In Touch with MP Earl Dreeshen – Bill C-38

May 31, 2012

One of the most important pieces of legislation currently being debated in the Canadian House of Commons this spring is Bill C-38 the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act. This Bill is designed to implement the Government’s plan as laid out in Budget 2012. As you may have seen in the news, there are many components to the Bill, and I am pleased to take this time to point out a few of the lesser talked about components.

Improving Conditions for Business Investment

  • Making the review process for major economic projects more timely and transparent while protecting the environment, and helping realize the objective of “one project, one review” in a clearly defined time period.
  • Increasing travelers’ exemptions to modernize existing rules and facilitate border processes for Canadians bringing goods home from abroad.
  • Enhancing the governance and oversight framework for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, contributing to the stability of the housing market and benefitting all Canadians.

Investing in Training, Infrastructure and Opportunity

  • Making Employment Insurance (EI) a more efficient program that is focused on job creation and opportunities by removing disincentives to work and supporting unemployed Canadians.
  • Ensuring stable, predictable EI premium rates by limiting premium rate increases to 5 cents each year until the EI Operating Account is in balance, and then moving to a seven-year break-even rate.
  • Helping build a fast and flexible economic immigration system to meet Canada’s labour needs by reducing the backlog in the Federal Skilled Worker Program, returning applications and refunding fees to those who applied prior to February 27, 2008.

Supporting Families and Communities

  • Expanding health-related tax relief under the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax and income tax systems to better meet the health care needs of Canadians.
  • Helping Canadians with severe disabilities and their families by improving the Registered Disability Savings Plan.
  • Promoting literacy by allowing certain charities and qualifying non-profit literacy organizations to claim a rebate of the GST they pay to acquire printed books to be given away.
  • Ensuring that charities devote their resources primarily to charitable, rather than political, activities, and enhancing public transparency and accountability in this area.

Ensuring Sustainable Social Programs and a Secure Retirement

  • Legislating the Government’s commitment to sustainable and predictable transfers to provinces and territories in support of health care, education and other programs and services.
  • Gradually increasing from 65 to 67 the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) starting in April 2023, and also allowing for the voluntary deferral of the basic OAS for up to five years starting on July 1, 2013, resulting in an actuarially adjusted higher OAS.
  • Putting in place a proactive enrolment regime for OAS and the GIS.

Responsible Management to Return to Balanced Budgets

  • Modernizing Canada’s currency by gradually eliminating the penny from our coinage system.
  • Refocusing government and programs and modernizing and reducing the back office.
  • Making it easier for Canadians and businesses to deal with their government.

For more information I encourage you to view the Bill in its entirety at www.parl.gc.ca

Until next time

Earl Dreeshen,

MP Red Deer