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 / 12:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Scott Duvall NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. friend for the great work he does.

Day in and day out, all I hear from the Liberals' side is that they are supporting Canadians, that they have Canadians' backs and that everything is a high priority, but what we do not see in Bill C-30 is the supports for people with disabilities, except for a three-year study on who has to live on $1,200 a month. That is inadequate. Then, we find out the Liberals want to extend the CERB with Bill C-30, but they did not tell us the story. They want to give us the rates that people with disabilities are living on and to reduce it to that low below poverty. Then, we have the great work they do in supporting seniors, but they only want to support half the seniors.

Does my friend believe this is the way we are supporting Canadians and having their backs, or does he feel it is very shameful, what the government would implement?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Hamilton Mountain is a real fighter for his constituents and for people right across the country, like workers and seniors. I really want to thank him for his service to Hamilton and to the entire country.

He is right. The Liberal speech is nothing, until we look at where the money goes. When we look at where the money goes, it goes to banks and billionaires. There is $750 billion in liquidity supports. Without batting an eye, they did not announce it publicly, they just doled it out. Billionaires are up $80 billion in increased wealth through this pandemic, and the government steadfastly refuses to use any of the tools that other countries have put into place. There are enough vacuous, vapid Liberal speeches. We follow the money and we see where the priorities are, and the priorities of the current Liberal government are banks, billionaires and the ultrarich, and that comes to a real detriment of people.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:25 p.m.
See context

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the member talks about banks. One of the things I think about, and this comes from the parliamentary library, is who owns the banks. It is the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and the Ontario Pension Board. That is for the RBC. Then for BMO, there is the Health Care of [Technical difficulty—Editor] Plan trust fund, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board and the Ontario Pension Board. Then for TD, there is the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.

Would the member not recognize, be honest with Canadians and say who actually owns the banks?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:30 p.m.
See context

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, will the member actually recognize that it is obscene to provide $750 billion of liquidity supports to Canada's big banks, with absolutely no conditions, to allow them to increase service charges, to impose penalties and fees and to do all the damage they have done over the course of this past year by refusing to provide supports to so many small businesses and people who are actually relying on the banks to provide some support during this pandemic? The Liberals do all that, and then say they are going to cut CRB by $200 a week and they are going to cut other supports Canadians rely on.

Will the member acknowledge that is inappropriate, given how much the Liberals have given to the banks and billionaires and how they are cutting back on the needs of people?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:30 p.m.
See context

Conservative

James Cumming Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Essex.

Before I get started on the budget, this may be the last time I get to appear in front of you, Mr. Speaker, given that there seems to be a lot of chatter about an election. I want to take this time to thank you for your service to your country and say what a pleasure it has been to be able to serve with you. I wish you the very best in everything that you do into the future.

I am standing here again on a budget bill. Although much of this budget was important because it helped families and businesses ensure that they had some kind of income so they could manage through this crisis, it is also important that we talk about how it will potentially burden the future of many families and younger people as we have amassed this enormous debt.

This February, I was appointed as the shadow minister for COVID-19 economic recovery. It has been an incredible honour to serve in this role, because it has given me the opportunity to go across the country virtually and look at the economic impacts COVID has had on every sector, every region and every demographic of the country.

A strong economic recovery should be inclusive to all demographics, sectors and regions, ensuring that all persons and all areas of the country thrive and that we have specific objectives with measurable strategies for every sector to ensure that nobody gets left behind. It is impossible to implement a cookie-cutter plan, which is pretty much what I see in the Liberal budget. We will not get a full recovery unless we look at every economic sector to make sure it is successful.

The budget outlined how the federal Liberals proposed to rebuild the Canadian economy in a way that will bring Canadians along. This is another example of a lot of talk without a clear, precise, strategic and thoughtful action by the government.

If the government was actually interested in bringing all Canadians along, it would have laid out outcomes for job creation, growth and prosperity in this country's agricultural sector, maybe the energy sector, the forestry sector and the natural resources sector, just to name a few. There are millions of Canadians who work in these sectors. It is time that the government at least got honest about what it is trying to accomplish. Quite frankly, it seems like we are stuck in this never-ending cycle of spending more to achieve less. It is all talk and no action.

I hearken back to when I first had the opportunity to get involved as a contributor to the economy. I was able to buy into a business when I was 21 years old. I look back at those times and how I looked at the world as my oyster, that I would be able to do something, build something, grow something. Sadly, I do not hear that from youth anymore. I do not see that in this budget, which does not necessarily set people up for success.

A bunch of stats have come out of this budget, like the largest debt and deficit we have seen in the history of our country, and yet very little to show for it. We are certainly not moving forward. In fact, I often think we are moving backwards. It is important that we look at a few stats. Canada fell out of the top 10 ranking of the most competitive economies. We have fallen near the bottom of our peer group on innovation, ranking 17th, as stated by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Canada ranks 11th among G7 countries, among 29 industrial countries, with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 33%, and Canada fell to 25th out of 29 countries. In other words, Canada has the fifth-highest level of total indebtedness. No other country experienced such a pronounced decline in its debt ranking. The debt-to-GDP ratio will rise from 31% last year to 56% this year. The Bank of Canada projects business investments to grow at 0.8% over the next two years, failing to recover to 2019 levels until 2023.

Consumption and government spending will represent about 80% of economic growth over the next two years, while investment and exports will be next to zero. An important industry like mineral fuels accounted for 22% of our country's exports, the number one exported product, which is something we should not forget about. We still have the third-largest proven oil reserves in the world and are the third-largest exporter of oil.

Just as the government continued to do since 2015, it has ignored the Canadian natural resource industry. There is virtually no mention of the energy sector, which is Canada's number one export. By ignoring the strength of Canada's resource, forestry and agriculture sectors, among others, the government has failed to recognize the impact these sectors would have on our battered economy. The world wants and needs more of our natural resources, so we should be thinking about expanding our market share, not hastening its decline. At the very least, we should be trying to develop policies that make sure we have an active role in these sectors.

There is an entire chapter in the budget dedicated to environmental initiatives aimed at net-zero emissions by 2050, which includes $18 billion in spending, but with dubious assumptions about the impact on economic growth. Rather than supporting a proven catalyst for economic growth like the natural resource sector to accelerate Canadians' recovery and get Canadians back to work, the Prime Minister has decided to continue the abandonment of this industry and hedge our future on uncertain technologies.

Conservatives are not opposed to developing and enhancing Canada's environmental-oriented sector. In fact I, along with the Conservative Party, highly encourage Canadian market participants in this sector to continue to grow and create more jobs and revenue while making sufficient contributions to the nation's ecological sustainability. I am proud of our industry. Our industry has been doing fantastic work and is a leader in the world. We should be proud of that and stand up for it. As we continue to combat this pandemic and the economic damage it would cause, we must unleash and utilize the capabilities of all profitable revenue streams. That includes green technologies and natural resources.

There are some vague references in the budget to growing green jobs and retraining the workforce for new jobs. It is very vague. Where and in which sectors are these jobs going to be created, and by when? Words are great, but actions speak louder. In the province I come from, people want to know, if they will be trained into a green job, where that job will be, what kind of income they will get and how they are going to be able to support their families in that new role. We have heard lots about retraining for these jobs that do not exist yet, but the need for tradespeople only happens if something is approved and built in this country.

What is it going to take? If the economy is going to grow, it has to be private sector-driven. The high cost of doing business in Canada, the red tape and the over-regulation make it almost impossible for small business owners. That has to change. There has been a real and visible impact on Canada's capacity to attract foreign investment. We need to be able to tell people they are welcome in this country and their investments are welcome. The perceived risk around investing in Canada's energy sector has to change.

What does the future look like? What is the trajectory? What does the country look like? We see inflation now. The target was 2% and it is running at about 3.6%. It is very concerning for people who are trying to live on a budget. My biggest fear for the country is that this budget will continue to invest massive sums of money into under-tested, under-productive schemes that fit the government's political agenda. The title is “A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth and Resilience”, but the federal government's budget contains very few details on specifics and a lack of measurables, and it really does not say how it is going to execute on this plan.

I am concerned this budget is far from resilient and far from sustainable. If it were resilience that the government was after, it would be asking itself how this federal spending is going to position the country for post-pandemic success. We need to ensure that any spending helps with productivity in this country and ensures we have long-term sustainability. The well-being of our people and our economy cannot afford to be stuck in this never-ending cycle of the government's scheme of throwing money into the wind and hoping something sticks.

The most important focus for our country right now needs to be investment and commitment to ensuring Canadians get back to work. That is why the Conservative Party of Canada would implement the Canada recovery plan, a plan that would recover the hundreds of thousands of jobs in the hardest-hit sectors. Canadians deserve strong leadership, inclusive leadership and a robust plan for not only recovery, but prosperity for many years to come.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Richard Bragdon Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I know that the member comes from a part of our country that has contributed so much to Canada's economy and prosperity for years. If there was ever a time when Canada needed to do all that it can to strengthen our sectors, our producers and those who actually produce our energy, work our fields and grow our food, it is now.

I wonder if the hon. member would be willing to comment on the absolute need to have a government with a vision to bring the best out of Canadians. We have so much to offer to the world and those who want to do business with us. We have the most responsibly produced energy in the world. We have the best producers of food and agriculture. We can only increase our manufacturing capacity.

We have great opportunities that are missing. Would the hon. member like to comment on that? What are his thoughts?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:40 p.m.
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Conservative

James Cumming Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am an incredibly proud Canadian. We have an enormous capacity and potential in this country. It is time we recognized it. It is time we let these sectors grow and prosper.

I firmly believe the rest of the world wants more of what Canada produces. We are leaders on the agriculture side, leaders on the forestry side, leaders on the energy side. Let us recognize that. Let us look at our strengths and make sure we emphasize those strengths, get behind those strengths and grow this economy so that kids will have something to look forward to in this country.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:40 p.m.
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NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the one thing I did not hear the member mention in his speech was tax evasion and the need to ensure that the wealthiest Canadians pay their share. I was reading in the news today that since 2015, the CRA has only investigated 44 Canadians with net worth over $50 million for tax evasion. Only two of those went to prosecution and no fines were issued.

I wonder if the member could inform us what his approach is to cracking down on tax evasion and what message this news sends to Canadians who work hard and pay their share.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:40 p.m.
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Conservative

James Cumming Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my position would never change on this. If people earn an income and owe taxes, they should pay. We should use the full force of the law to make sure that we go after those who are trying to take advantage of any kind of scheme that would allow them not to pay their fair share of tax.

In the same breath, we should also recognize that wealth creators are good for our country. They are creating wealth. Creating more jobs and more investment in Canada is good for our country. Those who do it by the rules, let us support them and let us cherish them because they are the ones who are going to help us grow this economy.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Marty Morantz Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my great colleague from Edmonton on his amazing speech and the great job he is doing in the House in his various roles.

In the Financial Post yesterday there was an article that said, “Brace for even higher rates when the Bank of Canada does start raising” and “Interest rates expected to climb above the previous peak for the first time in decades amid robust recovery”.

Could the member comment on the threat that higher interest rates will pose to the sustainability of our economy, which he so eloquently spoke about during his speech?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:45 p.m.
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Conservative

James Cumming Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a great concern, as we see inflation starting to move to 3.6%. We have issues with supply chains. We have issues with housing costs. We are seeing a lot of things drive up costs. The concern is that we are going to see interest rates do the same thing.

The level of debt that we have taken on in this country has to be paid back, and there is going to be interest that has to be paid on that debt, even if it is termed out over a period of time. A lot of the budget is now going to have to go toward debt repayment. That money could be spent on housing. It could be spent on some of the things that we desperately need in this country. That is a big concern.

Future generations will be stuck with this burden. That is the thing that is most distressing.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Chris Lewis Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-30.

I want to thank the member for Edmonton Centre for his incredibly compelling speech, and he did a fabulous job. As well, to follow up on his comments, all the best to you, Mr. Speaker, in the future.

As I was walking up to the House today, I was given to thought. I thought about my family, my staff, my friends and the people of Essex, and the impact that Bill C-30 would have on each and every one of them. Each of us will be affected by the bill. I want to give many thanks to my family, my staff and my constituents of Essex for the opportunity to be in this place to speak to Bill C-30.

Fifteen months ago, after the government's failure to heed the early warning signs of the pandemic ravaging Asia, Parliament was shut down for three weeks to flatten the curve. These many months later, the government's record is characterized by bad ethics, poor decision-making, undemocratic measures and huge deficits.

The government, propped up by the NDP, Bloc and Green Party, has repeatedly failed Canadians, from its early and repeated power grabs, its failure to shut down international flights in the early stages of the pandemic, its failure to secure PPE and its disastrous back-scene procurement and rollout. On top of that, we had the ill-conceived Canada student support program and the resulting WE scandal that led to the prorogation of Parliament to avoid scrutiny. For 15 months, we have seen the Liberals reward their Liberal buddies with contracts and now judicial appointments.

Only the Conservatives, as the official opposition, have stood against the Liberal excesses. The NDP has voted with the Liberals basically at every turn, even joining with them to shut down committees to help the Liberals avoid scrutiny. At a time when Canadians needed true leadership, ideology partisan interests have trumped principle.

Why am I mentioning this record in a speech on the budget? Because post-COVID, Canada needs an economic recovery plan and, yet again, the Liberal-NDP-Bloc-Green Party alliance has failed to offer anything but shiny baubles. The record speaks for itself. The NDP-Liberal budget is a massive letdown for workers in my riding of Essex. This is not a growth budget, and it fails to put forward a plan to encourage Canada's long-term prosperity.

I have three children just entering adulthood, and my first grandchild was born just a few weeks ago. I think of families in my riding, generations that have made their home in Essex County, and I wonder if my children and their children will be able to have the things that previous generations took for granted: a well-paying job, affordable housing and saving for their children's education. I am receiving hundreds of emails from constituents who remember the Canada of my youth. They tell me that they have no heart to celebrate Canada this year. They see the writing on the wall.

Rampant corruption, unchecked, has tarnished our hallowed halls. Bill C-10 threatens our Charter of Rights, and deficit spending and high debt always leads to tax increases and program cuts down the road. It is an open question if we will be able to protect our social safety net and our senior's pensions, who should be able to enjoy their retirement worry-free.

As the government continues to print money against Canada's GDP, as Conservatives predicted, inflation has risen to 3.6%. The cost of housing has soared and, as I said previously, putting it out of reach for many young families. As the cost of living rises, so does the cost for basics, like food, which hurts the lowest-income Canadians and seniors on fixed incomes the most. The government spending today borrows against our children's future. It is not a cliché; it is a simple reality that everyone who has a personal or household budget to manage understands.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer has noted that a significant amount of the Liberal spending in the budget will not stimulate jobs or create economic growth. The Conservatives support getting help to those who have been hit the hardest by the failure of the Liberals to create jobs. In fact, the Liberal government has spent more and delivered less than any other G7 country. Canada's Conservatives were very clear that we wanted to see a plan to return to normal, that would safely reopen the economy and get Canadians back to work.

It is very clear that the Liberal-NDP budget was more about partisan politics than creating jobs or growing our economy. With their uncontrolled spending, the Liberals made it clear that they had no plan to return to a balanced budget. Throughout the pandemic, the Conservatives have made emergency support programs better for Canadians.

Alas, unemployed Canadians are hoping to see a plan to create new jobs and economic opportunities for their families. Workers who have had their wages cut and hours slashed are hoping to see a plan to reopen the economy. They were let down.

Layoffs at the Fiat Chrysler plant in Windsor mean that expectant mothers will see their maternity benefits cut, with all the money going out the door in income support. What has the government done for them?

Small business owners have been devastated by repeat lockdowns. Many have closed their doors permanently. Many are hanging on by the slimmest of margins.

Gyms like Xanadu in my riding have petitioned the government for ongoing aid. I have stood in the House for them. It will take months for them to recover, if they do at all.

Many hair salons and barbershops, many of them owned and operated by women supporting their families, do not qualify for business support.

Travel advisers went 15 months without any revenue. What does this budget do for them? Absolutely nothing.

Manufacturers in my riding whose entire business model is based on cross-border transactions have experienced losses of major contracts because the government did not see fit to deem them essential despite repeated appeals to their government. It is a tone-deaf government that cannot not grasp the concept that we cannot export goods without the free movement of the people who make and sell them. The effects of this will be felt for years. It will take many years for manufacturers to get back to where they were.

While they brag about the numbers, the Liberals fail to understand that the stuff manufacturers are working on now was negotiated two years ago, before the pandemic. Manufacturing is 13% of Canada's GDP. This sector is the largest contributor of taxable income. In Essex and Windsor, 54,000 jobs are represented in this industry. Eighty-five per cent of those goods produced go to the United States of America.

Manufacturers have done a good job. They were mandated to keep open and they did everything required, yet the government did not see fit to recognize their good work. When I first raised this issue with the minister in the House, and other government officials appearing before the special committee on Canada-U.S. economic relations, the government's response revealed its total ignorance and outright indifference.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the loved ones who have been separated by the Canada-U.S. border closure. Even when changes were made to broaden the definitions, many were left out or could not afford to quarantine for 14 days. To make matters worse, the government then added quarantine hotels and exorbitant costs with unsafe substandard care. The human toll has been deep. Here are but a couple of examples: grandparents unable to meet their grandchildren for the first time; parents looking to be with their son, graduating after 10 years.

The simple fact is that this budget does nothing to secure the long-term prosperity for Canadians. It does nothing to help my excellent riding of Essex. Canada's Conservatives got us out of the last recession. Canadians who are worried about their future know that we can and will do it again.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:55 p.m.
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NDP

Scott Duvall NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague mentioned many times how people were struggling and needed help, especially through this difficult time. Does he agree with me that people with disabilities need immediate help now, some funding to help them during these hard times? Does he agree with the NDP and the Bloc that seniors should all be treated the same and not have a two-tiered system?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Chris Lewis Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I agree that everyone needs help. The budget should be helping everyone; nobody should be left behind. Be it seniors, young adults, our youth or people with disabilities, everyone should be helped, especially, and hopefully, at the end of a pandemic.

Yes, we need to look from 100,000 feet down and ensure that everybody is duly taken care of.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:55 p.m.
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Bloc

Louise Chabot Bloc Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague if he agrees with the Bloc Québécois that, in order to better protect all workers and meet needs created by the pandemic, the federal government should have accepted the idea of transferring the amounts requested for health care to the provinces and Quebec through the Canada health and social transfer. That would provide better support for the entire health and social services network in Canada.