Ottawa, March 24, 2005
2005-023

Archived - Minister of Finance Introduces Bill Implementing Budget 2005 Measures

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Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale today tabled a bill in the House of Commons to implement measures proposed in the 2005 Budget Plan to:

  • Create a $700-million trust for the provinces and territories to invest in Early Learning and Child Care programs and services. This amount is the 2004-05 and 2005-06 portion of the $5 billion over five years committed in Budget 2005.
  • Increase Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits for low-income seniors by $2.7 billion over five years.
  • Provide $600 million in federal gas tax revenue sharing in 2005-06 for municipalities to support environmentally sustainable infrastructure projects.
  • Establish a new agency under Environment Canada to manage the $1-billion Climate Fund, which will provide incentives for the reduction and removal of greenhouse gases.
  • Amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to facilitate the future addition of greenhouse gases to the list of substances under the Act. This will allow the Minister of the Environment to regulate emissions and implement the proposed large final emitter regime and emissions trading system.
  • Establish a Technology Investment Fund to provide companies regulated under the proposed large final emitter regime with a compliance mechanism that encourages investments in greenhouse gas mitigation research and development.
  • Provide an additional $300 million for the Green Municipal Funds, $150 million of which will be used to help communities clean up and redevelop brownfields (abandoned sites where environmental contamination exists).
  • Introduce a new employment insurance (EI) rate-setting mechanism under which the EI Commission will have the power to set the premium rate, taking into account the principle that the premium rate should generate just enough premium revenue to cover program costs.
  • Implement the offshore agreements with Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia signed on February 14, 2005.
  • Transfer $100 million to the province of British Columbia to help battle the mountain pine beetle.
  • Create a $120-million trust to help the territories meet the goals of the Northern Strategy, a joint initiative between the Government of Canada and territorial governments aimed at improving the quality of life of Northerners.

The bill tabled today includes Budget 2005 tax proposals that were set out in the Notice of Ways and Means Motion tabled on March 21, 2005. Legislation to implement the remaining Budget 2005 tax proposals is being developed for introduction in a later bill.

The bill also includes measures to strengthen the accountability regime for foundations by introducing provisions to amend the Auditor General Act to allow for performance and compliance audits for not-for-profit organizations, including foundations, that have received at least $100 million in federal funds over any consecutive five-year fiscal period.

Legislation is not required for many of the spending measures proposed in Budget 2005, such as the funding for National Defence, as parliamentary approval can be achieved through the normal appropriation process.

Detailed explanatory notes relating to the amendments tabled today may be viewed free of charge on the Department of Finance Web site. Printed copies are available for $10.00 from the Department of Finance Distribution Centre at (613) 995-2855.

Further information on the budget, which was tabled on February 23, 2005, is available on the Department of Finance Web site.

___________________
For further information:

David Gamble
Public Affairs and Operations Division
(613) 996-8080
Pat Breton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
(613) 996-7861

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