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ENVI Committee Report

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Bill C-323, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (rehabilitation of historic property)
In accordance with its Order of Reference of Thursday, March 23, 2017, your Committee has considered Bill C-323, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (rehabilitation of historic property), and agreed on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, to report to the following:
The Committee is supportive of the principle of Bill C-323 and believes that financial incentives, including tax credits, which encourage investment in the rehabilitation of historic properties and heritage places is necessary; however, the Committee notes the following concerns with the Bill:
  • tax changes undertaken outside the budget process make it more difficult to ensure a coherent and consistent approach to fiscal management;
  • the effect on federal revenue due to the proposed measure with the Bill containing no upper limit on the amount which can be claimed for tax purposes with the Parliamentary Budget Officer assessing costs at $55 million to $67 million in the first five years and Department of Finance officials stating it could be as high as $90 million a year;
  • the lack of accountability tools associated with this measure;
  • the restrictive nature of the incentive with not-for-profit entities, Indigenous governments, and municipalities being ineligible;
  • the cost to the Federal government to administer the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act and the certification of the work being done for the purposes of the tax credit;
  • the incentive not being designed in collaboration with other jurisdictions and partners to ensure its effectiveness;
  • the lack of consultation on this measure with tax experts as well as those provinces and territories that are a party to the Canadian Register of Historic Place, as well as municipal and Indigenous governments;
Therefore, pursuant to Standing Order 97.1, the Committee recommends that the House of Commons not proceed further with Bill C-323, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (rehabilitation of historic property).
A copy of the relevant Minutes of Proceedings (Meetings Nos. 77, 79 and 87) is tabled.