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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 74
 
Monday, June 13, 2005
 

The Standing Committee on Finance met in a televised session at 7:48 p.m. this day, in Room 237-C Centre Block, the Chair, Massimo Pacetti, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Rona Ambrose, Don H. Bell, Guy Côté, Charles Hubbard, Hon. John McKay, Hon. Maria Minna, Massimo Pacetti, Brian Pallister, Charlie Penson, Monte Solberg and Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

 

Acting Members present: Pierre A. Paquette for Yvan Loubier.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: June Dewetering, Principal; Sheena Starky, Analyst.

 

Appearing: Hon. John McKay, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

 

Witnesses: Department of Human Resources Development (Social Development): Jane Weldon, Acting Director General. Department of Finance: Peter DeVries, General Director, Deputy Minister's Office; Paul Rochon, Director, Economic and Fiscal Policy Branch Branch.

 
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Thursday, May 19, 2005, the Committee commenced consideration of Bill C-48, An Act to authorize the Minister of Finance to make certain payments.
 

The Committee commenced its clause-by-clause study of the Bill.

 

The Hon. John MacKay, Peter Devries and Paul Rochon answered questions.

 

On Clause 1,

Guy Côté moved, — (c) by deleting lines 24 to 26 on page 1.

That Bill C-48, in Clause 1, be amended

(a) by replacing line 4 on page 1 with the following:

1. (1) The Minister”

(b) by replacing line 14 on page 1 with the following:

“(2) The Minister of”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it infringed on the financial initiative of the Crown, as provided on page 655 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 1,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 7 on page 1 with the following:

“solidated Revenue Fund up to 50% of the amount that is”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 1,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 13 on page 1 with the following:

“$4 billion.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 1,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 13 on page 1 with the following:

“$3 billion.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Monte Solberg and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 1,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 17 on page 1 with the following:

“Revenue Fund up to 50% of the amount that is the”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 1,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 23 on page 1 with the following:

“$4 billion.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 1,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 23 on page 1 with the following:

“$3 billion.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Monte Solberg and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 1,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 1, be amended by adding after line 26 on page 1 the following:

“(4) If a payment referred to in subsection (1) or (2) is made to a trust, the Minister shall

(a) within ten sitting days after the payment is made, submit to the House of Commons the terms of the trust and the name of the trustee; and

(b) within thirty sitting days after the end of each fiscal year of the trust, submit to the House of Commons a report on the operations of the trust.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Monte Solberg and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

Clause 1 was negatived on the following recorded division: YEAS: Don H. Bell, Charles Hubbard, John McKay, Maria Minna, Judy Wasylycia-Leis — 5; NAYS: Rona Ambrose, Guy Côté, Brian Pallister, Pierre A. Paquette, Charlie Penson, Monte Solberg — 6.

 

On Clause 2,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 28 on page 1 with the following:

“1(1) and (2) shall be allocated as follows, in a manner that respects provincial jurisdiction:”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Guy Côté and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 5.

 

On Clause 2,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended

(a) by replacing line 32 on page 1 with the following:

“not exceeding $100 million;”

(b) by replacing line 5 on page 2 with the following:

“$4 billion;”

(c) by replacing line 8 on page 2 with the following:

“exceeding $200 million; and”

(d) by replacing line 10 on page 2 with the following:

“$200 million.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it infringed on the financial initiative of the Crown, as provided on page 655 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 2,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 4 on page 2 with the following:

“Canadians and reduce student cost, an amount not exceeding”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 6.

 

On Clause 2,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 2 with the following:

“$6.3 billion;”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it infringed on the financial initiative of the Crown, as provided on page 655 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 2,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 4 on page 2 with the following:

“Canadians and reduce student cost, an amount not exceeding”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 2,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 2 with the following:

“$1.5 billion, subject to

(i) the release of a finalized statement of the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development regarding education, and

(ii) the finalization of performance indicators and reporting requirements based on the First Nation Education Policy Framework;”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived on the following recorded division: YEAS: Rona Ambrose, Brian Pallister, Charlie Penson, Monte Solberg — 4; NAYS: Don H. Bell, Guy Côté, Charles Hubbard, John McKay, Maria Minna, Pierre A. Paquette, Judy Wasylycia-Leis — 7.

 

On Clause 2,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 7 on page 2 with the following:

“for aboriginal Canadians where a first nation matrimonial code applies, an amount not”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived on the following recorded division: YEAS: Rona Ambrose, Brian Pallister, Charlie Penson, Monte Solberg — 4; NAYS: Don H. Bell, Guy Côté, Charles Hubbard, John McKay, Maria Minna, Pierre A. Paquette, Judy Wasylycia-Leis — 7.

 

On Clause 2,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 7 on page 2 with the following:

“for aboriginal Canadians where an individual home ownership program is implemented by a first nation community, an amount not”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived on the following recorded division: YEAS: Rona Ambrose, Brian Pallister, Charlie Penson, Monte Solberg — 4; NAYS: Don H. Bell, Guy Côté, Charles Hubbard, John McKay, Maria Minna, Pierre A. Paquette, Judy Wasylycia-Leis — 7.

 

On Clause 2,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 10 on page 2 with the following:

“$500 million, to be spent only as directed by the House of Commons.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 2,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 10 on page 2 the following:

“(e) for the establishment of a workers' adjustment program, an amount not exceeding $130 million.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 2,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 10 on page 2 the following:

“(e) for employment insurance, an amount not exceeding $3.7 billion.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 2,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 10 on page 2 the following:

“(1.1) The government of Canada shall pay without condition to a province, upon receiving a request from the province to do so, an amount determined by multiplying any payment made under subsection 1(1) or (2) by the quotient obtained by dividing the population of the province by the total population of Canada.

(1.2) Subsection (1.1) does not apply to payments allocated for

(a)training programs and access to post-secondary education to benefit aboriginal Canadians;

(b) housing for aboriginal Canadians; or

(c) foreign aid.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it infringed on the financial initiative of the Crown, as provided on page 655 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

The Chair ruled that the following amendment was consequential to the previous amendment and therefore it was also inadmissible:

That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 13 on page 2 with the following:

“to in subsection (1), excluding the amounts paid to Quebec under subsection (1.1), may be made and the”

 

On Clause 2,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 11 to 15 on page 2 with the following:

“(2) The Governor in Council shall specify the particular purposes for which payments referred to in subsection (1) may be made, including the names of the intended recipients, the expenditures by standard object of expenditure, and the amounts of the payments for the relevant fiscal year.

(3) The Governor in Council shall make a report on the purposes described in subsection (2), and the report shall be laid before the House of Commons on any of the first five days on which that House is sitting after each payment referred to in subsection (1) are made or, if the House is not then sitting, on any of the first thirty days next thereafter that the House is sitting.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Monte Solberg and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 2,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 11 on page 2 with the following:

“(2) The House of Commons may specify the”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 2,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 15 on page 2 the following:

“(3) Any payment allocated in accordance with paragraph (1)(b) shall be made through increases to the Canada Social Transfer on a per capita basis.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Monte Solberg and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

Clause 2, as amended, was negatived on the following recorded division: YEAS: Don H. Bell, Charles Hubbard, John McKay, Maria Minna, Judy Wasylycia-Leis — 5; NAYS: Rona Ambrose, Guy Côté, Brian Pallister, Pierre A. Paquette, Charlie Penson, Monte Solberg — 6.

 

On Clause 3,

Brian Pallister moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended

(a) by replacing lines 16 to 19 on page 2 with the following:

3. (1) For the purposes of this Act and subject to subsection (2), the Governor in Council may, on any terms and conditions that the Governor in Council considers appropriate and if a minister has first laid a proposal before the House of Commons, authorize the minister to”

(b) by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following:

“(2) A proposal that is laid before the House of Commons is deemed to be automatically referred to the appropriate committee of the House, as determined by the rules of the House, and the committee may conduct inquiries or public hearings with respect to the proposal and report its findings to the House.

(3) The Governor in Council may authorize the minister in accordance with subsection (1) only if

(a) the House of Commons has not concurred in any report from a committee respecting the proposal within the thirty sitting days following the day on which the proposal was laid before the House, in which case the Governor in Council may only authorize the minister to implement the proposal in the form laid; or

(b) the House of Commons has concurred in a report from a committee approving the proposal or an amended version of it, in which case the Governor in Council may only authorize the minister to implement the proposal in the form concurred in.

(4) For the purpose of this section, "sitting day" means a day on which the House of Commons sits.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Brian Pallister and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 3,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 17 on page 2 with the following:

“in Council may, in a manner that respects provincial jurisdiction and on any terms and conditions”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Guy Côté and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 5.

 

On Clause 3,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 23 on page 2 with the following:

“ment of a province or any”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Guy Côté and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 2; NAYS: 5.

 
Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 30 to 33 on page 2.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Guy Côté and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 2; NAYS: 5.

 

On Clause 3,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following:

“(2) A committee of the Senate or the House of Commons shall review the operations of a corporation referred to in paragraph (1)(e) or (f) as follows:

(a) in the case of a corporation referred to in paragraph (1)(e), every three years following its incorporation; and

(b) in the case of a corporation referred to in paragraph (1)(f), every three years following the first acquisition of shares or memberships of the corporation.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Monte Solberg and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 3,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following:

“(2) The minister shall

(a) make any agreement referred to in paragraph (1)(b) public within thirty days after it is entered into and lay it before the House of Commons on any of the first five days on which the House is sitting after it is entered into;

(b) make the name of the recipient of any grant or contribution or of any other payment referred to in paragraph (1)(c) public and lay it before the House of Commons before the grant or contribution or other payment is made; and

(c) make the name of the recipient, the amount and the circumstances of any supplement referred to in paragraph (1)(d) public within thirty days after it is made and lay that information before the House of Commons on any of the first five days on which the House is sitting after the supplement is made; the information shall be deemed to be referred for review and report, to the first sitting of the committee of the House of Commons that normally considers financial matters, following the day on which the information is laid before the House.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Monte Solberg and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 7.

 

On Clause 3,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following:

“(2) A corporation referred to in paragraph (1)(e) or (f) shall, within three months after the end of each fiscal year, submit an annual report to Parliament on the corporations' activities during that fiscal year.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 3,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following:

“(2) A corporation referred to in paragraph (1)(e) or (f) shall annually submit a corporate plan to the Minister of Finance for the approval of the Governor in Council.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 3,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following:

“(2) A corporation referred to in paragraph (1)(e) or (f) is subject to the Privacy Act.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 3,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following:

“(2) A corporation referred to in paragraph (1)(e) or (f) is subject to the Official Languages Act.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 3,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following:

“(2) A corporation referred to in paragraph (1)(e) or (f) is deemed to have accounts that are accounts of Canada for the purposes of section 5 of the Auditor General Act.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 3,

Monte Solberg moved, — That Bill C-48, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following:

“(2) A corporation referred to in paragraph (1)(e) or (f) is deemed to be a government institution for the purposes of the Access to Information Act.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Clause 3, as amended, was negatived on the following recorded division: YEAS: Don H. Bell, Charles Hubbard, John McKay, Maria Minna, Judy Wasylycia-Leis — 5; NAYS: Rona Ambrose, Guy Côté, Brian Pallister, Pierre A. Paquette, Charlie Penson, Monte Solberg — 6.

 

On Clause 4,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48 be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following new clause:

EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT

4. The Employment Insurance Act is amended as set out in Schedule 1 to this Act.

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 5,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48 be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following new clause:

5. Schedule I to the Act is replaced by Schedule I set out in Schedule 2 to this Act.

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 
Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48 be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following new clause:

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT

6. Section 23 of the Department of Human Resources Development Act is replaced by the following:

23. (1) There is hereby established a Commission to be known as the Canada Employment Insurance Commission.

(2) The Commission shall be composed of 4 commissioners, as follows:

(a) a Chairperson;

(b) a Vice-Chairperson;

(c) a person representing employees; and

(d) a person representing employers.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 7,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48 be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following new clause:

7. The Act is amended by adding the following after section 24:

24.1 (1) The Governor in Council shall appoint the commissioners who will represent employees and employers from a list of nominees provided by associations representing employers and employees in Canada.

(2) The Governor in Council appoints the Vice-Chairperson from among the Deputy Ministers or the Associate Deputy Ministers of the Department of Human Resources Development.

24.2 (1) The Chairperson shall be appointed by the House of Commons on the recommendation of the Minister following consultation of the commissioners representing employees and employers.

(2) The Chairperson shall not vote, but shall cast a deciding vote in case of an equal division.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Clause 8,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48 be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following new clause:

COORDINATING AMENDMENT

8. If Bill C-23, introduced in the 1st Session of the 38th Parliament and entitled the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act (the “other Act”), receives royal assent, then, on the later of the coming into force of the other Act and the coming into force of this Act,

(a) subsections 20(1) and (2) of the other Act are replaced by the following:

20. (1) There is hereby established a Commission to be known as the Canada Employment Insurance Commission.

(2) The Commission shall be composed of 4 commissioners, as follows:

(a) a Chairperson;

(b) a Vice-Chairperson;

(c) a person representing employees; and

(d) a person representing employers.

(b) the other Act is amended by adding the following after section 21:

21.1 (1) The Governor in Council shall appoint the commissioners who will represent employees and employers from a list of nominees provided by associations representing employers and employees in Canada.

(2) The Governor in Council appoints the Vice-Chairperson from among the Deputy Ministers or the Associate Deputy Ministers of the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development.

21.2 (1) The Chairperson shall be appointed by the House of Commons on the recommendation of the Minister following consultation of the commissioners representing employees and employers.

(2) The Chairperson shall not vote, but shall cast a deciding vote in case of an equal division.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Schedule 1,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48 be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following new schedule:

SCHEDULE 1

(Section 4)

1. (1) Subsection 4(1) of the Employment Insurance Act is replaced by the following:

4. (1) For the purposes of subsection 14(1.1), section 17, subsection 82(2) and sections 95 and 145, the maximum yearly insurable earnings is $41,500 (indexed annually) until the amount calculated in accordance with subsection (2) for a year, before rounding down under subsection (4), exceeds $41,500 (indexed annually), in which case the maximum yearly insurable earnings for that year is that amount, rounded down under subsection (4).

(2) Subsection 4(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(3) For years subsequent to the year in which the maximum yearly insurable earnings exceeds $41,500 (indexed annually), before rounding down under subsection (4), the maximum yearly insurable earnings is the maximum yearly insurable earnings for the preceding year, before rounding down under subsection (4), multiplied by the ratio that the average for the twelve month period ending on June 30 in that preceding year of the Average Weekly Earnings for each month in that twelve month period bears to the average for the twelve month period ending twelve months prior to June 30 of that preceding year of the Average Weekly Earnings for each month in that twelve month period ending twelve months prior to June 30 of that preceding year.

(3) Section 4 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (5):

(6) For the purposes of this section, “$41,500 (indexed annually)” means $41,500 indexed annually, beginning in 2005, to the Consumer Price Index published by Statistics Canada under the authority of the Statistics Act.

2. Paragraph 5(3)(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(b) if the employer is, within the meaning of that Act, related to the employee, they are deemed to deal with each other at arm’s length unless the Minister of National Revenue is satisfied that, having regard to all the circumstances of the employment, including the remuneration paid, the terms and conditions, the duration and the nature and importance of the work performed, it is reasonable to conclude that they would not have entered into a substantially similar contract of employment if they had been dealing with each other at arm’s length.

3. (1) The definition “waiting period” in subsection 6(1) of the Act is repealed.

(2) The definition “disentitled” in subsection 6(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

“disentitled” means not entitled under section 18, 21, 31, 32, 33, 36, 37, 49 or 50 or under the regulations;

4. Subsections 7(2) to (5) of the Act are replaced by the following:

(2) An insured person qualifies if the person

(a) has had an interruption of earnings from employment; and

(b) has had during their qualifying period at least 360 hours of insurable employment.

5. (1) Subsections 7.1(1) to (3) of the Act are replaced by the following:

7.1 (1) The number of hours that an insured person requires under section 7 to qualify for benefits is increased to the applicable number provided in paragraphs (a) to (d) if the insured person accumulates one or more violations in the 260 weeks before making their initial claim for benefit:

(a) 525 hours in the case of a minor violation;

(b) 630 hours in the case of a serious violation;

(c) 735 hours in the case of a very serious violation; and

(d) 850 hours in the case of a subsequent violation.

(3) A violation may not be taken into account under subsection (1) in more than two initial claims for benefits if the insured person qualified for benefits with the increased number of hours in each of those claims.

6. Section of 13 of the Act is repealed.

7. Subsection 14(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

14. (1) The rate of weekly benefits payable to a claimant is 60% of their weekly insurable earnings.

8. (1) Subsection 19(1) of the Act is repealed.

(2) The portion of subsection 19(2) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), if the claimant has earnings during a week of unemployment, there shall be deducted from benefits payable in that week the amount, if any, of the earnings that exceeds

9. Section 20 of the Act is replaced by the following:

20. If a claimant is disentitled from receiving benefits for a working day in a week of unemployment, an amount equal to 1/5 of their weekly rate of benefits for each such working day shall be deducted from the benefits payable for that week.

10. Subsection 22(4) of the Act is repealed.

11. Subsection 23(5) of the Act is repealed.

12. Subsection 23.1(7) of the Act is repealed.

13. Subsection 24(1) of the Act is amended by adding the word “and” at the end of paragraph “(g)” and by repealing paragraph (h).

14. Subsection 28(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(2) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), the weeks of disqualification are to be served during the weeks for which benefits would otherwise be payable if the disqualification had not been imposed and, for greater certainty, the length of the disqualification is not affected by any subsequent loss of employment by the claimant during the benefit period.

15. Subsection 30(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(2) The disqualification is for each week of the claimant’s benefit period and, for greater certainty, the length of the disqualification is not affected by any subsequent loss of employment by the claimant during the benefit period.

16. (1) Paragraph 54(a) of the Act is repealed.

(2) Paragraph 54(f.6) of the Act is repealed.

17. Sections 66 and 66.1 of the Act are replaced by the following:

66. (1) Not later than November 30 in each year, the Commission shall set the premium rate that the Commission considers will, to the extent possible, over a business cycle,

(a) serve the best interests of the contributors and beneficiaries under the employment insurance system;

(b) ensure that there is enough revenue to pay the expenses authorized to be charged to the Employment Insurance Account;

(c) maintain stable rate levels; and

(d) ensure that the difference between the assets of the Employment Insurance Account and its liabilities does not exceed fifteen billion dollars.

(2) On the first day of October in each year, the Commission shall cause a report to be sent to the Minister containing

(a) the reasons for setting the premium rate for the year;

(b) any change to the amount of benefits that the Commission considers will, to the extent possible, over a business cycle,

(i) ensure that there is enough revenue to pay the expenses authorized to be charged to the Employment Insurance Account, and

(ii) maintain stable rate levels;

(c) a detailed description of the assets of the Commission on the first day of September in each year;

(d) a detailed description of the amounts that have been paid into or paid out of the Employment Insurance Account since the previous report;

(e) an estimate of the amounts to be paid into the Employment Insurance Account under this Act for the following year, calculated on the basis of the premium rate set by the Commission in the report;

(f) an estimate of the amounts to be paid out of the Employment Insurance Account under this Act for the following year, calculated on the basis of the amount of benefits to be paid set by the Commission in the report;

(g) any recommendations that the Commission considers necessary for the improvement of the employment insurance system, including amendments to Acts, regulations and policies with respect to employment insurance; and

(h) any other information that the Commission considers necessary.

(3) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first five days on which that House is sitting after the Minister receives it.

18. Section 67 of the Act is replaced by the following:

67. Subject to section 70, a person employed in insurable employment shall pay, by deduction as provided in subsection 82(1), a premium equal to their insurable earnings multiplied by the premium rate set under section 66, 66.2 or 66.3, as the case may be.

19. Sections 71 to 76 of the Act are replaced by the following:

71. There shall be established in the name of the Commission an account to be known as the Employment Insurance Account.

72. (1) There shall be paid into the Employment Insurance Account

(a) all amounts credited to the Employment Insurance Account — as that Account exist-ed immediately prior to the day on which this section comes into force — and not charged to that Account for the purposes of this Act on the coming into force of this section;

(b) all amounts received under Parts I and III to IX, as or on account of premiums, fines, penalties, interest, repayment of overpaid benefits and benefit repayment;

(c) all amounts collected by the Commission for services rendered to other government departments or agencies or to the public;

(d) all amounts received on account of principal or interest on loans made by the Commission under Part II or as repayment of overpayments made by the Commission under that Part;

(e) all premiums required to be paid by Her Majesty in right of Canada as employer’s premiums for persons employed in insurable employment by Her Majesty in right of Canada;

(f) all amounts paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund that are

(i) received as or on account of penalties imposed under section 38, 39 or 65.1 and repayments of overpaid benefits, except interest and penalties on benefit repayment,

(ii) received on account of principal or interest on loans made by the Commission under Part II,

(iii) received as repayments of overpayments by the Commission under section 61 for employment benefits and support measures authorized by Part II,

(iv) received as repayments of overpayments by the Commission under agreements entered into under section 63, or

(v) received as interest under section 80.1;

(g) any amount provided out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the Commission by the Minister of Finance under section 74;

(h) any amount provided out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund appropriated by Parliament intended for any purpose related to employment insurance and administered by the Commission; and

(i) any other amounts paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund or to the Commission under this Act for any purpose related to employment insurance and administered by the Commission.

(2) All amounts paid into the Employment Insurance Account

(a) shall become part of the assets of the Commission; and

(b) shall, as they are paid into the Account, be deposited with a financial institution within the meaning of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act, a body corporate to which the Trust and Loan Companies Act applies, or an association to which the Cooperative Credit Associations Act applies.

(3) The Commission shall

(a) manage the amounts paid into the Employment Insurance Account in the best interests of the contributors and beneficiaries under the employment insurance system; and

(b) subject to section 73, invest its assets with a financial institution, body corporate or association referred to in paragraph (2)(b) with a view to achieving a maximum rate of return without undue risk of loss, having regard to the factors that may affect the funding of the employment insurance system provided for in this Act and the ability of the Commission to meet its financial obligations.

73. At the request of the Minister of Finance, the Commission may extend a loan to Her Majesty in right of Canada to be repaid on such terms and conditions, including interest, as the Commission may establish.

74. (1) Where the assets of the Employment Insurance Account are not sufficient for the payment of the amounts that the Commission is liable to pay under this Act, the Minister of Finance shall, at the request of the Commission, extend a loan from the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the Commission in an amount sufficient to meet the payments.

(2) The Minister of Finance shall set an interest rate and terms and conditions for the repayment of the loan that are more advantageous to the Commission then those that the Commission can obtain from a financial institution.

20. Sections 77 and 78 of the Act are replaced by the following:

77. (1) There shall be paid out of the Employment Insurance Account

(a) all amounts paid as or on account of benefits under this Act;

(b) all amounts paid under section 61 for employment benefits and support measures authorized by Part II;

(c) all amounts paid under paragraph 63(a);

(d) the costs of administering this Act, including administration costs paid under section 62 or paragraph 63(b);

(e) any amount paid by the Commission to Her Majesty in right of Canada under section 73; and

(f) any other amount to be paid by the Commission under this Act, including all amounts paid by the Commission under an agreement with the government of a province.

(2) Despite any other Act of Parliament, amounts mentioned in paragraph (1)(a) shall be paid by special warrants drawn on and issued by the Commission by electronic means or bearing the printed signature of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Commission, and amounts mentioned in paragraphs (1)(b) and (c) may be paid by the special warrants.

(3) The special warrants are negotiable without charge at any financial institution in Canada.

21. Section 80 of the Act is repealed.

22. Subsections 96(4) and (5) of the Act are replaced by the following:

(4) If a person has insurable earnings of not more than $3,000 in a year, the Minister shall refund to the person the aggregate of all amounts deducted as required from the insurable earnings, whether by one or more employers, on account of the person’s employee’s premiums for that year.

(5) If a person has insurable earnings of more than $3,000 in a year, but the insurable earnings minus the aggregate of all amounts mentioned in subsection (4) are less than 3,000, the Minister shall refund to the person an amount calculated in accordance with the following formula if that amount is more than 1:

$3,000 - (IE - P)

where

P is the aggregate of all deducted amounts mentioned in subsection (4); and

IE is the person’s insurable earnings in the year.”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

On Schedule 2,

Guy Côté moved, — That Bill C-48 be amended by adding after line 36 on page 2 the following new schedule:

SCHEDULE 2

(Section 5)

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it is not in proper form.

 

The Title carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 4.

 

The question: "Shall the Bill, as amended, carry?" was put and was agreed to on the following recorded division: YEAS: Don H. Bell, Guy Côté, Charles Hubbard, John McKay, Maria Minna, Pierre A. Paquette, Judy Wasylycia-Leis — 7; NAYS: Rona Ambrose, Brian Pallister, Charlie Penson, Monte Solberg — 4.

 

At 11:25 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Richard Dupuis
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2005/06/14 3:39 p.m.