Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021

An Act to implement certain provisions of the economic and fiscal update tabled in Parliament on December 14, 2021 and other measures

Sponsor

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

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 4, 2022 Passed 3rd reading and adoption 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
May 4, 2022 Failed 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 (recommittal to a committee)
May 4, 2022 Failed 3rd reading and adoption 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 (subamendment)
May 2, 2022 Passed Concurrence at report stage 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
May 2, 2022 Failed 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 (report stage amendment)
April 28, 2022 Passed Time allocation for 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
Feb. 10, 2022 Passed 2nd reading 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

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:35 p.m.
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Liberal

Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

moved that 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, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to begin debate on Bill C-8, the economic and fiscal update implementation act, 2021. This legislation builds on important measures enacted by another critical piece of legislation that received royal assent in December, Bill C-2, which provided certainty to Canadians and Canadian businesses in the face of the omicron variant. Like this legislation, Bill C-2 provided essential and targeted support for businesses still deeply affected by the pandemic, including the Canadian tourism sector, which continues to be one of the most affected by COVID-19.

As the Minister of Tourism, I want to reiterate that our government remains fully committed to supporting the tourism industry in these difficult times so that it can quickly get back on its feet and prosper.

I have said it many times and I will continue to say that Canada's economy will not fully recover until our tourism sector recovers. With the support measures that our government has put in place since the beginning of the pandemic, I am convinced that local tourism businesses will recover from the pandemic and be better positioned to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them in the future.

I can say, as the Associate Minister of Finance and as the member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, that first and foremost, the best way to keep our economy growing and supporting businesses like those in our vibrant tourism sector is to win the fight against COVID-19. Bill C-8 includes numerous measures to win this fight, including $1.7 billion to help the provinces and territories secure the additional rapid tests they need to keep Canadians safe and healthy, including through expanded school and workplace testing programs.

Access to rapid tests is important for breaking transmission chains, especially for new variants like omicron, and for protecting the people around us.

Our government also supports the provinces' and territories' proof of vaccination initiatives.

Developing a standard proof of vaccination would help fully vaccinated Canadians to travel within the country and internationally, and despite the claims of some it is an essential tool in protecting Canadians. Let me be very clear. Vaccine mandates and proof of vaccination credentials protect our families, our workplaces and our communities. They give us the confidence to have a meal at a restaurant, attend community events with families and friends, and even begin to travel safely in accordance with public health guidelines. This is also another way we can support Canada’s tourism sector, by making Canadians and international visitors feel safe as they explore all that our country has to offer.

As I always note, safety comes first, then travel. Bill C-8 would support these efforts by allocating the necessary funds, some $300 million, for the government to reimburse provinces’ and territories’ expenditures related to the implementation of their proof-of-vaccination programs.

Bill C-8 will also support Canadians' health and safety by investing in adequate ventilation, which can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Whether it is ventilation for a classroom, shopping centre or meeting room, the government is determined to help businesses and organizations improve the ventilation and air quality in their buildings and to ensure Canadians' safety.

Many small businesses are on the front lines in the fight against the pandemic. They want to do their part and make indoor air cleaner, but investing in equipment to improve ventilation can be very expensive.

That is why in Bill C-8 we are proposing a refundable tax credit for small businesses of 25% of qualifying expenses made to improve air quality.

Our government also wants to improve ventilation in schools and protect students, teachers, school staff and parents from outbreaks. To do this, Bill C-8 proposes to provide up to an additional $100 million to provinces and territories through the existing safe return to class fund. This funding would continue the support provided through the original $2-billion safe return to class fund by specifically targeting ventilation-related improvement projects.

As the pandemic continues to affect the lives of Canadians, our government knows that elevated inflation, a global phenomenon driven by the unprecedented challenge of reopening the world’s economy, is leading Canadians to worry about the cost of living. We understand concerns about the higher cost of living, and we are taking action.

Our government has cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on the top 1%. Building on the success of the 2015 and 2019 middle-class tax cuts that lowered taxes for millions of Canadians, our government has put more money in the pockets of Canadians. We are also working with provinces and territories to implement a Canada-wide $10-a-day community-based early learning and child care system that would make life more affordable for families and create new jobs. Because of this measure, the fee reductions in the coming year would help deliver thousands of dollars in tax savings to families with young children.

Additionally, on December 13, our government and the Bank of Canada announced that we would renew the 2% inflation target for another five-year period, which will keep the bank focused on delivering low, stable and predictable inflation in Canada.

As members can see, our government is already working hard to address the cost of living and to make life more affordable for Canadians.

For example, we are proposing to increase support for teachers, whether they are teaching from home or in the classroom. Teachers have shown, throughout the pandemic and always, that they are willing to go above and beyond to make sure their students receive a high-quality education.

To support teachers and early childhood educators in Canada, we are proposing, with Bill C-8, to expand and enrich the eligible educator school supply tax credit.

Bill C-8 also seeks to address housing affordability through the implementation of a national, annual 1% tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian-owned residential real estate in Canada that is considered to be vacant or underused, something our government announced as part of budget 2021 to crack down on underused housing. The bill would introduce a new act, the underused housing tax act, to ensure that non-resident, non-Canadian owners, particularly those who use Canada as a place to passively store their wealth in housing, pay their fair share of Canadian tax, beginning in the 2022 calendar year.

Be assured that this is not a new capital gains tax, as the opposition continues to misinform Canadians. It is a sound fiscal measure to address housing affordability. Bill C-8 would also support Canadians living in northern parts of the country by expanding access to the travel component of the northern residents deductions to give all northerners, including those who do not receive travel assistance from their employers, the option to claim up to $1,200 in eligible travel expenses.

Our government has put in place unprecedented relief measures throughout the pandemic to support Canadian families and businesses. As we continue to provide targeted support to those who need it the most, we will be there for Canadians.

As we emerge from COVID-19, we are focusing on jobs and growth, and we are making life more affordable so that Canadians can prosper. Bill C-8 would continue to support our government's work on this important issue.

Colleagues, we are all tired. We are all eager for this pandemic and the challenges it has created to become things of the past. Our message to Canadians from coast to coast to coast is clear. It is that our government is taking action to win this fight, to support Canadians and businesses, and to keep them and their families safe.

That is why I call on my colleagues here today to join me in supporting the passage of this important bill.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to follow up on a comment the minister made with respect to vaccine mandates.

One of the concerns I am hearing from my constituents is particularly around how the government's vaccine mandates are affecting services and the access that people have to them, whether or not they are vaccinated.

We have the truckers' mandate that is in place, and of course we know that most truckers are vaccinated, but removing those truckers from the road who are not vaccinated creates a significant strain in terms of goods. We recognize that they work alone and that they have to abide by other public health measures when they visit restaurants, etc.

We could talk about the public service mandate that is impacting my constituents' ability to access government services. We are seeing significant backlogs in terms of immigration and other services that people need to access from government. Constituents of mine need those services. It does not matter whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated, they are impacted by these mandates because the impacts on supply chains and the impacts on access to government services are very significant.

Recognizing that the vast majority of Canadians have gotten vaccinated, but that these mandates are still having a significant impact on the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, could the minister comment to my constituents on why he thinks these mandates, and their impacts on Canadians, my constituents and his, are justified?

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Randy Boissonnault LiberalMinister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what we need to look at as Canadians is the fact that the fight we have here is against COVID, and the number one tool we have in our tool kit to defeat COVID is the vaccine program.

To that effect, I have to congratulate truckers across the country for the fact that 90% of them are vaccinated. Our commitment was to ensure that we would continue to encourage and, in the case of federally regulated industries, mandate vaccines to keep Canadians, our families and our communities safe. We fought an election over this. We will continue to work through supply chain issues.

The number one mission that we have as a country is to get fully vaccinated and to make sure that we end this fight against COVID.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Bloc

Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his speech.

I have a question for him about the new federal tax on underused housing. The government claims that this new tax will bring in some $700 million over four years and that will help fix the housing crisis. Earlier this week, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported that the tax would bring in $100 million less than that. Quebec is currently in need of around 50,000 new affordable social community housing units.

I would like to know how this money will help build social housing units in Quebec and across the country. Does the minister truly think that this amount will fix the housing crisis?

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her question and for her dedication to affordable housing.

This is a concern in my riding of Edmonton Centre and in the entire country. The revenue that this new tax is expected to bring in will be added to the significant amount of money, $72 billion, that we have already allocated for the national housing strategy.

Furthermore, the rapid housing initiative will help build affordable housing from coast to coast, and that includes Quebec. This is a priority for the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, for our government and for me.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:50 p.m.
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NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, not that long ago the Parliamentary Budget Officer released a report in which he expressed concern about the late tabling of Canada's public accounts, and about the government's accounting for money and the way it is spent.

The situation we have before us is that in Bill C-8 there is a proposal to spend $1.72 billion on COVID-19 rapid tests, and then of course we just heard a question of privilege about Bill C-10, which proposes to spend $2.5 billion on rapid tests.

Is the intention that the amount in Bill C-10 would replace and get rid of the clause in Bill C-8 for purchasing rapid tests, or is the idea that the government is asking for money in two places and ultimately intends to spend about $4.2 billion on rapid tests?

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, if we look very closely at what is in Bill C-8, it is to do what we said we would in the fall economic statement, and that is to provide $1.7 billion to get rapid tests into the hands of provinces and Canadians.

As we have said all along the way, and I thank my hon. colleague for his lens on this issue, we are going to continue to do what we need to as a government to get rapid tests into the hands of provinces and into the hands of Canadians, so we can stay safe in our communities and ensure that we can move about our communities in a safe and responsible way.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:50 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there has been a great deal of discussion between members of Parliament and their constituents to try to get a better sense of the type of legislative support that Ottawa should be providing.

I wonder if the member can provide his thoughts on some of the consultations he has done in Edmonton or in Alberta. What does he think about the federal government's participation in his home province of Alberta?

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary knows, as I do, that the amounts in Bill C-8 are in addition to the amounts in Bill C-10, but let me share my reflection. When I was at the doors of constituents before the election, the three things that kept coming up the most were climate change, COVID supports and child care.

I was in a particular area of my riding that has not always been, let us say, the most politically friendly, but there was a woman on her doorstep who asked me to come and sit with her, so I did. She asked me to look at the three houses to the left of hers and the three houses to the right of hers, and then to take a good look at her house. She said that all seven of those houses would have been gone without our government's supports. She told me that we had the block's support because we had saved the block.

To the parliamentary secretary's question, the average across Canada is that our government provided $8 out of every $10 in COVID support. In Alberta, that number is $9 out of $10. That is how much the federal government has had the backs of Edmontonians, Calgarians and Albertans through this COVID pandemic, and we will continue to do so.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:50 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a former tourism industry operator myself, I am passionate about this industry and know it is still hurting. The tourism sector has been walloped. There are obviously other service sectors that have suffered, such as restaurants and so on.

I want to ask the hon. minister specifically about the ground transportation sector. Regional bus companies, whether it is Maritime Bus in Atlantic Canada or Wilson's bus lines here in B.C., have been asking about their coach lines.

Big bus companies such as Greyhound have left British Columbia, and Alberta coach companies are privately owned. We need federal government funding support to maintain ground transportation. Does he have any thoughts on how that agenda is moving forward?

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her devotion to the tourism sector and to this particular issue.

Let me just say, to begin, that through the pandemic we invested $15 billion in Canadians and businesses in the tourism sector. The critical importance of Bill C-2 legislation passing in December was also extremely important, with $7.2 billion and an extra $4.5 billion in reserve in case we needed it and, as we have seen, we do. These supports are critical because, the member is right, the tourism sector has been walloped. It is important that we work together.

To the member's particular issue, it is an active conversation. There is a jurisdictional issue with the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, so I am happy to get back to the hon. colleague on this particular question.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:55 p.m.
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Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to health transfers, the government always tells us that it invested heavily during the pandemic.

It is true that it invested heavily, but if it is short of money, it can always get some by cracking down on tax havens. Last spring, everyone was pleasantly surprised to see that the Minister of Finance appeared to be taking a firm stand against tax evasion in her budget. Since then, nothing, radio silence. There is nothing in Bill C‑8 that would allow us to go after the money in the places where it ends up.

Can my colleague explain why tax havens are not mentioned in Bill C-8?

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his question.

I can say that the government is addressing this important issue. I think we can show just how much we have done, with the Canada Revenue Agency, to deal with this problem. I will take note of the question.

With respect to health transfers, we invested $63 billion in the health care system. The Prime Minister said today that, when the time is right, we will have the conversation with the provinces and territories.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Greg McLean Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, as I rise today, February 2, in the House, I want to pay homage and respect to my party leader, who resigned today from being party leader of the official opposition. Being in the job of party leader in an opposition party is an incredibly difficult job, and he has done yeoman's work over the past couple of years. In a time when Canada was locked down, expectations of what we needed to do as a country changed dramatically and we continue to try to adapt. This is a difficult time to be in this kind of job, and I pay respect right now to him and his family for having committed and having given so much to this country, to our party and to this Parliament.

I am here today to address the new Bill C-8 proposed by the Liberal government about how to address some more spending that we need to commit for coming through COVID, some of which we find is going to be on the backs of Canadians again.

The bill is in seven parts. I cannot address all seven parts adequately in this sitting in the next 20 minutes, so I am going to focus on the real estate part of this bill. My colleague across the way spent a lot of time on the real estate section of this bill as well.

Starting in the 2022 calendar year, we are going to look at a 1% federal surtax on passively held non-resident owners of real estate in Canada. That means that foreigners who buy real estate in Canada are going to pay an extra 1% annually on the value of the real estate, much like a municipal tax for those people who own property or own their single-family home. Therefore, we would transport some of this tax mechanism that usually rests at the municipal level, and we would put it onto the federal government's balance sheet at this point in time. For what effect, I do not know but it would be an overstep into municipal jurisdiction.

It seems a bit of an overstep and I will give some examples, but first I am going to refer to what my colleague across the way was referring to, a report by an organization called Generation Squeeze, which was commissioned by a crown corporation, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, to look at ways to get more housing built in Canada. It did not look at better ways to get more housing built in Canada. What it looked at and what it reported to CMHC, which it was of course paid to do, was ways to tax more housing ownership in Canada. Its proposal was much like this one: a 0.5% surtax annually applied on properties over $1 million. I know that sounds like a big number, but the annual surtax doubles on properties over $2 million.

Vancouver itself has an empty homes tax already, effectively the same thing as what Generation Squeeze is providing, except it is 3% of the assessed value and it has been applied since 2017. Now there is 0.5%, 1%, 3%, but there is more. The Province of British Columbia has a speculation and vacancy tax applied on such properties, starting at 0.5% for a resident and going up to 2% for an offshore property owner. That has been applied since 2018, so with 3% plus 2% plus 0.5% plus this proposed 1%, we really are just tacking on and on here and really overstepping as far as which level of government is collecting this.

What are we trying to accomplish in this?

Foreign ownership still accounts for approximately 7.7% of Vancouver home purchases. We are still getting a lot of foreign ownership growing into the housing base in the Lower Mainland, despite the fact that we are tacking on significant taxes here that were supposed to slow this down. This is a great discrepancy between the actual people who work in the city and the people who are coming to live in the city. That is one of the major factors that is pushing up housing prices in Canada, but particularly in the Lower Mainland.

Have we looked at the increase in home values under the current Liberal government?

In the last six years, the price of a typical family home has gone up 87%. Since the government has come to power or shortly thereafter, six years ago, the average price of a family home in Canada is up 87%. That is inflation. Since 2016, when it was at $476,000, it is now $811,000 according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Are we trying to jam the price above $1 million just to collect a proposed federal surtax? The average house in Toronto and Vancouver now sells for over $1 million. Think about it: A home that costs over $1 million in two of Canada's large cities. That is not counting the interest paid on the mortgage. It is not counting the upkeep required on a regular basis. It is not counting the maintenance. It is not counting the furniture and window coverings. To get into a home now, it is over $1 million for a starter home. The cost of home ownership is going through roof in Canada, and that is not just bungalows, split-levels or two-storeys, but all single-family homes.

What has caused this?

The government keeps professing that it needs to spend more, and thus collect more, to build more housing in Canada. Who is going to pay this tax? It is the home sellers who, according to Generation Squeeze, are primarily retirees. They have made gains in the value of their homes that is not taxable at the federal level, so they obviously deserve to pay more tax in their retirement years, according to Generation Squeeze. This is a ridiculous oversight of the financial snapshot faced by retirees in Canada, many of whom are and will be augmenting their incomes by working longer and receiving government programming like the guaranteed income supplement. The proposal from Generation Squeeze, commissioned by an arm of this government, is an inequitable tax grab on some of our most vulnerable citizens. I will oppose it strongly.

Why are seniors having difficulty saving for retirement? It is inflation, inflation, inflation. Things are costing more, but people's incomes are not going up on a commensurate level. It is a real monetary factor that this government does not really pay any attention to. As the Prime Minister said during the election, he does not really think about monetary policy, unfortunately. Government should be thinking about monetary policy.

I would point out to the government that, this year, CPP payments for everybody in Canada have been increased in their payroll tax by 10%. If a 10% increase in our CPP is not more reflective of the inflation people are actually feeling, then I think the government is trying to mask something here. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has said that its investments are sound for what it is expecting to spend for the next 75 years, but the government thinks a 10% increase in deductions is important at this point in time. That might tell us what the government thinks the real rate of inflation is in this country, because most consumers have lost faith in the numbers calculated by Statistics Canada and the Bank of Canada. These statistics are meaningless as far as what they are experiencing in the stores, with their rents and at their doors. Everything they pay for in Canada is going up significantly more than indicated by Stats Canada or the Bank of Canada.

Housing takes up more than 11% of our gross domestic product, partially because we do not have much more gross domestic investment going on in this country, so most people are building into housing at this point in time. Also, this is double of where it has usually been in this country. It is usually around 4% to 5%, but it is now north of 11% of our gross domestic product going into residential housing at this point in time. It has been that way for a number of years, yet, supposedly, we are short of housing stock. What housing stock? It is single-family homes, to be precise, and starter homes.

I can tell members that, when knocking on doors in Calgary Centre, when I knocked on condo doors, I saw some of those buildings had a 50% vacancy rate, and there is a 10%-plus vacancy rate in apartment buildings. However, developers are still building more condo buildings, encroaching on neighbourhoods filled with single-family homes, and this is referred to as “densification”. Condo resale prices are down 15% over the past six years in Calgary, and Calgary's downtown commercial core has been decimated by the government's aimless policies towards Canada's most productive industry, oil and gas.

The City of Calgary's approach is to spend taxpayers' dollars to retrofit some of the vacant office towers into residential towers, in the hopes of bringing life back into the downtown core, at a cost of over $400,000 per door, which is in contrast to a new build at $250,000 per door.

We are overspending to solve a problem the government created in the first place, so we are just supposed to ignore the negative effects of the outcome of what we are doing here. We cannot go on doing that. We have to look at the outcomes.

For a young condo owner, a loss of 2.5% per year on a condo is a daunting issue, especially as they try to get into a single family home at some point in time. We have government dollars chasing retrofits to a problem the government created, and around and around we go. Someone is paying the bill.

Let us go back to inflation. We have incurred over $560 billion of deficit spending over the past two years. One-third of it, over $170 billion, had nothing to do with the COVID pandemic. Never miss out on a good crisis to move an agenda forward, as the Liberals have said.

Let us look at more things here, as far as inflation goes. Let us look at what we are abetting here in the process. Let us look at where the numbers are actually leading us. As members know, I am somewhat analytical at looking at what the solutions to these problems might be.

Some of this money coming into Canada, such as 7.7% of the purchases in Vancouver, is still foreign money coming in. Investment properties are on top of that from Canadian investors, but much of this foreign money is not clean foreign money. Much of it, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International, is actually money laundering. It is what is called “snow washing”. Snow washing happens more in Canada than in any other country in the G20 for one reason: because we allow it to. The government keeps the rules loose on money laundering coming into Canada, and it is a shame for us in an international sense around the world.

In a national criminal intelligence estimate, the Canadian Criminal Intelligence Service said that money laundering of about $133 billion per year was one of the factors driving up real estate prices in Canada. In the last year, let us recall, real estate prices went up 26% for a typical family home in Canada. That is corruption. We are allowing corruption to enter Canada.

I know some people think that it is just the money part of corruption, but the money part of corruption leads to all other kinds of criminality. When we actually invite dirty money into the country, we are inviting everything else associated with that dirty money into the country.

Let us take a look at the fentanyl deaths on the streets of our cities, including Calgary, where I live. Fentanyl deaths and overdoses and homeless people living in the streets have abounded over the last number of years because of these laws that allow people to launder their money in Canada and bring with it the commensurate crime that arrives with money laundering. This is a problem we need to address. The government needs to address it.

I am concerned that the government does not want to address it, because it is complicit in a lot of areas where it is actually involved in what we will call “shady practices”. That includes SNC-Lavalin and the cover-up of what happened there and the ditching of one of the brightest lights on the Liberal front bench when she tried to expose what was going on there. This includes the WE scandal and the hundreds of millions of dollars that was buried in bureaucratese before we could get to actually following the money trail.

That brings us to where we are today: How do we come through this? We need to build a system that is not inflationary and does not continue to have government money thrown at the wall while continuing to not solve problems and issues like housing. Housing is a big issue. Putting a 1% extra tax on top of housing is not part of the solution. Curbing foreign money laundering is in the federal government's bailiwick and should be instituted as quickly as possible.

I know I am running out of time, but it is my pleasure to be here today again. I do propose that we actually start with legislation that leads somewhere and, as opposed to an extra tax that is already being applied locally and provincially in many areas in Canada where it is a problem, that we look at how we address money laundering laws in Canada.

Economic and Fiscal Update Implementation Act, 2021Government Orders

February 2nd, 2022 / 4:10 p.m.
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Kingston and the Islands Ontario

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (Senate)

Mr. Speaker, I know the member would not want to intentionally mislead the House. I know he would not want to do that, but the reality is that when he says that we would be adding a 1% tax on the sale of housing, he knows better. He knows it would be specifically with respect to non-resident, non-Canadian vacant land or unused housing. However, he is projecting it as though it would be a 1% tax. He equated it to a municipal property tax, and I am sure he knows better than that.

Would he like to correct the record and acknowledge that it would be for non-Canadians and non-residents on vacant land or unused residential housing?