Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
I call this meeting to order. This is meeting number 87 of the Standing Committee on Finance. Orders of the day are pursuant to the order of reference of Monday, May 25, 2015. We are doing clause-by-clause of Bill C-59, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 and other measures.
Colleagues, we will obviously go through clause by clause. We will have different officials, depending on which part of the bill we are dealing with. I want to welcome the officials here for part 1.
As you know, a motion was adopted that guides the committee on how long to speak. The three political parties on the committee have five minutes per clause, but as you know, as chair I can grant a little more time if we speak a little longer for certain items and then group other clauses together. Some parties have helpfully indicated which ones they wish to speak to as a priority. I appreciate that very much.
For clause-by-clause consideration pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), consideration of clause 1, the short title, is postponed. The chair will therefore call clause 2 dealing with part 1, amendments to the Income Tax Act and related legislation.
I do not have any amendments for clauses 2 to 28, and I understand that I can group clauses 2 to 10 together.
Mr. Brison.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Clause 1, the short title, is deferred. It's postponed to the end. We're on clauses 2 to 10.
Do you want to speak to one of them?
(On clause 2)
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
I'll begin with clause 2 on the registered retirement income funds or RRIFs. These rules apply to Canadians who are at least 71 years old. The new rules are expected to cost $670 million over the next five years, but many baby boomers won't turn 71 until 2020.
Have you examined how much this will cost once the bulk of the baby boom has turned 71 and falls under the new rules? How much will this measure cost in 10 years?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 11:51
We did some longer-term analysis of the fiscal implication of this measure to make sure that with baby boomers the cost would not increase significantly over the long term. There will be some slight increase in cost over the next 10 or 20 years, but then there are also some offsetting effects due to the fact that this is a deferral measure in a way; savings will end up being taxed at some point. Overall we haven't seen significant pressure on the fiscal cost over a longer period of time.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
(Clauses 2 to 10 inclusive agreed to)
The Chair: I understand the NDP would like to speak to clauses 11 and 12.
Mr. Caron.
(On clauses 11 and 12)
View Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
I just wanted to say that we introduced an opposition day motion in February seeking the exact measures proposed here. So we're very glad that the government has finally listened to reason and taken the necessary steps to help small businesses.
We are pleased with the direction the government has taken and proud of our efforts to get to this point.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you. That's a good way to start the meeting.
Is there further discussion on clauses 11 and 12?
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Okay, we'll have a recorded vote.
(Clauses 11 and 12 agreed to: yeas 9; nays 0)
The Chair: I'm told I can group clauses 13 to 18 together.
Mr. Brison.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Okay. Shall clauses 13 to 17 carry?
(Clause 13 to 17 agreed to)
(On clause 18)
The Chair: On clause 18, Mr. Brison, go ahead.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
What was the original policy rationale in 2012 for excluding foreign charitable foundations from being qualified donees under the Income Tax Act?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 11:55
Prior to changes in 2012 there was already a provision that said that charitable organizations receiving a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada could actually qualify as donees. When these changes were modified it was just natural to take that same approach.
Now this change in this budget is basically providing a bit more flexibility to recognize that when you look at a foreign organization in the context of the objective of this measure, the distinction between a charitable organization and a foreign foundation may not always be clear. You can do that easily in the Canadian context because you have all the information. In the foreign context you may easily have foreign foundations that are doing the same types of activities with respect to carrying out humanitarian aid or disaster relief and it's just to allow greater flexibility in that context.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
What was an unintended consequence of the change in 2012? Were there any unintended consequences of the change in 2012?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 11:56
In 2012 the intention was to take the rules as they were and just add some conditions and have a better process around that provision, and now it's kind of a separate decision just to add a bit more flexibility.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Could you provide the committee with an example of a foreign charitable foundation that was a qualified donee prior to 2012 but became excluded because of the 2012 rule change? Could you give us an example?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 11:57
There are some. I think, for instance, the Aga Khan Foundation has been on the list for many years and that could be one potentially.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Are there any others, just to help illustrate?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 11:57
There are none that I remember. I'm sorry.
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 11:58
I don't have much information on that. They are carrying out a lot of work in Middle Eastern countries—humanitarian and education. Their activities tend to be relatively broad.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Are there any environmental organizations?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 11:58
There are none that I'm aware of.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
I understand the NDP wants to deal with clauses 19 to 24 separately.
Mr. Rankin, go ahead on clause 19.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2015-06-04 11:58
Clause 19 effectively doubles contribution limits for the TFSA, moving it from $5,500 to $10,000 in tax year 2014. We think this is wrong-headed and have said so of course in the House. Any plan that allows the top 20% to get the majority and to get more than the 80% who are in the bottom of the income levels is something we will oppose. We think with the middle class struggling to make ends meet and huge mounting household debt, this is just a pipe dream for most Canadian families, so we're just basically concerned about any plan that leaves middle-class families paying for tax breaks for the wealthy few.
We've said this over and over again and we certainly will say it here.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
I have Mr. Brison and then Mr. Caron.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
On May 26 officials told this committee that they had examined how these changes to TFSAs would impact the provinces.
Can you share with us how these changes will impact the provinces? Do you have that information in terms of the fiscal impact?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:00
Roughly speaking, the effect on provinces would be roughly half of the impact at the federal level.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Can you share more of the information? As you know, this impact analysis is no longer a cabinet confidence since the legislation has been introduced, so can you provide us with more granularity around the cost to provinces?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:00
We'll have to look at what we have and what we can disclose under normal circumstances.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
It's no longer a cabinet confidence because the legislation's been introduced, and further to that, members of Parliament of all parties have a fiduciary obligation to Canadians to have this information.
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:01
Yes. What we have on the provincial basis is the effect on the tax base, so that we have.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Can you provide us with that?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:01
That can be provided. Yes.
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:01
I don't have this information now in front of me.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
I'm saying this respectfully. I have great regard for our public servants, but that information ought to be provided to committee and should be provided in a timely manner. It would have been helpful to have it today.
Have you examined the long-term impact to these changes on OAS? We were told by the parliamentary budget office that this change is going to have some unintended consequences on OAS cost.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
But some financial advisers are telling their wealthier clients that they can continue to get the maximum guaranteed income supplement for three years while living off their TFSAs. They are being told to maximize their annual TFSA contributions, delay their CPP benefits and pension plans as well as RRSP withdrawals until the age of 70, and this way they can collect the maximum in OAS and GIS for three years from 67 to 69 while supplementing their income with their TFSA accounts.
Is the government, or are you, aware of this loophole that will allow quite wealthy people to qualify and receive a guaranteed income supplement?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:03
We don't think it is associated specifically to the TFSA. It's associated with the fact that individuals can delay reception of those benefits.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
But would you agree that the policy objective of the guaranteed income supplement is not to benefit wealthy...?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:03
Yes, but I'm also saying that this is not an issue related to TFSA. Anyone who can find other sources of income during these two or three years can do that strategy.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
TFSAs provide an opportunity for people to shelter income or to shelter wealth in a manner that enables them to qualify for GIS.
Would you agree that's inconsistent with the objectives of the GIS?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:03
As I said, I think looking at these specific strategies is not that instructive to get to these broad results. What we find is that for high-income individuals for instance, in order to maximize their retirement income, they would need to invest anyway in their RRSP, for instance. That would be optimal for them.
It's very unlikely then that these individuals, given that it's not optimal, would only invest in a TFSA throughout their whole life and rely only on that for retirement, and then collect a GIS. What our analysis is concluding is that it would not be optimal anyway, so we don't project that this would be significant, that very wealthy individuals would be on GIS.
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:05
As I said, I think this loophole has been in existence since it has been possible to delay the reception of CPP.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
We're on a broader policy. Let's keep it germane to clause 19. This may be a public policy issue, but I think we should keep it to clause 19, TFSA dollar limits.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
It is germane to that, Mr. Chair, because increasing the TFSA limits exacerbates this problem in that there will be a greater capacity for wealthier people to shelter income in such a way that they qualify for the GIS.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
The question was asked and the question was answered by Mr. Jovanovic who said that members of the public can use various ways to shelter.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Have you studied the impact of the increase to TFSAs on this possibility of people to effectively shelter income and qualify for GIS? You're aware. You've read the same articles I've read, whereby financial advisers are saying this is something wealthier people ought to do.
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:06
I don't have the exact number, but we know a very small fraction of individuals seem to be using that, based on the number of individuals asking to delay their reception of CPP.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
Mr. Caron, the floor is yours.
View Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We support the principle behind TFSAs. We've made that clear numerous times in the past.
But raising the limit to nearly double is a problem because it does not adequately address a number of issues. Mr. Brison just described one of them. Mr. Jovanovic, you've read the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report on the matter.
Something else in the report was also raised in other studies. The purpose of a TFSA is to encourage people to save, a bit like an RRSP. But the TFSA isn't really leading to any new savings. Small investors are using the vehicle a bit like they would an RRSP. But, by and large, those who are maxing out their contributions aren't putting away additional savings. They are merely moving their savings. The TFSA actually provides a more favourable tax environment in terms of protecting savings in the future and ensuring growth.
Have you considered the points raised by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, among others, and looked at how the TFSA has affected people's saving habits? Similarly, have you considered the impact of raising the limit from $5,500 to $10,000?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:08
As I have already told the committee, the department did not study the impact of TFSAs on Canadians' savings rate.
That said, a vehicle like the TFSA offers a variety of potential economic benefits. For instance, it reduces a number of imbalances by allowing for a better economic distribution in terms of the decision to consume now versus later.
The TFSA was designed to give people more choice in the existing financial environment, which included the RRSP. For example, low-income individuals who may have had less incentive to invest in an RRSP now have much more reason to put their savings in a TFSA. The same is true of seniors. So the TFSA's ability to complement existing savings vehicles is a key factor. The TFSA doesn't add to what was already available, but neither is it redundant. Instead, it complements what already exists.
View Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
The benefits you just listed are the very reasons why we don't oppose the principle behind TFSAs. You talked about optimal conditions, but the issue is where should the limit be to ensure that optimal performance.
At what point does the TFSA stop being an instrument that allows for maximum benefit and the optimal use of resources? At what point does it become an appealing tax shelter vehicle? And when I say tax shelter, I'm not referring to savings but, rather, the transfer of savings. That's what we are concerned about.
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:10
That's an excellent question that would likely be very difficult to answer. That said, most economists agree that decreasing taxes imposed on savings is generally a positive measure.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
I assume members want a recorded vote on clause 19.
(Clause 19 agreed to: [See Minutes of Proceedings])
(On clauses 20 to 24)
The Chair: On clauses 20 to 24, do members want to speak to each one?
Mr. Rankin.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2015-06-04 12:12
I don't think we do. We're going to be voting in favour of these, Chair, but I should say—just as my colleague, Mr. Caron, said about part 1—that we're always pleased in the NDP when the government follows our advice and accepts our recommendations, our plan for small business. This is the second part that they've adopted. The idea of rapid writeoff, as it's called, or extending the accelerated capital cost allowance for manufacturers is a good thing.
It needs to be said that the Conservatives have stood by as 400,000 Canadians have lost their jobs in manufacturing. Small business is struggling to get by in this economy. As you may remember, Chair, we had an NDP motion to implement these very changes, which the government voted against a few weeks ago. Frankly, we like the idea, but it's very hard for us to take the government seriously when it does what it has done.
Having said all of that, we will, of course, support our ideas found in the budget today.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Rankin.
Mr. Brison.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Chair, in terms of an accelerated capital cost allowance on the longer-term horizon, I'd like to thank the NDP for having decided to support what was a Liberal position, and of course, indirectly thank the Conservatives for having decided to support an NDP and originally Liberal position.
In the spirit of cooperation exemplified by Mr. Rankin's intervention, I want to thank the NDP as well for having supported the Liberal position.
Thank you.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Brison.
Mr. Saxton.
View Andrew Saxton Profile
CPC (BC)
I want to say it's surprising to hear the Liberals supporting this when their leader actually said that manufacturers should look for other work in this country. It's quite surprising that Mr. Brison has now changed his party's position on this matter.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
As the chair, I want to thank you also for endorsing the recommendation of the 2007 industry committee report, which recommended changing the accelerated capital cost allowance for manufacturing. I appreciate your recent conversion to that position.
Can we group clauses 20 to 24 together for voting?
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
I will, then, try to group clauses 25 to 28.
An hon. member: I'd like a recorded vote.
(Clauses 25 to 28 inclusive agreed to: yeas 9; nays 0)
The Chair: Thank you.
We'll now move to part 2, “Support for Families”, division 1, Income Tax Act, and perhaps we'll get the officials for division 2 to make their way to the table as well.
I do not have any amendments for clauses 29 to 34, so I will group clauses 29 to 34 together, and I'll go to Mr. Caron.
(On clauses 29 to 34)
View Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We are coming to the oft-discussed matter of income splitting, which the Conservatives have renamed the family tax cut credit, as a marketing ploy.
The measure has been widely documented as a tax benefit that will help very few people, just 15% of Canadian households. The other 85% will get nothing out of it. Of the multitude of measures the government is introducing, it's obviously important to distinguish between income splitting and the enhanced universal child care benefit.
They are two separate benefits and the government should have treated them as such. For its own vote-getting reasons, in my opinion, the government opted to group them together and to try to convince Canadians that we were against the whole set of measures, which is not at all the case.
I'm not quite sure what else we can possibly ask you about income splitting, as this division has probably been the most studied. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that we will stick to our previously held position and vote against this measure.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
You can speak to them all if you wish.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
I want to ask a question on the drafting error in previous legislation on income splitting that this bill seeks to correct. Can you describe the previous drafting error in layman's terms for the thousands of Canadians watching this at home? Can you walk us through an example of how it would impact a family financially?
Miodrag Jovanovic
View Miodrag Jovanovic Profile
Miodrag Jovanovic
2015-06-04 12:18
The family tax cut is designed as notional income splitting, if you will. Both spouses have to reallocate their income then split the taxable income. Some of the credits may have been transferred between members before that calculation, like the age credit, the pension income credit, and also education credits. To do the proper calculation, these credits are taken from the return of the high-income spouse and are put back in the return of the lower-income spouse to avoid some potential double counting in the value of these credits.
When this was initially designed this drafting error happened. One of these credits, the education credit, which includes tuition, education, and textbook credits, the way these credits are transferred between spouses, the impossibility of double counting is already in the calculation. We should not have removed this specific credit in the calculation of the family tax credit. We're readjusting that correctly.
With respect to the question as to how much families could be penalized, first of all, this would apply only in a case where there's a transfer of education credits between spouses and the maximum amount would be $750, which is equivalent to 15% of $5,000, the maximum transferrable amount of credits between spouses.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
I'm advised that I can group together clauses 29 and 30 for a vote.
Mr. Raymond Côté (Beauport—Limoilou, NDP): I'd like a recorded vote.
(Clauses 29 and 30 agreed to: yeas 6; nays 3)
The Chair: I'll move to the vote on clauses 31 to 34.
Mr. Guy Caron: I'd like a recorded vote.
(Clauses 31 to 34 inclusive agreed to: yeas 5; nays 4)
The Chair: We'll now move to division 2.
Welcome to the officials from Finance and ESDC.
I do not have any amendments for clauses 35 to 40.
(On clauses 35 to 40)
View Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
As I mentioned previously, we are strongly opposed to income splitting for all of the economic reasons that have been mentioned. However, we support enhancing the universal child care benefit, even though the government regrettably chose not to be transparent about the fact that it eliminated the child tax credit to fund the bulk of the improved benefit.
We will, of course, support the enhanced universal child care benefit, even though it should be renamed given that it's for children between the ages of 6 and 17. It can hardly continue to be called a universal child care benefit when it's for children older than 6. The measure would be combined with the NDP's proposed $15-a-day national child-care program. The plan would be negotiated with the provinces, with Quebec having the right to opt out given that it already has a program in place.
For these reasons, we intend to support the enhanced universal child care benefit, provided for in clauses 35 to 40.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Caron.
Mr. Brison, please.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Mr. Chair, Liberals oppose this division, because we have presented a better plan for Canadian families, the Liberal Canada child benefit. The Liberal plan will actually provide Canadian families with one bigger and fairer tax-free monthly cheque to help families with the high cost of raising their children. Under the Liberal plan, a typical two-parent family with two kids, earning $90,000 per year, will get $490 tax-free every month. Under the Conservatives and Bill C-59, that same family receives only around $275 per month after tax. Compared with the Conservative plan, the Liberal plan will provide that family with an additional $2,500 more help, tax-free, every year.
Now, with the Liberal plan, a typical one-parent family with a child—
The Chair: Okay.
Hon. Scott Brison: —earning $30,000 per year—
Mr. Andrew Saxton: Is this a paid-for announcement?
Hon. Scott Brison: I have to endure your talking points, so you may—
The Chair: Order.
Hon. Scott Brison: I have to listen to your talking points. At least I wrote mine.
But with one child, earning $30,000 per year, they'll actually get $533 tax-free every month. Under the Conservatives and Bill C-59—
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Okay, Mr. Brison, to the actual clauses we're debating.....
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
—the same family receives only around $440 after tax.
The Chair: Okay—
Hon. Scott Brison: This is important, Mr. Chair.
A family making $45,000 per year, with two children, will be $4,000 better off every single year. In fact, every family earning less than $150,000 per year will receive more monthly benefits under our plan, the Liberal plan, than under the Conservatives.
Mr. Chair, that is why we are opposed to this plan, because we have something that is fairer for the Canadians who need the help the most.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
That is probably technically pre-writ advertising, but we'll go to Mr. Saxton and then Mr. Rankin.
View Andrew Saxton Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Chair.
I think it's only fair that the government have an opportunity to rebut Mr. Brison's campaign electioneering. I don't know if that was actually approved by his official agent or not, but in any case, I can say that our plan requires no increase in taxes whereas the Liberal plan requires an increase in taxes. That's the biggest difference. The Liberals feel that they can raise taxes in order to spend taxpayers' money whereas we believe in keeping more money in the pockets of Canadian taxpayers.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
We'll go to Mr. Rankin and then we'll go to the vote.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2015-06-04 12:26
We are talking about the universal child care benefit and not some other benefit that Mr. Brison has talked about, just to be clear.
I want to make it absolutely clear that we want a recorded vote on this particular set of provisions, because the Conservatives have been saying in the House incessantly that the New Democrats oppose or will get rid of the UCCB and that is absolutely not true. What we have is a $15 universal child care program, which will I think make life much more affordable for Canadians. I want to have a recorded vote so we can clearly state on the record that we support the UCCB.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
We'll grant that request. We'll have a recorded vote on clauses 35 to 40.
(Clauses 35 to 40 inclusive agreed to: yeas 8; nays 1)
The Chair: We'll thank our officials from that part and division for being with us.
We will now move to part 3 and we'll move to division 1. We'll ask our officials to come forward. We have an official from Finance. We'll welcome back, Mr. Recker.
(On clause 41)
The Chair: Colleagues, on clause 41 we have four amendments from Ms. May and Mr. Hyer. PV-1 and PV-2 are identical, so we're going to move to amendment PV-2 in the name of Mr. Hyer. We're going to ask Mr. Hyer to present the logic for his amendment.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
One of the key principles underlying responsible parliamentary government is that the House of Commons holds the power of the purse. This amendment that we're proposing will make the tabling of a budget with financial information mandatory to give MPs time to assess the budget before the beginning of the fiscal year. With the public relations brochures we get from time to time in the form of economic action plans, which are devoid of detailed accounting, and with budgets tabled in April instead of February and March, this government has eroded parliamentarians' ability to perform their duty in holding the government accountable on spending.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you very much, Mr. Hyer.
We'll go to Mr. Saxton on this.
View Andrew Saxton Profile
CPC (BC)
The government does not support a fixed date for tabling the budget as that would really restrict the government's flexibility in responding to global and domestic matters.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
We'll then move to the vote on amendment PV-2. The vote on amendment PV-2 obviously also applies to amendment PV-1.
(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: We will now move to amendment PV-4, because amendment PV-4 is identical to amendment PV-3. Again we will ask Mr. Hyer to address that.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you.
We can't have or we shouldn't have a government that's afraid to borrow to build the infrastructure we need because it's worried about the penalties that might occur. This amendment will make it so this legislation is careful not to restrict borrowing for prudent capital investment.
Thank you.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Is there any further discussion on amendment PV-4?
Mr. Saxton.
View Andrew Saxton Profile
CPC (BC)
Thanks, Chair.
The government does not support the proposed clause as it would introduce a significant degree of subjectivity and unnecessary complexity into the proposed act. The proposed legislation has been drafted to be transparent, easily verifiable by Canadians, and in line with the government's fiscal policy approach in the wake of the great recession. The proposed clause would introduce a measure, a budgetary balance after investments, and a positive discounted net present value of cost and economic social deterrence, the calculation of which would be highly subjective, opaque, and not easily verifiable.
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