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 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to talk about Bill C-30, the budget implementation act.

I realize this will probably be my last speech before an election. Before I get to the budget, I would like to acknowledge that it is an honour to represent the people of Markham—Unionville in Parliament. When I first came to this country over 45 years ago, I barely spoke English and never imagined representing my community on the town council, let alone in Parliament. I want to thank my community for its continued support.

COVID-19 will be an event people will talk about for generations. A virus ground the whole world to a halt and killed millions. No government was truly prepared, and politicians were put in a position where they needed to make important calls quickly instead of waiting years to address the problem. In come countries, politicians rose to the occasion and worked with one another to help their country overcome the pandemic. In other countries, governments kept people in the dark about the pandemic, denied there was a problem and turned every decision into political showmanship. It is clear that Canada was in the second category.

In this budget, the Liberal government is planning to double down on many of its terrible ideas. Instead of focusing on what Canadians need to get back on their feet, the Liberals are looking for ways to spend on their priorities. Of course, those priorities always include making Liberal insiders a boatload of money. So far, the consultant and lobbyist business has never been better for people with a connection to the Prime Minister. The Liberals' priorities are adding billions of dollars to the debt that we cannot afford.

We know that when Liberal MPs defend their Prime Minister's spending spree, they like to slip into technical terms that make it hard to follow. I am going to try to do the opposite and make my points easy to follow.

When I came to this country, I pinched every penny. I was an Indian teen with almost no English, and finding a job was not easy. Every dollar I spent mattered. I made a lot of tough decisions in those days about what I could go without. That meant a lot of cheese sandwiches.

When I started my family, I had to continue making tough decisions. We could not spend more money than we earned. I remember sitting down with my wife Roopa multiple times and deciding to save for the children's education or for rainy days rather than taking a vacation. For us, education was the most important thing. That education included teaching my children about budgeting.

I believe that the hard decisions I made with Roopa at the kitchen table paid off. My eldest child, Rohin, is a physician now, and I could not be more proud of his success. The savings I put aside when he was still a baby helped him afford his medical education. His wife Preoli is a dentist with a very similar story.

My other son, Tarun, went to university and now works in the provincial government. He also used what he learned in school in business. My daughter Shalin was recently accepted into a law program. All of these events proved to my wife and me that saving had been the right choice. We had gone without many of the things we wanted, but we had the money we needed when tuition was due for our children.

I know that Liberals hate it when Conservatives compare balancing the budget with balancing the household. The Liberals say that it is much more complicated than that. While the federal budget is more complicated, the basic facts remain the same.

When money is borrowed, someone is on the hook for it. That may come as a shock to some members of this House. Every time there is a vote in this House to spend money, I think about who pays. Years ago when people talked about the budget, they would say that the government should overspend in the bad years to stimulate the economy, and in the good years the government should pay off the debts. That way, the next time things took a turn for the worse, there would be money ready to stimulate the economy again.

The Liberal government has abandoned that way of thinking. It wants Canadians to believe that no government has to pay anything back, that through careful planning the government could juggle the debts forever and have all the benefits of overspending with none of the drawbacks. It is a terrible plan.

COVID-19 proved that governments need to have room to spend. Without government support, many Canadians would have been bankrupted by COVID-19. I know that even with some government support, many small businesses did not make it.

The pandemic has raised our debt to new heights. When we vote on spending money in Parliament, we need to remember that we must be ready for the next crisis. That means not spending more than we can afford now.

The Minister of Finance has said:

Canada is a young, vast country, with a tremendous capacity for growth. This budget would fuel that. These are investments in our future and they will yield great dividends. In fact, in today's low-interest rate environment, not only can we afford these investments, it would be shortsighted of us not to make them.

That it would be “short-sighted of us not to make them” is an interesting statement. I wonder if the Minister of Finance can name a time when spending more than we have was short-sighted. The Liberal government seems to believe that more spending is always necessary. Just look at the promise the Prime Minister made in 2015: that the budget would be balanced in no time, with just a couple of small deficits and then smooth sailing. The promises of responsible spending have been nothing more than hollow words.

I am going to get back to who pays. Most Canadians probably do not realize how much Canada is paying for its borrowing. Even with low interest rates, it is well over $20 billion. The Prime Minister's plan to add more to our national debt than all previous prime ministers combined will grow the interest payments to new heights.

The Prime Minister told everyone that budgets balance themselves. If he is still under this belief, let me assure him that this is not the case. When we do nothing to tackle the debt and spending, things get worse. People are told to avoid these sorts of debt traps in their personal life. The Liberals think adding historically high debt is responsible. Their plan requires Canadians to think that debt is a problem far into the future, that Canadians will be okay with giving debt to the next generation. For me, that is unacceptable.

I came to this country for a better life. I knew this was a place where people could raise a family and have their children succeed. The last thing I would want to do is hand them a debt bomb that they and their children will need to deal with.

When I talk to Markham residents, I hear the same thing. People work very hard so that their children will have a better life than they have. They do not want to set up their children for hard times.

A debt crisis always ends in hard times with either tax hikes or cuts to services, or both. The new taxes in the budget are puny compared to the spending. To raise the money needed to put a dent in the debt, the Liberals would need to double some of these taxes every year.

Liberal tax hikes make it more unaffordable to support a family. Canadians cannot afford to pay more. Some people think inflation is a solution, but that is a mistake. It is a tax on everything, and it will make it even harder to borrow money.

The other option of cutting services has been done before. In the nineties, the Liberal government, in the middle of a debt crisis, went to the bank to borrow money, but no one was interested in lending it to them. To get their books in order, the Liberals took a chainsaw to government spending. One of the things they cut was the health care spending. The effects of those cuts are still felt to this day. Does anyone think health care in Canada can take another cut? I do not.

I was shocked, like many Canadians, that health care was not a huge part of this budget. Emergency rooms across the country were stretched to their limit over the past two years. Essential surgeries were put off because hospitals were COVID-19 hot spots. It takes a long time to deal with the backlog of the procedures.

The provinces need help from the federal government to address health care, but the Liberals do not seem to care. This mess can be fixed. The way to get ahead of the debt problem is to get the spending under control now. The government cannot kick this problem down the road.

This budget and plan for the future will create more problems and make life more difficult for Canadians in the future. That is why I will be voting against this budget.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, let me say to the member for Markham—Unionville that I have heard his story. He came to this country. He has been everything from a labourer, to a salesperson, to an entrepreneur. He is also a husband and a dad, and his values are Canadian values. When this gentleman stands to talk about what value for money is, folks in my area would agree with this member. We cannot always be spending more than we have, and if we are, we have to think of the next generation.

Could the member point out one thing that the government needs to do better on in regard to its budgeting?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, it is simple, and it is the borrowing. Borrowing in our personal life is no different than that of the government spending. It is just like anybody bringing in $200,000 a year who keeps spending $300,000 a year, year over year. How long will it be until the bank comes to knock at the door?

Yes, we do need to spend money. Yes, we do look into the small and medium-sized businesses. Yes, we have to make sure they are taken care of, but in the meantime, we must keep in mind balancing the books at the end of day. We want to make sure that government spends what it needs to spend and balances the books at the end of the day.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 4:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, there is good spending versus bad spending. In the beginning of the pandemic, the Liberals were announcing 10% for the small and medium-sized businesses. We fought with them to make sure we allowed them 70% of their wages on rent and other things. That was good spending and those were good debts.

I read in the newspaper that they are creating $446 billion in debt and, on their priorities, 87% of the debt money is not going toward the right priorities, which are small and medium-sized businesses.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 4:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

If the member for Carleton would let me speak, I will ask my question.

Conservatives like to equate a government budget to a household budget. However, the reality is that they cannot be compared, and that is not comparing apples to apples.

The reality is that, if the Conservatives want to make a better comparison, the member needs to consider the fact that, when we have an economy that is continually growing every year, notwithstanding the fact that we have had challenges over the last year, it would be like saying that a person's household income continued to grow every year and therefore the size of mortgage they could take on would grow every year.

As long as the country's economy is growing at a pace that is fast enough to take on that debt, it is entirely acceptable. Members do not need to take my word or the Liberals' word for it, because, indeed, that is what Conservatives did. That is why, between Mulroney and Harper, 14 out of 16 budgets ran deficits, because they recognized that.

The member for Carleton can check it out. There were actually two surpluses, and they were on the back of Paul Martin. Those were the only two surpluses during an extremely long time.

So, can the member not realize that there is a difference between household debt and debt that is being taken on by—

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 4:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, it is the same thing. A debt is a debt, even if borrowing against Canada. Every Canadian household is on the hook for this $446 billion. The money needs to be paid back. The money the government is printing is on the people. Every family will owe $78,000, as the government borrowed that kind of money.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 4:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Surrey—Newton, BC

Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to congratulate my friend on the other side for his success and his family's success for being successful parents, and I want to congratulate his family.

On the other hand, when I look at this, I have a similar situation to him. We might not agree on some of the policy decisions that are made, but certainly he is one of my favourites on the other side.

However, as he talked about education and the families who needed that money to send their children to school, to universities, my question to my hon. friend is this: Did the Prime Minister make the right decision at that time? Instead of putting the cost on the family credit cards, the government took the decision to support those students with $1,500 a month, families that need it the most with $2,000 a month, and businesses with the wage subsidy and $40,000 for start-ups.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, I thank my friend on the other side. He absolutely makes sense. There is that good debt when we were fighting to pay $1,500 to students and many other things.

However, we are more concerned with the 87% of the total debt created. Where did that money go? It was to the government's own priorities, but we will probably find out when we get to be government next year.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5 p.m.
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Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, I certainly appreciate the member's interventions in this debate.

As a country, we are facing a number of things. Obviously, we are dealing with a pandemic, but we also need to be thinking about our aging demographics and the fact that so many people are going to need things such as health care, which puts more pressure on our tax base to be able to pay for all the spending that is going on now.

It is more important than ever that we build productive infrastructure and make investments for the long term. Would the member agree with that?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, as I said in my speech, there is not much in this budget for the future. We know the population is aging, and we need much more money. As we have seen in the last 18 months, the hospitals were COVID hot spots. Surgeries were delayed and, in some cases, are still delayed.

When Stephen Harper was in the government, we increased the health care sector year over year, but from these Liberals there is nothing in the budget for health care.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 5 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, I am not only concerned about my kids, I am also concerned about all Canadians throughout the country. The debt created by the government is $446 billion and another $437 billion from the last 149 years. All our future generations are on the hook. I really feel sorry for them, and the government should look into balancing the books.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 21st, 2021 / noon
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Bloc

Louise Chabot Bloc Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue the speech I started on Friday.

Does Bill C-30, budget implementation act, 2021, no. 1, provide adequate guarantees to protect workers, to protect the unemployed, to protect sick workers and to treat seniors and their care workers with dignity? As I was saying, the answer is maybe or no.

I would like to use the five minutes I have remaining to talk about sick workers, who were counting on the government to take action after 50 years to extend special EI sickness benefits from 15 weeks to 50 weeks once and for all.

There is no reason for the government to pass up this opportunity, to ignore the testimony and to abandon 150,000 people who benefit every day from sickness benefits, which expire after 15 weeks.

The government decided to take a half step by increasing the benefits to 26 weeks starting in 2022. In the short term, sick workers will have no more than 15 weeks of benefits. We are making a heartfelt plea for the bill to be passed. We heard the evidence; the House of Commons adopted a motion; the bill sponsored by my colleague from Salaberry—Suroît was adopted by a majority; the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, of which I am the deputy chair, did a clause-by-clause study of the bill on June 17. All that is needed is one last push. We must act, and the government can do so by seeking royal assent. It must do so now.

Unemployed workers had very high expectations. I remind members that, in 2015, the Liberal government promised to overhaul the EI system, which leaves behind 60% of workers. They cannot access it because it discriminates against women, part-time workers, and workers are are ineligible and abandoned by the system.

It took the pandemic to force the government to implement temporary measures. Once again, all the budget offers is a single, 420-hour eligibility requirement for a period of one year. This is urgent. Where is the government? This is not enough. Once again, the government has everything it needs.

The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities conducted a big study on modernizing employment insurance. The committee's report was tabled in the House last week. The government has everything it needs, it has the solutions and has access to all of the analyses on the flaws of the program. However, according to Bill C‑30, there will be another two years of consultations.

I read an article from Radio-Canada in which the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion was saying that the computer system was in need of updates, that modernization could not happen all at once and that we might actually have to wait another seven years. That is preposterous.

It is unbelievable that the government is going to negate all of the efforts that have been made for so long and invest in consultations. The time for consultation is over. We need to sit down at the drawing board and take action. All of the solutions are in place. We need to do this for women, youth and self-employed workers.

Some might think that the crisis is over because there is a glimmer of hope. However, some sectors of the industry are still heavily impacted and still do not have any answers for their workers. They cannot provide any answers in the short term unless the government changes course and takes immediate action to undertake a reform.

We cannot wait any longer. I think that the government has everything it needs. Although some aspects might technically be more difficult because it is a complex system, the government needs to make them more politically desirable and implement a real employment insurance system. Workers are calling for it, as are groups representing unemployed workers and women.

We cannot continue with a system that discriminates against so many workers. I am thinking in particular about the many regions of Quebec and Canada that rely on seasonal industries. These workers experience gaps and become impoverished between their two employment periods. If we want to revitalize our regional economies, then we need to recognize the unique situation of seasonal economies and adapt the EI system accordingly so that workers in these industries are not penalized by default.

I would like to quote a witness who appeared before the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities and send a message to the government. The witness said, “Just do it.” It is time to act.

From what columnists are saying, we have probably reached the end of this Parliament. The government could very well trigger an unnecessary election campaign. It will no doubt brag about everything it has done for workers, but we must not lose sight of the fact that the government has not taken any structured, concrete action, even though it has had the means to do so for quite some time now. It has made only empty promises, without any commitments.

Nothing will change as of tomorrow morning for workers who are sick. They will still be entitled to only 15 weeks of benefits, or possibly 26 weeks in 2022. We in the Bloc Québécois are calling on the government to increase sickness benefits to 50 weeks right now, but the government is still asking the unemployed to wait.

The government's Bill C‑30 has many other shortcomings, including the fact that it discriminates against seniors. We asked that a study be done and evidence provided to justify discriminating against seniors between the ages of 65 and 74. Very little information was forthcoming. It is ridiculous—

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 21st, 2021 / 12:10 p.m.
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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

Madam Speaker, June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day we can all reflect on the 215 children who matter, children who really do matter, and murdered and missing indigenous women and girls. It is very important for all of us to work toward reconciliation.

The budget implementation bill is a continuation of support programs that have been there to help Canadians get through this pandemic, whether one is a senior, a worker or a youth. These support programs were there to ensure that we would be in a better position to be able to recover in the pandemic, while at the same time providing disposable income for Canadians at a time in which they need it most.

Could the member provide her thoughts as to why it is important we actually pass this legislation?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 21st, 2021 / 12:10 p.m.
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Bloc

Louise Chabot Bloc Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Madam Speaker, in terms of the length of debate on the bill, that is up to us.

With regard to all the measures, the Bloc Québécois said it would support Bill C‑30. Indeed, this bill does have measures that people need and that we need to implement.

However, I must remind the government that, whether it be the Canada emergency wage subsidy, the Canada emergency rent subsidy, EI, sickness benefits or measures for seniors, all these measures are temporary and will come to an end. The bill does not include any meaningful measures nor any vision.

We have been saying for a long time that, in order to find a way out of this crisis, we need a vision to help us look forward and propose real, concrete and meaningful measures that will be lasting, not just temporary.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 21st, 2021 / 12:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, I had the chance to listen to both the first part and second part of the hon. member's speech.

I have not heard very much about a part of the bill that proposes an amendment to the Canada Elections Act, which specifically would make it unlawful to knowingly mislead electors during an election campaign. I find it interesting that this is in an omnibus budget bill. Has she had a chance to look into the proposed amendment to the Canada Elections Act and does she have any comments on it?