Finance Ministers Reach Agreements on Behalf of All Canadians

December 11, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

Canada works best when governments work collaboratively to take actions that are in the interest of all Canadians, strengthen the middle class and help those working hard to join it. Federal, provincial and territorial Finance Ministers met today in Ottawa to build on their productive partnership, discuss issues that are top of mind for Canadians, and make further progress on important joint priorities.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his provincial and territorial counterparts agreed to keep duties on cannabis low, the higher of $1 per gram or 10 per cent of a product price, through a federally-administrated coordinated framework. This will support the Government’s goals for cannabis legalization, keep it out of the hands of kids and profits out of the hands of criminals.

For the initial two years, this tax room will be shared on the following basis: 75 per cent to provincial and territorial governments; 25 per cent to the federal government. Provinces and territories will work with municipalities according to shared responsibilities towards legalization. The federal portion of cannabis excise tax revenue will be capped at $100 million annually. Any federal revenue in excess of $100 million will be provided to provinces and territories. Finance Ministers will review the implementation of the agreement at their December 2018 meeting to ensure broad objectives are being met.

The Finance Ministers also agreed to move the yard stick forward on other significant issues during their semiannual meeting.

They committed to work to ensure appropriate authorities know who owns which corporations in Canada, and to better harmonize corporate ownership record requirements between their jurisdictions. These measures are intended to prevent webs of Canadian or international companies from concealing ownership information in order to facilitate tax evasion, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Furthermore, Finance Ministers agreed to strengthen the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to provide greater benefits to parents whose income drops after the birth or adoption of their child, to persons with disabilities, to spouses who are widowed at a young age and to the estates of lower-income contributors. CPP contributions rates will not be impacted. In addition, Ministers agreed to move forward with regulations to ensure that the CPP Enhancement remains appropriately funded over time.

During the Finance Ministers’ Meeting, Minister Morneau highlighted the importance of taking into consideration how government decisions can impact women and men differently, and to make continuous efforts to address inequalities. In this regard, the Government remains focused on results. For example, the proposed CPP improvements would be particularly beneficial for women, hence contributing to the advancement of gender equality.

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“I thank my colleagues for their work. Canada's Finance Ministers have a proven track record when in comes to working together, and this year’s meeting is yet another example. We have taken action on international tax evasion and money laundering, and we are moving forward with a better approach to cannabis and a stronger CPP. I look forward to continue building on this productive partnership in the months and years ahead.”

- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

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Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
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