Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance regarding Bill C-32


November 28, 2022

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Mr. Chair, it is my pleasure to appear before you and Members of the committee to discuss Bill C-32—the Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act.

And I’d like to outline why it is so important that we work together to pass this legislation.

First, we are permanently eliminating interest on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans, which will save young people an average of $410 per year. And we have allocated the funds so this can happen for recent graduates in Quebec, too.

We are cutting taxes for Canada’s growing small businesses from 15 per cent to 9 per cent. This is the delivery of a key commitment we made in the spring.

We are permanently increasing the corporate income tax rate of banks and life insurance groups by 1.5 per cent, and we are implementing the Canada Recovery Dividend—a one-time, 15 per cent tax on their income above $1 billion to support Canada’s COVID recovery.

Bill C-32 also delivers on our plan to make housing more affordable.

We are creating a new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, which will help Canadians make a down payment faster by allowing first-time home buyers to save up to $40,000 towards their first home.

We’re delivering a Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit of up to $7,500, so that families across Canada can afford to have a grandparent or a family member with a disability move back in if they want to.

By ensuring that profits from flipping properties held for less than 12 months are fully taxed, we will help make sure that homes are for Canadians to live in—not a frequently flipped investment asset.

And we’re helping Canadians save on closing costs by doubling the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit. This will provide up to $1,500 to help offset the closing costs that come with buying that first home of your own.

One of the pillars of the Fall Economic Statement was about growing our economy and creating good jobs—and this legislation helps deliver on that.

We are launching the Canada Growth Fund, which will help bring to Canada the billions of dollars in new private investment required to reduce our emissions, grow our economy, and create good jobs at the same time.

And we are delivering a new 30 per cent Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit that will help make Canada a global leader in an industry that is essential for everything from electric cars to cell phones.

And before I close, Mr. Chair, I also know that you will be hearing from witnesses about the Canada Workers Benefit.

The Canada Workers Benefit tops up the income of our lowest-paid—and often most essential—workers.

No one who works 40 hours a week should have to worry about paying the bills or putting food on the table.

In Budget 2021, we expanded and enhanced the Canada Workers Benefit to reach three million Canadians who do important jobs but don’t get paid very much. The Canada Workers Benefit can mean up to $2,400 for a working couple every year.

The government currently delivers the Canada Workers Benefit through tax returns. That means that eligible Canadians need to wait until the tax year is over to receive the money they have already earned. But bills need to be paid throughout the year.

That is why, in the Fall Economic Statement, we further improved the Canada Workers Benefit.

We have expanded the Canada Workers Benefit to reach up to 1.2 million additional hard-working, low- and modest-income Canadians.

This was an intentional policy choice, and it means the CWB will top up the income of up to 4.2 million of the lowest-paid Canadians.

Going forward, eligible workers will receive advance payments of the CWB based on the income they made last year.

Advance payments will be made in July, October, and January based on a worker’s income in the previous year.

Mr. Chair, Members of the committee: Canada has the lowest deficit and the lowest debt-to GDP ratio in the G7. A few hours after I tabled the Fall Economic Statement, Moody’s reaffirmed our AAA rating with a stable outlook.

In October alone, employment in Canada rose by 108,000 jobs. That means there are 513,000 more Canadians working today than before COVID first hit.

Our economy is now 103 per cent the size it was before the pandemic. So far this year, our economic growth has been the strongest in the G7.

Canadians are tough and the Canadian economy is resilient. That’s why we can all be confident we’ll get through this, just as we have gotten through so much over these past two-and-a-half years.

Thank you very much. I’m happy to take your questions.

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