Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 1292--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
With regard to staffing levels at the regional development agencies, broken down by agency: (a) how many full-time equivalents were employed by each agency as of (i) April 1, 2015, (ii) April 1, 2016, (iii) April 1, 2017; and (b) what is the breakdown in (a) by city or location of employment?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1293--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
With regard to government expenditures on tickets for sporting events since September 19, 2016, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: what was the (i) date of event, (ii) location, (iii) total cost, (iv) cost per ticket, (v) number of tickets, (vi) title of persons using the tickets (v) title and description of event?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1297--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
With regard to the passport applications processed by the Passport Program since 2010: how many applications were processed for postal codes from the Estrie region, broken down by year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1298--
Mr. Gordon Brown:
With regard to the government’s plan to negotiate mutual logistics support arrangements with Spain and Chile, as required, to provide at sea replenishment, until the arrival of the joint support ship (JSS), as referenced in the government’s response to the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence’s Report titled “The Readiness of Canada’s Naval Forces”: (a) what estimations have been done to determine the cost of having Spain and Chili supply the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and will the contract including costs be tabled; (b) what studies have been done to ensure Spain and Chile can provide the necessary capabilities for the RCN; (c) what are the operational limitations imposed on the RCN in relation to its contract with Spain and Chile, including (i) period of use, (ii) restrictions to operations, (iii) utility of vessels for multi-role capabilities (hospital, HADR, and ammunition carriage) and will the list be tabled in Parliament; (d) was the feasibility of contracting the construction of a third JSS in Canada performed and will this assessment be tabled in Parliament; (e) was the feasibility of procuring a second Resolve Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessel performed and will it be tabled; (f) what analysis was done to understand the impacts of the support arrangements with Spain and Chile on Canadian jobs, as well as the readiness of the RCN in comparison to acquiring an additional Resolve Class ship Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment; (g) what is the duration of the contract with Spain and Chile; (h) how does this contract help Canada's middle class in the near and medium term; and (i) will the government table any study of social, economic or political risks associated with contracting Spain and Chile to supply the RCN into the mid-2020s when the first JSS will be ready?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1299--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
With regard to all the contracts entered into by each minister’s office or the funds from the budget allocated to each minister’s office, other than for the salaries of employees in that office, since April 23, 2016: what are the (i) names of the beneficiaries, (ii) amounts, (iii) contract dates, (iv) funding dates and durations, (v) titles of the individuals who signed the contract on behalf of the office, (vi) description of their purpose?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1300--
Mr. Gérard Deltell:
With regard to regional development agencies’ files requiring decisions by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, since November 4, 2015, broken down by agency, and for each file: (a) what is the file number; (b) on which date did the agency receive the application, request or else, precipitating the need for a decision by the Minister; (c) on which date did the agency seek the Minister’s decision; and (d) on which date did the Minister make his decision?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1301--
Mr. Gérard Deltell:
With regard to government-wide advertising activities, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation and other government entity, since June 15, 2016: (a) how many advertisements have been (i) created in total, broken down by year and by type (cinema, internet, out-of-home, print dailies, print magazine, weekly or community newspapers, radio, television), (ii) given an identification number, a name or a media authorization number (ADV number); (b) what is the identification number, name or ADV number for each advertisement listed in (a)(ii); (c) for each advertisements in (a), what is (i) the length (in seconds or minutes), if applicable, (ii) the cost for the production or creation, (iii) the companies used to produce or create, (iv) the number of times it has aired or been published, specifying the total number of times and, if applicable, the total length of time (in seconds or minutes), broken down by month, (v) the total cost to air or publish, broken down by year and month, (vi) the criteria used to select the advertisement placements, (vii) media outlets used to air or publish, broken down by month, (viii) the total amount spent per outlet, broken down by month; and (d) if known, what was the start and end date of each advertising campaign?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1302--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to the federal riding of Calgary Shepard: what is the total amount of government dollars received by business, corporations, and entities within the riding between April 11, 2016, and the present date, including (i) each department or ministry through which the funding was received, (ii) the name of the initiative or program providing the funding, (iii) the date of each transfer, (iv) the amount of each individual transfer?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1303--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the creation of the Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee on Federal Recovery Efforts for 2017 British Columbia BC Wildfires, announced by the Prime Minister on July 14, 2017: (a) what are the titles of all briefing notes provided to the committee between July 14, 2017, and October 30, 2017; (b) what are the details of all meetings of this committee, including for each meeting the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) agenda, (iv) minutes; (c) what analysis has been conducted from July 14, 2017, to present by the government with regard to the long-term impact of the 2017 BC wildfires on BC residents, communities, businesses, and First Nations; (d) what analysis has been conducted from July 14, 2017, to present by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada with regard to the long-term impact of the 2017 BC wildfires on First Nations in BC; and (e) on what date will the committee disband?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1304--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the First Nations-Canada Joint Committee on the Fiscal Relationship: (a) what are the names and titles of each member of the Committee; (b) has the list of committee members changed since December 12, 2016; (c) what are the titles of all briefing notes provided to the Committee between December 13, 2016, and October 30, 2017, by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; (d) what are the details of all meetings of the Committee, including, for each meeting, the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) agenda, (iv) minutes; (e) what are the total travel costs covered by the government for the Committee; (f) what are the total accommodation costs covered by the government for the Committee; (g) what is the daily per diem rate, which members of the Committee are entitled to; and (h) what is the total paid out in per diem for the Committee?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1305--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the Privy Council Office and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: (a) what is the total amount of money allocated to the Privy Council Office from the National Inquiry's budget; (b) how was the money referred to in (a) spent, and what is the itemized breakdown of all such expenditures; (c) how many employees within the Privy Council Office have been assigned to the National Inquiry between August 1, 2016, and present; and (d) what action has the Privy Council Office taken to support the National Inquiry?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1306--
Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie:
With regard to Motion M-42 on tax avoidance in Barbados, voted on by the House on October 26, 2016: (a) was there any analysis by the Department of Finance; (b) did the Minister of Finance notify his department of the motion; (c) did the Department provide any recommendations regarding the motion; (d) did the Department request a legal opinion on the legality of paragraph 5907(11.2)(c) and subsection 5907(11) of the Income Tax Regulations; (e) did the Minister submit a position on the motion to the Treasury Board; (f) did the Minister provide his colleagues with a proposed position on the motion; (g) did the Minister discuss the motion with his colleagues; (h) did the Minister discuss the motion with the Prime Minister; (i) did the position in (e) include his department’s recommendations; (j) did the Minister recuse himself from his caucus’s discussions on the motion; (k) did the Minister recuse himself from any discussions on this matter since the last election; (l) did the Minister reveal to the Department during discussions on Motion M-42 that he was potentially in a conflict of interest as a Morneau-Sheppel shareholder; (m) did the Minister reveal the magnitude of the amount he had at stake in the debate on Motion M-42; (n) before legalizing tax avoidance by the Cooks Islands, did the Minister notify the Prime Minister; (o) does the Department have a legal opinion stating that paragraph 5907(11.2)(c) of the Income Tax Regulations meets the requirements of the Canada-Barbados Income Tax Agreement Act, 1980; and (p) under which section of the Income Tax Act did the government adopt subsection 5907(11) of the Income Tax Regulations?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 1312--
Mr. Kennedy Stewart:
With regard to housing investments and housing assets held by the government: (a) how much federal funding has been spent in Burnaby on housing over the period of 1995-2017, broken down by year; (b) how much federal funding is scheduled to be spent on housing in Burnaby over the period of 2015-2019, broken down by year; (c) how much federal funding has been invested in cooperative housing in Burnaby over the period of 1995-2017, broken down by year; (d) how much federal funding is scheduled to be invested in cooperative housing in Burnaby over the period of 2015-2019, broken down by year; (e) how many physical housing units were owned by the government in Burnaby over the period of 1995-2017, broken down by year?; (f) how many physical housing units owned by the government are scheduled to be constructed in Burnaby over the period of 2015-2019, broken down by year; and (g) what government buildings and lands have been identified in Burnaby as surplus and available for affordable housing developments?
Response
(Return tabled)
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 1153--
Mr. Kevin Sorenson:
With regard to the appointment of Rana Sarkar as Consul General in San Francisco: (a) who made the decision to pay Mr. Sarkar at a rate significantly higher than other Consul Generals; (b) was there an open competition for the position; (c) if the answer to (b) is affirmative, what are the details of the competition including (i) where was the competition posted, (ii) number of applicants, (iii) selection criteria; (d) is the government taking any steps to ensure that Mr. Sarkar’s salary does not impact salary negotiations between the government and other diplomats; (e) was the government warned that paying an appointee at higher than the normal rate would have an impact on the salary negotiations with other diplomats; and (f) if the answer to (e) is affirmative, what are the details of the warning, including (i) who issued the warning, (ii) date, (iii) recipient, (iv) reason warning did not impact salary decision?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib)::
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Sarkar’s compensation is comparable to that of the San Francisco consul general appointed by the previous government.
With regards to key postings, it is common, both in the public service and the private sector, for compensation to reflect the qualifications and expertise of the appointee. This has been true for many recent appointees, including former cabinet ministers Lawrence Cannon, Michael Wilson, and Loyola Hearn, Gary Doer, Patrick Binns, Alex Himelfarb, David Alward, Vivian Bercovici, Kevin Vickers, Guy Saint-Jacques, Dennis Savoie, I. David Marshall, Paul Maddison, Gordon Campbell, Gérard Latulippe, Jean-Carol Pelletier, and Catherine Doyle.
With regards to key postings, it is common, both in the public service and the private sector, for compensation to reflect the qualifications and expertise of the appointee. This has been true for many recent appointees, including former cabinet ministers Lawrence Cannon, Michael Wilson, and Loyola Hearn, Gary Doer, Patrick Binns, Alex Himelfarb, David Alward, Vivian Bercovici, Kevin Vickers, Guy Saint-Jacques, Dennis Savoie, I. David Marshall, Paul Maddison, Gordon Campbell, Gérard Latulippe, Jean-Carol Pelletier, and Catherine Doyle.
Mr. Sarkar brings specialized expertise, including most recently as national director for high-growth markets at globally recognized KPMG. Throughout his career as an adviser and entrepreneur, he built a considerable skill in providing strategy and transaction-focused services to firms, investors and start-ups, enabling cross-border trade, investment, and innovation.
His background will serve Canada’s interests in San Francisco and Silicon Valley specifically. He is specifically responsible for working to attract investment and help Canadian business succeed in the fastest-growing industries on the continent, and work to expand our reach across the Pacific Rim while we grow our presence in the world’s fastest emerging markets in Asia.
This was one of a number of diplomatic appointments to strengthen our outreach to the United States, highlighting the importance and mutually beneficial partnership of our two countries, which continues to support millions of middle-class jobs on both sides of the border.

Question No. 1157--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to the government’s decision to award certain funding only to areas which are considered “superclusters”: (a) which areas applied to be superclusters; (b) which areas were selected by the government to be “superclusters”; (c) how was each area in (b) selected; (d) for each area which applied, but was not selected to be a “supercluster”, why was each area not selected, broken down by individual area; (e) what specific guarantees are in place to ensure that areas outside of “superclusters” receive their fair share of funding, broken down by funding program; and (f) for each guarantee referred to in (e), what is the website location where the text is located?
Response
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s decision to award certain funding only to areas that are considered “superclusters”, please see the response from Innovation, Science and Economic Development below.
With regard to part (a), the innovation superclusters initiative received more than 50 applications representing all regions of Canada, including British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, the Atlantic provinces, and the north. Several of the applications involved interprovincial participation. The applications are from highly innovative industries such as clean technology, advanced manufacturing, digital technology, health/biosciences, clean resources, and agrifood, as well as infrastructure and transportation.
With regard to part (b), the application process for the innovation superclusters initiative is ongoing and a final decision has not been made.
With regard to part (c), the selection of applications involves a two-phase application process. In the first phase, business-led consortia, including companies of all sizes, post-secondary institutions, and other innovation partners, were invited to submit letters of intent to outline their ambitious plans to build world-leading superclusters at scale. The first phase closed on 24/07/2017.
In the second phase, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application. After the selection process concludes, contribution agreements will be negotiated and results will be announced.
Descriptions of the assessment criteria and process, reflecting key elements contributing to program outcomes, are published in the program guide, which can be found at https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/093.nsf/eng/00003.html.
They are used to assess the potential of proposals to generate real economic impact and industrial benefits for Canada, as well as other key elements, such as the importance, relevance, and feasibility of the applicant's proposed plans.
With regard to part (d), the application process is ongoing and a final decision has not been made.
With regard to part (e), the purpose of the innovation superclusters initiative is to accelerate the growth and development of a small number of business-led innovation superclusters in Canada with strong innovation ecosystems that have the potential to be global leaders. The program provides funding to selected applicants with whom a contribution agreement will be signed.
It is expected that the benefits of funded activities will extend beyond the borders of a supercluster, drawing on partners across Canada to achieve a national network effect. Regardless of their location in Canada, organizations outside the supercluster region will be eligible to participate in funded activities.
With regard to part (f), program information can be found on the innovation superclusters initiative website at www.canada.ca/superclusters.

Question No. 1159--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to salaries in the Prime Minister’s Office, as of September 18, 2017: (a) how many employees had a salary higher than the salary of a minister ($255,300); and (b) how many employees had a salary higher than the salary of the Prime Minister ($345,400)?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a) of the question, the Privy Council Office, PCO, is unable to respond because in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the principles of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, and this information has been withheld on these grounds. PCO is able to confirm that no employees had a salary higher than the salary of the Prime Minister: $345,400.

Question No. 1160--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to meetings or communication between the Prime Minister and the current Premier of British Columbia: (a) what are the details of any meeting or communication where the Trans Mountain Pipeline was discussed, including for each the (i) date, (ii) type of communication (i.e. meeting, phone call, email, etc.), (iii) location, (iv) purpose or summary of communication; (b) what is the official government position with regard to the Trans Mountain Pipleline; and (c) when was the official position communicated to the current Premier of British Columbia?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, on July 25, 2017, the Prime Minister, in an introductory meeting with British Columbia Premier John Horgan in Ottawa, briefly discussed the Trans Mountain expansion project. Premier Horgan noted the need to protect British Columbia’s interests, and indicated that further discussions with Alberta were planned on the issue.
The Prime Minister announced the Government of Canada’s approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project on November 30, 2016. The Government of Canada requires that Kinder Morgan meet or exceed all of the 157 binding conditions set out by the National Energy Board. The Government of Canada has also established the oceans protection plan to ensure any risk coming from increased vessel traffic in Burrard Inlet is properly mitigated.
There has been no known direct communication of the official position of the Government of Canada to Premier Horgan. The Government of Canada’s approval of the project has been noted in the media many times since November 2016.

Question No. 1162--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
With regard to the January 1, 2017, policy clarification to the interpretation of eligibility criteria for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) Involuntary Separation Provision, not including any changes to the Allowance and not including changes made to involuntary separation of couples who are eligible to receive the Allowance: (a) what was the interpretation error that required the change or clarification to interpretation; (b) how was the new interpretation communicated to relevant individuals (i) at Service Canada, (ii) at government departments, broken down by each department within which the new interpretation was circulated, (iii) to seniors who would be affected by the change, (iv) to Senators and Members of Parliament; (c) what are the details of any directives, memorandums, or communiqué circulated to advise the individuals in (b) of the new interpretation, including for each the (i) date, (ii) recipients, (iii) sender, (iv) title, (v) summary of contents, (vi) file number, (vii) text, (viii) website address of text, if applicable; (d) were any responses received to any directives, memorandums, or communiques referred to in (c) and, if so, what are the details, including for each, the (i) date, (ii) recipients, (iii) sender, (iv) title, (v) summary of contents, (vi) file number, (vii) text; (e) how many groups or stakeholders in total were consulted in order to inform the decision to alter the interpretation of eligibility criteria and to understand the effects it will have on Canadian seniors; (f) what is the complete list of organizations, individuals or stakeholders referenced in (e); (g) how many senior couples currently take advantage of the involuntary separation provision for GIS, broken down by province; (h) how many seniors are currently receiving the involuntary separation provision for GIS based off of the old interpretation of the eligibility criteria, and would have been considered ineligible if their eligibility was under the policy clarification enacted on January 1, 2017, broken down by sex; and (i) considering Canada’s aging population, what is the government’s plan to help the increasing number of seniors who will face this vulnerable situation?
Response
Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs), Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, old age security, OAS, benefits are intended to provide partial income security for seniors in recognition of the contributions that they have made to Canadian society and the economy. Low-income pensioners are entitled to additional assistance through the guaranteed income supplement, GIS. The GIS is calculated based on income to ensure that these benefits are provided to seniors most in need.
The GIS is paid at a different rate based on whether seniors are single or part of a couple. This reflects the different economic realities of single seniors and senior couples.
Since 1971, the Old Age Security Act has contained a provision that allows low-income couples in receipt of the GIS and who are forced to live apart for reasons beyond their control to receive their benefits at the higher single rate based on their individual incomes. The intent of this provision was to recognize the increase in cost of living where one member of a couple remained in the matrimonial home while the other was required to go into a chronic care facility, nursing home, or home for the aged. These couples are often described as being “involuntarily separated”. In budget 2016, the OAS Act was amended to extend this provision to involuntarily separated couples where one member receives the GIS and the other receives the allowance. These amendments came into force on January 1, 2017.
In January 2017, the department issued an administrative policy direction to front-line Service Canada staff in order to reflect the expanded scope of the provisions for GIS/allowance couples. The department also took the opportunity to clarify the intent of the legislation with respect to eligibility for the involuntary separation provisions.
Specifically, the policy guidance was amended to state that couples must first qualify for the GIS on the basis of their joint income before the involuntary separation provisions could be applied. In order to address any possible situations where individuals had been paid under these provisions while their combined income was above the allowable threshold, a “grandfathering” clause was included to ensure that no current beneficiaries would see a reduction in their benefits.
Shortly thereafter, the department received an enquiry from Mrs. Vecchio’s office with respect to this policy direction. Departmental officials met with Mrs. Vecchio on June 21, 2017, in order to hear her concerns in person. At that meeting, she expressed her concerns about couples whose combined income is sufficient to render them ineligible for the GIS, but who may have a large disparity of income between the spouses. She noted in particular that in these situations, if the higher income spouse requires long-term care, the higher costs for that care could result in a significant reduction in the pooled income available to the lower income spouse.
As a result, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development asked his officials to undertake a further analysis on the impact of the January 2017 policy directive. It became apparent that the implementation of this policy guidance was disadvantaging modest income couples. The minister has therefore tasked the department to correct this issue, by assessing the eligibility of couples involuntarily separated based solely on their individual incomes.
The department has already begun identifying senior couples who were affected by the January 2017 policy direction, a process that will be completed by the end of October. Departmental officials will subsequently reassess the benefit entitlement of any couples who were impacted by the January 2017 directive. The number of couples impacted by the directive is expected to be low.

Question No. 1171--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to government expenditures on foreign aid since January 1, 2016: what are the details of all expenditures, including for each the (i) recipient, (ii) country, (iii) amount, (iv) date of contribution, (v) purpose of expenditure or project description?
Response
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to transparency and open government and as such regularly publishes data on Canada’s international assistance projects.
In accordance with the International Aid Transparency Initiative, IATI, the D-Portal contains a wealth of project information including government expenditures on international assistance since January 1, 2016. Details with regard to recipient, country, amount, date of contribution, and purpose of expenditure or project description can be found at: www.d-portal.org/ctrack.html?search&publisher=CA-3&year_min=2016&year=2016&year_max=2019&year=2019#view=main.
Additionally, Global Affairs Canada maintains the Project Browser, a website that publishes detailed project information and is updated daily. This interactive tool allows the user to search the department’s international projects and download information as open data files. The information published also follows the IATI standard and includes details with regard to recipient, country, amount, date of contribution, and purpose of expenditure or project description. It can be found at: http://w05.international.gc.ca/projectbrowser-banqueprojets/filter-filtre.

Question No. 1172--
Mr. Luc Berthold:
With regard to the proposed tax increases on small businesses announced by the Minister of Finance on July 18, 2017: (a) on what date was the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food made aware of the proposed tax hikes; (b) was the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food consulted prior to the announcement; (c) what impact studies have been conducted by the government related to how the tax increases will impact farm families; and (d) what are the details and findings of any such impact studies?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the government assesses issues arising under the tax system on an ongoing basis. It relies on a range of approaches and information sources to develop an in-depth understanding of potential issues, including the statistical analysis of tax return data, the monitoring of the tax literature, and consultations with the Canada Revenue Agency, academics, tax professionals, and other stakeholders.
When the analysis identifies a need for action, options are developed and assessed against a range of criteria such as their impact on the fairness of the tax system, economic efficiency, and the ease of administration of the tax system.
This process was followed in the development of the proposals contained in the consultation document released on July 18, 2017. Tax data and other information were used to assess the scope of the issues and the impact of different options. In particular, the number of businesses that could be affected by the various options to estimate the fiscal impact of the proposals was assessed, within constraints imposed by available data.
Draft legislation was also released for two of the three proposals contained in the consultation document. Stakeholders, including farmers, were invited to comment on the proposals and the draft legislation. Stakeholders were also specifically invited to provide their views and ideas on whether and if so, how, it would be possible to better accommodate genuine intergenerational business transfers in the Income Tax Act while still protecting the fairness of the tax system.
The government will not be moving forward with measures relating to the conversion of income into capital gains. During the consultation period, the government heard from business owners, including many farmers and fishers, that the measures could result in several unintended consequences, such as with respect to taxation upon death and potential challenges with intergenerational transfers of businesses. The government will work with family businesses, including farming and fishing businesses, to make it more efficient, or less difficult, to hand down their businesses to the next generation.
In the coming year, the government will continue its outreach to farmers, fishers, and other business owners to develop proposals to better accommodate intergenerational transfers of businesses while protecting the fairness of the tax system.
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