systems.

Finally, it amends not-in-force provisions of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act, enacted by the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1, so that, under certain circumstances, an error or omission that results in a failure to meet a requirement of the schedule to the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act will not prevent a deposit from being considered a separate deposit.

Division 2 of Part 4 amends the Bank of Canada Act to authorize the Bank of Canada to publish certain information about unclaimed amounts.

It also amends the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 with respect to the transfer of pension plan assets relating to the pension benefit credit of any person who cannot be located to, among other things,

(a) limit the circumstances in which such assets may be transferred and specify conditions for the transfer; and

(b) specify the effects of a transfer on any claims that may be made in respect of those assets.

Finally, it amends the Trust and Loan Companies Act and the Bank Act to

(a) include amounts that are not in Canadian currency in the unclaimed amounts regime; and

(b) impose additional requirements on financial institutions in connection with their transfers of unclaimed amounts to the Bank of Canada and communications with the owners of those amounts.

Division 3 of Part 4 amends the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 to exclude certain businesses from the application of a provision of the Bank Act that it enacts, which allows certain agreements that have been entered into with banks to be cancelled.

Division 4 of Part 4 amends the Trust and Loan Companies Act, the Bank Act and the Insurance Companies Act to extend the period during which federal financial institutions governed by those Acts may carry on business to June 30, 2025.

Division 5 of Part 4 amends the Canadian Securities Regulation Regime Transition Office Act to increase the maximum amount of direct payments that the Minister of Finance may make to the Canadian Securities Regulation Regime Transition Office.

Division 6 of Part 4 amends the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) to

(a) provide that the entities referred to in that Act are no longer required to disclose to the principal agency or body that supervises or regulates them the fact that they do not have in their possession or control any property of a foreign national who is the subject of an order or regulation made under that Act; and

(b) change the frequency with which those entities are required to disclose to the principal agency or body that supervises or regulates them the fact that they have such property in their possession or control from once a month to once every three months.

Division 7 of Part 4 amends the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to

(a) extend the application of Part 1 of that Act to include persons and entities engaged in the business of transporting currency or certain other financial instruments;

(b) provide that the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre make assessments to be paid by persons or entities to which Part 1 applies, based on the amount of certain expenses incurred by the Centre, and to authorize the Governor in Council to make regulations respecting those assessments;

(c) amend the definitions of designated information to include certain information associated with virtual currency transactions and widely held or publicly traded trusts that the Centre can disclose to law enforcement or other governmental bodies;

(d) change the maximum penalties for summary conviction offences;

(e) expand the list of persons or entities that are not eligible for registration with the Centre; and

(f) make other technical amendments.

Division 8 of Part 4 enacts the Retail Payment Activities Act, which establishes an oversight framework for retail payment activities. Among other things, that Act requires certain payment service providers to identify and mitigate operational risks, safeguard end-user funds and register with the Bank of Canada. That Act also provides the Minister of Finance with powers to address risks related to national security that could be posed by payment service providers. This Division also makes related amendments to the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act and the Payment Card Networks Act.

Division 9 of Part 4 amends the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 to establish new requirements and grant new regulation-making powers to the Governor in Council with respect to negotiated contribution plans.

Division 10 of Part 4 amends the First Nations Fiscal Management Act to allow First Nations that are borrowing members of the First Nations Finance Authority to assign their rights to certain revenues payable by Her Majesty in right of Canada, for the purpose of securing financing for that Authority’s borrowing members.

Division 11 of Part 4 amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act to, among other things, increase the maximum amount of a fiscal stabilization payment that may be made to a province and to make technical changes to the calculation of fiscal stabilization payments.

Division 12 of Part 4 amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act to authorize additional payments to the provinces and territories.

Division 13 of Part 4 authorizes payments to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund in relation to Canada’s COVID-19 immunization plan.

Division 14 of Part 4 authorizes payments to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund in relation to infrastructure and amends the heading of Part 9 of the Keeping Canada’s Economy and Jobs Growing Act.

Division 15 of Part 4 authorizes amounts to be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, to a maximum total amount of $3,056,491,000, for annual payments to Newfoundland and Labrador in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Hibernia Dividend Backed Annuity Agreement.

Division 16 of Part 4 amends the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador Additional Fiscal Equalization Offset Payments Act to authorize the Minister of Finance to make an additional fiscal equalization offset payment to Nova Scotia for the 2020–2021 fiscal year and to extend that Minister’s authority to make additional fiscal equalization offset payments to Nova Scotia until March 31, 2023.

Division 17 of Part 4 amends the Telecommunications Act to provide that decisions made by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on whether or not to allocate funding to expand access to telecommunications services in underserved areas are not subject to review under section 12 or 62 of that Act but are subject to review by the Commission on its own initiative. It also amends that Act to provide for the exchange of information within the federal government and with provincial governments for the purpose of coordinating financial support for access to telecommunications services in underserved areas.

Division 18 of Part 4 amends the Canada Small Business Financing Act to, among other things,

(a) specify that lines of credit are loans;

(b) set a limit on the liability of the Minister of Small Business and Tourism in respect of each lender for lines of credit;

(c) remove the restriction excluding not-for-profit businesses, charitable businesses and businesses having as their principal object the furtherance of a religious purpose as eligible borrowers;

(d) increase the maximum amount of all loans that may be made in relation to a borrower under that Act; and

(e) provide that lesser maximum loan amounts may be prescribed by regulation for loans other than lines of credit, lines of credit and prescribed classes of loans.

Division 19 of Part 4 amends the Customs Act to change certain rules respecting the correction of declarations made under section 32.‍2 of that Act, the payment of interest due to Her Majesty and securities required under that Act, and to define the expression “sold for export to Canada” for the purposes of Part III of that Act.

Division 20 of Part 4 amends the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act to require the concurrence of the Minister of Finance when the Minister designated for the purposes of section 16 of that Act appoints panellists and committee members and proposes the names of individuals for rosters under Chapter 10 of the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement.

Division 21 of Part 4 amends Part 5 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act to make certain reforms to the Social Security Tribunal, including

(a) changing the criteria for granting leave to appeal and introducing a de novo model for appeals of decisions of the Income Security Section at the Appeal Division;

(b) giving the Governor in Council the authority to prescribe the circumstances in which hearings may be held in private; and

(c) giving the Chairperson of the Social Security Tribunal the authority to make rules of procedure governing appeals.

Division 22 of Part 4 amends the definition of “previous contractor” in Part I of the Canada Labour Code in order to extend equal remuneration protection to employees who are covered by a collective agreement and who work for an employer that

(a) provides services at an airport to another employer in the air transportation industry; or

(b) provides services to another employer in another industry and at other locations that may be prescribed by regulation.

Division 23 of Part 4 amends Part III of the Canada Labour Code to establish a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour and to provide that if the minimum wage of a province or territory is higher than the federal minimum wage, the employer is to pay a minimum wage that is not less than that higher minimum wage. It also provides that, except in certain circumstances, the federal minimum wage per hour is to be adjusted upwards annually on the basis of the Consumer Price Index for Canada.

Division 24 of Part 4 amends the provisions of the Canada Labour Code respecting leave related to the death or disappearance of a child in cases in which it is probable that the child died or disappeared as a result of a crime, in order to, among other things,

(a) increase the maximum length of leave for a parent of a child who has disappeared from 52 weeks to 104 weeks;

(b) extend eligibility to parents of children who are 18 years of age or older but under 25 years of age; and

(c) limit the exception that applies in the case of a parent of a child who has died as a result of a crime if it is probable that the child was a party to the crime so that the exception applies only with respect to a child who is 14 years of age or older.

Division 25 of Part 4 authorizes the Minister of Employment and Social Development to make a one-time payment to Quebec for the purpose of offsetting some of the costs of aligning the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan with temporary measures set out in Part VIII.‍5 of the Employment Insurance Act.

Division 26 of Part 4 amends the Judges Act to provide that, if the Canadian Judicial Council recommends that a judge be removed from judicial office, the time counted towards the judge’s pension entitlements will be frozen and their pension contributions will be suspended, as of the day on which the recommendation is made. If the recommendation is rejected, the judge’s pension contributions will resume, the time counted towards their pension entitlement will include the suspension period and the judge will be required to make all the contributions that would have been required had the contributions never been suspended.

Division 27 of Part 4 amends the Federal Courts Act and the Tax Court of Canada Act to increase the number of judges for the Federal Court of Appeal by one and the number of judges for the Tax Court of Canada by two. It also amends the Judges Act to authorize the salary for the new Associate Chief Justice for the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador and the salaries for the following new judges: five judges for the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, two judges for the Supreme Court of British Columbia and two judges for the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan.

Division 28 of Part 4 amends the National Research Council Act to provide the National Research Council of Canada with the authority to engage in the production of “drugs” or “devices”, as those terms are defined in the Food and Drugs Act, for the purpose of protecting or improving public health. It also amends that Act to provide authority for the incorporation of corporations and the acquisition of shares in corporations.

Division 29 of Part 4 amends the Department of Employment and Social Development Act in relation to the collection and use of Social Insurance Numbers by the Minister of Labour.

Division 30 of Part 4 amends the Canada Student Loans Act to provide that, during the period that begins on April 1, 2021 and ends on March 31, 2023, no interest is payable by a borrower on a guaranteed student loan.

It also amends the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act to provide that, during the period that begins on April 1, 2021 and ends on March 31, 2023, no interest is payable by a borrower on a student loan.

Finally, it amends the Apprentice Loans Act to provide that, during the period that begins on April 1, 2021 and ends on March 31, 2023, no interest is payable by a borrower on an apprentice loan.

Division 31 of Part 4 confirms the validity of certain regulations in relation to the cancellation or postponement of certain First Nations elections.

Division 32 of Part 4 amends the Old Age Security Act to increase the Old Age Security pension payable to individuals aged 75 and over by 10%. It also provides that any amount payable in relation to a program to provide a one-time payment of $500 to pensioners who are 75 years of age or older may be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Division 33 of Part 4 amends the Public Service Employment Act to, among other things,

(a) require that the establishment and review of qualification standards and the use of assessment methods in respect of appointments include an evaluation of whether there are biases or barriers that disadvantage persons belonging to any equity-seeking group;

(b) provide that audits and investigations may include the determination of whether there are biases or barriers that disadvantage persons belonging to any equity-seeking group; and

(c) give permanent residents the same preference as Canadian citizens in external advertised appointment processes.

Division 34 of Part 4 authorizes the making of payments to the provinces for early learning and child care for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2021.

Division 35 of Part 4 amends the Canada Recovery Benefits Act to, among other things,

(a) provide that the maximum number of two-week periods in respect of which a Canada recovery benefit is payable is 25;

(b) reduce the amount of a Canada recovery benefit for a week to $300 in certain circumstances;

(c) provide that certain persons who were paid benefits under the Employment Insurance Act are eligible to be paid a Canada recovery benefit in certain circumstances;

(d) provide that the maximum number of weeks in respect of which a Canada recovery caregiving benefit is payable is 42; and

(e) provide that the Governor in Council may, by regulation, on the recommendation of the Minister of Employment and Social Development and the Minister of Finance, amend certain provisions of that Act to replace the date of September 25, 2021 by a date not later than November 20, 2021.

It also amends the Canada Labour Code to provide that the maximum number of weeks of leave for COVID-19 related caregiving responsibilities is 42.

Finally, it repeals provisions of the Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations and the Canada Labour Standards Regulations.

Division 36 of Part 4 amends the Employment Insurance Act to, among other things,

(a) facilitate access to unemployment benefits for a period of one year by

(i) reducing the number of hours of insurable employment required to qualify for unemployment benefits to a national threshold of 420 hours,

(ii) reducing the amount of earnings from self-employment that a self-employed person is required to have to be eligible to access special unemployment benefits,

(iii) providing that only a claimant’s most recent separation from employment will be considered in determining whether they qualify for unemployment benefits,

(iv) ensuring that earnings paid to a person because of the complete severance of their relationship with their former employer do not extend the person’s benefit period, and

(v) providing for an increase in the maximum number of weeks for which regular unemployment benefits may be paid to a seasonal worker if certain conditions are met; and

(b) extend the maximum number of weeks for which benefits may be paid because of a prescribed illness, injury or quarantine from 15 to 26.

It also amends the Canada Labour Code to, among other things, extend to 27 the maximum number of weeks to which an employee is entitled for a medical leave of absence from employment.

It also amends the Employment Insurance Regulations to, among other things, ensure that, for a period of one year, earnings paid to a person because of the complete severance of their relationship with their former employer do not extend the person’s benefit period or delay payment of benefits to the person.

Finally, it amends the Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations to, among other things, reduce, for a period of one year, the amount of earnings that a fisher is required to have to qualify for unemployment benefits.

Division 37 of Part 4 amends the Canada Elections Act to provide that the offences related to the prohibition on making or publishing certain false statements with the intention of affecting the results of an election require that the person or the entity making or publishing the statement knows that the statement in question is false.

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.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:20 a.m.
See context

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join in the debate today. It is our second day of looking at the budget implementation act, Bill C-30. Given that the budget was over 700 pages long and the budget implementation act is over 300 pages, I will start at a higher level of extraction by examining the nature of this legislation and refamiliarizing some of us with the controversial issue of omnibus bills.

This is clearly an omnibus bill, but I want to set out why it is not offensive. At over 300 pages long, the budget implementation act contains well over 20 acts. It affects the Canada Labour Code, the Federal Courts Act, the Trust and Loan Companies Act, two different varieties of student loans and student financial assistance. I will not read them all, but a large number of pieces of legislation are affected.

The issue of illegitimate omnibus budget bills takes us back to the era of the Harper administration in a minority. They were the best way to push through offensive legislation when parties that formed the majority of the members of Parliament, but were not the administration, would have objected. With the use of offensive omnibus budget bills, the Conservative government quite shrewdly discerned that it could put through things that would not otherwise get public support or MP support, given that they are confidence votes. It put through things such as the Budget Implementation Act 2008 and Budget Implementation Act 2009, which weakened environmental assessment leading up to the majority actions of that government. It continued to put lots of things in budget implementation acts that were omnibus bills.

An omnibus bill merely means that many pieces of legislation are being passed all at once. This is not offensive is if it is all to one purpose. Everything in Bill C-30 is mentioned in the budget. As far as I can see, there are no sneaky surprises, as we discovered in a recent budget in which there were deferred prosecution agreements for corporations. As I go through this bill, it is not like the omnibus budget bill of spring 2012 that destroyed our environmental assessment process, which has still not been repaired. It gutted the Fisheries Act and eliminated the national round table, among other things. This is an omnibus bill, but it is appropriate in that everything I can find in Bill C-30 is consistent with the budget itself and has to do with legislative changes to make it possible to enact the budget, which this Parliament has now passed.

There are items of concern. When the bill gets to committee, maybe improvements could be made on some of these, but certainly it is of concern to see withdrawal of supports for important things within our economy during COVID. We are clearly not looking at a post-pandemic budget. After not having had a budget for two years, this budget continues to face times of deep uncertainty. I have had my first vaccine shot. I will wait four months and then get a second shot. With vaccines, we see there is light at the end of the tunnel, but with variants, spikes and economies in various provinces opening up a bit and then closing rapidly, there are a lot of reasons why businesses and individual Canadians will continue to need support.

The notion that we would lower the Canada recovery benefit from the current $500 a week to $300 a week by July should be looked at. That is soon, and we may not be ready for that. The wage subsidy is ending by September. A lot of businesses in my riding know for sure that they will need that wage subsidy well beyond September. There are deep concerns particularly in the tourism sector, so I will focus on tourism for a minute.

The tourism sector has received $500 million in the budget, and that is not nearly enough. We underestimate it, as Canadians and even as parliamentarians. All of us have tourism in our ridings, and collectively across the country tourism's contribution to GDP is roughly the same as the oil sands. It employs far more people, thousands and thousands of them, across Canada in every region, and $500 million is not adequate to meet the needs of the tourism sector.

Big businesses in my riding, attractions such as Butchart Gardens, would normally have upwards of 700 to 800 employees seasonally. Butchart Gardens did not have anything like that number last summer because it was not open, but the wage subsidy allowed it to keep specialists employed: the hundreds of people who were recruited from around the world as horticulturalists. It simply will not be able to keep that workforce if we do not have a wage subsidy. If it loses that workforce and these specialists, horticulturalists and experts are not able to be employed here, they will go to other countries. Their skills are in demand.

We have a very big concern about the $500 million provided for tourism and the $1 billion for promotion. Some of the businesses in my riding feel rather hollowed out by the notion that we will have a billion dollars going to advertising attractions in Canada that cannot stay open.

It is also peculiar that we have a decision by the Department of Transportation that cruise ships on our coasts will not open until February 28, 2022. I have yet to see any justification for that arbitrary date. This is a big concern, because if we are letting people get on airplanes, are saying there are vaccination passports and that people are okay to travel, certainly we should be informed of why there is this arbitrary date. It would continue to damage tourism.

This budget is also very short on support for ground transport. The bus lines of this country, whether Wilson Bus Lines or Maritime Bus, need more connectivity between cities and towns. The support for Via Rail is welcome, at $491 million, but it is all in the Windsor-Quebec corridor. What about Vancouver to Toronto and Montreal to Halifax? In the absence of Greyhound, the Irving Bus Line and others that run between communities, those routes need daily trains and an expanded economy service.

What is missing again is what we are going to do to improve our financial prospects going forward. If we are not going to be looking at cuts, we need more revenue. There are some new taxes in this budget and some ways to save money. I particularly applaud the idea that the Government of Canada is going to stop spending as much on travel by civil servants: That is a $1-billion savings over five years. Most of that travel, as we know, was by air. We have learned during COVID that we can find other ways to meet that avoid greenhouse gases and avoid so much travel.

Long-term we need to look at more revenue. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has pointed out that our debt-to-GDP ratio is going to level out at about 51%. It was about 30.6% before the pandemic, and it will be 2055 before we get to pre-pandemic debt-to-GDP ratios. In 1995-96, we were at 66%, but we do not want to go through that deep austerity program ever again. We have to protect our health system. We have to expand it with pharmacare, which should have been in this budget and was not.

We need to look at where we can get more revenue and be consistent. For heaven's sake, it is time to stop subsidizing fossil fuels. It is time to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline, which is going to cost another $10 billion to $12 billion. We are looking at excess profits from our banks. We should be going after those. We should be looking at a wealth tax. We certainly do not do enough in this budget. It suggests consultations on what to do about credit card interest rates and horrific payday loans. Those things need more attention.

We need to look at improving the revenue line so that we can afford universal pharmacare, which we must, and so that we can make sure the day care program takes place across the country for all Canadians. As well, we need to bring in support initially for low-income dental and get rid of the interest on Canadian student loans. All those need revenue in their appropriate place. With that, I am thankful for the time to speak to Bill C-30.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:30 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Madam Speaker, I always appreciate the words of the member. She is very helpful, especially related to our Porcupine Caribou herd, which I will mention later. I thank her for clarifying the omnibus bill. All budget implementation acts are omnibus bills because they have to deal with so many bills and departments.

To clarify, there are $1 billion for tourism. It is $500 million directly to tourism, $100 million to marketing and $400 million to tourism events such as festivals and museums. On top of the existing support programs that are being extended, there is $700 million for business financing and expansion of the small business financing program.

I wanted to thank the member for her great support over the years for the protection of the Porcupine Caribou herd that has so much effect on the Gwich'in people. Hopefully, she supports the $24 million for pan-Arctic scientific research through the polar continental shelf program, which many MPs might not know of, but is very important—

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:30 a.m.
See context

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, that is very generous praise for my work from the member for Yukon. My work to protect the Porcupine Caribou herd, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge just across the border from Yukon, is nothing compared with what the hon. member for Yukon has done. He was their champion well before I went into politics. We have worked together for decades.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:30 a.m.
See context

Bloc

Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech. It was interesting to hear what she had to say about tourism in particular.

I would like to turn to another topic. In the budget, the government says it will send seniors 75 and up a $500 cheque. The budget also says old age security will probably go up next year, but that is a whole year from now. It is creating two classes of seniors: those 75 and up and those under 75.

In Quebec papers this weekend, the seniors' federation spoke up, saying that seniors were not yet satisfied and were really angry. There is no reason to believe that a senior under 75 is poorer than one over 75.

What does my colleague think of the fact that this budget creates two classes of seniors?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:30 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Madam Speaker, during the member for Yukon's intervention, he thanked the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for her clarity around omnibus bills. I thought she was quite clear. I have more a comment, not a question.

A large budget implementation act tabled by a Conservative government is bad, but a large budget implementation act that touches on different acts across the operation of government is good.

It was clear and I did understand very carefully what she was saying.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:30 a.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I am afraid to say that the hon. member for Calgary Rocky Ridge misunderstood entirely what I was saying. I did point out that the Liberals had included a change to the Criminal Code that was not required on the notion of deferred prosecution. That was a specific measure as a result of lobbying by SNC-Lavalin. That should never have been in a budget implementation bill, but that was one measure.

The spring 2012 omnibus budget bill and the fall 2012 omnibus budget bill brought in measures never mentioned in the budget, such as getting rid of scrutiny over some of our spy agencies in the fall omnibus budget bill, killing the environmental assessment process in the spring omnibus budget bill, and getting rid of the Kyoto implementation act. Again, these were not mentioned in the budget.

The previous administration created monstrous omnibus budget bills without connection to the budget itself. It was quite different.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:35 a.m.
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Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Madam Speaker, all of us in this place know that so many Canadians have suffered great loss over the course of this pandemic. Some of us have also been affected by some of that loss. Whether it has been loss of life, health or paycheques, we know this past year has been extremely difficult. Certainly, we know no Canadian has been immune. All Canadians have experienced a loss of control and a loss of normalcy. It has been two years in the making, with Canadians across the country desperate and anxious to turn the corner on the pandemic.

There was a lot of expectation for the recently tabled budget. Unfortunately, for far too many, this budget fell flat, but by no means for a lack of spending. We know the Prime Minister has added $155 billion in new debt this year alone, and Canada's federal debt will pass $1.2 trillion this year for the first time ever. The government has tried to paint all its spending as stimulus spending, but that is not accurate. Yes, some spending will help stimulate the economy, but significant amounts are being spent on the Liberal government's own partisan interests.

Simply put, this is a spending budget, not a growth budget. The limited amount of funds being spent on stimulus have been confirmed by our Parliamentary Budget Officer, who also cautioned that continued debts and deficits will limit the government's future ability to introduce new permanent programs without cuts or tax increases. That fact is simply unavoidable. Massive deficit spending is unsustainable. It jeopardizes the long-term sustainability of the many social programs that many Canadians depends on. It limits the government's ability to react to future challenges and ultimately leads to higher taxes.

It is a hard truth that the Liberal government wanted to ignore the pandemic, but Canadians footing the bill will not have the luxury of ignoring it. Missing from the budget are focused spending on long-term growth and a clear plan to reopen Canada's economy safely. Unfortunately, that means more uncertainty for my constituents. This budget abandons the natural resource sector, one of the greatest contributors to our national prosperity, as a fiscal anchor. While the Liberal government's disregard for the energy sector is not a shock to any of my constituents, who depend on jobs in the industry to put food on the table and keep the lights on, it is nonetheless devastating for those workers who have lost their jobs, had their wages cut or are seeing opportunities and businesses in their industry dwindle. There is no support for them in this budget.

Emergency wage supports are not a meaningful replacement for a stable and predictable paycheque. That is exactly what Canadians want, stable and predictable paycheques. Our oil and gas workers have taken hit after hit at the hands of the Liberal government and now continue to be overlooked as the Prime Minister fails to see the financial and environmental opportunities in the oil and gas sector. That failure has a massive impact on my constituents, but the missed opportunity will ultimately be felt by all Canadians, who also benefit from the success of this sector.

Similarly, consistently overlooked and undervalued by the government are our farmers and farm families. While the budget introduces some measures to alleviate some of the ballooning costs facing our agricultural producers, it cannot be lost that it is the Liberal government's policies that are burying those agricultural producers in costs. The Liberal government has repeatedly failed to recognize the significant financial, food security and environmental contributions of our world-class agricultural sector.

The Liberal government's unfocused spending and failure to deliver a growth plan lets Canadians down. It lets down western Canadians, who do not see themselves or their livelihoods in the Liberal government's reimagined economy. It lets down those Canadians who have lost their jobs during the pandemic and do not know what the future holds. It lets down those Canadians who cannot afford more taxes and are already struggling to make ends meet, which includes low-income seniors, who were left out of this budget.

We know that seniors have been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic, from health to social isolation to financial costs. Not one senior has been immune to the fallout of this pandemic. Despite this, seniors have never really been a priority for the Prime Minister. The supports that are included in this budget and its legislation are either short on details or leave too many seniors behind.

Prior to the budget, Conservatives called on the Prime Minister to deliver increased financial supports for low-income seniors. The proposed one-time payment and the increase to old age security do nothing to support low-income seniors under the age of 75. For those seniors aged 74 and under who are facing an increased cost of living and unexpected costs due to the pandemic, and who are struggling with overstretched budgets, there is no support.

As shadow minister for seniors, I have been hearing from seniors from across the country who are upset and who feel forgotten. I share in their disappointment. Instead of focusing on spending on seniors who need it the most, the Liberal government has divided seniors. Our seniors, who have worked hard and helped build this country, should not be struggling to make ends meet. They deserve to live securely and with dignity, and this includes seniors living in long-term care.

The pandemic has sadly revealed how far we have missed the mark in ensuring the health and well-being of our seniors living in long-term care. Every level of government has a responsibility to Canada's seniors. We know that federal support is necessary to address the acute challenges in long-term care. While this budget proposes significant spending, there are unanswered questions on how it will be delivered.

The Liberal government has made many announcements, but seniors living in long-term care, their families and those who care for them need us to move beyond announcements. We need a federal government working in collaboration with provinces, territories, seniors advocates and caregiving organizations to ensure that meaningful and appropriate solutions are delivered in the immediate and the short-term. Collaboration is crucial to moving the needle.

As we look to improve the continuum of housing and care needs, aging in place is an important part of that conversation. It is good to see supports in this area, though the budget is short on details. However, noticeably absent from this budget is recognition or support for caregivers. There is also no clear plan for seniors concerned about managing their retirement savings through this crisis and beyond. Seniors deserve to live in dignity and security, but this Liberal budget leaves too many behind.

The potential permanent impact of unfocused and uncontrolled spending is also greatly concerning. Massive deficit spending without a clear plan for growth jeopardizes the long-term viability of our health care system and important social programs. It is critical that social programs, such as old age security and the guaranteed income supplement, continue to be viable in the long term for those seniors who depend on them. That is why Conservatives have put forward a recovery plan that is focused on long-term growth.

Canadians do not need the Liberal government to spend the most money to achieve less than our global counterparts. They do not need massive spending that fails to grow the economy, and instead saddles them and their children with higher taxes. Canadians need measures that create jobs and boost economic growth. They need a plan to safely reopen our economy. They need a plan that includes them regardless of where they live or what sector of the economy they work in.

Canadians want to return to normal and get back to work. Unfortunately, this legislation fails to do that. It leaves millions of Canadians behind. It is time for a real path forward.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:45 a.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Madam Speaker, I very much enjoy serving with the hon. member on the standing committee for human resources. She talked about support for seniors and discrimination against seniors of different ages. In the very budget the Conservatives presented upon gaining a majority, they increased the age of eligibility for old age security for seniors from age 65 to 67. I presented a private member's motion to have this reversed, which the Conservatives defeated.

The rationale at the time was that people were living and working longer, and therefore, there was no need for support between age 65 and 67. Is that still the policy of the Conservative Party of Canada?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Madam Speaker, I also enjoy serving with the hon. member on our committee. I will say that we heard the 10% increase for OAS for seniors age 75 and up was a campaign promise in 2019. It still has not been implemented, and I am not going to take any lessons from the Liberal government.

Liberals did not think that seniors were a priority when they had a majority last term, and they did not appoint a minister of seniors until very well into their term.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:45 a.m.
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Bloc

Mario Beaulieu Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to know what my colleague thinks of the fact that the government is behaving a bit like it has too much money. It is interfering in areas of provincial jurisdiction, when it is not even fulfilling its basic responsibilities, including transferring money for health from the federal taxes it collects from Quebec and the provinces. We know that all the provinces and Quebec are calling for increased health transfers.

Health care systems across the board are at a breaking point at the cost of human lives during a pandemic. Why not increase health transfers instead of interfering in Quebec's jurisdictions?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Madam Speaker, I very much am a big advocate for respecting provincial jurisdiction. I definitely think federal government needs to act where a federal government can and provinces need to act where they need to as well.

I think this speaks to the failure of the Liberals and their plan to prepare for this pandemic and also their planning that has failed altogether going through this pandemic. What this budget fails to do is have a plan to reopen the economy. If government keeps spending the way it is, we are going to lose supports for programs such as OAS and GIS, which many Canadians rely on.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:45 a.m.
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NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech. If we want to be able to have good public services for the long term, whether in health or to help the most vulnerable, like our seniors, we need to have the necessary revenues.

In that sense, there is nothing in the Liberal budget for collecting money from those who have it, in other words, companies such as Amazon, with its billions of dollars in profits, or web giants that are still not paying their taxes in Canada. We are also still not seeing a wealth tax.

Are those not things that the Conservatives would like to see in order to increase government revenues and avoid cuts in public services?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Madam Speaker, what I would like to see is the Liberal government reduce its burdensome regulations on the oil and gas sector, which provides a lot of supports for many provinces, whether that is OAS, GIS, health care, schools and transfer payments. I would like to see the burden of the red tape and the regulations go away, so we can see increased revenue from our oil and gas sector.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:50 a.m.
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Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, people are starting to be cautiously hopeful. As vaccines roll out and we approach herd immunity, Canadians can dream, once again, of something approaching normality. What the new normal might be is, of course, anyone's guess. However, some people are starting to turn to thinking about how we are going to pay for the debts and deficits that have been necessarily incurred over the course of the last 14 months. Some 74% of Canadians are worried about the budget deficit, and it is a legitimate worry.

The government rightly injected billions of dollars into the economy. Looking at the charts in this 700-page budget, much of the money is sitting in Canadian savings accounts. I perceive that to be a good thing. Canadians have been notorious under-savers, more spenders than savers, but now, not quite so much.

Chart 22 in the budget shows that 8% of nominal GDP, year over year, has been put into savings accounts. That is a huge amount of money. It is such a huge amount of money that it will be looking for spending opportunities as we emerge from the pandemic. As it says in the budget documents, it may well become a bit of a tailwind to the economy.

However, what happens when significant excess money is released into the economy, money looking for places to be spent, generally speaking prices go up. Labour becomes more expensive, the cost of goods and services climbs and people's savings do not get them as much as before. Then we have another problem, and that is called inflation.

An article in The Globe and Mail caught my eye the other day. It was about the perceived mismatch between the consumer price index, CPI, and people's lived experience. The price of shelter rose 2.4% last year, which was consistent with the CPI of 2.2%, well within the Bank of Canada's inflationary band. Meanwhile, the average resale price of a home went up 32%. This is a mismatch between people's lived experience and the official numbers. As one commentator put it:

That leads to a cost-of-living indicator that doesn't quite reflect what consumers see and feel, and an inflation indicator that doesn't quite reflect the long-term cost of owned housing relative to other things we buy....To that point, there is a consistent mismatch between CPI inflation as Statscan measures it and how Canadians typically perceive inflation.

The article goes on in great detail as to the various means to measure inflation, a quite academic debate which I will spare the House.

However, in an online survey conducted by the Bank of Canada last year, 55% of the respondents said that 2% inflation was not a realistic representation of their experience of inflation, while 66% of respondents believed that the inflation in Canada was generally higher than 2%. All of the budgetary calculations are based upon a range of 2% to 3% inflation and a clear determination by the Bank of Canada to keep interest rates very low. The Governor of the Bank of Canada has repeated himself several times on that point.

The reason that Canadians are concerned about the size of the deficit is the fear that it will become overwhelmingly expensive to the detriment of other initiatives if inflation takes off and therefore interest rates take off. On the present consensus of numbers generated by the absolute best economists in Canada, Canada can afford a very large deficit and debt-to-GDP ratio.

Historically, we have been here before. Post-World War II, we had a debt-to-GDP ratio in the neighbourhood of 116% and, in 1995, we were named an honorary member of the Third World. At the time, we had a 67% debt to GDP. By virtue of economic expansion and some prudent measures, we were able to deal with those situations, and they were worse than what we are presently experiencing, which is a debt-to-GDP ratio around 50%, give or take, projected forward for the next five years.

However, there is a lingering doubt that the CPI does not quite get the picture right, not on housing, not on shelter, not on food, not on lumber, not on steel, not on cement. In this morning's Globe and Mail, the article entitled, “Copper hits record high”, is a commentary on the rise of the price of copper, which is used for everything, from plumbing to electricity to alternative energy as well as Chinese supply-side jitters and accommodating monetary policy, which is motivating companies to ramp up spending.

Virginia-based trader, Dennis Gartman, said, “The monetary authorities, whether it’s the Fed, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England, have all been extraordinarily expansionary. Copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, tin, iron ore, steel, are telling you something’s going on in the global economy.” He added, “This is inflationary, and this is more than transitory circumstances. This is secular in nature.” This is where it might end badly.

I started by talking about Canadians having massive amounts of money in their savings accounts, some of which will go to feed a pent-up demand. What will happen if Canadians go to spend their money and inflation has eroded their pandemic savings account? It will create a lot of very unhappy and upset Canadians. As the great philosopher, Wayne Gretzky, once said. one should go to “where the puck is going, not where it has been.” There are indications out there where the puck is going to inflation and if it goes to inflation, we will have yet another problem.

I commend the government on its handling of the pandemic finances thus far, but we, as Canadians, need to recognize that the inflationary pressures are there. How we handle them will largely determine how we get through this period of “normalcy”.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

May 11th, 2021 / 10:55 a.m.
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Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Madam Speaker, this is the type of debate we need, where we discuss important issues before the House, and inflation and his concern about it should be duly noted.

I am very pleased to hear the member raise inflation. At finance committee, for example, the testimony from officials and members of the government, members of his caucus, has largely not shared the urgency around getting a handle on ensuring that inflation does not harm Canadians in the months and years to come. The lived experience tells Canadians that prices on the critical things they need have gone up, like heating homes, rent and the price of a home, which has gone up 30% across Canada during the pandemic. I would ask the member continue with his concern on inflation.