An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act

Sponsor

Ben Lobb  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Report stage (House), as of Nov. 23, 2022

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-234.

Summary

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

This enactment amends the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act to expand the definition of eligible farming machinery and extend the exemption for qualifying farming fuel to marketable natural gas and propane.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

May 18, 2022 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-234, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act

The House resumed from March 23 consideration of Bill C-8, An Act to implement certain provisions of the economic and fiscal update tabled in Parliament on December 14, 2021 and other measures, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10 a.m.
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Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

The hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot has one minute left on his feet.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10 a.m.
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Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, as always, it is a true honour to stand in this place and fight for the people of Battle River—Crowfoot and, of course, to stand for the principles of peace, freedom and democracy, especially in an age when there have been such clear threats from actors around the world who would love to tear down the freedoms that we enjoy today—

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10 a.m.
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Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

I am very sorry. It was my mistake. We had one minute left for questions and comments, not to resume a speech.

The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10 a.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, thinking in terms of freedoms, my question to the member is this. How is it that the Conservative Party can actually say no to, and vote against, Bill C-8, when Bill C-8 is all about supporting Canadians in all regions of our country?

Does the member realize what the Conservative Party is asking him to do: to vote against supports for the pandemic? Does he realize that?

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10 a.m.
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Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, I am proud to stand for freedom and democracy in this place each and every day, but what is absolutely untenable is the fact that members from the party opposite refuse to stand up against probably the most authoritarian Prime Minister that this country may have ever seen. Time and again, I hear from constituents who are thrilled that a few of their members are standing up against the tyranny that the PMO exerts over members of the backbench. As we saw—

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10 a.m.
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Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

That is it.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Richmond Hill.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10 a.m.
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Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Madam Speaker, as today marks the first time in the 44th Parliament that I am exercising my privilege to rise to speak on a government bill, I want to take a brief moment to acknowledge those who have helped to get me here to stand alongside my hon. colleagues and once again represent the people of Richmond Hill.

I want to thank the volunteers who put in countless hours to spread our message, as well as friends and staff who helped mentor and guide me, and helped further connect me with the community. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not thank my wife and my two children, without whom I would not have had the emotional support to continue this work. Lastly, I thank my larger family. They are the people who have trusted me to work for their best interests: my dear constituents in Richmond Hill, whose engagement and community leadership has consistently impressed me for the past six years. Indeed, my constituents will be the beneficiaries of the bill that I will be discussing today.

I feel privileged to rise in the House to speak on Bill C-8, an act to implement certain provisions of the economic and fiscal update tabled in Parliament on December 14, 2021, and other measures. In my riding of Richmond Hill, there are over 5,000 small businesses, with labour participation of over 64%. Richmond Hill is home to many of the workers who helped establish the foundation and growth of our economy. Many of them also constitute the membership of my community-led small business council, where I meet monthly with my constituents to hear their concerns and feedback on our government's support for their businesses.

First, let me acknowledge that Richmond Hill's small businesses have shown immeasurable resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While our federal government has played a key role to the provision of critical supports so far, we know that it is vital to continue this assistance to ensure a continued strong recovery. Our efforts in providing crucial financial assistance to, and collaboration with, the provinces and territories ensure that the health and safety of Canadians are an utmost reflection of the priorities of our government on this front.

Since the onset of COVID-19, we have implemented income support, we have issued direct payments to families and seniors, we have helped businesses keep their workers and we have helped workers keep their wages. Bill C-8 is yet another manifestation of these priorities: it serves as an extra, supplementary tool in our tool box. The bill is constituted of seven parts, each of which addresses a key and prominent issue within our national and local communities, starting with the funding for the procurement of rapid tests and investment in therapeutics, moving to the protection of our children's health and safety in school, and leading to a re-emphasis on critical and targeted support for workers and businesses that will protect their financial and physical well-being. This is a well-rounded piece of legislation with a comprehensive, but targeted, approach.

With the onset of the pandemic, businesses in my riding stepped up by introducing new measures that enabled them to continue serving Richmond Hill safely and in alignment with public health measures. They fought COVID-19 head-on by enforcing vaccine mandates and reducing capacities to encourage social distancing. Many even installed protective barriers within their spaces to maintain the safety of staff and customers alike. Now, as provincial jurisdictions begin authorizing an easing of restrictions, we know that COVID-19 and its impact still persist, which is why our federal government will continue to support businesses in their safe operation.

In December, our government's Bill C-2 received royal assent. Within this bill, we acknowledged the spread of the omicron variant and its potential for further disruption to small businesses. As such, we integrated key economic support, including the extension of the Canada recovery hiring program, the establishment of the Canada worker lockdown benefit and further extensions to the Canada recovery caregiving benefit and the Canada recovery sickness benefit. These initiatives, among others in Bill C-2, have been and will be instrumental in keeping Canadian businesses strong and resilient in their recovery from COVID-19.

The new measures in Bill C-8 would add to the line of supports that become law by the passage of Bill C-2 in numerous ways. Proper ventilation and improvement to indoor air quality are key components of the continued fight against COVID-19, but this is also a costly endeavour.

Bill C-8 would alleviate this by proposing a refundable small business air quality improvement tax credit of 25% on incurred, eligible air quality improvement expenses. This tax credit would be for eligible expenses taken between September 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022. It would make safety against COVID-19 affordable for small businesses.

That is not all that Bill C-8 proposes in order to support businesses. Our government recently announced the extension of the repayment deadline for the Canada emergency business account loan. All eligible borrowers in good standing would qualify for partial loan forgiveness. The interest-free and partially forgivable loan provided by the CEBA has helped our small businesses, nearly 900,000 of them, stay afloat during one of the biggest economic challenges for our country.

This extension would facilitate short-term economic recovery for small businesses and greater repayment flexibility for those who had received support from CEBA. Nonetheless, businesses that benefited from CEBA are still burdened by the impact of the pandemic, and our government wants to help mitigate some of the financial stress.

Repayments on or before the new deadline of December 31, 2023, would result in a loan forgiveness of up to a third of the value of the loan. This can translate to about $20,000 in loan forgiveness. Bill C-8 would take this a step further, as it would invoke a limitation period of six years for debt due under the CEBA program to ensure CEBA loan holders are provided consistent treatment regardless of where they live.

Through all of the realms in which our federal government has provided pandemic-related supports, one theme consistently emerges, which is our focus on the health and safety of Canadians. That theme is extremely apparent in Bill C-8, as we build on previous initiatives to keep students, teachers, staff and families healthy by authorizing payments for the purpose of supporting ventilation improvement projects in schools.

This expands on our government's supply of over $3 billion in direct transfer payments to the provinces and territories for testing and contact tracing through the safe restart program. In fact, $4 million of this funding directly benefited my constituency of Richmond Hill, as it ensured we had the resources to safely restart the economy. We also made significant investments in empowering the provincial and territorial health care systems to strengthen their testing capacity by purchasing and shipping over 80 million rapid tests to them at a cost of over $900 million.

As the demand for rapid tests persists, Bill C-8 seeks to allocate an additional $1.72 billion to the Minister of Health for the procurement and distribution of rapid antigen tests to provinces and territories and directly to Canadians. This initiative, combined with the funding through the safe return to class fund, demonstrates how the government is helping to keep our communities healthy and safe.

Today, I have touched on just some of the components of Bill C-8 that would deliver real results and crucial supports for Canadians. Bill C-8 would mean a safer and stronger Canada, and for my community it would mean a safer and a stronger Richmond Hill.

I strongly encourage my hon. colleagues to consider these key supports that their constituents would rely on for their financial, physical and mental health and well-being. I invite members to join me in supporting its passage through the House so we can continue having Canadians' backs.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Madam Speaker, one of the things I am concerned about is housing in Oshawa for seniors and youth. Conservatives brought forward Motion No. 54 to ask the Liberals to abandon their first-time homebuyer initiative, because it has literally only helped about 15% of the people it is targeted to.

With this budget implementation act, does the member see anything in it that would increase the supply of housing for Canadians who actually need it?

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10:10 a.m.
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Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Madam Speaker, housing and affordable housing have been the focus of our government since 2015. There has never been the amount of investment we have made in housing initiatives through our national housing strategy. Over $75 billion has been invested, or is planned to be spent, over the next three and a half years at least. What we have seen is a very balanced and comprehensive approach to housing, whether it is increasing the supply of affordable housing, getting new families into the market, or refurbishing existing low-income housing to ensure people who need housing have shelter. As well, we have been addressing homelessness.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10:15 a.m.
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Bloc

Julie Vignola Bloc Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Madam Speaker, we agree with Bill C‑8 in general. We find it kind of anemic, but we are okay with it.

The part that gives us pause is of course health transfers. Yes, the government transferred huge amounts of money during the pandemic, but that was a one-time thing. Quebec and all the Canadian provinces want a permanent transfer that covers 35%. That transfer is not in here, even though it could be fully or partially funded by anti-tax haven measures, which are also not in here.

When will we see these things in the budget?

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10:15 a.m.
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Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague. We have the honour and privilege of being on the OGGO committee together.

I would like to make a point on a comment my colleague made. She said, “ad hoc”. I do not think our measures, as they relate to COVID-19, have been ad hoc, especially the ones that dealt with the safety and health of Canadian citizens. I think they have been broad, as I said, and they have been strategic. They have had a great benefit.

Our country is now in a position where nearly 90% of Canadians are vaccinated. We are seeing that the provinces and territories are relaxing some of the restrictions. Our government is, has been and will be there for all Canadians to make sure their health and safety are a priority to us.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10:15 a.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I have a question for my hon. colleague from Richmond Hill. I will be allowed to speak later, just after question period, and will lay this out with more detail and background, but one thing that strikes me about Bill C-8 is that it draws into sharp relief that much of the spending from the federal government is in provincial areas of jurisdiction. It can also be accused of being rather late coming on stream regarding money for schools, ventilation and rapid tests. I am not going to blame the federal government for this. These are provincial areas, and I am wondering why the provinces did not step up. When we look back at COVID, and I hope we do look back and analyze it, we will wonder why we did not have better provincial-federal co-operation early so that Canadians got the help they needed, and businesses, schools and so on got the help they needed, faster.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10:15 a.m.
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Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Madam Speaker, as we all know, eight dollars out of every $10 that was spent on COVID-19 was provided by the federal government. Our government has been at the forefront of COVID-19 from day one. We also talked about how broad and how strategic this expenditure has been.

As it relates to working with the provinces and territories, we are always there, in lockstep with the provinces and territories, to make sure that the health and safety of Canadians are made a priority. As the provinces and territories are removing some of these restrictions, we must figure out where our next role is. What we realize is that, for us to be able to keep Canadians safe as these restrictions are being removed, our area of focus should be schools and, therefore, the air we are breathing, as masks are being removed. We are focusing on that through Bill C-8, as well as on the businesses that would be—

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

March 25th, 2022 / 10:15 a.m.
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Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Shefford.