Income Tax: The Last Six Months
Of Federal Activity

About

This Report

This is a computer-generated report that shows all of the federal activity with respect to the keyword "Income Tax" over the last six months. This is a demonstration of the power of our government relations automation software.

Hansard

House: 86 Speeches
Senate: 15 Speeches

House Senate

Bills

Active: 0

Regulations

Filed: 0
Proposed: 0

The House

Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Gatineau, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...historic flooding. The petition calls on the government to consider the possibility of amending the Income Tax Act, specifically the section on RRSPs, so that victims of natural disasters can withdraw...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... will do this as quickly as I can. The first petition is from 26 constituents of mine regarding the Income Tax Act. They are specifically petitioning the House of Commons, reminding it that up to 40% of persons with disabilities do not apply for disability tax credit. They are calling on the House to support Bill C-399, an act to amend the Income Tax Act, disability tax credit. They want to protect diabetics and patients with rare disease...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...rnment of Canada and all members of the House of Commons to support Bill C-399, an act to amend the Income Tax Act regarding the disability tax credit.”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s.

However, unlike other taxes, the costs were not itemized for everyday Canadians. If we pay income tax, we file and we find out what we pay. If we pay HST, we look at our bill and we see how much tax formed part of our purchase price. Therefore, Canadians can generally, if imprecisely, calculate what each tax is costing them. Carbon taxes are far more insidious. Their costs are embedded inside the products and services that people buy but they are not itemized on any receipt. Therefore, if grocers raise the costs of fresh fruits and vegetables to feed our kids, we might assume that they are to blame, when in fact they are not behind the cost increase; rather, it is the government and its carbon tax that is causing that price inflation.

The government is proposing to move forward with this tax to embed all of these price increases in the purchases that Canadians make without telling them what it would cost. One defence it might otherwise have made for this secrecy is that it does not know what it would cost. However, that is not true. I have obtained numerous documents, which I have attempted to table in this House, in which the government has calculated the costs. It says that it has tables in which the costs for the average household is calculated, yet it blacks out the numbers, denying Parliament the information it needs in order to vote on this budget bill. (1025)

I spoke earlier about the principle of no taxation without representation. Well, there can be no representation without information. The government cannot tax what Parliament does not approve, but Parliament cannot approve what it does not know. Therefore, there can be no taxation without information.

The government has that information but refuses to release it. Why? What is the motivation for keeping all of this secret? I think it is the same motivation that a high-priced retailer has when trying to sell an excessively expensive product. They do not put the price on a product, but ask that a person bring the item up to the front and make a psychological decision to buy it. Only after, when one has one's credit card out, does one find out what it costs.

My experience is that when I walk through a retail outlet and there is a product that does not have a price tag on it, it is because it is too expensive and I cannot afford it. That may well be why the government is trying to sell the carbon tax without telling people what it will cost them. Even worse, unlike the retailer who at some point prior to the transaction must reveal the cost, in this case, the Liberals do not even propose to reveal the cost after the purchase is made. In other words, people will be paying sums of money to the government without even knowing they are doing it, because those sums are buried in literally millions of products and services that Canadians buy every week and every day.

We, on this side of this House as Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, cannot countenance this violation of our ancient right to know what the government costs us. That is why I am announcing today that we have put forward over 200 motions to object to the spending bill the government has just tabled before the House. We will keep the government here voting for as long as 30 hours until it releases every single document it has since the last federal election indicating what this tax will cost the average Canadian family.

I notice that we have a very enthusiastic group of Conservatives here who are prepared to stand and do their duty, to stand and defend taxpayers, to stay here all night if they have to, and stay as long as necessary to defend the people they represent. However, there is no enthusiasm on that side of the House of Commons. I hear nothing but deafening silence, and I see nothing but glum faces. Many of the backbenchers on that side are actually decent and conscientious people, but I am sure members will forgive me for saying that they feel no comfort in watching their privileged front bench cover up the facts from their constituents. I know that they will find it miserable to sit there and vote time after time to protect the secrecy of the front bench as it moves forward with this new, insidious, secretive tax. We know that the Liberals have a majority, but we will use our numbers, such as they are, the strong mandate of the official opposition that we have been given, to make it as difficult as possible for the government to pull off this rip-off.

If members want any proof that this is anything but a tax grab, look at how the Liberals are taxing the tax. They propose to impose the GST not just on products people buy but on the carbon tax cost of those products. Let us say that a Canadian buys some furniture at a furniture store, just like any other middle-class suburban family would do to furnish their home. Of course, the furniture would be subject to a goods and services tax, but there is also another tax hidden within the cost of that furniture, and that is the cost of the carbon tax that has been borne by those who produced the furniture and then transported the furniture. (1030)

All of those costs get transferred to the customer. The customer always gets the cost passed down. The government not only proposes that the GST should apply to the furniture but also to the carbon tax cost on that furniture. In other words, it is a tax on a tax.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer says that in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia alone the federal government will collect a quarter billion dollars in GST on the carbon tax. Imagine what those costs would be right across the country in the form of GST on the carbon tax. Canadians are being forced to pay a tax for the privilege of paying another tax. I asked the government about this and it said this is how the GST works. According to the government, it applies to all the goods and services Canadians buy.

Is the carbon tax a good or a service? I am not sure it is any good except in being of service to the government's plan to take more money from everyday taxpayers. As my friend to the left of me said, it is a disservice to everybody else.

We are calling on the government to release all the documents in its possession. I know the government will try to get out of this voting session tonight by coming up with some phony number that it will invent at the eleventh hour in order to let all of its MPs go home. I want to be very specific about this. We want every single document produced by every single department that calculates the cost of the carbon tax to every single Canadian that has been produced since the last election.

There is no reason why the government cannot do this. We are not looking for commercially sensitive information. What commercial sensitivity could possibly exist in telling people what they are going to have to pay? There is no national security reason the government should not do this, although ironically, the government might go so far as to make an argument for such exemptions. It did use an exemption under an access to information request, that it says in the act that revealing to Canadians the cost of the carbon tax would imperil the government's ability to manage the economy. That was the exemption the government used in the existing Access to Information Act in order to justify withholding information.

Not only will the carbon tax that the Liberals have designed damage the economy, mere knowledge of its cost could be damaging to the government's ability to administer the economy, according to the government. Let us be realistic here. If the carbon tax is going to damage the economy, keeping its cost secret is not going to mitigate those damages. That excuse does not work.

The Liberals say the carbon tax is a provincial policy, that it has nothing to do with them, so they cannot possibly release any information on it. Bill C-74 is a federal government bill introduced in the House of Commons to impose a carbon tax at a national level. If it were simply a provincial issue, we would not need federal legislation, so therefore it is a federal issue.

Then the Liberals say some of these numbers are outdated, that they go back two years. They claim the whole world has changed in two years, so members do not need that crazy old data; they will keep it to themselves. Well, if it is so old, just release it and explain to Canadians why it is not applicable anymore. They should just say the numbers are very high and that they will damage the middle-class Canadian household. They should just tell us that there is no reason to worry because it is old information and it is no longer relevant, that they have new information with which to replace it, and that they will let Canadians look at all those facts and in their wisdom decide who to believe. That objection does not work. (1035)

I am very curious to hear throughout the day specific justifications from members of the government for keeping these costs secret. Even those who support a carbon tax should be in favour of telling people what it costs. If it is worth what it costs, then why not provide those costs and justify them in making the case? However, the government will not do that. It wants to keep those costs secret because if the costs become known, then one of the claims the government has made will be disproven. It has claimed that the carbon tax is going to be revenue neutral. To be revenue neutral the government would have to tell people what it is collecting and what people are paying in the first place.

How can we believe the Liberals are going to neutralize a cost if we do not know what that cost is? If they were really going to neutralize the effect on middle- and working-class households of this new tax, they would first need to say, “Here's what it costs and here's what you're getting back in some other tax reduction”. However, they will not do that because this is not revenue neutral. The reason we know that is because I specifically asked officials with Environment Canada and Finance Canada at the committee whether the government would use the proceeds of the tax to lower other taxes, in other words to let people keep more through income tax savings in order to compensate them for what extra they pay in carbon taxes. The officials in both those departments confirmed that the government intends to do no such thing. It will not use the revenues to reduce any other tax. In fact, it will use these revenues in order to spend more money. That is the Liberals' definition of revenue neutral. If Canadians send it, they will spend it. Saying they are going to raise a tax, but not to worry, they will spend every penny, is not revenue neutral. It is a tax grab.

We know we cannot trust the government on money. Just yesterday, I stood up in the House of Commons and quoted a Fraser Institute study showing that 81% of middle-class Canadians are paying more income tax today than when the Prime Minister took office. The Prime Minister stood up and said, “Th...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s about the carbon tax cover-up. The Fraser Institute calculates that the Prime Minister has raised income tax on 81% of middle-class families, on average by $800 per family. The PBO says this new car...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...re, the co-authors of a Fraser Institute study, entitled, “Measuring the Impact of Federal Personal Income Tax Changes—

Some hon. members: No.”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the members did not get a chance to hear this. It says, “Yes, most middle-class families are paying more in income taxes” today.”

Mr. Jamie Schmale (Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, CPC)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ortfolio to enable us to recycle capital back into U.S. assets, which benefit from a longer federal income tax shield and a lower effective corporate tax rate”.

The latest data from Statistics C...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... nothing to do with CPP payroll taxes. It said that for middle-class Canadians, 80% are paying more income tax since this government took office.

How much more will these same families pay under...”

Ms. Rachael Harder (Lethbridge, CPC)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...that persons living with a disability could be empowered to earn a living. We increased the working income tax benefit, which put more money in the pockets of those living with a disability who were w...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...position on that issue. That same institute says that 81% of middle-class taxpayers are paying more income tax since his government took office, $800 more. Now he wants to stack on top of those tax in...”

Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, CPC)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ter's former national security adviser. Mr. Fadden said that Bill C-59 was “beginning to rival the Income Tax Act for complexity. There are sub-sub-subsections that are excluded, that are exempted. If there is anything the committee can do to make it a bit more straightforward”, it would help. Mr. Fadden said that to the committee. If anyone knows security, it is Canada's former national security adviser. He said that he could not understand Bill C-59 at all and that it was worse than the Income Tax Act. That is what he told the committee. We agreed and tried to help, but to no avail. It...”

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...curity adviser, Richard Fadden. Here is what he said about Bill C-59: “It is beginning to rival the Income Tax Act for complexity.” Canadians know how complex that act has become.

He said, “Ther...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... our approach on taxes, which was to put more money in the pockets, particularly of low- and middle-income taxpayers. Can she tell us today how much her carbon tax will cost the average Canadian famil...”

Mr. Arnold Viersen (Peace River—Westlock, CPC)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...akes, but as someone who has worked in the field before, I imagine that he pays probably $12,000 in income tax every year, and probably about $7,000 to $10,000 of that is federal income tax.

We can see how many mechanics it would take to pay those kinds of numbers, when we...”

Hon. Catherine McKenna

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...d accessible benefit that will put more money in the pockets of low-income workers than the working income tax benefit it replaces.

We are strengthening the Canada child benefit. I have heard fr...”

Mr. Terry Duguid (Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women, Lib.)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...t January, to 9%.

By this time next year, the combined federal-provincial-territorial average income tax rate for small business will be 12.2%, the lowest in the G7 and the third lowest among me...”

Mrs. Rosemarie Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...eased costs due to the carbon tax. This is in addition to the increased CPP and EI premiums, higher income taxes for entrepreneurs, and punitive changes to the small business tax rate. While we consid...”

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...overnment collected the tax and then returned it to taxpayers in the form of corporate and personal income tax reductions. (1325)

We recently had an election in B.C., and the NDP formed governm...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...and they will know exactly what it cost them. At tax time, they can calculate what they will pay in income tax. Those taxes are visible, and calculable, to the folks who are paying them.

A carbo...”

Mr. Martin Shields (Bow River, CPC)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... It is a long list that they could be using, including a residential lease; a mortgage contract; an income tax assessment; a property tax assessment; a vehicle ownership; an insurance certificate; cor...”

Mr. John Nater (Perth—Wellington, CPC)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ptable form of ID.

One could use a personal cheque, a government statement of benefits, or an income tax assessment. All Canadians are required to file their taxes every year. April 30 was just ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...overnment is raising the cost of living. Eighty percent of middle-class Canadians are paying higher income tax today than when the Prime Minister took office. That number will rise to 92% of middle-class Canadians, and their average cost within the next three years will be over $2,000 in new payroll taxes, new income taxes, and other taxes. That is according to the prestigious Fraser Institute, which has cond...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...It actually lowered taxes for every single MP in the House, who got the full benefit of that middle-income tax cut. It is like the government does not even know how the tax system works when it makes that claim.

Yesterday I had the privilege of sitting down with students and young people from CJPAC. We had an exchange of ideas and talked about issues of the day in politics. At every single table I went to, they expressed skepticism about the carbon tax. They expressed skepticism about what the government is doing because they recognize it. One young man told me what he thinks about the carbon tax. He said it would be like going to a dealership, picking out a car with his parents, purchasing a vehicle without knowing the price, and being told they will only know the price when they roll it off the lot. That is the only time they will know what the price is. That is how young people feel about the carbon tax.

The other side will say that it is nothing of the sort and that people like the carbon tax because they like doing something for the environment. People do, but this is not the only thing that they can do. There is an entire array of options. The previous Conservative government took advantage of them. Through regulation, it sought to reduce GHG emissions, and we know that GHG emissions went down. They went down.

We know that families are paying more at the pump. They are paying more to heat their homes. They are paying more for basic products.

Transportation has gone up. When we go to the grocery store today, we pay more for our vegetables, fruits, and meats. I notice that. I go to the Superstore in my riding and meet constituents, and everybody is saying that. The number one thing people email me about nowadays is the cost of living and how expensive it has become.

I always tell them I would like to be able to help them and that I would like to be able to tell them how much, on average, it will cost families, but I cannot even tell them that because the government is covering it up. It is covering up the true cost of the carbon tax on the average family.

It is interesting that every single other government program and initiative is costed out. Projections are usually provided on the estimated impacts. We know that the finance department has done this, but those documents have been redacted so that Canadians and Parliament have no way of knowing.

Before the House now is a piece of legislation asking us to approve a rebate program. How can we approve a rebate program when we do not even know the average cost to Canadians? How can we approve a rebate program when we do not even know how much it would cost the average family, those with kids, those without kids, those with higher incomes, those with lower incomes? The government will not give us that information, and as a result Parliament is not able to make a judicious, intelligent decision on it. It wants that information only for itself and not the rest of Canadians.

I have asked Order Paper question 834 many times now. I have also made access to information requests on the Alberta carbon tax rebate. It is a rebate program in Alberta that is actually operated by the Canada Revenue Agency. It would provide more detailed information on the true impact on Albertans, and the government still will not release it to me. It still will not provide me with that information. Finance officials at the finance department are completely unable to answer the simplest of questions: how much will lower-income Canadians pay? (1030)

I have moved a motion at committee to compel that information to be produced, so that during the discussions on the budget implementation act we would know the true impact on Canadians, on cost of living increases, and on affordability, so that we can make a judicious decision on whether or not this will work. However, we cannot even do that.

They say that stubbornness is the greatest ill. It is a Yiddish proverb, but it applies. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the government does not want to release the information. I have heard the argument that it is an old memo and we do not need that information now. If it is old, great, but release it and give it to us. If the information is old and that is why the Liberals do not want to release it, then they should update the information and make it public. They made a document public on Monday last week that has been roundly panned in the media. It is basically a showpiece, a sell job by Environment Canada, to try to make the case for their carbon tax, and it is the only thing they are doing on their side.

We saw that Australia abandoned a carbon tax after two years of trying to impose it on Australians. Australians revolted. They said no, the cost of living has gone up too high, it is unaffordable, and this is not the way to do it. That is where we are today.

When I travel the country with the finance committee, and when I speak to Albertans in my riding, I can see that people are fed up with paying more just for the basics of living. They are not asking to buy a highly rated Tesla and have it subsidized by a provincial government. They just want to buy the minivan, the basics, so they can take their kids to a soccer or hockey game.

In my riding, we have the Erin Woods arena. The moment the carbon tax was introduced, the arena started paying more. Articles started appearing in the Calgary Herald, saying how much more arenas were paying for heating and to keep the ice cold. They are not getting a rebate. The people who are paying more are the kids, through their registration fees. It is their parents and the dads playing a pickup game on the weekend who are paying more. They do not get a rebate. This is not revenue neutral. The government gains revenue. This scheme has been exposed in British Columbia; the carbon tax there is not revenue neutral. There was a full-on admission that it is not.

A line we often hear on the government side is that over 80% of Canadians already pay a carbon tax. Let us wait until June in Ontario. Let us wait until May 2019 in Alberta. How will that argument hold up then, when the residents of those provinces revolt against the endless increases in the cost of living imposed by the federal government and by bad provincial governments? That is what is coming.

As I mentioned, the cost of living is going up. This is not just because of the carbon tax, but it is one of the big drivers. The minimum wage increases, payroll increases, and income tax increases on companies all matter, and they all have an impact. It is the aggregate, cumu...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...rnment setting a price. This is a tax imposed by the government.

It is like claiming that the income tax taken from my wages and from those of my constituents works on a market-price system. Thi...”

Mr. Jonathan Wilkinson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...he member for Wellington—Halton Hills said, “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to both lower income taxes and clean up our environment through the pricing of carbon.”

Last week, Environme...”

Mr. Garnett Genuis

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...those who needed them the most. We brought in the biggest personal exemption. We lowered the lowest income tax bracket. Unlike the Liberals who touched the middle tax bracket, we lowered the lowest income tax bracket. We lowered the GST. We provided all sorts of supports to people, through tax cut...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara (Vaughan—Woodbridge, Lib.)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...r next January to 9%. By this time next year, the combined federal, provincial, territorial average income tax rate for small business will be 12.2%, the lowest in the G7 and the third lowest among members of the OECD. This means that enterprises in my riding will see up to $7,500 in lower federal corporate income tax per year. This will help Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators do what they do best, which is create jobs. I note that 600,000 of them have been created over the last two and a half years. That is good news for Canadian businesses and great news for the hard-working people in my riding of Vaughan--Woodbridge and across this country.

There is more work to be done. That is why in budget 2018, we proposed the Canada workers benefit, a strengthened version of the working income tax benefit, something I long advocated for before I became a candidate for the Liberal Party...”

Mr. Dan Albas (Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... rates. Indeed, for much of the last decade, B.C. has, as a result, had some of the lowest personal income tax rates in most income brackets in Canada. However, that was then and this is now, because ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...anaged to break both of those promises with the carbon tax cover-up. Not only has he already raised income taxes on 80% of middle-class Canadians, he now wants to charge them a carbon tax and cover up...”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ific cases.

The rules surrounding what is considered a hobby or a business are defined in the Income Tax Act, the test for which was defined by the Supreme Court in 2002. We are committed to wor...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... shown. I remind members of the Canada workers benefit, which is an improved version of the working income tax benefit. With this benefit, low-income workers will have more money in their pockets and ...”

Mr. Robert Sopuck (Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e revenue from a carbon price to reduce the most growth retarding tax we have, which is a corporate income tax.”

Thirty-five billion dollars per year is the upper estimate, so it would be betwee...”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...anadians receive the benefits and credits to which they are entitled.

The community volunteer income tax program is an important way for volunteers to help people in their communities access ben...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...at is why we also introduced the Canada workers benefit. We took what was there before, the working income tax benefit, and improved it and added funds to it, so that there would be more of an incenti...”

Mr. Colin Fraser (West Nova, Lib.)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...erous and accessible benefit that will put more money in the pockets of low-income workers than the income tax benefit it replaces. For example, a worker making $15,000 a year will get about $500 more...”

Hon. Judy A. Sgro

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...dropout programs.

Another part of that is investing money to make sure that people file their income tax at the end of every year. A quite remarkable number of people do not file their income taxes because they feel they do not have any income; they then miss out on a variety of diffe...”

Ms. Julie Dzerowicz

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ians to prosper and succeed moving forward. We are strengthening Canadians and have actually reduce income taxes, which was one of our first acts in government.

We are trying to do everything we...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Madam Speaker, I listened intently to the member's pontification. He mentioned the middle-income tax cut, which did nothing of the sort. The people who got the biggest tax cut were members o...”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...for a full-time job as a research analyst. Imani did not know that she was eligible for the working income tax benefit last tax season, so she did not claim it. To give Canadians like Imani a real chance at success, our government will replace the working income tax benefit with a new and improved Canada workers benefit for up to $2,335. The Canada worke...”

Mr. Sean Fraser (Central Nova, Lib.)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ke the Canada workers benefit. This benefit is more generous and replaces the very valuable working income tax benefit. It is kind of complicated to understand for a lot of people who do not dig into ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...mediately loses $300. It is like a tax rate of 100%, and that does not include other taxes, such as income taxes, payroll taxes, and gas taxes to drive to work, or clawbacks of non-cash benefits such ...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...18 introduces the new Canada workers benefit, for example. This measure, which replaces the working income tax benefit, will help low-income workers keep more of their income. With this benefit, the government is also proposing an increase in the disability supplement in order to provide more assistance to Canadians who wish to enter the labour face and face financial barriers because of their disability. The Canada workers benefit will help lift approximately 70,000 Canadians out of poverty by 2020. It will encourage more people to join the workforce.[English]

Whether this extra money is used for things such as helping to cover the family grocery bills or buying warm clothes for the winter, the improved benefits will help low-income working Canadians to make ends meet.

Furthermore, starting in 2019, the government will also make it easier for people to access the benefits they have earned by making changes that will allow the Canada Revenue Agency to calculate the Canada workers benefit for any tax filer who has not claimed it. Allowing the Canada Revenue Agency to automatically provide the benefit to eligible filers will be especially helpful for people with reduced mobility, people who live far from service locations, and people who do not have internet access. As a result, everyone who can benefit from the Canada workers benefit will receive it when they file their taxes, and an estimated 300,000 additional low-income workers will receive the new Canada workers benefit for the 2019 tax year because of these changes. Combined with previous enhancements, our government is investing almost $1 billion in new funding per year to help low-income workers get ahead.

In addition to the new Canada workers benefit, the federal government has provided the refundable medical expense supplement to improve work incentives for Canadians with disabilities. This supplement helps to offset the loss of coverage for medical and disability-related expenses when individuals move from social assistance to the paid labour force.

The intention of ensuring that a financial work incentive exists for Canadians with disabilities is strongly supported. That is why the government is taking action to achieve improvements in labour market outcomes for persons with disabilities. However, while it is obviously desirable to ensure that social assistance programs preserve an incentive to work, the provision of social assistance for the working age populations, including for persons with disabilities, is primarily a provincial and territorial area of responsibility. Of course, the federal government has an interest in ensuring that its policies preserve work incentives and has collaborated with the provinces in this area. In recognition of the important role played by provinces and territories in providing basic income support, our government has worked with them to make province-specific changes to the design of the working income tax benefit to better harmonize with their own programs. Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, a...”

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...nd the loss of benefits, then Finance Canada would have to modify or amend in some form the working income tax disability supplement. The same would be asked of the provinces through that modification...”

Mr. Dan Albas (Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...o make Canada a less attractive location for new doctors. Recent tax changes, including to personal income tax rates, will result in many doctors having a reduced net take-home pay. That is not helpfu...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... why budget 2018 introduced the new Canada workers benefit, the CWB. Building on the former working income tax benefit, the CWB would put more money into the pockets of low-income workers. The CWB would encourage more people to join and remain in the workforce by letting them take home more money while they work.

Through Bill C-74, the government would increase the overall support provided by the CWB for the 2019 and subsequent taxation years. In particular, the government proposes to increase maximum benefits under the CWB by up to $170 in 2019, and increase the income level at which the benefit is entirely phased out. As a result, low-income workers earning $15,000 could receive up to almost $500 from the CWB in 2019 than they could receive this year under the current working income tax benefit. That is $500 to invest in the things that are important to them, and to make ends meet.

The government would also propose changes to improve access to the CWB to allow the Canada Revenue Agency to calculate the CWB for anyone who has not claimed it starting in 2019.

Due to these enhancements and intended actions to improve take-up in 2019, the government estimates that more than two million working Canadians would benefit, many of whom were not benefiting from the working income tax benefit. This would help lift approximately 70,000 Canadians out of poverty.

With r...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ountry. We did not wait when it came to increasing the Canada workers benefit, formerly the working income tax benefit, by almost 165%, a move that will lift tens of thousands of low-income Canadians ...”

Mrs. Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ing the small business tax rate, we have indexed the CCB, and we have introduced the Canada working income tax benefit.

One of the things that people were questioning and a bit concerned about i...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...eople might pay more for gas, groceries, electricity, and other basic essentials, they would get an income tax break or perhaps a consumption tax break. As a result, it would be a strictly neutral tra...”

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...As members know, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has now estimated the real marginal income tax rate for Canada's biggest corporations at less than 10%. It is at 9.8% on average. There ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

March 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... he would not raise taxes on the middle class. Now, 80% of middle-class Canadians are paying higher income tax. Yesterday, at the government's budget briefing, we learned there would also be a new 11¢...”

Mr. Fayçal El-Khoury (Laval—Les Îles, Lib.)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, tax season has begun. By filing their income tax returns, Canadians get access to the tax credits and benefits that will help them to make...”

Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...to which they are entitled. That is why budget 2018 doubles the funding for the community volunteer income tax program so that we can provide even more support for volunteers year round. This program ...”

Mr. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith

March 21st
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...ration on taxes might actually see us move toward higher GST levels matched by broad-based personal income tax cuts. To address the potential regressive nature of the GST, we already have a system of GST tax credits to offset costs for low-income individuals, and those credits could be increased as needed.

Other taxes are not designed for revenue generation at all but instead are to internalize in the cost of a good or service the negative externality the product or activity imposes on society. In The Tragedy of the Commons, Garrett Hardin described how the rational pursuit of self-interest by individual actors can negatively impact the long-term sustainability of shared resources. The classic example, in his case, is unregulated grazing on common land. As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain. What is the utility to me of adding one more animal to my herd? As a positive component, I would receive all the profits. The negative component, the function of the additional overgrazing created by one more animal, would be shared by all, so I would bear a fraction of the cost. In Hardin's words, “each and every rational herdsman.... is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit in a world that is limited.” He then aptly applies that same argument to our environment and pollution.

The same market failure exists with respect to climate change. While private property is usually a good solution to this market failure, Hardin acknowledged that the air and water surrounding us cannot readily be fenced, and thus different means are required. To tackle climate change, those different means are carbon pricing and regulation. As the Ecofiscal Commission concluded, however, carbon pricing is the simplest and most cost-effective way to lower greenhouse gas emissions, so it should do most of the heavy lifting in reducing our emissions. The commission has also rightly highlighted the importance of stringency. We need to continue to steadily increase our carbon price beyond 2022, and well past $50 per tonne.

In keeping with this evidence, budget 2018 states:

Central to Canada’s plan to fight climate change and grow the economy is the understanding that pollution has a real, tangible cost.... [T]he Government of Canada is committed to putting a price on carbon pollution.

Further, our government has committed to revenue neutrality. Budget 2018 states:

The direct revenue from the carbon price on pollution under the federal system will be returned to the province or territory of origin.

With this in mind, carbon pricing cannot sensibly be described as a tax grab. Rather, it is a corrective tax for a major market failure to address the negative externalities imposed on our planet by GHG emissions. I hope that we are all willing to engage in these tax debates more thoughtfully going forward.

On this and on many other issues, it is not possible to find consensus in this House. It is more common to find disagreement, and if one is optimistic, one simply hopes for reasonable disagreement. Where we do find agreement across party lines on certain issues, we should prioritize them, particularly if we can improve Canadians' lives in a fundamental way. To this end, I believe that we can build consensus in this House to improve basic income supports for Canadians in need. A key example of this in budget 2018 is our introduction of the new Canada workers benefit, a more generous and accessible basic income support for the working poor.

Specifically, the new Canada workers benefit would increase the similar older benefit by $500 million per year, starting in 2019, which would come on the heels of a $250-million annual increase previously. Together, this would amount to more than a 60% increase in funding for the benefit overall. Importantly, the new benefit would also expand eligibility criteria so that more people would be able to access the support. Last, the benefit would now be automatic. All Canadians who were eligible and who had filed their taxes would receive the basic income support by default.

This is an example of smart government. Behavioural economics has taught us the power of defaults. The change to the Canada workers benefit would embrace the lesson of Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein that small nudges, changes to choice architecture, can alter people's behaviour to their benefit, without restricting their freedom or changing their incentives.

Tens of thousands of Canadians would now receive a benefit they should have already been receiving, an estimated $200 million in annual benefits. Finance estimates that 300,000 more Canadians would receive the new Canada workers benefit than its older version because of the expanded eligibility criteria and automatic enrolment. Finance further estimates that 70,000 people would be lifted out of poverty. (1620)

This builds on the success of other basic income support programs that our government has strengthened, making an important impact on poverty reduction and helping to build a more humane and compassionate society.

According to a Library of Parliament analysis conducted at the request of my office, in 2017, largely as a result of changes introduced by the government in 2016 to children's benefits and the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors, it is estimated that 695,000 individuals will be lifted out of low income. This number will continue to climb with the indexation of the CCB and the new Canada workers benefit.

In addition to building on the success of other basic income support programs, the new Canada workers benefit builds on what came before it, the working income tax benefit. The WITB was first introduced in a federal budget by then Liberal finance minister and now public safety minister, the member for Regina—Wascana. However, it became a reality in 2007, through the work of then Conservative finance minister, Jim Flaherty. If we fast-forward to last year's NDP leadership race, the member for Timmins—James Bay was calling for a significant increase and expansion of the WITB. In short, we see support for the program across the political spectrum, and a real potential for consensus. If we want to work across party lines and together make a major impact on the lives of Canadians in need, we should keep calling for an increase to basic income support programs, and especially the Canada workers benefit.

Together, we spend over $50 billion every year on benefits for the elderly through OAS and GIS. We spend approximately $23 billion every year on the Canada child benefit, and the GST tax credit is almost $4 billion annually. However, after improvements to the Canada workers benefit, it will still be just over $2 billion per year. There is room to make a bigger impact by continuing to expand this benefit in future years, and I hope there is room to build consensus in the House toward that goal. After all, there is little that is more fundamental to a person's life than economic security, and we have a very high proportion of Canadians living in poverty who are working. Basic income support programs like the CCB, the Canada workers benefit, and the guaranteed income supplement have proven to be efficient and effective.

Dostoevsky wrote, “Money is coined liberty”. No doubt there is an emancipatory value to these basic income programs. Freedom from the stress of income insecurity, freedom from worrying about having the basic necessities of shelter, food, and clothing, also means the freedom to pursue one's happiness and the freedom to refuse harmful employment and other exploitative relationships.

We know that direct transfers to persons based on income tax filings are low-cost and efficient. We know that low-income Canadians spend their benefit...”

Mr. Larry Maguire (Brandon—Souris, CPC)

March 21st
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...for timely and meaningful tax relief for those who need it. The mere fact that the Liberals' middle-income tax cut does not provide a nickel of relief to those making less than $44,000 is indicative o...”

Mr. Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, CPC)

March 21st
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...igher taxes than when this government came to power. Middle-income families have seen their average income tax go up by $840. Now, $840 might not sound like a lot to the millionaire Prime Minister, bu...”

Hon. Lisa Raitt (Milton, CPC)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...o balance the budget for 25 years. We see, as well, that there have been material hikes in personal income taxes in the past two years. We have seen the introduction of a national carbon tax, an aggressive attack on small business, and associated risks around NAFTA. These are the things being spoken about in places like the Financial Post. Mr. Martin Pelletier had a very good article this morning about the fact that while the government may beat its chest and say that we have a great economy and are doing well, the reality is that there are storm clouds on the horizon. The government's approach has been to do nothing but spend more. It is not saving or putting money aside, as the Province of Quebec has done. It is spending more.

In the high-level picture, why it is important to ensure that we balance the budget? I give members the example of Ontario versus Quebec. For the past number of years, the Province of Quebec has shown fiscal restraint, and what do we have today? It is able to lower income taxes and pay down its debt for the first time since the 1950s at such an extensive level. Wh...”

Mr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette (Winnipeg Centre, Lib.)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...at we are doing.

In the new budget of 2018, the government proposes to strengthen the working income tax benefit, the WITB, by making it more generous and by making the benefits more accessible ...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...nd profound impact on Canadians in all regions of our country. When we look at what was the working income tax benefit and how it is being converted to the Canada workers benefit program, what we are ...”

Mr. Luc Berthold (Mégantic—L'Érable, CPC)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...d. I would be remiss if I did not add that, for 100 years, governments lined their pockets with the income taxes of those working in this industry.

There has also been a lot of talk about broadb...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...ealthier economy. In fact, one of the first things we did in government was reduce the middle class income tax, putting hundreds of millions of dollars of disposable income in the pockets of Canadians...”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

February 27th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...ada workers benefit, a strengthened, more accessible, and more generous replacement for the working income tax benefit.

The Canada workers benefit will allow low-income workers to take home more...”

Ms. Rachel Blaney (North Island—Powell River, NDP)

February 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... that often there is no compensation for shift work. Overtime is being recorded or paid improperly. Income tax is being calculated incorrectly. Delays are happening in pension payments. Employees are ...”

Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie (Joliette, BQ)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e exchange of information, Canada has signed an agreement with a country that does not even require income tax returns.

When will the Liberals start taking this a little more seriously and scrap...”

Mr. Pat Kelly (Calgary Rocky Ridge, CPC)

February 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... our ability to produce public services. What we are doing because of the differential is exporting income taxes. We are exporting public service to the United States. A Canadian barrel has a $30 discount on world prices. Think of that one pipeline which has a capacity of half a million barrels a day, and we are taking a discount of up to $30 a barrel. (1350)

We should think of how much royalty money is not being paid to the Alberta, Saskatchewan, or other provincial governments. We should think of how much in equalization payments cannot be made. We should think of how much income tax is not being paid on money that is not being earned because of the differential. This has been going on for years and is exacerbated repeatedly by the absence of pipeline capacity.

By no means is this an Alberta issue alone. Although there are thousands of people in my riding whose livelihoods depend on the oil and gas industry, the benefits of this industry are spread throughout Canada. They are a major part of the public services that Canadians rely on and the revenue from royalties and from income tax.

Producers pay some of the highest royalty rates in the world on Canadian oil and g...”

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

February 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...titutional culture of secrecy. Its directors constantly hide behind the infamous section 241 of the Income Tax Act to deny any responsibility, even when it does not involve the privacy of taxpayers. W...”

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...at deal of why we are seeing that massive increase in inequality is due to the fact that we have an income tax system that is stacked against regular Canadians. Just last month, we saw figures showing that the average income of Canada's wealthiest CEOs is 200 times that of the average Canadian worker. There is no doubt that we are seeing a massive increase in inequality under this government. We are seeing more and more wealth concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.

Regular Canadians are seeing record family debt loads. The figures from Statistics Canada do not lie. Consumer credit, excluding mortgages, has now reached the level of $0.6 trillion. That is $600 billion that Canadian families owe. The average Canadian family now has a record debt load, even worse than under the former Harper government, and we are seeing this debt load increase. We are now number one among the industrialized countries. That is a crushing level of family debt.

What measures has the government put in place to address the income tax inequality, the stock option deduction loophole, and tax havens? Since we adopted the motion on March 8, we have not seen much action at all.

When we talk about the stock option deduction loophole, we are not talking about something that is spread out among Canadians generally. I am going to refer to the Toronto Star of January 6, 2018. The editorial, talking about the issue of tax fairness, says that the widening wage gap we are seeing in this country, with CEOs earning 200 times the income of the average Canadian worker, requires that we move forward promptly with tax fairness. It has identified the stock option loophole as well.

I will quote from the article:

Currently, compensation received in the form of stock options is taxed at a much lower rate than regular income. The tax break was conceived, in part, to help capital-starved startups attract top talent, but has been co-opted by executives at established companies as a way to reduce their tax load. Until recently, Ottawa lost about $1 billion every year through the loophole, more than 90 per cent of which went to the top 1 per cent of earners. (1010)

They cite that in 2013, for example, 75 of Canada's 100 top-paid CEOs received part of their income as stock options. This allowed them to accrue combined savings of $495 million, or $6.6 million each. That is half a billion dollars of foregone revenue to subsidize 75 very rich people, half a billion dollars of government funding that provides support for 75 of Canada's richest people. We can do better. We can take those funds and make sure that those very wealthy people pay their fair share of income tax and ensure that we are taking care of regular Canadians. That is what we propose.

When we talk about the stock option being concentrated, half a billion dollars going to subsidize 75 very rich people, we can see the harm in taking that out of the income tax system to give to the very wealthy. It has a profound impact on Canadians.

However, that is not all, and CCPA has outlined this in very effective terms. When we see what has happened with the corporate income taxes, we also see that corporate income taxes are decreasing as a percentage of what is paid compared with regular Canadians but also in terms of the overall effective corporate income tax rate. The CCPA outlined in its study last year that the effective corporate income tax rate in 2017 under the current government is now much lower, 9.8% after preferential tax considerations are included. That is 9.8% in terms of what the effective corporate income tax rate is for the corporate sector.

I can assure members that people who are plumbers, construction workers, child care workers, or nurses are not paying a 9.8% effective income tax rate. Canadians like my family who pay their fair share of taxes, work hard and they want to contribute their taxes because they believe that contributes to the common good. However, that common good is being undermined by the increasing inequality that we are seeing and an income tax system that is profoundly unjust. It is not an income tax system that is fair in any way, shape, or form. It is an income tax system that increasingly takes away from those who really need the supports of that common good, those common investments that Canadians make, and instead provides those investments, as we have seen, to the tune of half a billion dollars for 75 of Canada's wealthiest CEOs.

When we passed this motion last year, we expected the government to take action. It has not. However, the Liberals now have the opportunity with our motion today to take action in the budget in 2018 and crack down on the abusive use of the stock option deduction.

We also talked in our motion last year about tax havens, which are an increasing problem in terms of money going offshore, money that should be paid as income tax in Canada. Part of the reason we are seeing such a low effective corporate income tax rate is due to the use of tax havens, money being transferred offshore to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.

The tax havens are a growing problem, and I will explain why in just a moment, but what we are seeing through the use of the tax havens is, at a minimum, $10 billion a year that could be used for so many other things, including affordable housing, providing medication to Canadians, or ensuring that child care is supported when we are seeing extraordinarily high costs for child care for the average Canadian family. All of those things would be taken care of if we actually ensured that the income tax system was fair. However, $10 billion a year at a minimum, and estimates run far higher, is now escaping from the Canada Revenue Agency, which means that the common good, those investments that we make together, is simply being lost. (1015)

In addition, we are seeing the use of a new tax haven format, and that is the digital tax haven. Our parliamentary leader and revenue critic have been raising this issue, as have I, repeatedly in the House of Commons. In the digital field, we are now seeing big digital players like Facebook, Netflix, and Google making billions of dollars in Canada and not paying a cent of tax. It is a new format for the Liberals, a digital tax haven, which allows for tax-free profits and tax-free money. They are not even paying the GST, which is a double problem.

Not only do we have these new digital tax havens created by the Liberals, which they allow to continue, but it also means they are undermining legitimate Canadian businesses. In my community, local newspapers are struggling because they have to pay the assortment of taxes, which are part of the common good to contribute to the country, but their competitors do not. The digital tax havens have a profound negative impact on local community resources and cultural industries, yet the Liberals are doing nothing.

When we talk about aggressive action on tax havens, we are also talking about aggressive action on these digital tax havens, where tens of billions of dollars in profit are made in Canada without a cent of taxation being paid. This is something that absolutely needs to change. We can do better. (1020) [Translation]

I mentioned tax havens a few minutes ago. I already talked about these issues in relation to digital tax havens. Since the adoption of this motion last year, we see that the Liberals have taken very aggressive action, but not against tax havens. In fact, they are promoting these tax havens and expanding them by signing one agreement after another. That is what they are doing even though 90% of Canadians are against tax havens. The Liberals are expanding them.

Last year, they ratified an agreement with the Cook Islands, which is a tax haven in the South Pacific. According to Marwah Rizqy, a professor at the Université de Sherbrooke, “it becomes another option for companies to strategically incorporate and repatriate profits tax free”. André Lareau, professor of international taxation at Laval University, said about the agreement that the Liberals just signed, “It is shocking to see Canada take an approach that diminishes its taxation power”. These quotes were reported by an excellent journalist, Boris Proulx, at the Journal de Montréal.

The Liberals have expanded tax havens by concluding another agreement with another tax haven, which will make us lose even more of our common assets that are part of our common tax base. This will give businesses even more options.

There is more. Last week, we learned that the Liberals signed an agreement with Antigua and Barbuda, another tax haven. The agreement clearly states that, once the agreement takes effect, Canada's taxation laws will apply, which means that the active business income from a Canadian company's foreign subsidiary in Antigua and Barbuda can be paid to the Canadian parent company in the form of dividends that are exempt from Canadian taxes.

In the agreement, the bureaucrat, who apparently does not speak French, kept the mention of the Cook Islands, stating that this agreement applies to companies in the Cook Islands. It is indeed the same agreement that was signed with the Cook Islands, except the names were changed, although this was not done properly. For example, the names were changed to add Antigua and Barbuda.

Last week, the government also signed an agreement with Grenada, another well-known tax haven. It was the same type of agreement. Once again, all they did was copy and paste the agreement. The Cook Islands appear in this agreement as well.

What are the Liberals doing? They are broadening the scope of all of these tax havens.[English]

We might ask what the impact of this is. Let me speak to the impact of a couple of cases I know of.

John, who lives in my riding, has paid his taxes all his life. He managed to accumulate a small pension. However, with the increasing cost of rent, and because there has been no investment by the government into affordable housing, he found it more and more difficult to pay his rent. Can members imagine the impact of realizing that we are not able to keep the apartment that we have loved for so long, after working all of our lives, after paying our taxes, and after establishing a modest pension?

He had to leave. He could not pay for his apartment, so he shared a one-bedroom apartment with a friend. He slept on the couch. That worked for a time. However, these seniors who were trying to share that cramped living space just to keep a roof over their heads were unable to. He was then found by an outreach worker sleeping on the floor of a parking lot in downtown New Westminster because of the lack of affordable housing from the government. When the government gives away tens of billions of dollars, allows tax havens to prosper, and allows 75 CEOs to get $6 million each from a stock option deduction, that has an impact on people like John.

Let me talk about Jim. Jim is just outside the Parliament. Any MP here could go and talk to him. He is on the bridge between the Château Laurier and East Block. Every day he has to beg because there is no pharmacare and he has to pay $600 a month for the medication that keeps him alive. I said to him this morning, “Jim, I'm going to talk about you in the House of Commons.” He said, “Yes, go and fight on my behalf. We need fair taxes and a government that actually cares about us.” Jim is hurt when we send tens of billions of dollars overseas and we cannot pay for a pharmacare program in this country. (1025) [Translation]

The government has gone after persons with disabilities. It is getting rid of the tax credit for persons with disabilities and is asking them to reimburse certain amounts paid by the registered disability savings plan.

I want to talk about one more person, but I will not use her real name. I will call her Edith. Edith has cancer and has a child with a disability.

Instead of going after tax havens, the current government is asking her family to repay all this money, because it changed the eligibility criteria for the tax credit for persons with disabilities. The Liberals are not going after tax havens; they are going after persons with disabilities.

We can do better. We can create a system in which people like Edith, Jim, and John, are treated fairly, and we can create a fair tax system.[English]

The final story I am going to talk about is Jagmeet Singh. He is the new leader of the NDP. He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He had to work when his father fell ill and be the breadwinner for his family. He has grown up understanding that one has to work hard and contribute to one's community. That is what he has done all his life.

He has a different vision. He believes that we need to establish a fair income tax system. Like the 90% of Canadians in a most recent poll done by Canadians for Tax Fairnes...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...h]

This past fall, the government also announced its intention to further enhance the working income tax benefit, or WITB. This is a refundable tax credit that provides important income support and helps offset taxes, supplementing the earnings of low-income earners. It lets low-income workers keep more of their paycheque, encouraging people into the workforce, which has a long-term impact on income security and quality of life. In 2016, the WITB provided more than $1.1 billion in benefits to over 1.4 million Canadians.

To provide even more support and opportunity for lower-income workers, our government proposes to further enhance the WITB by an additional $500 million annually, starting in 2019. This new enhancement will provide even greater support to current recipients by raising maximum benefit levels and will expand the income range of the WITB so more workers can qualify.

Together with the increase of about $250 million annually already set to come into effect in 2019 as part of the enhancement of the CPP, these two actions will boost the total amount the government spends on WITB by about 65% in 2019. (1045) [Translation]

Our government also plans to provide additional support for Canada's SMEs by lowering their federal tax rate.

The small business tax rate will drop to 10% as of January 1, 2018, and to 9% as of January 1, 2019. For the average small business, that means a savings of $1,600 that entrepreneurs and innovators can reinvest in their company and in job creation.

Under this measure, the combined federal, provincial, and territorial tax rate for small businesses will drop from 14.4% to 12.9%, the lowest by far in the G7 and the fourth lowest among OECD countries.

The purpose of these low tax rates is to encourage capital investment in companies, including investments to acquire equipment or more efficient technology, or to hire additional staff, which will make businesses more productive and competitive and enable them to contribute to Canada's economic growth.

This tax cut for small businesses was accompanied by measures to ensure that the benefits of the lower tax rate are shared equitably and that the changes support business owners who invest in their companies, create jobs, and help grow the economy. [English]

For example, in December we issued detailed proposals to simplify and improve the treatment of income sprinkling, which are proposed to be in effect for the 2018 tax year and beyond. The December proposals took into account feedback received from Canadians in the course of the government's consultations on tax planning using private corporations.

As hon. members are aware, income sprinkling involves diverting income from a high-income individual to family members who have lower personal tax rates or who may not be taxable at all. This is not a problem if the family members are making a meaningful contribution to the business. However, in some circumstances, someone earning $300,000, with a spouse and two adult children who do not work in the business, could use a private corporation to get tax savings that amount to roughly what the average Canadian earns in a year, about $48,000. If they are not contributing to the business, this is fundamentally unfair to other Canadians, and the government's proposal to address this practice draws a clear distinction between the two.

To assist businesses in complying with the new measures, the CRA has released detailed guidance on its website that explains how it intends to administer them and what they will mean for taxpayers. I would like to assure the House that the CRA will administer any rules that are ultimately enacted in a way that is fair and that recognizes the reality of operating a small business.

It is also important to note that the vast majority of private corporations will not be impacted by the income-sprinkling measures. Based on the revised proposals, fewer than 45,000 family-owned private businesses benefit annually from income sprinkling. Just to put this in perspective, this represents only about 3% of Canadian-controlled private corporations.[Translation]

This initiative is consistent with our goal and our desire to achieve greater tax fairness in Canada. We know that we must do more to ensure that as many people as possible benefit from a growing and more innovating economy, which creates more opportunities for success for everyone.

A fair tax system allows the government to keep corporate tax rates low and to help support families through such programs as the Canada child benefit, which I spoke about, or the working income tax benefit.

Addressing the unfair aspects of the tax system is central to our plan for...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... fairness to make our system fairer. Whether it is housing, the Canada child benefit or the working income tax benefit, we are bringing in initiatives to ensure that Canada is a more just society wher...”

Mr. Garnett Genuis

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...re they do not distinguish business tax reductions and tax reductions that high-income earners pay. Income tax rates that high-income earners pay obviously directly benefit those high-income earners. However, when business tax rates are lowered, that does not just benefit high-income earners, but it is more likely to benefit consumers, employees of those companies, and so forth.

When we were in government, yes, we lowered business taxes. We lowered business taxes as well as the small business tax rate. We are very proud of that. The evidence shows that as we see reductions in business tax rates over time, we see an increase in business tax revenue. The lower the business tax rate, notwithstanding all the other economic benefits in economic activity, the higher the rate of earnings from business taxes directly. When we were in government, and this is the clear distinction, we lowered tax rates but we did not lower income tax rates for high-income earners.”

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... at half the rate of regular employment income, the kind of income most of us earn and claim on our income tax. Also, although it had different purposes at the beginning, this tool is primarily used, and we have heard the stats, by Canada's ultra rich as a way to simply pay less taxes. Stock options now make up almost 25% of CEO compensation at Canada's top 60 publicly-traded companies. This costs federal and provincial governments close to $1 billion each year.

I would like to note that Quebec applies the standard provincial income tax rate to profit from stock options. For that, bravo, and I ask the federal government to f...”

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ve only one form, a T4, that states they have one job, one income, and they pay their fair share of income tax. The federal government encourages big businesses to apply this strategy, because CEOs th...”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ons that try to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. While the confidentiality provisions in the Income Tax Act prevent the Canada Revenue Agency from commenting on specific cases, through our coll...”

Ms. Brigitte Sansoucy (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...imself even said that the government is working every day to make sure that all Canadians pay their income tax. I have my doubts.

When we talk about tax avoidance, we are talking about several billion dollars out of our coffers. Statistics Canada, an extremely credible source, estimates that tax avoidance costs Canada $8 billion a year. That is $8 billion a year lost in uncollected taxes because we have agreements with the Cayman Islands, Barbados, the Cook Islands, and so on. The list is a long one.

Imagine all the problems we could solve with an additional $8 billion a year. Here are a few examples. We could help 10,000 families upgrade their homes to improve energy efficiency. Those 10,000 families would see their energy bills drop, and there would be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. We could help the most vulnerable members of our society by maintaining 800,000 social housing buildings for 25 years. We could take stronger measures to lower the price of prescription drugs for Canadians and increase health transfers to the provinces. We could implement a guaranteed minimum income. These are concrete measures that would help reduce inequalities. We would be helping the middle class and all those who are working so hard to join it. That is progressive.

I just cannot get over it: $8 billion. That is $8 billion in 2015, $8 billion in 2016, $8 billion in 2017, $8 billion in 2018, and $8 billion in 2019. That is $40 billion lost this term alone. That is $40 billion out of the public purse, and, most importantly, massive amounts that we cannot invest in health transfers, social housing, the fight against homelessness, infrastructure, and more.

I was recently appointed infrastructure and communities critic. I am proud of this role and the trust placed in me. As a former municipal councillor, I am intimately familiar with infrastructure needs, which are huge. During the election campaign, the Liberals built up great expectations in the 25 municipalities I represent. They informed us that there was an infrastructure deficit, as if we did not already know, and said we have to invest in our water and sewer infrastructure, our bridges, and our roads. When I was a municipal councillor, some of the sewers in the ward I represented were 100 years old and were made of brick.

People were hoping to see billions in infrastructure investments in Quebec, Ontario, or British Columbia. The revenue we are missing out on year after year because of aggressive tax avoidance and tax havens would cover the cost of two Champlain bridges or thousands of community centres in communities that really need them, such as Saint-Pie, which has been waiting for many years, and other places in my riding.

Public concern about tax evasion and tax havens is growing. My colleague from Sherbrooke and I got together on this. I invited my constituents in Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton Vale to come talk about tax havens and tax evasion. My invitation was very clear. I invited them to come watch a documentary called The Price We Pay. Those who looked it up learned that it was a one-and-a-half-hour documentary set mostly in London and elsewhere around the world, and our presentation was mainly in English with French subtitles. (1230)

I represent a largely francophone riding, and yet nearly 100 people showed up on a wintry Thursday evening to watch this documentary. We had quite a long discussion about it. I thought they would never leave my office because they were so concerned. They are outraged that the government is not doing anything about this situation.

I quite often hear from constituents about tax havens, inequalities, and tax evasion. People tell me how unfair it is that companies manage to avoid paying taxes, while these people work so hard and pay their fair share. They are so right.

I want to share a quote from an email I received from one of my constituents a few weeks ago:

We need to get rid of tax havens and make companies pay their fair share. These companies earn billions of dollars and pay less tax than ordinary taxpayers. They send their profits to tax havens, when this money could be put towards major projects in our country.

So many sectors are in need of reform, and the government will not do it. The past 28 months have shown that the Prime Minister has forgotten his election promises.

My constituent took the time to write that, and it is so true.

In a few months, it will be time for us to do our taxes. Many will have to tighten their belts, while the wealthiest Canadians can afford tax accountants and big law firms to avoid paying taxes. I quote Brigitte Alepin, a leading Quebec tax expert:

When ordinary citizens pay on average 60% of their income in income and consumption taxes while the wealthiest have a full range of tax shelters at their disposal to get around, if not cancel out, billions of dollars in income tax, we have every reason to call this a scandal of society.

It really is a scandal.

I invite everyone in Saint-Hyacinthe to my third annual tax credit information session, which this year will be at the Centre communautaire Rosalie-Papineau, 5250 Rue Gérard Côté in Saint-Hyacinthe.

Year after year, this event is a big hit and is attended by over 200 people, often close to 300. Last year, after attending this session, one of my constituents got back a $15,000 tax refund. I therefore invite all of my constituents to come out to this event so they can hear what tax credits they are entitled to.

In March 2017, the New Democrats moved a motion to eliminate tax havens, loopholes, and favourable treatment for the wealthiest Canadians, and it passed. Instead of taking action, the Liberals signed new agreements with other tax havens such as the Cook Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and Grenada.

Now that we are approaching budget time, it is time for the Liberals to keep their promises. Almost one year later, we are realizing that the people in our ridings, the middle class, are the biggest losers when it comes to tax havens. The Liberals keep saying that they are working for the middle class and those who are working hard to join it. The reality is that the middle class is paying more income tax, while the wealthiest Canadians are laughing all the way to the bank thanks to loopholes and tax havens, compliments of the government.

All of this is increasing inequality in our society. Our leader, Jagmeet Singh, recently said that, even though the government keeps repeating that it is working hard for the middle class and those working hard to join it, the truth is that it is building an economy that works for the privileged and leaves everyone else behind. Because multinationals and the wealthiest individuals are finding ways of avoiding paying income tax, the middle class must shoulder most of the burden to compensate for the shortfall caused...”

Mr. Murray Rankin (Victoria, NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...f tax havens seems to be just fine. (1245)

At the macro level, stepping back from this, our Income Tax Act has for a long time been criticized by accountants, the organized tax industry, and the person on the street who has enormous difficulty understanding how the scheme works. It is such a simple thing for a politician to stand up and say, “We have to simplify our tax system.” How long have we heard that? Sometimes we get simplistic arguments. Sometimes I hear in Alberta how we need to have a flat tax and all of a sudden everything will be better, no matter how regressive that in practice turns out to be.

We have a big problem at the international level and at the domestic level. If one talks about the effect of tax havens on Canada, it is nothing compared to what is happening in the developing world, where resources are siphoned off and find their way into bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein and places like that. The money that is so desperately needed for development is not happening. Sadly, some of that is in the mining sector, and sadly, the mining sector seems to be a significant part of Canada's economy. We see in Vancouver that half or more of mining corporations are incorporated, sometimes using tax havens.

I am trying to set out the enormity of the problem and some of the solutions that may be at hand.

One idea I think is worth discussing, at least, is my private member's bill, which is Bill C-362. It would attempt to close some of these loopholes. This is a very simple two- or three-line bill, which I would urge hon. members to consider. It is inspired by the late Dr. Robert McMechan, who, sadly, passed away last year. He was a tax litigator for most of his career right here in Ottawa in the Department of Justice. He went on to do graduate work at Osgoode Hall. He wrote a very important book on international tax avoidance. He came into my office and asked to work with me in trying to get our hands around this enormous problem. Of course, I welcomed him with open arms.

The bill that is at issue would make what the Canadians for Tax Fairness have characterized as a significant impact. I confess that I do not know how they got this figure, but they claim that it would yield $400 million to Canada every year if this bill were implemented.

What would the bill do? Members will recall, back when Prime Minister Mulroney was in power and Michael Wilson was our finance minister, that Canada did what a number of countries did. The government incorporated into our Income Tax Act the general anti-avoidance rule, GAAR, as it is called. GAAR would be amended by my b...”

Mr. Greg Fergus (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ules on income sprinkling, which allows high-income business owners to greatly lower their personal income taxes by shifting income to family members with little or no income. We want to better regula...”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...he 99% and the 1%.

Sixty-five years ago, people and corporations contributed equal amounts of income tax to the Canadian government. In 2015-16, Canadians paid $145 billion in income tax, while corporations paid $41 billion. We have gone way off track on tax fairness inside o...”

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ning company based in Vancouver. It made $2.1 billion in profits and paid exactly zero in corporate income taxes in Canada. Instead, it declared those profits in Luxembourg, which employs one part-tim...”

Ms. Julie Dzerowicz (Davenport, Lib.)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...criminal investigations; 123 search warrants were executed; 32 criminal charges were laid under the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act and/or the Criminal Code; 37 convictions for tax evasion; $10 mil...”

Mr. Bernard Généreux (Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, CPC)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...The first issue is stock options, which are a completely legal means of compensation under the Income Tax Act, a law that was passed by various former governments since it has been amended a numb...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...eek gets taxed on that dollar. A CEO who works and makes a vastly increased income should have that income taxed in the same way that the worker does. That, however, is not the way the system works in...”

Mr. René Arseneault (Madawaska—Restigouche, Lib.)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, when it comes time to file their income taxes, many people face particular challenges, especially if they live far from big cities in remote communities, have reduced mobility, or have little or no Internet access.

Can the Minister of National Revenue tell us what measures she is implementing to help Canadians file their income tax returns?”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

February 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...quality jobs, support the middle class, and grow the economy. The confidentiality provisions of the Income Tax Act prevent us from commenting on this particular situation. However, we support the base...”

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

February 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...>Mr. Speaker, is it fair that Netflix, Facebook, and other web giants have to pay neither sales nor income tax whereas Canadian companies in the same sector do? Around the world, other countries are t...”

Hon. Scott Brison (President of the Treasury Board, Lib.)

February 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ade it harder for unions to be certified and easier for them to be decertified. It also amended the Income Tax Act to remove the onerous and redundant requirement that labour organizations and labour ...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara (Vaughan—Woodbridge, Lib.)

February 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...it harder for unions to be certified and easier for them to be decertified. It would also amend the Income Tax Act to remove the onerous and redundant requirement that labour organizations and labour ...”


The Senate

Mr. Giroux

June 20th
Hansard Link

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux Received in Committee of the Whole

“...t was very granular, and in the opinion of the agency, it would have contravened section 241 of the Income Tax Act, which prevents the disclosure of information that could identify a taxpayer, directl...”

Mr. Giroux

June 20th
Hansard Link

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux Received in Committee of the Whole

“...initial request was 3,000 income ranges. So if you take all of the individuals who file zero dollar income tax returns, in a small jurisdiction — and you can think about any of the Atlantic provinces ...”

Hon. Grant Mitchell

June 11th
Hansard Link

Budget Implementation Bill, 2018, No. 1 Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“... increased. To build on these enhancements in the BIA 2, the CRA will be mandated to screen for low-income tax filers who may not be aware of the benefit and, therefore, will have failed to claim it. So low-income workers will take home more money and will have stronger incentives to join and remain in the workforce. This program will help 2 million Canadians, and 300,000 low-income workers who have not applied for the benefit before will be identified and helped to apply in the future. Turning to Employment Insurance Enhancement, all of this will be supplemented by provisions in the bill to make permanent the Working While on Claim program. This program allows EI claimants to keep 50 cents of their weekly EI benefits for every dollar earned from working while on claim, up to a maximum of 90 per cent of their weekly insurable earnings. Until 2021, claimants can choose to revert to a previous program to ensure a smooth transition to this new one. Canadians on EI will, therefore, have an incentive to find work, even if it is part time, while not being discouraged from doing so by a precipitous drop in EI benefits. On the subject of strengthening the Canada Pension Plan, CPP benefits will be enhanced in following ways: The accrual of CPP benefits will be sustained for parents who decide to stay home for a period of time after the birth or adoption of their children. Those who take this important time away from work outside the home will, as a result, not have to meet their retirements with a hole in their CPP pensions. The bill provides the same pension accrual continuity for people with disabilities. It provides a benefit to disabled retirement pension beneficiaries under the age of 65; and it enhances CPP survivor benefits. These improvements will be offered at no increase in premiums. I shall speak now to support for veterans and their families. Since 2006, 67,000 veterans have received what is called the Lump Sum Disability Award. For some of the severely injured, a lump sum, now at $365,000, can be challenging to manage. Veterans benefits have been highly complex, inflexible and administratively burdensome. The current funding model, therefore, has been questioned by the military, family of veterans and veterans themselves. Bill C-74, with this in mind, restructures veterans’ compensation in three ways, which define what is now going to be called the Pension for Life program. It creates a lifetime monthly pain and suffering pension and an additional monthly pain-and-suffering pension that, together, can be as much as $2,650 per month tax-free. This will be an alternative to the lump sum, which will still be available. It creates the Income Replacement Benefit, which consolidates, for greater simplicity, six of seven existing benefits. This benefit will be 90 per cent of pre-release salary, indexed annually for inflation, and will be increased in addition annually, in recognition of lost career progression. The bill will increase the survivor’s benefit from 50 per cent to 70 per cent of the income replacement pension. These provisions reflect a determined effort to respond to concerns about the structure of veterans’ benefits making them more easily understood, less complicated, more flexible and more accessible, with less administrative burden. These provisions also represent an increase, overall, in funding for veterans of $3.6 billion. In addition, the bill will enhance support for military personnel, police officers and other first responders on deployment abroad. They will receive enhanced tax relief. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces and police officers and other first responders who are deployed internationally on operational missions, regardless of the risk level, will be able to claim a deduction against their taxable income now up to the pay level of a lieutenant-colonel, which amounts to a deduction of as much as $132,000. Currently, the deduction is limited to a non-commissioned officer’s pay level, which is somewhat lower. There will also be support for families of first responders. The Memorial Grant Program for First Responders is a $300,000 grant for families of first responders who have died in the line of duty. Bill C-74 will make it tax-free. The second broad category of measures in this bill focuses on economic growth. These measures will have a stimulative impact on Canada’s economy. First, cutting taxes for small business. This is exciting. We all know that small businesses are a key driver of Canada’s economy. They account for 70 per cent of our private sector jobs. The small business tax rate has already been cut to 10 per cent. This legislation will implement a further cut to 9 per cent, effective January 2019. By this time next year, the combined federal-provincial-territorial average income tax rate for Canadian small businesses will be 12.2 per cent, the lowest in the G-7 and the third-lowest amongst members of the OECD. The second initiative that will have implications for economic stimulation is remediation agreements. Bill C-74 provides for remediation agreements between an organization accused of committing an offence and a prosecutor to stay a court proceeding if the organization complies with certain conditions. These agreements will be supervised by a judge. Remediation agreements mitigate the uncertainty and other business-damaging consequences that arise if a company is charged criminally. They can provide quicker reparations to victims, encourage voluntary disclosure of wrongdoing and stimulate changes in corporate culture while — and this is important — saving jobs. These agreements will allow companies to continue operating when they might otherwise fail, thereby protecting employees, investors, and contractors who were not involved in the wrongdoing. Remediation agreements can save jobs, investment and a company’s contribution to our economy, while not precluding culpable individuals within the organization from being prosecuted criminally. If the conditions are not met, the prosecutor can revert to traditional court proceedings at any time. One of the best-known features of this bill, of course, is its creation of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions across the country. Science tells us that climate change is a serious threat and that human activity is causing it. Some argue that dealing with climate change would be damaging to our economy. I believe that ignoring the threat of climate change, or taking action inadequate to the challenge of dealing with it, is a far greater risk. On the other hand, dealing with climate change will stimulate, motivate and inspire a new 21st-century economy. It will be a catalyst for an economy of the future. It is this appreciation of threat and opportunity that drives Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement; inspires our commitment to lower emissions by 232 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, by 2030; and drives the decision to implement a carbon price to do it. Economists tell us that the most efficient and effective way to make significant emissions reductions is by putting a price on carbon. The federal government worked with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners to adopt the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in December 2016. The framework aims to have carbon pricing in place in all provinces and territories this year. Provinces and territories can implement their own system, or they can default to the federal backstop system. The federal backstop system will have two features: a carbon price on fossil fuels and an output-based system for larger emitters, designed in particular to help emitters with trade exposure. (1840) If a jurisdiction chooses not to set up a system of its own, and most are choosing to do so, the backstop system created by this act will be applied. In either case, the money will stay in the province or territory where it is raised. It is interesting to note several observations about how this will affect our economy. First, 80 per cent of Canadians already live in jurisdictions that have carbon pricing: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. Interestingly, and importantly, these were the four fastest-growing economies in the country in 2017. More than 70 per cent of farms in this country are in these four provinces. Most provinces and territories, as I said, will implement their own pricing systems and not opt for the backstop default. Environment and Climate Change Canada’s most recent models show that the difference in GDP growth by 2022 due to this program would amount to about $2 billion, or 0.1 per cent of a $2 trillion GDP. The Parliamentary Budget Officer’s revised analysis, published on May 22, 2018, says it is broadly in line with the ECCC’s analysis from 2016. Specific forecasts of the cost to households of this program depend greatly on how provinces and territories choose to recycle carbon pricing revenues. Alberta’s experience, however, is instructive. That province’s carbon levy is estimated to cost a couple with two children $508 in 2018; however, families receiving the full rebate under the Alberta program will receive $540 in return, so would actually have a net benefit. For farmers, the government has specified two exemptions from carbon pricing for anywhere the federal backstop is implemented: First, non-combustion emissions such as those from cattle, tillage and fertilizer applications will be exempted; and second, gasoline and diesel fuels for on-farm use will be exempted. Our Agriculture Committee has raised two concerns. The first is with the definition of farming. To address this, Senator Harder has just tabled a Senate delayed answer today in which the government has clarified that the definition used in the greenhouse gas pollution pricing act is the same as that applied in the Income Tax Act, and thus the CRA interpretation to which witnesses referred will be the same in prac...”

Hon. Claude Carignan

June 5th
Hansard Link

Cannabis Bill Motion in Amendment

“...oration as defined in paragraph (a) of the definition public corporation in subsection 89(1) of the Income Tax Act, the shareholders of the organization or parent corporation that hold more than 5% of...”

Hon. Tony Dean

June 5th
Hansard Link

Cannabis Bill Motion in Amendment

“...exactly the same way as other companies, and that includes that public companies are required under income tax to report when shareholders own more than 10 per cent of shares. That must be disclosed. That’s not as tight as the 5 per cent mentioned in the motion, but it’s pretty rigid. I’m reminding us that we’ve learned from other jurisdictions. We’ve rested on current compliance laws, income tax and disclosure laws, and the government has put in place a rigorous security testing and ...”

Hon. Dennis Dawson

June 5th
Hansard Link

Ministry of Canadian Heritage Broadcasting Tax Policy

“...for a report to be released and then for a bill to be introduced. In the meantime, we know that the Income Tax Act contains a loophole that, as my colleague, the Honourable Senator Joyal, said, allows...”

Hon. Marilou McPhedran

June 5th
Hansard Link

Canada Revenue Agency Act Bill to Amend--Second Reading

“...he second reading of Bill S-243, An Act to amend the Canada Revenue Agency Act (reporting on unpaid income tax). I’ll use CRA and ARC as acronyms for the agency in this statement. [Translation] I would like to thank Senator Downe for introducing this bill and for working hard to ensure the CRA is accountable to the citizens it serves. Prior statements by Senators Downe, Bovey, McIntyre, and Galvez all pointed to the CRA’s lacklustre public accountability performance. Good governance requires transparency. Without transparency, there can be no meaningful accountability. [English] This is an important bill. Tax evasions, while often invisible to most of us, nevertheless impact human rights and the welfare of citizens. We are reminded by former UN independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Mr. Alfred de Zayas, that: Corruption, bribery, tax fraud and tax evasion have such grave effects on human dignity, human rights and human welfare that they shock the conscience of mankind. They should be prosecuted nationally and internationally. This bill will promote transparency and accountability so that we may move forward and strengthen good governance. Though this bill is important in the context of exposing tax evasion and tax gaps, it also is a step forward in holding the CRA accountable if and when the CRA applies its considerable power over Canadians in ways that have punitive impact that are out of proportion, even if unintended. It is reasonable for the CRA to demand proof of payment by way of invoices and receipts that taxpayers are required to keep for six years. The Income Tax Act also allows the CRA to audit, review or seize items without a court order. This inclu...”

Hon. Diane F. Griffin

June 4th
Hansard Link

Budget Implementation Bill, 2018, No. 1 Twelfth Report of Agriculture and Forestry Committee on Subject Matter—Debate Concluded

“...that the definition of “farming” in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act is consistent with the Income Tax Act and also the Canada Revenue Agency’s ordinary definition of “farming activities.” Sen...”

Senator Griffin

June 4th
Hansard Link

Budget Implementation Bill, 2018, No. 1 Twelfth Report of Agriculture and Forestry Committee on Subject Matter—Debate Concluded

“...that the definition of “farming” in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act is consistent with the Income Tax Act and also the Canada Revenue Agency’s ordinary definition of “farming activities.” We heard this again and again in our committee. For instance, Mr. Chris van den Heuvel, Past President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, told us: The definition of a farmer used within the draft legislation is seen as overly simplistic and could inadvertently disqualify legitimate farmers from receiving carbon price exemption charges on farm fuels. In reading the proposed definition, it would seem to exclude agricultural activities such as Christmas tree farming, greenhouses, maple syrup [production, aquaculture] and others. Although the legislative definition is the same for the Income Tax Act and Bill C-74, the Canada Revenue Agency issues interpretation guidelines that expand...”

Hon. Rosa Galvez

May 29th
Hansard Link

Canada Revenue Agency Act Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

“...ing old wells. The CRA alleges that the Shanghai-born financier evaded paying more than $860,000 in income tax and GST on the nearly $2.7 million in income he pocketed from brokering one of the bigges...”

Hon. Ratna Omidvar

May 24th
Hansard Link

Team Everest

“...hem to hockey. When the time was right, drivers’ lessons and licences were taken care of. The first income tax return was filed, and with the very careful shepherding of the finances under Vinay’s car...”

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate)

May 9th
Hansard Link

National Revenue Income Splitting

“...s are that where work is done, it is recognized in the income splitting that is afforded a personal income tax statement.”

Hon. Terry M. Mercer (Deputy Leader of the Senate Liberals)

March 1st
Hansard Link

Canada Elections Act Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

“.... I would remind everyone that in 2003, Bill C-24, an Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act (political financing), was introduced by the government of Prime Minister Jean Chréti...”

Hon. Serge Joyal

February 14th
Hansard Link

National Revenue Offshore Tax Havens—Cannabis Industry

“...l body. They have ample capacity to come into this chamber and request changes or amendments to the Income Tax Act to be able to fight that. I think that the government has to be very concerned about ...”

Hon. Douglas Black

February 6th
Hansard Link

Trans Mountain Pipeline Consideration of Matter of Urgent Public Interest Pursuant to Rule 8

“...rans Mountain, that we have to be very cognizant of, we have the reality in the U.S. where personal income taxes are dramatically different than they are in Canada and corporate taxes have been reduce...”


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