Evidence of meeting #150 for Finance in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was approach.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Kami Ramcharan  Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Commissioner, Finance and Administration Branch, Canada Revenue Agency
Frank Vermaeten  Assistant Commissioner, Assessment, Benefit, and Service Branch, Canada Revenue Agency
Ted Gallivan  Assistant Commissioner, International, Large Business and Investigations Branch, Canada Revenue Agency
Geoff Trueman  Assistant Commissioner, Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch, Canada Revenue Agency
Paul Rochon  Deputy Minister, Department of Finance

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

We potentially have a mission in Mali coming up. Can you assure Canadians that if a female Canadian Armed Forces member is injured, the same as any male in similar circumstances, she will receive the same benefit on a monthly basis through your pension for life?

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

I can assure you that this approach is gender neutral and that the outcome is about the individual situation not—

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Are you suggesting the gentleman who came to us is misrepresenting your bill?

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

We're well over, Mr. Albas.

Mr. Minister.

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

I would say, Mr. Chair, that I can't comment on somebody who I have not had the opportunity to talk to.

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

I would hope that you would direct your officials to give this committee that information.

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

I believe the committee has asked the veterans who were witnesses here to come back and respond to that example, had we not? I wasn't here that day, but I think we did. If we didn't, we will.

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

I would say, Mr. Chair, that we would be pleased to understand the situation suggested, to ensure, as we always want to, that we have considered all the situations that we want to consider.

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

He did express concern, Mr. Chair, because you did question the same witness, so I really do hope that the minister will present that information—

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Yes, we'll try to clear that up.

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

—including the gender-based analysis and the actual numbers.

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Thank you.

Mr. Sorbara.

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Welcome, Minister.

Minister, I mentioned this to the Minister of National Revenue, who came before us just a little while ago, as a way of saying congratulations. Yesterday afternoon, A.T. Kearney came out with their 2018 direct investment confidence index. Canada moved up three spots. I'll read the quote without getting to the full report, which I had a chance to look at earlier. It says, “Canada moves up three spots...[to its] highest ranking in the history of the Index.”

An update to the Investment Canada Act, a newly established Invest in Canada agency, and new trade agreements could be boosting investor optimism. We now rank number two in the world, slightly behind the United States but in front of many of our trading partners such as Germany, the U.K., China, Italy, and Switzerland. We were only one of three countries to move up three spots, the other two being Switzerland and Italy, all in the top 10. I wish to say congratulations. I think you need to do a victory lap once in a while and say that we are going the right way in terms of attracting investment here in Canada, and it's showing in a number of the announcements we've been doing recently.

However, our work remains unfinished and it continues. In the BIA legislation, we have a number of things that address labour participation rates. I wanted to hear your comments on the Canada workers benefit in terms of getting people into the labour force and keeping people in the labour force—say, if you're ready for retirement and you may want to work, you get a little boost there—and then attracting under-represented groups and increasing that labour force participation rate for women.

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Thank you.

To address the first part of your comment/question, we're obviously pleased with where the economy is today. We do believe that Canada is competitive. We had an 8% increase in business investment in 2017. We do, however, know that there's always more work to be done. We recognize that the changes in the global environment—the NAFTA discussions, the changes in U.S. tax rates—require us to ensure that we think about how we can continue on our positive track around competitiveness for the long term. We do, though, see competitiveness as much more than trade, and that's very important, much more than taxes, although they're also very important. We do see it as having a very successful and resilient labour force.

In answering your question directly, we know that in an era where we're now at the lowest unemployment rate we've seen in 40 years, we need to think about how we get and keep people in the workforce, so the Canada workers benefit is an important factor in that goal. The funding of the LMDAs in the provinces is also critically important to make sure that we deal with people who go through the opportunity to find new jobs in different fields. The way to think about this is, as good as the economy is now—and we think of it in terms of the number of Canadians working—there's always more work to be done. The Canada workers benefit is an important step in that trajectory, but we'll need to consider what the next steps are in keeping that going.

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

I'll move to Mr. Poilievre for one quick question. Then we'll have to adjourn.

You have one quick question, Pierre.

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

He said.... You're not Monsieur Poilievre.

6:15 p.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

I'm sorry; it's Mr. Dusseault.

Sorry.

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

I prefer not to comment on that.

My question is very brief. I’d like the minister to comment on whether he thinks a monthly subscription to Netflix is a product or a service.

May 3rd, 2018 / 6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

As we know, there are always changes in the economy. Companies like Netflix are changing the way they deliver services. This is also the case for other digital giants. That’s why we look at the sector as a whole.

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

If I understand correctly, you consider it to be a service.

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Of course, we have to look at each company. This project aims to ensure that our system works over the long term. We have to determine how it will be managed in the future. That’s why we are working with our international counterparts in the OECD.

I’m hopeful that we will find a method that works to collect taxes from major digital companies.

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

In terms of the GST—

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Sorry, Pierre, but we do have to end it there.

That's unless you have one quick comment to leave on, Mr. Morneau.

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Morneau Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Thank you.

It's always a pleasure to be here. I look forward to being here the next time.

Thank you.