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

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 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 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 of Part 4 amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act to authorize additional payments to the provinces and territories.

Division 12 of Part 4 authorizes payments to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund in relation to Canada’s COVID-19 immunization plan.

Division 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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 20 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 21 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 22 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 23 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 24 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 25 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 26 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 27 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 28 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 29 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 30 of Part 4 confirms the validity of certain regulations in relation to the cancellation or postponement of certain First Nations elections.

Division 31 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 32 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 33 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 34 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 35 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 36 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.

Votes

June 23, 2021 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures
June 21, 2021 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures (report stage amendment)
June 14, 2021 Passed Tme allocation for Bill C-30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures
May 27, 2021 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:20 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, given the answer the member gave to the last question about tax avoidance, loopholes and the various mechanisms that people are using to avoid paying taxes, I am reminded of discussions I have heard, in private settings and publicly, about looking at the tax code in its entirety, rather than looking at individual sections of it.

There have been calls to look at the whole tax code and basically start from the scratch. Does the member agree with the position that this is a good way to proceed when trying to address some of these problems?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:20 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, the short answer is yes. In fact, if the member looks at the pre-budget consultation report that the finance committee came up with, he will see that the dissenting report from the Conservatives contains the recommendation that the government finally engage in comprehensive tax reform. It should find a way to simplify our tax system to make it fairer, making sure that everybody pays their fair share, and should simplify it so that it is easier to collect taxes and it is easier for Canadians to fill out their tax forms every year

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:20 a.m.
See context

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, the Conservatives continue to bring up China and the Liberal Party. I would like to remind the member that it was the Harper Conservative government that signed an agreement with Communist China, the 2012 Canada-China FIPA, which gave Chinese state-owned corporations a great deal of power over our democratic authority. It was Rob Nicholson, the defence minister at the time, who signed an agreement with the Chinese for military co-operation in 2013.

I would like to step back into taxes. We know that trickle-down economics has not worked. Cutting taxes for the ultrawealthy has meant that they have lined their pockets, and the burden of taxation has gone to the working class and the middle class. That is not working. It is not good for our economy and it is not good for working people. I agree with the member for Kingston and the Islands that we need serious tax reform and need to make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share.

Would the member not agree that the burden falls too much on working people in the middle class?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:25 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, the member knows that I just responded to the question. I am in favour of comprehensive tax reform to bring our tax system back to fairness and balance to make sure those who should be paying taxes are paying taxes.

With respect to the FIPA, I would say the member obviously has not read it. I have, and it does not in any way create additional market access. This agreement is called a post-establishment investment protection treaty. In other words, it only protects investments once they have been made in Canada. The decision the federal government makes is whether it is going to allow a foreign investment to be made in Canada if it is above a certain threshold value.

The suggestion that somehow this agreement opens up the market for Chinese investment is patently false. In fact, this agreement protects Canadian investors when they make investments in China and are then discriminated against by Chinese governments. This—

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:25 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Tako Van Popta Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Abbotsford for his comments on this year's budget. He mentioned that inflationary pressures are already embedded in the economy. We know that the best way to tackle inflation is to grow the economy to make sure that it is producing all the goods and services that people need.

Does the member have comments about what this budget does to grow the economy?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:25 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, inflation does represent a significant threat to our economy and to Canadians right across the country because as inflation grows, interest rates typically follow. That is something every family who has a large mortgage needs to be concerned about.

My colleague is also right in that the best way to address a recessionary economy, a large budgetary deficit and a massive, growing debt is to grow the economy. What we can do is cut spending, which I do not believe any of the parties in the House of Commons are talking about; increase taxes on Canadians, which is what the NDP, the Bloc and the Liberals always propose; or grow the economy, thereby finding a way to manage the debt and start to return to balanced budgets, at least in the long term.

Given the massive debt we have now incurred, growing the economy is the best way forward. One thing the Conservatives will not do is increase taxes on Canadians at such a difficult time.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:25 a.m.
See context

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, I know the member for Abbotsford has constituents who rely on the CRB. Particularly in the tourism industry and a number of other industries, people will rely on it to put food on their tables over the course of the summer.

I would like the member to comment on the government's slashing of the CRB from $500 a week to $300 a week, which is below poverty levels. Does he feel it is in the best interests of his constituents to see the marked slashing of those benefits at such a critical time?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:25 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's work at the finance committee. I think we work together quite well on that committee.

We have repeatedly said that Canadians need to be financially supported by government until such time as all of us have made it through the pandemic. We are not advocating for slashing and burning. We are advocating that once Canadians make it through to the end of the pandemic, they are weaned off of these supports. We do not believe in slashing and burning these programs, because they are absolutely critical for sustaining Canadians through this very difficult time.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:30 a.m.
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Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank all my colleagues for giving me their consent; it was very nice of them.

This morning, it seems to me that I will be repeating things we have been saying for a while now. Evidently, it takes a lot of repetition for the message to sink in.

I will start by talking about health transfers.

Of course, it is important to pass Bill C-30 swiftly, that is to say, before the session ends, because, among other things, the support measures need to be extended. We all agree on that point. However, there are significant flaws.

The main idea in my speech is that the federal government wants to hold all the power and be omnipotent. It wants to exert its dominance over the other levels of government and over Canadians. The health care transfers are a darned good example.

Why is the current government, the Prime Minister, refusing to give 28 billion dollars annually to the provinces and Quebec, who are all asking for the same thing? If it did so, after three to five years the health care problems in the provinces, territories and Quebec would mostly be resolved, which would allow us to better manage the health system. As a result, the provinces, territories and Quebec would no longer need to ask the federal government to kindly come to the rescue by giving them a few billion dollars.

Politically speaking, it is much better and more relevant and advantageous to hold a big press conference, with a big smile and a sunny disposition, and look like the great saviour. We are offered only a billion dollars, and told to come back on our knees and beg for more again next year, because Ottawa wants to hold on to that power. The unreasonable spending power is the evil side of the Canadian federation, and so is the unreasonable sharing of taxation powers: 50% of Quebeckers' tax dollars go to Ottawa, but Ottawa does not take on 50% of the responsibilities. That is the problem.

That is one of the themes I wanted to address in my speech, but I will now move on to something else.

Old age security comes to mind. Why are the Liberals increasing old age security? They probably want to hold on to that as a nice election promise. Government members are always waiting for the next election campaign. FADOQ members and seniors' groups are paying attention to the government's promises. The benevolent government tells them not to worry and promises to take care of seniors if it is re-elected. What a crock.

The government has an opportunity to do this now. All the opposition parties are on board. We were calling for this before the pandemic began, not now because of the pandemic. Things were not going great before the pandemic, and the situation is much worse now.

Every day, or nearly every day, people tell me that they received an adjustment of $1.59. It is a slap in the face. People ask me what we are doing and whether we are still delivering the message. That is why, with every darned speech I make on the budget, I bring these things up. I do this work for my constituents.

I do not want to blame anyone, but I would like to offer members of the House some food for thought. Sometimes I get the impression that members may have forgotten the initial commitment we make. I invite each and every one of us to remember our first election campaign, even though some members have been here for 25 or 30 years. That is a nod to Mr. Plamondon, who has never forgotten why he is here. There are others who have been here for a long time. Let us not forget—

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:35 a.m.
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Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, it is because this man's name is etched on my heart. The name of his riding is Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel.

I was saying that members need to remind themselves of their commitment. I invite them to think of the people who call their riding office to tell them how they are struggling to put food on the table. I have been helping some of those people this year.

Let us remember the older people who supported the Quiet Revolution in Quebec and the establishment of the society we live in today, which has allowed us to thrive because it is so generous and prosperous. I would not be here today if not for the Quiet Revolution. I am a son of the proletariat, of the working class. If these people had not created the good public education system that we have in Quebec, I would not be here. Could we remember that from time to time?

I will talk about the renewal of an agriculture-related measure because, as members know, I cannot make a speech without talking about agriculture. Another good example of the arm's length relationship that the federal government wishes to maintain was the extension of the tax deferral on patronage dividends of agricultural co-operatives for another five years. This measure has been in place for more than 10 years, actually 15 years. It works well, but, every time it is about to expire, the sector panics. They have to ramp up their lobbying system and contact all of us. All elected members of the House with farmers in their riding have been contacted this past year because of concerns about the lack of an official commitment to renew this measure.

People in the agricultural sector are happy the measure has been renewed for five years, of course. They would not say they are unhappy, but it is not exactly what they wanted. They wanted the measure to be permanent.

Why would the government make a measure permanent and make people's lives easier when it can score political points and come off looking so good and generous by making a wonderful announcement every three or four years about renewing the measure?

Make that measure permanent and move on to other things. Elected representatives should be working to improve people's lives and their constituents' lives for the long term, regardless of their political interests. We have all noticed the announcements happening all over the place, little mini-announcements about $25 million for this or $100 million for that. That is fine, and I am not saying I do not want those announcements, but let us do some really structural, long-term things for our people.

Take, for example, the emergency processing fund, which was implemented during the pandemic. I forwarded some cases to the minister's office but nothing came of it. These cases involved people who had started modernizing their regional processing plants—plants we so desperately need—in good faith, but ended up being told that the program had run out of money. They were told that it was unfortunate, but that they would have to try again another time. When the government is feeling generous and people have begged enough, it will see whether it can inject another $1 million or $10 million. When I raise the issue, they tell me that $10 million more were invested, but that is not enough. Sure, $10 million is great, but what businesses need is effective, long-term assistance.

My time is running out and I would be remiss if I did not bring up the point I raised the other day about support for temporary foreign workers. As of June 16, the $1,500 amount has been reduced to $750, even though bringing in temporary foreign workers is no less expensive than it was before. Quarantines are still mandatory and necessary. The farmers who are bringing in foreign workers right now are just as important as those who brought in foreign workers two months ago. Why are businesses being treated differently and unfairly? It still costs money.

In my last speech, I cited a letter from the agricultural community addressed directly to the government and the minister asking them not to cut this money. What is more, these people lost a tremendous amount of money in the Switch Health mess. Not only should these amounts not be reduced, but more money needs to be given to these people to compensate for the problems they encountered with Switch Health.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:40 a.m.
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Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, I am curious. From the member's tone, body language and speech, he seemed to be pouring it on pretty thick on the government for all of its failures and its wrongness in its approach, yet the member and his party are supporting it. I would ask him to reconcile the two.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:40 a.m.
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Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, we can certainly reconcile the two. I thank my colleague, who I dare not name, for his good question.

Sometimes what the opposition parties and often the government seem to fail to grasp is that we are a party of propositions. There are two ways to be the opposition in life. We can stand up and say that the government is rotten or we can stand up and say that it did not get it quite right and here is what we propose. We have been doing that consistently since October 2019 and we will continue to do that. The member's impression may come from the fact that we collaborate, we make improvements and we vote in favour of the budget because it is important to extend certain measures, but that does not mean that it is perfect, which is why we criticize it at the same time. We are doing our job as parliamentarians.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:40 a.m.
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Bloc

Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, when I hear my colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé discuss topics that affect so many colleagues in the House, particularly on the issue of agriculture and the urgent need to treat our farmers and dairy producers with the respect they deserve, I must admit that I am surprised not to see more of a reaction to his speeches.

As he just said, dairy farmers in Quebec and farmers in general face a huge number of challenges, and they need to feel that the government and their MPs are behind them.

I would like to ask my colleague whether he feels that this work is going well on the ground, in the various ridings, based on the relationships and discussions he has with the community.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:40 a.m.
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Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my esteemed colleague from Drummond for his question.

My answer will be mixed. There have indeed been actions taken to support farmers, but often they are inadequate one-offs, involving meagre amounts that, I just said earlier, are used to make “mini-announcements” rather than bring in anything permanent.

There are requests, and I will give three examples. If the House feels strongly about the question asked by my colleague from Drummond and wants to do something for the farming community, Bill C‑216 protects supply management once and for all. All parties voted overwhelmingly in favour of this bill, which was referred to committee and must now come back to the House. I wish it had come back before we leave.

Bill C‑208 is currently before the Senate. I find it very fishy that it is taking so long. I hope the Senate passes it before Parliament rises.

There are several measures like that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:40 a.m.
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NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question about cuts to the emergency benefit.

So far, people who are out of a job and need an emergency benefit to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head have been getting $500 per week. Now the government is about to cut that back to $300 per week, which is below the poverty line.

How have my colleague's constituents reacted to this massive cut to the emergency benefit?