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: 102 Speeches
Senate: 30 Speeches

House Senate

Bills

Active: 0

Regulations

Filed: 1
Proposed: 0

Regulations

The House

Mr. Gérard Deltell

December 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...artment of Finance annual financial report of the Government of Canada, 2016-17, page 16, “Personal income tax revenues decreased by $1.2 billion, or 0.8%, in 2016–17, largely reflecting the impact of...”

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

December 12th
Hansard Link

Privilege

“...atement. The eligibility criteria for this tax credit, as defined in paragraph 118.3(1)(a.1) of the Income Tax Act, have not changed.

My colleague's question of privilege has more to do with the...”

Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs), Lib.)

December 11th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... are new to the legislature.

Let me read some of the acts that were changed by Bill C-43: the Income Tax Act, the child fitness tax credit, the Income Tax Regulations, and the Excise Tax Act. A selected list of financial institutions was impact...”

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

December 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... 1986, 1989, and 1991. (1040)

In 1991, Robinson tried to get the definition of spouse in the Income Tax Act and the Canada Pension Plan Act to include “or of the same sex”. In 1992, he tried to get the word “opposite sex” definition of spouse removed from Bill C-55, which would have added the definition to survivor benefit provisions in federal pension legislation. All the proposed bills were defeated.

In 1987, Don Cochrane, a professor of education at the University of Saskatchewan, organized the first Breaking the Silence conference to discuss gay and lesbian issues in the education system. The conference celebrated its 30th year this year, but that year, the organizers had to hire security to protect attendees from physical and verbal harassment and abuse from protesters.

In 1988, Svend Robinson became the first member of Parliament to come out. Robinson was first elected to the House of Commons in 1979, and in 2000, the B.C. riding of Burnaby Douglas, as it was called then, elected him for the eighth time.

In 1991, Delwin Vriend, a lab instructor at King's University College in Edmonton, Alberta, was fired from his job because he was gay. The Alberta Human Rights Commission refused to investigate the case, because the Alberta Individual's Rights Protection Act did not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation. Seven years later, after he was fired for being gay, the case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and finally, on April 2, 1998, the high court unanimously ruled that the exclusion of homosexuals from Alberta's Individual's Rights Protection Act was a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Also that year, in my community, Gay & Lesbian Health Services of Saskatoon, now called OUTSaskatoon, opened its doors, thanks to the shear determination and tenacity of Gens Hellquist. GLHS was started to serve the underserved health, social, and emotional needs of gays and lesbians in Saskatchewan.

In August 1992, in Haig and Birch v. Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the failure to include sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act was discriminatory. Federal justice minister Kim Campbell responded to the decision by announcing that the government would take the necessary steps to include sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act.

In November 1992, a landmark legal challenge was won by Michelle Douglas, who was fired from the military in 1989 for being a lesbian. The Federal Court finally lifted, in 1992, the country's ban on homosexuals in the military, and that year, for the first time, allowed gays and lesbians to serve with pride in the armed forces.

In May 1995, the Supreme Court ruled on the case involving Jim Egan and Jack Nesbit, two gay men who sued Ottawa for the right to claim the spousal pension under the Old Age Security Act. The court ruled against Egan and Nesbit. However, all nine judges agreed that sexual orientation was a protected ground.

In May 1995, an Ontario judge found that the Child and Family Services Act of Ontario infringed section 15 of the charter by not allowing same sex couples to bring joint application for adoption. Ontario became the first province to make it legal for same sex couples to adopt. British Columbia, Alberta, and Nova Scotia followed quickly after.

In 1996, the federal government finally passed Bill C-33 and added sexual orientation to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

In May 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that same sex couples should have the same benefits and obligations as opposite sex common-law couples and equal access to benefits from social programs to which they contribute.

In June of that year, although many laws would have to be revised to comply with the Supreme Court's ruling in May, Parliament voted 216 to 55 in favour of preserving the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

In February 2000, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's Liberals introduced Bill C-23, the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act, in response to the Supreme Court's main ruling. The act would give same sex couples who lived together for more than a year the same benefits and obligations as all common-law couples. On April 11, 2000, Parliament passed Bill C-23 with a vote of 174 to 72. The legislation gives same sex couples the same social and tax benefits as all couples. (1045)

In total, the bill affected over 68 federal statutes related to a wide range of issues: pension benefits, old age security, income tax deductions, bankruptcy protection, and the Criminal Code. Despite this, the definitions o...”

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

December 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...siness tax rate to 9% by 2019. For the employees in those businesses, we have increased the working income tax benefit by 65%, which will represent more money in their pockets while reducing taxes for...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell

December 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...t document reads:[English]

Budget 2016 proposes that further reductions in the small business income tax rate be deferred.[Translation]

Can we table that budget here in the House?”

Mr. Pat Kelly (Calgary Rocky Ridge, CPC)

December 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...here were exceptional circumstances. This was done, despite the fact there is no requirement in the Income Tax Act that Canadians with diabetes must have exceptional circumstances to meet the criteria...”

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

December 6th
Hansard Link

Privilege

“...een amended since this government came to power. In fact, the last amendment to this section of the Income Tax Act was approved by Parliament in 2005. This section provides that certain conditions be met to be considered for a tax credit. For the benefit of the House, I will quote the relevant text in that section, which describes the criteria used by the Canada Revenue Agency to determine whether a person is eligible for the tax credit. It states:

the effects of the impairment...are such that the individual’s ability to perform more than one basic activity of daily living is significantly restricted...or would be markedly restricted but for therapy that

(i) is essential to sustain a vital function of the individual,

(ii) is required to be administered at least three times each week for a total duration averaging not less than 14 hours a week, and

(iii) cannot reasonably be expected to be of significant benefit to persons who are not so impaired

The interpretation has always been clear that a medical practitioner must certify that a patient meets these criteria for a patient to receive the benefit. The eligibility criteria for the disability tax credit have not changed since 2005.

The member referenced an internal CRA document of May 2017, which was designed to give medical practitioners the opportunity to provide more details and explain more clearly how their patients meet the statutory requirements. This in no way represents a change in the eligibility requirements, yet the member across the way points to this memo as the smoking gun. That could not be further from the truth. The letter simply helps the CRA to more clearly establish, with the information provided by medical practitioners, which applications meet the eligibility criteria set out in paragraph 118.3(1)(a.1) of the Income Tax Act.

I have reviewed the precedents set out by my hon. colleague, and I must admit ...”

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

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ting to establish. Is he suggesting that the measure we announced on December 7 to raise individual income taxes in Canada affected the price of gas or share prices on the New York Stock Exchange? I a...”

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

December 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...g? Is he claiming that the tax measure introduced in December 2015, which was to raise the personal income tax of the wealthiest 1% and lower taxes for the middle class, may have had some sort of impa...”

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

December 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s.

We are also putting money in the pockets of low-income Canadians by increasing the working income tax benefit by $500 million more per year as of 2019. This benefit will ultimately be 65% higher than it was when we came to power.

I remind members that the working income tax benefit is a refundable tax credit that supplements the earnings of low-income workers, the people who are working hard to get into the middle class, such as young, single workers who are struggling to carve out a place on the job market.[English]

The working income tax benefit provides important income support and helps to ensure that work is rewarded. This $500 million enhancement announced in the fall economic statement is in addition to the increase of about $250 million annually that will come into effect in that year as part of the enhancement of the Canada pension plan. These two actions will boost the total amount the government spends on the working income tax benefit by about 65% in 2019, increasing benefits to current recipients and expanding the number of Canadians receiving that much-needed support.

This will give a needed boost to well over 1.5 million low-income workers as they work long hours, sometimes in more than one job, to advance their careers and support themselves and their families. Whether this extra money is used for things such as helping to cover the family grocery bill or helping to pay for work-related expenses, the improved benefit will help low-income working Canadians make ends meet. (1015) [Translation]

We are also helping small businesses invest, grow, and create jobs by lowering the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019. We are making sure that Canada's low corporate tax rates serve to support businesses, not to provide unfair tax advantages to the wealthiest 1% of Canadians.

The investments we have made in our country's people, communities, and economy are producing results. They are putting more money in the pockets of those who need it the most, creating good, well-paying jobs, and giving Canadians more confidence in their future.

That is why we are doubling down on a plan that has been proven to work and reinvesting in the middle class, which, need I remind the House, was neglected by the previous government for a decade.[English]

I would like to take a moment to discuss another measure in Bill C-63.

It is important for Canadians to have the confidence that our tax system is fair, simple, and efficient and that we have a growing and healthy economy. Initial action to implement changes from the comprehensive tax expenditure review conducted by the government were introduced in budget 2017. The review had a broad scope, which included corporate income tax expenditures, personal income tax expenditures, as well as goods and services tax expenditures. As part of the tax expenditure review, the government considered billed-basis accounting.[Translation]

Billed-basis accounting is a method that allows certain designated professionals to declare expenses for tax purposes before the income related to those expenses is included in their revenue. It was eliminated in the 1980s for all professionals, except those in certain designated professions. Back then, those professionals could not access the small business deduction except under very limited circumstances, which put them at a disadvantage. That is no longer the case today.

With Bill C-63, the government is proposing to eliminate the option of using billed-basis accounting for income tax purposes for a limited group of professionals in order to avoid giving these professional...”

Mr. Chandra Arya (Nepean, Lib.)

December 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...of full-time job creation and the best in 18 years.

Did this excellent news happen due to the income tax cuts for the middle class, or the investments we made in infrastructure, or the investmen...”

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

December 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...on member.

Let me be clear that the tax measures we introduced in 2015 were to raise personal income taxes for the wealthiest 1%. It was something we promised. It was something we campaigned on....”

Mr. Gérard Deltell

December 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nual Financial Report of the Government of Canada Fiscal Year 2016–2017, page 16, states, “Personal income tax revenues decreased by $1.2 billion...largely reflecting the impact of tax planning by hig...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

December 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...my. It is affecting not only the people riding transit and who are now not able to claim it against income tax at the end of the year, but also ferry-dependent communities, such as Gabriola Island, wh...”

Mr. Matthew Dubé

December 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ister of Finance about this, he said that in order to benefit from a tax credit, people need to pay income tax and therefore need to have a certain level of income. Basically, he is right.

When ...”

Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie (Joliette, BQ)

December 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...gned the OECD's convention on tax evasion five months ago but still has not ratified it because the Income Tax Act is full of holes, and Bill C-63 does absolutely nothing to fix them.

I will tal...”

Mrs. Deborah Schulte (King—Vaughan, Lib.)

November 30th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ittee on the Environment and Sustainable Development in relation to Bill C-323, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (rehabilitation of historic property).

The committee has studied the bill and r...”

Hon. Tony Clement (Parry Sound—Muskoka, CPC)

November 29th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...cting the prevention of radicalization through foreign funding and making related amendments to the Income Tax Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

He said: Mr. Speaker, it ...”

Hon. Steven Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, CPC)

November 29th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... protect ourselves against. My colleague's private member's bill proposes specifically to amend the Income Tax Act to recognize that there may be ways of funding organizations that promote radicalization resulting in violence. It is important to understand that we already have a list of terrorist entities in Canada, so clearly, if an entity promotes the use of violence, it can be banned and we can go after its sources of funding.

Where things get trickier is when rhetoric encourages or leads to radicalization and the creation of terrorist entities. My colleague's initiative is courageous because it aims to create a framework and give the government tools to protect itself against radicalization. Under the Income Tax Act, organizations can have their charitable status stripped if they encourage violence o...”

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

November 29th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...receiving their full pay or are being paid too much and live in fear of having to file an incorrect income tax return thanks to the mismanagement of the pay system. Many federal public servants will h...”

Mr. Steven MacKinnon

November 29th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...rmer Prime Minister Martin when he and the current member for Regina—Wascana brought in the working income tax benefit. It is a very efficient measure that helps those Canadians who are looking to climb that welfare wall and getting into the workplace. That WITB, the working income tax benefit, will be increased by $500 million a year, starting in 2019.

I would be hap...”

Mr. Steven MacKinnon

November 29th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...nesses all throughout the country, to ensure, through things like the child benefit and the working income tax benefit, our middle class continues to benefit from the policies of this government.”

Mr. Alupa Clarke (Beauport—Limoilou, CPC)

November 28th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...en saying that he wants to stand up for taxpayers by going after people who cheat when filing their income tax returns to pay less in taxes. To that end, he implemented certain tax reforms, or rather ...”

Mr. Ken McDonald (Avalon, Lib.)

November 28th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s in my riding of Avalon.

Along with strengthening the CCB, we are also enhancing the working income tax benefit by investing an additional $500 million per year, starting in 2019, and cutting t...”

Mr. Richard Cannings (South Okanagan—West Kootenay, NDP)

November 28th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...he middle class and those in the middle class, who the government is always talking about, when the income tax provisions proposed in the budget do not give any breaks at all to the people who are rea...”

Mr. Pat Kelly (Calgary Rocky Ridge, CPC)

November 27th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...for Canadians in all provinces. The taxes from the industry have funded public services through the income tax it pays to the crown and the spread of wealth throughout Canada through equalization payments.

My constituents cannot understand why the Liberal government just cannot thank the industry for its many contributions and get out of the way. They cannot understand why the Liberals will seek any opportunity to create another tax or another regulation to kill off a few more jobs in the energy sector. They want to know why the government just cannot stop making things worse. (1315)

Raising taxes on energy investors is not the way to foster growth and innovation. It is not the way to help create well-paying, middle-class jobs. Indeed, it will help drive more jobs overseas and contribute to the brain drain that is well under way in Calgary. However, it does fit with the government's unrealistic and idealistic approach to energy and with its conceit that it always knows better.

This brings me to how the government always allows style to trump substance. For example, the Liberals spent over $200,000 on the cover art for budget 2017. I have to admit, I have been waiting weeks to weigh in on this subject, but it has been tough because of all the unbelievable things the government has said, done, or been caught doing since this past summer. The opposition topics have been overwhelming, but today let us talk about it.

The finance minister's disclosure problem, even while he wags his finger at every other private corporation owner, and the revenue minister desperately trying to raise revenue on the backs of everyone from type 1 diabetics to minimum-wage-earning restaurant workers, has made it tough to weigh in on the budget cover, but I will do so.

It caught my attention when it was first printed, and I commented on it in my speech in the spring. At that time, I thought that maybe it was a bit Freudian how the Liberals had these illusionary doodles on the cover that were imaginary, things like infrastructure actually being built, or solar-powered fishing boats, which we now know were actually supposed to be icebreakers in the Arctic, but I digress. The cover art was absurd and worthy of ridicule, even before Canadians found out that the Liberals paid an advertising agency over $200,000 to produce it and then wasted a bunch of finance department staff time putting focus groups together and dithering over photos of models who were being paid public money to try to look like ordinary Canadians. I could not make this stuff up. It would be funny if it were not so ominous.

We know of the shameful history of the Liberal Party and advertising agencies. When we talk about Liberals paying advertising agencies, those who remember the last Liberal government know how it ends. People have still been going to jail in the current Parliament for the last time we talked about Liberals paying big money to advertising agencies.

I want to remind Canadians how this budget and the last were chock full of broken promises and draw attention to how the bill, the fall economic update, and the recent PBO report all confirm that the government has betrayed the Canadians who voted for it on the promises it made in the 2015 election. Indeed, analysts have confirmed that the current Liberal government has run the largest per capita expansion of the federal government outside wartime or a recession.

Middle-class Canadians are now paying more income tax than they did under the previous government. The Liberals promised a maximum deficit of $...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

November 27th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...Year 2016–2017”. The report states the following on page 16: (1330)

[English]

Personal income tax revenues decreased by $1.2 billion...largely reflecting the impact of tax planning by high-income individuals.... [Translation]

In a report on the past fiscal year, the finance department found that the wealthiest Canadians paid $1.2 billion less in taxes since this government took power. Why? Despite the so-called progressive measures that would have the rich pay more taxes, the richest Canadians found ways to sidestep these measures, with the result that the wealthiest Canadians pay less taxes today than they did under our government. If someone is paying less, someone else is paying more. The middle-class family is paying more taxes. According to a Fraser Institute study, 80% of Canadian families are paying, on average, $840 more than they did under our government.[English]

Let me read a statement by Mr. Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute, on measuring the impact of the federal personal income tax changes on middle-income Canadian families. He said:

The federal government has repeatedly claimed they've lowered income taxes for the middle class while in reality, taking their major income tax changes into account, they've actually raised taxes on the vast majority of middle-class ...”

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

November 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ng that benefit, we will see it keep up with inflation. We are also moving forward with the working income tax benefit to help working Canadians get into the middle class. We will continue with these ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

November 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e government for the 2016-17 tax year shows that the wealthiest Canadians paid $1.2 billion less in income tax as a result of the measures the government instituted. In fact, it says that high-income ...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ore support for low-income workers.

Starting in 2019, the government will enhance the working income tax benefit, or WITB, by an additional $500 million per year.

This will put more money in the pockets of low-income workers, including families without children and the growing number of single Canadians. This enhancement will be in addition to the increase of about $250 million annually that will come into effect in that year as part of the enhancement of the Canada pension plan.

By these two actions alone, the government will boost the total amount spent on the working income tax benefit by about 65% in 2019, increasing benefits to current recipients and expanding the...”

Mr. Kyle Peterson

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...truggling to make ends meet now have a better chance of doing so.

For instance, the WITB, the income tax benefit that was announced in the fall economic statement, is another fine example of a f...”

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

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...axes and putting it into force through indexing the Canada child benefit and increasing the working income tax benefit, we are going to show benefits for Canadians across this country while having a t...”

Mr. Bryan May (Cambridge, Lib.)

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...Speaker, today it is my pleasure to rise and speak to my private member's bill, an act to amend the Income Tax Act to provide a non-refundable tax credit for those who take a first aid course, Bill C-240. The bill has been returned from the finance committee to the House with the recommendation that it proceed no further.

I am thankful for the review by and insight of the finance committee of Bill C-240. The expertise the witnesses provided helps to clarify what the bill means. There is a growing need for basic preparedness in Canada. In Canada, there is a heart attack every 12 minutes, but people have a dramatically better chance of survival if a trained bystander is present. Unfortunately, in far too many cases, no one with this lifesaving knowledge is nearby. Right now, more than half of adult Canadians live in a household in which no one has up-to-date first aid or CPR certification. It is this issue that motivated my tabling of Bill C-240.

When someone undertakes first aid training, what they are ultimately doing is gaining skills and knowledge to serve their community. Perhaps even more important than the skills they are learning is the confidence they are gaining. In a situation where every second counts, that confidence can be the difference between life and death.

I am pleased that Bill C-240 was well received. I had letters of support from diverse groups, far too many to list here, but they include organizations as diverse as Heart and Stroke Canada and the Manitoba Association of Fire Chiefs. I am glad that so many came together to discuss this issue to create awareness and to improve emergency preparedness and public safety for all Canadians.

I have also had conversations with individual supporters, including local organizations that provide this key training, like the Canadian Red Cross and St. John Ambulance, which are always working to reduce barriers to getting first aid training in the hands of all Canadians.

I want to recognize that Bill C-240, like all private members' bills, has limitations. The major concern raised by the finance committee was this: Does Bill C-240 achieve its objectives inexpensively compared to the alternatives? This question is essentially the cost of forgone revenue versus the advantages of having additional people with first aid training. It is about the efficiency of the lost revenue.

The discussion at the finance committee presented evidence that there may be more efficient ways of accomplishing Bill C-240's goals. There may be additional options to explore for public safety education and for the health minister's involvement in encouraging more Canadians to seek out this training.

I have been clear about my goal from the very beginning. It is to make people in this country safer by better preparing Canadians to take action in emergencies. I believe that strong work is happening in this area and a promising dialogue on what we can do for emergency preparedness.

I am pleased with the conversations I have had with each of my colleagues, the finance minister, the Minister of Health, and the Minister of Public Safety, and I am confident that these conversations will continue after my advocacy in the House.

I am aware of how strong an incentive it takes to create a widespread behavioural change and of the inherent limits of a relatively small tax credit. The NDP members, in particular, spoke to another limitation of the bill in their remarks at second reading and it is worth noting here. Because of the limitations on private members' bills that prevent them from calling for direct expenditures, there is an equity issue with a non-refundable tax credit. For those Canadians whose income may be low enough, they do not pay income tax and would not be eligible for a tax credit under Bill C-240. I regret that private member...”

Mr. Ron Liepert

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...e cost to federal, provincial and territorial governments to administer the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act;

We could probably get some answers to that question as well.

the extent to which federal, provincial and territorial tax revenues would be affected by the proposed measure;

I will not read the entire motion because it is before the House. The motion from the member for Vaughan—Woodbridge then said:

Therefore, in light of the above noted details of the proposal in Bill C-240, be it resolved that this Committee...recommends that the House of Commons do not proceed further with Bill C-240.

An hon. member: Sunny ways.

Mr. Ron Liepert: Yes, sunny ways.

I looked up the meaning of the word “coward”. It says it is the lack of courage to do unpleasant things. The PMO did not have the courage to tell the member for Cambridge that we are not going to support his bill. Despite all of the support of government members, it did not have the courage. The PMO is a coward by not telling him to his face. It made that member go to committee, waste everybody's time, and then handed the member for Vaughan—Woodbridge this piece of paper. The member for Vaughan—Woodbridge dutifully did his job by reading the motion, and here we have it before us tonight.

Because the member for Vaughan—Woodbridge, on behalf of the PMO, would like a number of these questions answered, and so do we, I move:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after “that” and substituting the following:

That the 13th Report of the Standing Committee on Finance (recommendation not to proceed further with Bill C-240, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit — first aid)), presented to the House on Thursday, February 23, 2017, be ...”

Mr. Wayne Stetski (Kootenay—Columbia, NDP)

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...sday, October 26, 2016, the Standing Committee on Finance considered BillC-240, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit — first aid), and agreed on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 to report the following:

Whereas the Committee is generally supportive of the intent of Bill C-240 and feels that efforts to encourage individuals to complete first aid courses should be commended there are questions that arise about which Canadians would receive the benefit of the measures, as the tax credit is non-refundable and this can only be claimed if you have income; the cost to federal, provincial and territorial governments to administer the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act; the extent to which federal, provincial and territorial tax revenues would be affected by the proposed measure; the extent to which this type of measure should be designed only following extensive consultation with tax experts, first aid providers as well as federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments; whether these measures would realize the proposed aim of increasing first aid training participation when 67% of Canadians have already taken a first aid course (Red Cross, Ipsos Reid, 2012); the fact that existing policies mandate knowledge of first aid in the workforce, and all provinces and territories have legislated workplace requirements for employee training in first aid;

Therefore...this Committee, pursuant to Standing Order 97.1 recommends that the House of Commons do not proceed further with Bill C-240, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit — first aid).”

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

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...rstand them more clearly. There are a number of conditions and corresponding requirements under the Income Tax Act that determine a business's eligibility for the small business deduction.

If th...”

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

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...it possible for low-income workers to keep more of their hard-earned money by enhancing the working income tax benefit by an additional $500 million per year, starting in 2019. We are keeping the prom...”

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

November 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ome workers to help them keep a larger portion of their hard-earned money by increasing the working income tax benefit by $500 million. We abolished the Harper EI reforms.”

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

November 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rkers to keep more of their hard-earned money from every paycheque by further enhancing the working income tax benefit by an additional $500 million per year, starting in 2019. We are keeping the prom...”

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

November 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...come workers will get to keep more of their hard-earned money because we have increased the working income tax benefit by $500 million a year starting in 2019. We abolished the Harper employment insur...”

Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie

November 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... on tax havens.

Specifically, my motion called on the government to amend section 5907 of the Income Tax Regulations in order to ensure that the income that a Canadian company brings back from i...”

Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)

November 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...wer taxes on small business, more support through the Canada child benefit, and an enhanced working income tax benefit, it will be an enormous help.

One of the things I have often heard from some of the parents or families who come into my office is that if they go to work, they will be worse off because everything they make will get clawed back. The working income tax benefit will help those families so they can go out and get a second job and not be penalized for it. (1600)

When the Canada child benefit was first introduced in July 2016, the extra money in parents' pockets had an immediate effect on consumer confidence and economic growth. Canada, as I said, has the fastest growing economy in the G7, giving our government the flexibility to reinvest a lot of these benefits.

With the increased cost of living increases to the CCB starting in July 2018, two years ahead of schedule, for a single parent with two children making $35,000—and I have a lot of them in my riding of Humber River—Black Creek—the strengthened CCB will mean $560 more next year, tax free, for books, skating lessons, or warm clothes for winter. The added confidence these increases bring to families is proven to have an immediate impact on economic growth.

Because the economy is growing so well, we are allowing low-income workers, including families without children and a growing number of single Canadians, to keep more hard-earned money from every paycheque by further enhancing the working income tax benefit by an additional $500 million per year, starting in 2019. This enhancement is in addition to the $250-million annual increase that will come into effect as part of an enhancement to another program the Liberals are strengthening, the Canada pension plan, to help people have a more secure retirement. That is very much top of mind for a lot of people given what has happened recently with Sears. We saw what happened with Nortel previously. These events really shake the foundations of many people. Taken together, the two enhancements that we have made will boost the total amount our government spends on WITB by about 65% in 2019, increasing benefits and expanding the number of Canadians who qualify.

Let us talk a little more about cutting taxes on small businesses. Our government committed to reducing the small business tax rate to 9% from 11%, effective January 2019. That represents a considerable amount for many small businesses. We want them to flourish and grow, while ensuring that Canadian-controlled private corporation status is not used to reduce the personal income tax obligations of high-income earners rather than supporting small businesses. This is about...”

Mr. Lloyd Longfield (Guelph, Lib.)

November 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...id workers among similarly industrialized countries.

The government believes that the working income tax benefit can do much more to improve the financial security of low-income working Canadians. To this end, in the 2017 fall economic statement, the government is announcing its intention to further enhance the working income tax benefit by $500 million a year, starting in 2019. The maximum Canada pension plan retirem...”

Mr. Matt DeCourcey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

November 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ple, since January 1, all troops deployed on international operations have been exempt from federal income tax on their CAF salary up to a pay level of lieutenant colonel. This is in addition to exist...”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Points of Order

“....

According to the summary of Bill C-63, after the section that summarizes the changes to the Income Tax Act, the summary goes into a second list, saying, “implements other income tax measures by”, and then lists a number of measures, including, “(c) ensuring that qualifyi...”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nter for their children.

Additionally, our government announced an enhancement of the working income tax benefit. By letting low-income workers take home more money, the working income tax benefit offers real help to over 1.5 million Canadians. Our government is doing more to h...”

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...tudent, reported to me that the CRA is wasting tax dollars asking for proof of various items on her income tax return. She is a student. She is not making enough money to pay much in taxes or anything...”

Mr. Andy Fillmore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Lib.)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... government to support workers, including our recent announcement that we are enhancing the working income tax benefit, or WITB, for low-income workers. For a single mom, a more generous working income tax benefit, combined with a stronger Canada child benefit, will mean more money for books, s...”

Mr. Michael Cooper (St. Albert—Edmonton, CPC)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...he called them, was to, without consultation, try to ram through some of the largest changes to the Income Tax Act in more than 40 years, which in turn would result in massive tax increases on small b...”

Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie (Joliette, BQ)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... Project agreement on July 7, but it has not yet ratified it, because Canadian law, essentially the Income Tax Act, does not meet the agreement’s requirements. Today, four months later, how many measures from the international agreement are included in Bill C-63? Not a single one.

We are extremely disappointed, but not particularly surprised. I have been a member of the House for two years now. Almost every day, I see the exceptionally powerful lobbying of the five major Canadian banks on Bay Street in Toronto. The Minister of Finance, himself a major shareholder of Morneau Shepell, uses tax havens, is involved in financial schemes and advises people to use tax havens to divert money from Canada.

For example, his company advised the Bahamas on how to better attract Canadian insurance companies. It is written on the website of the Minister of Finance’s company. It is also written that he advised Barbados, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands in methods of fostering access for his client companies.

In terms of economic policy, there is not much difference with the previous government. The Prime Minister is a great communicator, but the fact remains that this is an old government that is more interested in finances than in Canadians. The financial lobby runs Ottawa when it comes to economic matters. This is nothing new. Paul Martin had a shipping company registered in Barbados so he would not have to pay income tax.

If you look at the Income Tax Act, the Bank Act or the Canada infrastructure bank, you can see that Canada’s economic development is wholly based on the interests of the financial lobby in Toronto. After Barbados in the 1990s, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government legalized 22 more tax havens in 2009 by signing tax information exchange agreements.

Last spring, the Liberals added the Cook Islands to the list. That is the history of Canada. The financial community has the government’s ear, and, really, who is governing who? The Minister of National Revenue keeps repeating that we are investing historic amounts, “zillions and zillions”, in the fight against tax evasion and that the net is tightening. I am all for prosecuting fraud, but the problem lies elsewhere. Essentially, the use of tax havens is perfectly legal in Canada. That is the real problem. As legislators, that is the problem that concerns us here in the House.

When the minister says that the net is tightening on those who abuse the system, she is mistaken. It is still wide open. For example, Canada accounts for 2% of global GDP, and yet, last summer, the IMF reported that three Canadian banks, the Royal Bank, Scotiabank and the CIBC, represent 80% of all banking assets in Barbados, Grenada and the Bahamas. In the eight other tax havens that make up the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, Canadian banks own 60% of banking assets. That is considerable.

Canada is not an economic superpower, but it is a superpower in tax havens. Nothing in Bill C-63 addresses this problem. Every Canadian has to pay the income tax that these freeloaders are not. The middle class that the government is so fond of talking about will be footing the bill. The regulatory framework was written specifically to allow banks and multinationals to avoid paying income tax in Canada.

I say “regulatory framework” because the problem is in the regulations. No tax treaty condones the use of tax havens. Even the treaty with Barbados does not cover the empty shells that enjoy tax breaks in that country. As for the other tax havens, Canada has not signed tax treaties with them. When you look at the Income Tax Act, it does not condone tax havens, either. When Parliament passed the act and adopted t...”

Ms. Linda Lapointe (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Lib.)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... for the winter.

Another of our government’s key measures in Bill C-63 is obviously the lower income tax rate for small and medium-size businesses. Once again, no sooner said than done. As promised in our 2015 election platform, we are delivering on our commitment to lower the income tax rate for small and medium-size businesses. (1340)

That rate, which was 11% in 2015...”

Mr. Chandra Arya (Nepean, Lib.)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...llion.

I would like my hon. friend's comments on the investments we have made through cutting income taxes for the middle class, the investments we have made through the child benefit program, a...”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...people who earn modest incomes keep more of their hard-earned dollars, we are enhancing the working income tax benefit to the tune of $500 million per year as of 2019. We are keeping the promises we m...”

Mr. Arif Virani (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism), Lib.)

November 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ll businesses, offer more support to families through the Canada child benefit, enhance the working income tax benefit, and also advance indigenous reconciliation.

There have been 500,000 jobs created since 2015. Over 1.5 million low-income workers will receive support to advance their careers and provide for their families. Canada's unemployment rate has dropped from 7.1% in September 2015, just before the last federal election, down to 6.2% in September of this year. Youth unemployment figures across the country are also at historic lows. Building on this positive growth, our government is enhancing the working income tax benefit by $500 million, which will benefit 1.4 million Canadians. Additionally, to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in our communities, we are lowering the small business tax from 11% to 9%.

This is a strong budget that will benefit people from coast to coast, including my fellow residents of Parkdale—High Park. This will be done by ensuring tax fairness, thanks to this new budget implementation act. It will put Canada's most skilled, talented, and innovative individuals at the heart of our future economy, creating more jobs both in the short term and the long term. We will also be implementing an agenda that addresses the changing nature of the economy to ensure that it will work for all Canadians.

This legislation allocates $400 million for the venture capital catalyst initiative. This will directly benefit start-ups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in Parkdale—High Park and right around the country. It is the small business owners, like those in the neighbourhoods of my riding, like the Junction, Swansea Village, and Parkdale itself, and Bloor west village that not only stimulate our economy but also support the families living in our very community.

In the last couple of years, it has been a pleasure to engage in conversations time and time again with small business owners in Parkdale—High Park, who make up the fabric of the fantastic neighbourhoods where we live, and shop, and raise our families. I also held a town hall with small business owners at the end of September. I listened carefully to their concerns and relayed those concerns back to cabinet and the minister.

Our government has responded. As a result of this important feedback, we are determined to limit any changes in the tax treatment of passive income to 3% of Canadian businesses who hold more than $1 million in their corporate accounts. We have also decided not to move forward with measures relating to the conversion of income into capital gains.

I know that many of my constituents work long hours, and sometimes maintain more than one job to advance their careers and to support themselves and their families. Therefore, I will address the working income tax benefit, because this zones in on so many millions around this country, the hard-working Canadians, whether they live alone, with families, or are supporting seniors. In fact, the working income tax benefit is particularly zoned in on those living alone, who are now, according to the mos...”

Mr. Randeep Sarai (Surrey Centre, Lib.)

November 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“....

This is not the only way we are making it easier to be a worker. Our newly enhanced working income tax benefit will provide $500 million to low-income workers, starting in 2019. This comes on top of the $250 million increase that has already come about through pension reform.

Many Canadians work long hours to join the middle class, and it is our duty to send support their way. Currently, the working income tax benefit benefits 1.5 million Canadians, including more than 200,000 in British Columbia. ...”

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

November 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rkers to keep more of their hard-earned money from every paycheque by further enhancing the working income tax benefit by an additional $500 million per year, starting in 2019. Helping the most vulner...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

November 3rd
Hansard Link

Points of Order

“... the bill also implements a GST/HST measure announced on September 8, 2017. Other items include the income tax amendments, part 1, related to farmers and fishers selling to cooperatives; part 3's amendments to the Excise Act related to beer made from concentrate; division 5 of part 5, which amends the Bank of Canada Act concerning loans and advances made to members of the Canadian Payments Association; division 11 of part 5, which makes a series of amendments to the Judges Act; and division 13 of part 5, which amends the Financial Administration Act in respect of payments to discharge a debt.

Returning to the original Standing Order I cited at the outset, you, as Speaker, have the ability to break this bill into separate bills if its various provisions concern unrelated matters and if they are then linked in the same bill. Clearly, the matters I have just mentioned, their merits or demerits notwithstanding, are not directly related to each another. For example, the Judges Act is not related to the Financial Administration Act, the Judges Act is not related to the Excise Act, and the Bank of Canada Act is not related directly to the Income Tax Act. Therefore, the bill combines a number of different acts in one single bill, which gi...”

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

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... not have to worry about financial issues.

Starting in 2019, we will be enhancing the working income tax benefit, or WITB, by an additional $500 million per year. This will put more money in the...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...h]

The government is also proposing changes to the principal residence exemption. The current income tax system provides a significant income tax benefit to homeowners disposing of their principal residence, in the form of an exemption...”

Mr. Lloyd Longfield (Guelph, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rking on to introduce equity into our tax system.

I am particularly interested in the working income tax benefit we are announcing. Seventy per cent of Canadians living in poverty are working. T...”

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

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... clear example of that.

The member is very wishy-washy on a multitude of things. The greatest income tax break has been given to Canada's middle class, a tax cut that the Conservatives voted aga...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s. Let me give an example.

On the middle class, 87% of middle-class taxpayers are paying more income tax today than they were when the Prime Minister took office. That does not include the carbo...”

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

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...und. They say that, despite the government's many claims to the contrary, it has increased personal income tax for the vast majority of middle-class families.

Given all the facts, the Liberal go...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...it?

Every year, I organize a help desk in my constituency office to help people prepare their income tax returns. We see people with very low incomes, many of whom receive social assistance or e...”

Ms. Julie Dabrusin (Toronto—Danforth, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ights into food insecurity across Canada. Last year's report recommended an increase in the working income tax benefit, as have the reports and plans of action of Dignity for All.

As part of our government's fall economic statement, we announced that the working income tax benefit would be increased. That tax benefit helps to offset the financial barriers faced by those joining or rejoining the workforce by supplementing the earnings of low-income workers. Starting in 2019, this benefit will be increased by an additional $500 million annually.

Our government's fall economic statement showed how much the economy has grown, with hundreds of thousands of new jobs being created and the lowest youth unemployment rate on record. It included important anti-poverty measures through the indexation of the Canada child benefit and an increase to the working income tax benefit. (1140)

All of this good news is why I am happy to speak to our continued work to grow the economy and help provide opportunities to Canadians through the budget implementation act, Bill C-63.

I would like to focus on division 8 of the budget implementation act, which makes changes to the Canada Labour Code that would allow federal employees some greater flexibility in recognition of the family responsibilities that many of them must balance with their work.

My two children are 19 months apart. As any parent knows, particularly a parent of two children who are close in age, the early years of balancing work with family responsibilities can be very chaotic. In my own experience, I was lucky enough to be able to negotiate with my employer some flexibility in my workplace. In my situation, that made all the difference, allowing me to be more efficient at my work while managing my very busy home. Given my experience and having seen how flexibility can work, I am pleased to see flexible work arrangements added to the Canada Labour Code. A federal employee will now have the right to request a flexible work arrangement. The employer's response now has to be based on prescribed reasons for the decision, and there can be no penalty against the employee for having asked for this opportunity. This will remove the fear that some employees might have about the negative impact of making such a request. It is a step forward in recognizing the needs of employees, which can change over time. I should add that this allowance is not just for family responsibilities, but also for federal employees to seek flexible work arrangements based on whatever their circumstances may be. They just must set them out clearly according to certain rules set out in the proposed changes to the Canada Labour Code.

An issue that is important to many federal employees as parents or as carers for elderly family members is how to attend needed doctors' appointments of their family members. I know from my own experience that I have received my share of telephone calls from my day care to tell me that my child was sick and that I needed to leave work to pick the child up. That can be very difficult to manage against my work obligations. Therefore, I can see the need for what is another major change to the Canada Labour Code, the granting of up to three days of leave every calendar year for employees to carry out their responsibilities related to health care or the care of any of their family members. This will provide some extra peace of mind and assistance to federal employees. Because this comes up as we head into parent-teacher interview season, I should add that the three days of leave also applies to employees' responsibilities related to the education of any of their family members who are less than 18 years of age. That can help them attend parent-teacher interviews or to meet other school-related needs.

This year our government announced Canada's first gender-based violence strategy. I am happy to see that, as part of this budget implementation act, it takes into account family violence by making amendments to allow leave for any employee who is a victim of family violence, or is the parent of a child who is a victim of family violence, for up to 10 days. The leave is to enable employees, in respect of such violence, to the following: (a) seek medical attention for themselves or their child in respect of a physical or psychological injury or disability; (b) to obtain services from an organization that provides services to victims of family violence; (c) to obtain psychological or other professional counselling; (d) to relocate temporarily or permanently; or (e) to seek legal or law enforcement assistance, or to prepare for or participate in any civil or criminal legal proceeding. While my wish is that this will become an unused provision as a result of our strategies to eliminate family violence, it gives me quite a bit of peace of mind to see that these changes can provide extra support to survivors of family violence. (1145)

People in Toronto—Danforth have reached out to me to ask our government to take the necessary steps to eliminate poverty. The announcements forming part of the fall economic statement that will result in the indexation of the Canada child benefit and an increase to the working income tax benefit are two tangible and important means to reduce poverty. There is much more work b...”

Mr. Darrell Samson (Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...vernment, to help us as MPs, understand some of their needs.

We have put in place the working income tax benefit for those families making low incomes. They can use that money for education. We ...”

Mr. Chris Bittle (St. Catharines, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...sults to the economy.

However, the minister also made note of a new commitment to the working income tax benefit. Addressing poverty on a wide scale requires addressing the core of the problem. While it was announced that 450,000 new jobs were created since late 2015 and we had the strongest economy in the G7, we must dedicate resources to those Canadians who are down on their luck and need help. The working income tax benefit does just that.

Utilized as a refundable tax credit, the working income tax benefit provides important income support, helping supplement the income of low-income earners. By allowing low-income workers to keep more of their paycheques, the benefit encourages people to enter the workforce and allows them to establish a level of stability, decrease their need for social assistance, and to get back on their feet to break the cycle of poverty.

This has been our goal since the election, advancing an agenda that would serve to expand the middle class and make the lives of Canadians families a little easier.

To recap, today we are debating legislation that would implement the next phase. Our CCB has been successful in its intent to reduce poverty of over 300,000 children. We have witnessed the impact it is having on middle-class families and, as such, we have committed to bolstering it further by tying it to inflation a year early, adding an additional $5.6 billion in support over the next six years.

As I mentioned, our economy is first in the G7 with respect to growth, and the Bank of Canada governor has clearly stated that our policies have contributed to the strength of our economy. Over 450,000 jobs have been created since late 2015 and we are expanding the working income tax benefit to help some of our most vulnerable, giving them the opportunity to regroup and g...”

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...due to over-regulation and over-taxation, will they get to claim a tax deduction against their high income tax bill?

What will be the dollar value of the tax collections quota that the new tax c...”

Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...urned to them at the end of their working lives. (1345)

Of course, there is also the working income tax benefit. Just like everywhere else, some people have trouble getting off social assistanc...”

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

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ry is seeing, and the improvements we are going to make in the Canada child benefit and the working income tax benefit, we are going to tell them that we are working for them.”

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

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... child benefit two years in advance. That is why we are putting in place an increase in the working income tax benefit. These are important things to help our country move forward.”

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

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...da child benefit, which makes life better for 300,000 children. That is why we improved the working income tax benefit for Canadians who are seriously struggling. We will continue to work for Canadian...”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, just a week ago, we announced that we were going to be increasing the working income tax benefit by about $750 million in 2019. That is going to put more money in the pockets of ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... whether they require 14 hours of life-sustaining therapy per week, according to section 118 of the Income Tax Act. A doctor certifies whether they meet that requirement. However, the Prime Minister's...”

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

October 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...increase in the Canada child benefit, for example, and helping them with an increase in the working income tax benefit, so they are better off.”

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

October 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tinue to be successful, with an increase in the Canada child benefit and an increase in the working income tax benefit. This will help Canadians over the long term.”

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

October 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“..., making a real difference for families today. Things like the Canada child benefit and the working income tax benefit make a real difference and will help people to see better outcomes.”

Mr. Raj Grewal (Brampton East, Lib.)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...e lowest it has been since 2008, with 450,000 jobs created. Our government is enhancing the working income tax benefit with an additional $500 million per year, and it is strengthening the Canada chil...”

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

October 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... and who need just a little help. Yesterday, we announced that we will further increase the working income tax benefit by $500 million per year. This means a total increase of 65% to this program. Ped...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

October 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...he ability of a small number of high-income owners of private corporations to reduce their personal income tax by sprinkling their income to family members who are not involved in the business.

...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

October 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...epartment of Finance tabled a study that shows that the wealthiest Canadians pay $1 billion less in income tax than they did two years ago under the Conservative government. Once again, the Liberals p...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP)

October 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t in mind, because it is important to remember that the people who benefited most from the personal income tax rate adjustment scheme were those earning more than $120,000 a year. It is unbelievable.

Furthermore, the Liberals broke their promise to put an end to CEO stock-option tax loopholes, which cost us $800 million a year. The Liberals are not going to go after CEOs or the richest 1% because that would mean going after their Bay Street buddies. Instead they will keep picking on the little guy.

Not only is the tax cut utterly laughable, as it will not help the low-income Canadians who need help the most, but a tax loophole that benefits CEOs remains untouched, and Canada is still doing business with tax havens. (1345)

In March, the NDP moved a motion in the House, and all of the Liberal Party members voted in favour of it. Among other things, the motion called on the government to take a close look at all of our tax treaties with tax havens, such as Barbados and the Cayman Islands. The Liberals went ahead and did that. Then they said the list was incomplete and that there might be one more to add to it.

The NDP was so naive. We thought the Liberal vote meant the government would shorten the list of countries with which it does business, but the government is actually making that list longer. It added the Cook Islands, a British protectorate down around New Zealand whose corporate tax rate is zero. People who stash money there pay no tax. Then they bring it back to Canada, claim that it was taxed in another jurisdiction, and avoid paying tax in Canada.

Here is a very conservative estimate I am sure my friends will like: every year, we lose between $5 billion and $8 billion because of tax havens. Those numbers come from Statistics Canada. It is probably much more than that because we have no real way of knowing.

In that same vein, the Liberals never attack people who take advantage of the system and use the personal income tax rate, the CEO loophole, and tax havens to avoid paying their fair share. What do the Libe...”

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

October 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...m 11%, we will ensure that Canadian-controlled private corporations are not used to reduce personal income tax obligations for high-income earners rather than supporting small businesses. That is a pr...”

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

October 18th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...e on Canadians would result in federal deficit increases due to a decline in personal and corporate income tax revenues. Imagine that. This is not declining revenues because the Liberal government has...”

Mr. Chris Bittle

October 17th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...implify the proposal to limit the ability of owners of private corporations to lower their personal income taxes by sprinkling their income to family members. We want to be very clear on this next poi...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara

October 17th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... steps to ensure that Canadian-controlled private corporation status is not used to reduce personal income tax obligations for high-income earners rather than supporting small businesses. We have a tax system that encourages wealthy individuals to incorporate just so they can get a tax advantage. This leads to a situation where someone making hundreds of thousands of dollars can get a lower tax rate than a middle-class worker making much less per year. That is not fair, and our government is going to fix it.

On July 18, the Minister of Finance launched a consultation process, otherwise known as tax planning using private corporations. We have heard lots of feedback. (1235)

I know I have spent numerous hours going over the proposal, looking at it. We need tax fairness and we need to get it right. We are consulting and listening to all Canadians. I spent many hours understanding this paper and ensuring there were no unintended consequences, that it was a proposed consultation paper. We absolutely are going to get it right.

We heard from business owners, professionals, experts, and our caucus on ways to improve our proposals to ensure we would not affect hard-working middle-class entrepreneurs, many who live in the city of Vaughan and many who I represent as the member of Parliament for Vaughan—Woodbridge, such as family businesses, farmers, and fishers. As someone who grew up on the north coast of British Columbia, I have many friends who are fishers. They still go out on their trawlers, seiners, gillnetters to try to make a living. I know how important it is that we protect and ensure they have a good livelihood. We have heard them and we are acting on what we have heard.

In the short term, the government intends to simplify the proposal to limit the ability of owners of private corporations to lower their personal income taxes by sprinkling their income to family members. The vast majority of private corporations...”

Mr. Pat Kelly (Calgary Rocky Ridge, CPC)

October 17th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... most middle-class families use, leaving the average Canadian family paying over $800 in additional income tax under the current government. That was before they contemplated the draconian small busin...”

Mrs. Mona Fortier

October 17th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...amline the proposal that would limit the ability of private corporation owners to pay less personal income tax by sprinkling their income to family members. Over the next few weeks and months, the gov...”

Mr. James Bezan (Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, CPC)

October 17th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...led Morneau Shepell Bahamas, registered in Barbados, where it gets preferential tax treatment at an income tax rate of 2.5%. Through a tax treaty that Finance Canada negotiated with Barbados, it can repatriate that money back into Morneau Shepell Canada at no Canadian tax level at all. It pays its 2.5% income tax in Barbados, brings the money back here, and redistributes it through dividends to its sh...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

October 3rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...arnings are taxed at the same rate as wages. The only difference is timing. Assuming a 50% personal income tax rate, a wage earner pays 50¢ on the dollar in the year it is earned. A business, by contr...”

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

October 3rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...years ago, it made a commitment to invest in Canada's middle class. We started by lowering personal income taxes for the middle class and raising them for the top 1% of income earners. In so doing, we reduced taxes for nine million Canadians, a measure the opposition voted against.

We introduced the Canada child benefit, which puts more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 families. The CCB is better targeted to the families who need it most, low- and middle-income Canadians. With payments delivered to eligible families every month, the CCB is helping lift approximately 300,000 children out of poverty in Canada. That represents a reduction of approximately in 40% in child poverty in 2017 from what it was just back in 2013. The introduction of the Canada child benefit represents the most significant social policy innovation in a generation.

The Canada child benefit is complemented by other initiatives to support children and families, such as the multilateral early learning and child care framework signed with the provinces and territories on June 12, 2017.

The government has also prioritized the movement of people and goods by investing in infrastructure. The government invested for the long term in our infrastructure because we saw infrastructure investment as critically important to the future of our country and our economy. Recognizing the important role infrastructure plays in building strong communities, creating jobs, and growing the economy, budget 2016 provided $14.4 billion for public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, infrastructure at post-secondary institutions, and for rural broadband.

In addition, budget 2017 laid out our long-term plan with an additional $81.2 billion over 11 years. This money is going to support public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, transportation that supports trade, Canada's rural and northern communities, and smart cities, improving the way Canadians live, move, and work. Transit investments will allow Canadians to benefit from shorter commute times, reduced air pollution, access to more good, well-paying jobs, and stronger economic growth. [Translation]

I would like to spend a few minutes talking about Canada's economic performance, and more specifically our impressive economic performance over the past two years.

Ours is currently the fastest-growing economy by far in the G7. Our economy is growing at an impressive 4.5%, the highest growth rate since the beginning of 2006. In the two years since we came into office, 400,000 jobs have been created, most of them full-time. Thanks in part to strong economic growth and our government's prudent investments, our fiscal position is better than forecast in March. For the fiscal year that ended on March 31, we had a budget deficit of $17.8 billion, which is $11.6 billion less than was forecast in 2015.

We are the first to recognize that small businesses are the cornerstone of our economy, and it is thanks to them that our economy is thriving today. Our goal is to encourage businesses to grow and create jobs. That is why we have the lowest combined federal-provincial-territorial average tax rate for small businesses in the G7. Canada has a combined general corporate tax rate that is 12 percentage points lower than that of our largest trading partner, the United States, and those rates are going to remain low.[English]

We also have a lifetime capital gains exemption of more than $835,000 for capital gains realized by individuals on the disposition of qualified small business shares. The exemption is $1 million for qualified farm and fishing properties.

All of these things add up to Canada being a great place to do business, which is all good news, yet business investment in Canada is not as strong as we would like. Canada's business sector labour productivity growth has generally lagged that of the U.S., on average, over the last 25 years. Part of the reason is that American businesses invest more than double, on average, on things like information and communications technology. These investments lead to higher productivity and create more growth and jobs.

In Canada, we have a system that encourages wealthy individuals to incorporate just to get tax advantages not accessible to the vast majority of middle-class Canadians. We do not think it is fair and we will take action to level the playing field. We understand that setting up a private corporation offers hard-working middle-class business owners the ability to sell shares, raise capital, and limit liability. As I mentioned earlier, it also gives them access to the lowest small business tax rate in the G7.

However, we know that for some, incorporation offers something different. That is what we want to address. In some cases, it can allow a high-income incorporated professional to be taxed at a lower rate on his or her personal income than a salaried Canadian.

During our consultations on tax planning using private corporations, we wanted to hear from business owners on how we can encourage them to invest in their active businesses to help create more growth and even more jobs. After all, that is what Canada's low and competitive tax rates are meant to do: they are meant to support and encourage active business investment to spur productivity, growth, and job creation.

Creating growth is one thing, but we also want to work to ensure that growth and prosperity in this country is inclusive. We need an economy in which all Canadians, not just the wealthiest, can participate and take advantage of economic opportunities.

There is work to do to ensure fairness for middle-class Canadians. That is what we are talking about when we talk about improving our tax system: ensuring that everyone benefits from economic growth, not just the wealthy few.

From the very beginning, we have been perfectly clear about our goal. We want to create an economy that works for the middle class and all of those working hard to join it. At the heart of that goal is a very simple premise: every Canadian needs to pay his or her fair share. (1050) [Translation]

Before I wrap up, I also want to correct some of the false information that is out there. First of all, we did not raise the small business tax rate. SMEs in Canada will continue to benefit from one of the lowest small business income tax rates in the G7.

The government wants to make sure that these proposals do not impact the ability of SMEs to save for business purposes. The tax fairness proposals will not impact the ability of individuals to incorporate. They will also not prevent business owners from hiring family members. The proposed changes do not in any way target middle-class Canadians.

For example, in order for passive investment income to be more beneficial than the savings plans offered to all Canadians through RRSPs and tax-free savings accounts, or TFSAs, a company must make over $150,000. According to the Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness, two-thirds of businesses in Canada earn less than $73,000 a year. We are also aware that business owners and professionals have saved and planned for their retirement under the existing regulations.

I want to be very clear on this point and reassure everyone that the changes we are proposing with regard to taxing passive income will apply only on a go-forward basis. Our intention is to ensure that neither existing savings nor investment income from those savings will be affected. Lastly, we have heard from many women entrepreneurs and professionals who face unique challenges. We want to thank them for bringing their concerns forward, and we are particularly interested in better understanding how these changes could affect women differently than men.

We can assure the House that the measures we are taking will help, not hinder, women's success. We also commend small business owners for reminding us of the undeniable fact that what they do takes guts, and that the risks they take are very real. The changes that the government proposed to make to the tax regime during the consultations on tax planning using private corporations will in no way detract from businesses' ability to invest, compete, and grow.

Our proposals focus on the tax treatment of passive investment income, not money that is invested in the business. They target money that is taken out of the business to make sure that it is taxed fairly. We heard from thousands of Canadians across the country who took part in this important discussion during our consultation process. They shared their thoughts during open discussions, round tables, live online events, and meetings held from Vancouver to St. John's.

The Minister of Finance also met with parliamentarians, specifically members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. A fair tax system helps all Canadians. It allows hard-working small business owners to be compensated for their work. It helps small and large businesses develop and create jobs. However, when it benefits certain individuals at the expense of the vast majority, it needs to be changed. The government asked Canadians for their help in order to get this right. We have listened.[English]

Again, the government will not raise tax rates on businesses or make it more difficult for them to incorporate. Business owners can continue to have family members actively involved in and appropriately compensated by their business. As I have already mentioned, changes to passive income taxation would only apply on a go-forward basis; the changes would not affect existing saving...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice

October 3rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...0,000 a year. They are the ones who benefit the most from the Liberals' plan to change the personal income tax rate.

If the Liberals really wanted to stand up for workers and people in the lower...”

Mrs. Alaina Lockhart (Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Tourism, Lib.)

October 3rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...In our platform, we had a specific commitment to address the use of corporations to reduce personal income tax obligations for high income earners. Currently, an incorporated professional earning $300,000 can use the private corporation to get tax savings that amount roughly to the average Canadian's earnings for a year.

We understand these tax-planning strategies are legal. However, when we consider that these strategies are not available to all Canadians. it is clear they are not fair.[Translation]

At present, a single woman with two children aged 12 and 14 and an incorporated business pays a tax rate that is higher than a married woman with two children aged 19 and 20 and an incorporated business bringing in the same revenue. That is not fair.

The changes we are proposing are aimed at eliminating the legal but unfair advantages that allow the wealthy to incorporate to avoid paying taxes on some of their income and to have a lower tax rate than individual taxpayers.[English]

We do not believe that is fair, and most Canadians agree with this.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about these proposals and I would like to take a few minutes to address some of the more notable misstatements I have heard.

To begin, some have said that these proposals are an attack on middle-class small business. That could not be further from the truth. As the Prime Minister has said, as the Minister of Finance has said, and as so many others in this place have said before today, this is absolutely not true.

We know very well just how important small businesses are to our economy. Small businesses employ approximately 8.2 million Canadians, and this represents 70% of the private sector workforce and approximately 30% of GDP.

We are deeply committed to supporting middle-class small businesses so they do thrive and create good, well-paying jobs. We know just how hard these business owners work to provide for their families.

It is worth remembering that two-thirds of businesses in Canada earn less than $73,000 a year. These hard-working, middle-class small businesses are not our focus. We are supporting these businesses in many ways, as they invest, create jobs, and drive growth throughout our economy. For example, Canada's average tax rate for small businesses is the lowest in the G7 and the fourth lowest among the OECD. This allows small businesses to retain more of their earnings to reinvest, supporting growth and job creation.

Other commentators have expressed concern that our proposals are an attack on the family business. This is also not accurate.[Translation]

Famliy is often crucial to the success of small businesses. I understand that, and so does the government. If a family member is paid for their work in a small business, the changes we are proposing will not affect them. Family members can continue working for the business without any repercussions.

However, we believe that high-income earners should not be allowed to pay dividends to adult family members through the corporation if those family members do not make significant contributions to the business, simply in order to avoid paying their fair share of personal income tax. (1230)

This type of tax planning is unfair because it is not available to all Can...”

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

September 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...to make them more accessible. I would like to remind Canadians of how important it is to file their income tax return in order to receive the credits and benefits they are entitled to.”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...day he testified before the finance committee that the minister's amendments to section 84.1 of the Income Tax Act would double the tax that his family would pay on that transaction. Meanwhile, there ...”

Mr. Xavier Barsalou-Duval (Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, BQ)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e announced the creation of Netflix Canada, a foreign company that is exempt from the QST, GST, and income tax. Up for grabs, though, is $500 million over five years towards the creation of Canadian p...”

Hon. Peter Van Loan (York—Simcoe, CPC)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, the wartime government of Robert Laird Borden introduced an income tax. Believe it or not, Liberals actually opposed the new tax—but wait: Liberals opposed the new income tax because it was not high enough.

The Liberal whip of the day said that it would be “...”

Mr. Erin Weir (Regina—Lewvan, NDP)

September 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ise to close the loophole that allows half of the value of stock options to be exempt from personal income tax, which is another very clear promise the government has broken.

We had the promise ...”

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

September 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our government increased investments in awareness and in the community volunteer income tax program so that Canadians, especially low-income Canadians, can get the support they need...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

September 20th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ce of this cancellation.

In 2018, 1.5 million Canadians will see an increase in their federal income tax because of the cancellation of the public transit tax rebate. The public transit users, o...”

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

June 21st
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...hensive response to the 25th report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts entitled “Report 2—Income Tax Objections—Canada Revenue Agency”, one of the 2016 fall reports of the Auditor General of...”


The Senate

Hon. Sarabjit S. Marwah

December 13th
Hansard Link

Budget Implementation Bill, 2017, No. 2 Third Reading

“...irness and why make this change now. As background, the creation and operation of section 34 of the Income Tax Act goes back to the report of the Carter commission, the Royal Commission on Taxation, as far back as 1966. The goal of the Carter commission was to improve the entire Canadian tax system, including the recognition of revenue. The Carter commission advocated that accrual accounting should become the law of the land for all taxpayers, with very limited exceptions. In 1982 the federal government enacted section 10(5) to require all professional’s year-end work-in-progress to be included in income. But some professions — accountants, dentists, lawyers, doctors — were exempted from this requirement. At that time, the Minister of State for Finance, Paul Cosgrove, indicated that the rationale for excluding these professions was an inability by them to fully benefit from other tax deductions such as the small business tax rate. In addition, it was indicated that in some provinces these professions were likely prohibited from incorporating at that time. But it is now 2017, and, colleagues, that is simply no longer the case. Incorporation, for instance, is now an option for many employed in the specified professions. Hence, the disadvantage that these professions had no longer exists. As a result, in the spirit of fairness, the deferral of revenues should also no longer be permitted. The second issue, as some witnesses have argued, is that the requirement to accrue revenues for these professionals is too subjective and that costs cannot be reliably estimated. This could create problems in compliance and tax filings. I must admit I find that very hard to believe. Most of these professionals are people-based businesses and have a very deep understanding of their cost structures. Furthermore, since this practice has been in use for over 30 years by many other professions, there is plenty of empirical evidence and best practices on this issue, not to mention experience at the CRA to provide appropriate interpretations. Let me now turn to another element of BIA2 that attracted attention, and that is the proposal to give Canada the authority to become a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the AIIB. Again, as background, the AIIB was formally established in December 2015, with 57 founding members. Currently the AIIB’s executive board consists of 12 directors. Nine members of the board are elected by regional members, and three are elected by non-regional members. Based on the number of shares that are currently available, Canada’s initial membership would cost US$199 million, with the potential for a maximum of US$375 million if and when additional shares become available. Three questions have been raised. First, will the governance of this bank, which has China as the largest shareholder, be adequate? On this issue, I am advised that the AIIB reflects the operating and governance structures of existing international financial institutions, and it has adopted best practices from other multilateral development banks such as the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, EBRD, et cetera. Furthermore, the AIIB’s social and environmental safeguards also parallel existing multilateral development bank safeguards and were formalized in spring 2016 following a round of public consultations in the prior year. These safeguards include, for instance, restrictions on child labour, which requires project conformity with the International Labour Organization’s Minimum Age Convention. Requirements are around consideration for environmental damage. These include pollution abatement practices, biodiversity consideration and sustainability of land and water use. There are also considerations around instances where involuntary resettlement may occur. Like the World Bank, the AIIB requires resettlement activities to be conceived and executed as sustainable development programs. Related to the issue of governance, questions were raised as to what reporting the AIIB would make to its members and, in turn, what visibility Canadians would have into the AIIB. Honourable senators, it is my understanding that the AIIB requires annual reports and quarterly financial statements for all stakeholders. In addition, Canada’s payments to the AIIB and their purpose will be reported in the Statistical Report on International Assistance. I can also inform you that any payments to the AIIB will be reported both through the estimates process and in the public accounts. Furthermore, the AIIB will be noted alongside Canada’s other capital subscription to multilateral development banks such as the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. I would also note that the other major investors in the AIIB are, for instance, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea and Israel, to name a few, and they have invested multiples of what Canada has. I don’t think they would put up with bad governance or lack of reporting. In fact, collectively, we should be able to have an impact on making improvements over time. The second area of concern is the cost of investment and what could be the advantages to Canada. There is no argument, honourable senators, that US$199 million is a lot of money. But without it, we would not have a seat at the table, and, in my view, it is important to have that when projects are being proposed and delivered through the AIIB. A surefire way to ensure that Canada receives no economic benefit from the over $90 billion being invested in the AIIB projects throughout Asia is not to be at the table. Why would any of those projects involve a Canadian company when so many other nations have contributed to the program? Hence, it is important that Canada bring its expertise to the AIIB table in the form of a formal membership if the Canadian economy is to receive any benefit from its operation. I would go further to suggest that through membership in the AIIB the government is investing, albeit indirectly, in Canada. As a small, open trading economy, Canada will have greater access to some of the fastest-growing markets in the world. More than 500 Canadian firms are active in China, operating in very diverse sectors, including life sciences, automotive, aerospace, transportation, financial services, information technologies and clean technology. Membership in the AIIB will open the doors wider for Canadian businesses already working in the region and help more businesses benefit either directly or through spillover effects. The third area of concern is whether these funds would be better spent on infrastructure at home in Canada. There is no doubt that infrastructure plays a critical role in building stronger communities and growing the economy. While I contend investing at home is always the first preference, I do not believe it should be mutually exclusive to other investments. It is not as if investments are not being made here in Canada. For instance, Budget 2016 committed almost $12 billion over the next five years to support public transport, green and social infrastructure. On top of that, the Fall Economic Statement 2016 committed an additional $81 billion over 11 years in support of renovating and rebuilding our infrastructure at home. (1520) Taken together, the total of these investments matches the total paid in capital that had been contributed to the AIIB. This means that this government is investing as much to build Canadian infrastructure as 58 nations of the world have committed to developing infrastructure throughout Asia. I think the intention is clear, honourable senators. This government is willing to invest a lot at home and to a much lesser extent abroad. In my view, that is a smart way to build the economy for the future. I want to close my remarks by noting the discussions surrounding Part 4 of BIA2, the cannabis taxation agreements. As I noted during second reading debate, there is currently no provision in the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act that enables a Minister of Finance to enter into coordinated cannabis taxation agreements with provinces and territories. This bill simply provides the minister with that capability. The issues that arose during the committee meetings were twofold. First, given that the impact of cannabis legislation has not been fully determined, why are the taxation agreements being negotiated first? Is the process being done backwards? I respectfully disagree with this notion. I believe it is merely a question of efficiency. This measure will allow the federal government to pursue a coordinated system of cannabis taxation with the provinces and the territories. Introducing the measure now is necessary to ensure that the taxation framework can be put in place well before cannabis is legalized. This follows a well-tried and proven process, such as during the HST legislation. Second, will municipalities receive revenues to cover the costs that they will undoubtedly incur? On this issue, the government announced yesterday that they reached an agreement with the provinces and territories on sharing cannabis tax revenue. As the burden of enforcement, health care, education programs, et cetera, will fall to municipalities, provinces and territories, the federal government will receive only 25 per cent of tax revenues. This will give the provincial and territorial governments most of the tax revenue, which they can in turn distribute to the municipalities as needed. In summary, honourable senators raised a number of issues during the consideration of BIA2. I want to thank them for their careful scrutiny and due diligence of this bill. Over the course of these remarks, I have attempted to address a number of concerns relating to the provisions of BIA2. I contend that this bill allows the government of the day to implement a series of reasoned measures to facilitate continued economic development. Moreover, I note that numerous provisions in this bill, such as technical income tax changes, excise tax changes, the internal trade agreement and the Labour Code changes, ev...”

Hon. Elizabeth Marshall

December 13th
Hansard Link

Budget Implementation Bill, 2017, No. 2 Third Reading

“...lan on marijuana legalization indicating estimated revenues, including the tax on marijuana, future income taxes and licensing fees; and the estimated costs, such as program expenses, educational expe...”

Hon. Rosa Galvez

December 13th
Hansard Link

Budget Implementation Bill, 2017, No. 2 Third Reading

“...nd budget implement act of 2017. I will be brief. I will speak to Part 1 of the act, which concerns income tax provisions related to the Ecological Gifts Program. Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program, ad...”

Hon. Sarabjit S. Marwah

December 5th
Hansard Link

Budget Implementation Bill, 2017, No. 2 Second Reading

“...imates. Honourable senators, I will now quickly outline some of the other meaningful changes to the Income Tax Act — a few of which are more meaningful although most are relatively minor. The first is billed-basis accounting. The use of billed-basis accounting has allowed certain professionals to exclude the value of work-in-progress when calculating their income, while allowing them to claim expenses on such work. In fairness to other professions where this is not permitted, billed-basis accounting practices will be eliminated for taxation years starting after March 22, 2017. Because of extensive consultation, the transition period has been extended from two to five years for phasing in the change. In the principal residence exemption, individuals or trusts who were not resident in Canada when they bought the property will not be able to claim the capital gains exemption for the year of acquisition. Also, families are able to designate only one property as a principal residence for any given year. Regarding ecological gifts, currently there is a program for Canadians to make gifts of ecologically sensitive land, the conservation of which is important to the preservation of Canada’s environmental heritage. Going forward, ecological gifts to private foundations will no longer be permitted because private foundations are often controlled by an individual or a group of related individuals who are usually the primary donors to the foundation. The proposed amendments will address the potential conflict of interest in such situations. Next is nurse practitioners. To recognize the important role played by nurse practitioners in Canada’s health care system, they will be added to the lists of medical practitioners who are allowed to perform certain functions, including certifying a medical condition, for the purposes of income tax. Regarding oil and gas exploration, amendments will ensure that the expenses related to successful oil and gas discovery wells are treated as Canadian development expenses so that they are deducted tax-wise gradually over time rather than immediately. This measure supports Canada’s international commitments to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. The balance of Part 1 of the bill includes several technical amendments that serve to increase the transparency of the Income Tax Act. Moving briefly to excise taxes, Parts 2 and 3 of the budget bill deal with several excise tax changes. The vast majority of these are technical amendments such as the GST/HST application to pension plans, master trusts, financial institutions, drop shipment rules, municipal transit, et cetera. I won’t bother going through them here. These are largely to correct deficiencies, resolve unintended consequences and respond to comments by taxpayers. They have virtually no fiscal impact. Next is the excise tax on beer concentrate. Also under the area of excise taxes, Part 3 deals with the potential double taxation of beer. This, I am sure, is of interest to many. As a result of existing excise rules, these beer products may be taxed twice: first, as spirits during the manufacturing process; then as beer, once transformed into a form ready for consumption. Bill C-63 includes a measure that amends the Excise Act to ensure that beer made from concentrate is taxed only once and that is with consumption. Colleagues, now you can rest in peace that you will not be paying more for your beer — assuming you drink beer made from concentrate. This is a change that is welcomed by the industry and consumers alike. (1440) Lastly, in Part 5 of the bill, besides the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, there are a few other measures that act to simplify, improve or reduce the administrative burden of existing institutions or legislative powers. For instance, Bretton Woods and related agreements. These agreements govern Canada’s engagement with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The activities and related lending agreements of these institutions have undergone significant changes since the BWA was drafted 30 years ago. The changes in BIA2 provide the authority to the Minister of Finance to amend the BWA to reflect modern realities. There is no fiscal impact to this. The changes related to the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act include provisions aimed at preventing the mass termination of eligible financial contracts or derivatives in the unlikely failure of a bank. This allows the CDIC to manage a failure in a manner that protects depositors, taxpayers and financial stability. The changes to the Bank of Canada Act would facilitate the bank taking mortgages as collateral for emergency lending assistance, which it currently cannot do. Colleagues, under the Constitution Act, 1867, any changes that relate to the number of Superior Court judges and their salaries require statutory amendments. Bill C-63 will amend the Judges Act in three ways. First, it will authorize the salary for a new associate chief justice for the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the superior court of Alberta. Adding a new position will alleviate the burden currently carried by the existing judges of the Alberta court. Second, it will change the title of the head of territorial superior trial courts, currently designated as “senior judges,” to “chief justices.” This change in designation is in recognition of the fact that the head of each of the superior trial courts in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut perform the same function and receive the same remuneration as their provincial counterparts. Lastly, it will change the mechanism required for the payment of non-discretionary annuities under the Judges Act. This would eliminate the inefficiencies and delays of the current system in payment of judges on retirement, or to the survivors on the death of a judge. In conclusion, honourable colleagues, while Bill C-63 is a large bill, in my opinion it is as non-controversial a budget bill as you will ever see. It will help employees and employers create workplaces that are modern and compassionate; it promotes freer trade internationally, as well as in Canada; it provides the framework for the introduction of cannabis to the marketplace, to ensure consistent taxation; it clarifies many income tax and excise rules; and it modernizes the powers of institutions such as the Bank of Canada...”

Hon. Nicole Eaton

December 5th
Hansard Link

Budget Implementation Bill, 2017, No. 2 Second Reading

“...ld like to touch on a few items that deserve a careful look. Part 1 of Bill C-63 implements several income tax amendments, including the elimination of what is known as billed-based accounting for designated professionals. This is an accounting method whereby doctors, dentists, veterinarians, accountants and lawyers can choose to exclude the value of work in progress when calculating their income. The effect is that they do not incur a tax liability until the work is billed. Under Bill C-63, that will no longer be permitted. The value of work in progress must be counted as income, even though no invoice has been issued, let alone paid. As announced in the budget, this measure was to be phased in over two years, but, after substantial pushback from professionals, the phase-in has been extended to five years in Bill C-63. The particular concern with the end of billed-based accounting was that it could limit access to justice for civil plaintiffs of modest means who hire lawyers on contingency. Smaller law firms that handle such cases could face crippling tax bills for work not yet billed, causing cash-flow problems that could threaten their continued operation. The Canada Revenue Agency has issued a clarification on its website that says that the changes should not affect bona fide contingency cases, those where no bill will be payable unless there is a successful outcome in the case. That is reassuring news until you consider the recent track record of the Canada Revenue Agency and the recent report of the AG. If they are willing to go after diabetics and autistic persons, I’m not sure I’d expect much sympathy if I were a lawyer. The elimination of billed-based accounting is yet another attack by the government on professionals, in keeping with its egregious proposals for taxation of private corporations. I’d like to turn now, for a few minutes, to Part 4 of Bill C-63, the amendments to the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act. These amendments empower the Minister of Finance to enter into cannabis taxation agreements with provincial governments. This is a government that came to power promising to listen to Canadians and dedicate itself to evidence-based policy, but, in its rush to meet a self-imposed deadline for legalization of cannabis, the government is showing it is not listening and is ignoring the evidence. In September, the provincial justice ministers asked the federal government to slow down on its legalization plans. Police across this country have asked that implementation be delayed. They need time to train officers and to certify drug-recognition experts to deal with cannabis-impaired drivers, pilots, truck drivers and anybody who works in heavy machinery. They have repeatedly said it is impossible to be ready by July 1, 2018. There are only 600 officers certified as drug-recognition experts in Canada, but the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police say that at least 2,000 are needed. Rick Barnum, Deputy Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, says that if the government does not postpone the legalization date, there will be a window, following July 1, of six months to a year when police will not be ready. To quote Deputy Commissioner Barnum: The damage that can be done between the time of new legislation and police officers being ready to enforce the law in six months or a year can make it very hard for us to ever regain that foothold. They won’t be ready to keep our streets and highways safe. They won’t be ready to prevent organized crime from exploiting the grow-at-home exemptions. They simply will not be ready to enforce this law. It’s not just police who want a delay. The provinces of Quebec and Manitoba have made the same request, and the public, although it supports legalization, has grave concerns about the timelines. This is a major policy shift that raises important health and safety concerns. Proper regulation that has been subject to appropriate consultation is critical. Yet, in the government’s haste, it has decided to bypass normal regulatory process. Proposed regulations are generally published in Part I of the Canada Gazette. Typically, the text of the regulation is published along with a regulatory impact assessment statement, a note on the number of days open for comment and contact information to provide feedback. It is called pre-publication. After public consultation, the regulations, as enacted, are published in Part II of the Canada Gazette. It is part of an open and transparent regulatory process that is one of the best in the world. But, in the case of the federal cannabis regulations, the Health Canada document entitled Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis, released two weeks ago, said the following: To meet the government’s commitment of bringing the proposed Cannabis Act into force no later than July 2018, the final regulations will need to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, as soon as possible following Royal Assent. As such, it is important that interested parties provide feedback on the regulatory proposals in this consultation paper, as draft regulations will not be pre-published. There is a mechanism available under the Treasury Board guidelines to exempt regulations from pre-publication. Exemptions from the normal process are permissible when regulations are of minimal impact or correct errors to ensure consistency between official languages, or when they respond to emergencies, or when they are of a sensitive nature, when pre-publication would cause adverse effects, such as when changing subsidies or interest rates. But there is no scenario imaginable in which cannabis regulations would qualify for one of these exemptions. For one of the most important policy shifts in many years in this country, one with profound implications for public health and safety, the government is short-circuiting the regulatory process. (1500) There is no reason for this undue haste, aside from the fact they want revenue from taxation, which brings us back to Bill C-63 and a federal cannabis tax framework with the provinces. We have heard the Prime Minister’s views on this — that the federal government should get half of the excise tax to be imposed on the retail sale of cannabis. This, despite the fact that the costs in enforcing the new law and the consequences that flow from the increased use of cannabis will be overwhelmingly borne by provinces and municipalities. I hope there is substance to recent reports that suggest the government is willing to grant a larger share to the provinces, provided the money is shared with municipal governments. That is an encouraging sign, because there is no doubt the legalization of cannabis will put a severe strain on local governments. But that lack of agreement on tax-sharing revenues is the least of the problems with the government’s approach to this issue. One area of Bill C-63 that has received considerable attention in the other place is Part 5, Division 2, the proposed “Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Agreement Act.” Although Canada has formally committed to investing roughly $250 million in this Chinese-led initiative, this bill, on page 239, authorizes the Minister of Finance to transfer nearly double that amount. There is no question Canada needs to diversify its trade, considering the increasingly erratic and unpredictable trading relationship with our traditional partner, the United States. But that does not mean our primary focus should be China. It is a country that does not recognize democratic norms, routinely violates human rights, has a serious corruption problem, does not respect intellectual property, and conducts cyberattacks and industrial espionage around the world. China is not a free and fair trader, to say the least. What Canada will get out of this infrastructure bank is questionable at best. We will have a 1 per cent share compared to nearly 30 per cent for China itself and will have little say in what investments are made or what companies will benefit. The progressive conservative organization bankwatch.org rates the bank as the worst of any multilateral bank in terms of transparency. Although the infrastructure bank has made all the right noises about environmental stewardship, it is expected to make arm’s-length investments through other financial intermediaries that will leave open the possibility of financing projects that are environmentally unsound or that violate human rights. So Canada may be financing coal-fired power plants in Asia or pipelines with no concern for upstream or downstream greenhouse gas emissions. I repeat: We have no say in where our money is invested. We won’t build a pipeline from Alberta to New Brunswick, but we may finance one in a country that does not share our commitment to environmental stewardship, let alone human or democratic rights. If the Prime Minister is serious about diversifying trade and gaining access to Asian markets, why is he skipping meetings on the Trans-Pacific Partnership? That is a trade deal that would provide an opportunity for a balanced trading relationship, unlike a bilateral agreement with China. Including an agreement on the TPP would be a far better use of Canada’s resources than shipping half a billion dollars to Beijing for use by an infrastructure bank over which we have little influence. That is an extraordinary amount of money, and it is not at all clear it will benefit Canadians in any substantive way. Honourable senators, the Liberals inherited a balanced budget. They promised modest deficits of $10 billion before returning to balance in 2019-20. But Minister Morneau and Prime Minister Trudeau delivered a deficit three times what they promised and have abandoned all pretense they will ever balance the budget. It was a truly interesting sight to see Minister Morneau asked repeatedly — seven times, in fact — at a committee meeting last month when the budget will be balanced and hear him avoid a substantive answer — seven times in a row — to this very straightforward question. Here I disagree with my colleague the Honourable Senator Marwah. Deficits, I think, are important. Canadians were told deficits were needed to rebuild our road and bridges, and help the middle class. But two years into their mandate, the Liberals have been unable to get money out of the door for infrastructure projects. Just this fall, they announced they were delaying $2 billion in infrastructure spending because of their failure to get projects approved. And what about the middle class? According to an analysis by the Fraser Institute, 81 per cent of middle-class families in Canada will pay more in income tax this year, an increase of $840 on average. What they gave with one hand via their middle-...”

Hon. Percy Mockler

December 4th
Hansard Link

National Finance Study of the Minister of Finance’s Proposed Changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the Taxation of Private Corporations and the Tax Planning Strategies Involved—Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet During Sittings of the Senate and Deposit Re

“...he power to meet for the purposes of its study on the Minister of Finance’s proposed changes to the Income Tax Act, even though the Senate may then be sitting, with the provisions of rule 12-18(1) bei...”

Senator Neufeld

November 30th
Hansard Link

Finance Minister of Finance

“...me earners, and we are told that this would pay for tax cuts to the middle class. Instead, personal income tax revenue decreased by $1.2 billion last year fiscal year, and 80 per cent of middle-class ...”

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate)

November 30th
Hansard Link

National Revenue Disability Tax Credit

“...eceive benefits and credits, including the DTC, meet the eligibility requirements as set out in the Income Tax Act. There has been no change in the eligibility criteria for the DTC relating to mental ...”

Senator Harder

November 30th
Hansard Link

National Revenue Disability Tax Credit

“...s adequately responding to the changing and evolving technologies as they apply the rules under the Income Tax Act to award the disability payments.”

Hon. Percy E. Downe

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Canada Revenue Agency Act Bill to Amend—First Reading

“introduced Bill S-243, An Act to amend the Canada Revenue Agency Act (reporting on unpaid income tax). (Bill read first time.)”

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate)

November 8th
Hansard Link

Finance Tax Fairness

“...iduals who receive the benefit and credits, including the DTC, meet the requirements set out in the Income Tax Act. We should know that the agency receives about 220,000 applications for the DTC each ...”

Hon. Anne C. Cools

October 26th
Hansard Link

National Finance Committee Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report on the Study of the Minister of Finance’s Proposed Changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the Taxation of Private Corporations and the Tax Planning Strategies Involved

“...anding Senate Committee on National Finance in relation to its study on the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act be extended from November 30, 2017 to December 15, 2017.”

Hon. Claude Carignan

October 19th
Hansard Link

National Revenue Taxable Benefits

“...nd doctrine. Now they will have the Prime Minister’s Twitter account as a tool for interpreting the Income Tax Act. I would remind you that the Liberal Party platform stated that the government should...”

Hon. Percy Mockler

October 18th
Hansard Link

National Finance Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Extend Date of Final Report on the Study of the Minister of Finance’s Proposed Changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the Taxation of Private Corporations and the Tax Planning Strategies Involved

“...anding Senate Committee on National Finance in relation to its study on the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act be extended from November 30, 2017 to December 15, 2017. [English]”

Hon. Ratna Omidvar

October 18th
Hansard Link

Finance Regulations Governing Charitable Organizations

“..., the Minister of National Revenue, and Minister Morneau, the Minister of Finance, to modernize the Income Tax Act with respect to charities and their non-partisan public-policy engagement. The minist...”

Hon. Victor Oh

October 18th
Hansard Link

National Revenue Canada Child Benefit—Eligibility of Children of Refugees

“...trast, refugee claimants who are seeking protection in our country and are required to file and pay income tax are not receiving this monthly payment for their Canadian-born children. Could the Leader...”

Hon. Anne C. Cools

October 5th
Hansard Link

National Finance Committee Authorized to Meet During Sitting of the Senate

“...ational Finance have the power to meet for the purposes of its study on the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations and the tax planning strategies invol...”

Hon. Percy Mockler,

October 4th
Hansard Link

National Finance Budget and Authorization to Engage Services and Travel—Study on the Minister of Finance’s Proposed Changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the Taxation of Private Corporations and the Tax Planning Strategies Involved—Twenty-first Report of Committee Pres

“...e Senate on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, to study the Minister of Finance’s proposed changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations and the tax planning strategies invol...”

Hon. Percy Mockler

October 4th
Hansard Link

National Finance Budget and Authorization to Engage Services and Travel—Study on the Minister of Finance’s Proposed Changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the Taxation of Private Corporations and the Tax Planning Strategies Involved-Twenty-First Report of Committee—Deba

“...t of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance (Budget—study of the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations—power to hire staff and to travel), p...”

Hon. Percy Mockler

October 3rd
Hansard Link

National Finance Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet during Sitting of the Senate

“...ational Finance have the power to meet for the purposes of its study on the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations and the tax planning strategies invol...”

Hon. Percy Mockler

October 3rd
Hansard Link

Ministry of Finance Small Business Tax

“...ch of this passion has been expressed right here in this chamber. Mr. Minister, when we look at the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations and the tax planning strategies invol...”

Hon. David Tkachuk

October 3rd
Hansard Link

Ministry of Finance Small Business Tax

“...is bad enough we have to remit HST on accounts receivable, but how on earth do you expect me to pay income tax on work yet to be billed?” Mr. Morneau, can you ensure Mr. Direnfeld that in fact he will...”

Mr. Morneau

October 3rd
Hansard Link

Ministry of Finance Small Business Tax

“... have significantly increased. The arbitrage, if you want to call it that, between the top personal income tax rate and the small business rate has increased significantly, having gone up to 37 per ce...”

Hon. Larry W. Smith (Leader of the Opposition)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Finance Small Business Tax

“...government. In fact, it states that on average, middle-class families will pay $840 more in federal income taxes this year. The report found that the government’s decision to cancel income splitting and cut tax credits used by families more than offset the savings from the income tax rate reduction of Bill C-2. With this in mind, it’s very difficult to have confidence in ...”

Hon. Art Eggleton

September 27th
Hansard Link

Finance Small Business Tax

“...ear for research; I think it was 2016. However, the ones involved in the sprinkling paid $44,000 in income tax and the other person with much the same income was paying $79,000 in income tax. Is that the kind of unfairness and inequity that the government is trying to deal with?”

Hon. Anne C. Cools

September 21st
Hansard Link

National Finance Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Study the Minister of Finance’s Proposed Changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the Taxation of Private Corporations and the Tax Planning Strategies Involved

“...al Finance be authorized to examine and report on the Minister of Finance’s proposed changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations and the tax planning strategies invol...”

Hon. Larry W. Smith (Leader of the Opposition)

September 21st
Hansard Link

Finance Small Business Tax

“...n fact, page 16 of the report released by the Department of Finance on Tuesday showed that personal income tax revenues decreased by $1.2 billion in 2016-17. Faced with a deficit of $18 billion, plus ...”

Hon. Anne C. Cools

September 21st
Hansard Link

National Finance Motion to Authorize Committee to Study the Minister of Finance’s Proposed Changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the Taxation of Private Corporations and the Tax Planning Strategies Involved—Debate Adjourned

“...al Finance be authorized to examine and report on the Minister of Finance’s proposed changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations and the tax planning strategies invol...”

Hon. Yuen Pau Woo

June 20th
Hansard Link

Budget Implementation Bill, 2017, No. 1 Eighteenth Report of National Finance Committee Presented

“...es like the GST precisely as having a built-in inflation escalator.

I would also add that our income tax system also has a built-in inflation escalator. We heard differently in this chamber a few days ago. The argument was made that when tax brackets change they lower one's taxes rather than increase them. But that is not the argument. The issue of income taxes is that, as you all know, there are various brackets. As you move up the income bracket...”

Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Budget Implementation Bill, 2017, No. 1 Second Reading

“...d for precedents for such an extraordinary provision, they pointed to the tax brackets for personal income taxes, which rise automatically with inflation. But, colleagues, that indexation works to tax...”


Filed Regulations

Order Fixing October 11, 2017 as the Day on which Certain Provisions of the Act Come into Force

October 18, 2017 SI/2017-57
Registration SI/2017-57 October 18, 2017 AN ACT TO AMEND THE CITIZENSHIP ACT AND TO MAKE CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS TO ANOTHER ACT
Gazette Link

“...six years); adjusting the requirement that applicants demonstrate that they have met their tax filing obligations under the Income Tax Act, for three taxation years out of five years, in line with the new physical presence requirement; removing the requirement for applicants to be in Canad...”


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