Forward Regulatory Plan: 2016-2018

Official Title: Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) - Forward Regulatory Plan: 2016-2018

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Proposed Regulatory Initiatives: 2016-2018

Regulations amending the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations (New Canada Student Grant eligibility thresholds)

Description of the objective

The Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations (Regulations) enable eligible persons to receive financial support in the form of Canada Student Loans and Canada Student Grants (CSG) to help cover the costs of post-secondary education. Schedule 3 to the Regulations enables eligible students to receive Grants for Students from Low-Income Families (CSG-LI), Grants for Students From Middle-Income Families (CSG-MI), Canada Student Grants for Students with Dependents (CSG-DEP) and Part-Time Students with Dependents (CSG-PTDEP), Canada Student Grants for Part-Time Studies (CGS-PT), and Part-Time Canada Student Loans (PT-CSL). Currently, eligibility for the CSG-LI, CSG-MI, CSG-DEP, CSG-PTDEP, CSG-PT and PT-CSLs is based on family income and size, as determined by the Low-Income (LI) and Middle-Income (MI) thresholds set out in Schedule 3 to the Regulations.

Proposed in Budget 2016, the objective of this amendment is to replace the existing LI and MI thresholds used to determine CSG-LI and CSG-MI eligibility with a single progressive threshold that would determine eligibility based on family income and size on a sliding scale. Under this proposal, eligible students would receive, per academic year, a CSG of up to $3,000 on the high end and $100 on the low end. The new CSG eligibility thresholds are anticipated to be implemented for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

As committed to in Budget 2016, the Department has been working with provinces and territories to expand eligibility for CSGs by replacing the Low- and Middle-Income Thresholds set out in Schedule 3 to the Regulations with a single progressive threshold under which grant amounts would decline based on family income and size. No stakeholder opposition was received. There are no further opportunities for comment.

Departmental contact

Steven Coté
Director
Canada Student Loans Program
Learning Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-8775
steven.f.cote@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations amending the Apprentice Loans Regulations (Repayment Assistance Plan)

Description of the objective

The Apprentice Loans Regulations (Regulations) enable eligible apprentices to receive Canada Apprentice Loans (CAL) to help cover the costs of technical training that forms part of their apprenticeship program. The Regulations also provide assistance to CAL borrowers experiencing financial difficulties in repayment through the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP). Subsections 11(4) and 13(4) of the Regulations describe the attribution of the affordable payment made under RAP to student and guaranteed loans by borrowers who have received both CALs and CSLs.

The objective of the amendment is to correct a drafting error that stated that the affordable payment calculated under the RAP must be apportioned or attributed in portion to all of a borrowers’ outstanding principal balance of apprentice loans, student loans and guaranteed loans. Currently, when the provincial portion of the affordable payment has been determined, the amount remaining is then apportioned across the borrower’s federal loans. As a result, the affordable payment is not apportioned equally by the outstanding principal balance of each loan type. The Regulations would be amended to reflect that the provincial portion of a borrower’s affordable payment is not reduced because of the introduction of an additional federal loan type (i.e., CAL).

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

This amendment is being pursued as a result of consultations with provinces/territories and stakeholders. There are no further opportunities for comment given that the amendments are consistent with the current solution for the adjudication of RAP for borrowers that hold student and/or guaranteed student loans and CALs.

Departmental contact

Steven Coté
Director
Canada Student Loans Program
Learning Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-8775
steven.f.cote@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations amending the Apprentice Loans Regulations (Eligible Trades)

Description of the objective

The Apprentice Loans Regulations (Regulations) enable eligible apprentices to receive Canada Apprentice Loans (CAL) to help cover the costs of technical training that forms part of their apprenticeship program. Canada Apprentice Loans are meant for apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade to help with the costs related to their technical training and tocomplement other financial measures available to apprentices. Schedule 1 to the Regulations lists the trades that are designated Red Seal in each province.

The objective of the amendment is to ensure that the list of eligible trades in Schedule 1 to the Apprentice Loans Regulations(Regulations) reflects the trades that are designated as Red Seal in each province. The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship merged the trades “Mobile Crane Operator” and “Mobile Crane Operator (Hydraulic)” into one category, referred to as, “Mobile Crane Operator”. Nunavut is the only province or territory listed under “Mobile Crane Operator (Hydraulic)” but not “Mobile Crane Operator”. As a result, an update to the list of eligible trades in Schedule 1 to the Regulations is required to remove the trade “Mobile Crane Operator (Hydraulic)” and add Nunavut to “Mobile Crane Operator”.

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

Amendments made to Schedule 1 to the Regulations are administrative requirements and represent no change in policy. No pre-publication is required and there are no further opportunities for comment. The Regulations are set to come into force upon registration with publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II to follow.

Departmental contact

Steven Coté
Director
Canada Student Loans Program
Learning Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-8775
steven.f.cote@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations Amending the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations (Part-Time Canada Student Loans)

Description of the objective

Under the current Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations (Regulations) students applying for Part-Time Canada Student Loans (PT-CSL) must confirm their enrolment by obtaining the wet signature of an officer of the designated educational institution they plan to attend, provide certain consents and certifications, and enter into a new student loan agreement for each new loan disbursement. In 2011, similar requirements for full-time students were amended to facilitate the introduction of an electronic confirmation of enrolment process, as well as a multi-disbursement student loan agreement that also covers all necessary consents and certifications.

The objective of the amendment is to allow for the introduction of an electronic confirmation of enrolment process for part-time students. This is consistent with the broader Government of Canada objective of making it easier for Canadians to access federal services online. The Canada Student Loans Program is working to implement a completely online federal process for CSLs by April 2018. To implement the electronic delivery of PT-CSLs, sections 12, 12.1 and 12.2 of the Regulations would need to be amended. These same sections would also be amended to allow for the introduction of a multi-disbursement loan agreement for part-time clients, thereby fully aligning the delivery of PT-CSLs with Full-Time CSLs. The proposed amendments are anticipated to be implemented for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

This amendment is being pursued as a result of consultations with provinces/territories and stakeholders. There are no further opportunities for comment.

Departmental contact

Steven Coté
Director
Canada Student Loans Program
Learning Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-8775
steven.f.cote@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations repealing the Canada Pension Plan (Social Insurance Numbers) Regulations and amending the Canada Pension Plan Regulations – Repeal of Provisions Administrative in Nature

Description of the objective

The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (the Committee) has raised concerns over certain provisions in the Canada Pension Plan (Social Insurance Numbers) Regulations (CPP (SIN) Regulations) suggesting a correction and the repeal of some sections which serve no legislative purpose. The issues outlined by the Committee generated a second look at all of the provisions in the CPP (SIN) Regulations. These Regulations were introduced in conjunction with the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) in 1965, and the provisions have remained essentially the same since that time. Analysis has shown that these Regulations may not hold the importance that they once did. A few provisions, that continue to hold relevance, are to be moved from the CPP (SIN) Regulations to the Canada Pension Plan Regulations (CPP Regulations). In addition to addressing the Committee’s requests, these proposals will support Treasury Board Secretariat’s (TBS) Red Tape Reduction Action Plan and align with TBS’s Cabinet Directive on Regulatory Management.

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

Given the administrative nature of these regulatory amendments, there are no public consultation opportunities planned at this time. TBS approval will be sought for exemption to Canada Gazette, Part I pre-publication.

Departmental contact

Marianna Giordano
Director
Seniors and Pensions Policy Secretariat
Income Security and Social Development Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-1672
marianna.giordano@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations amending the Department of Employment and Social Development Regulations – Addition of “Public Works and Government Services Canada”

Description of the objective

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is authorized to administer the Public Service Superannuation Act, the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act (superannuation legislation). Superannuation legislation requires that benefits be reduced if a retiree receives a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability pension. Currently, CPP information is shared between ESDC and PSPC using a signed consent form.

Subsection 35(1) of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESD Act) allows for personal information to be made available to a minister of a prescribed federal institution as set out in the DESD Regulations. This amendment will add PSPC as a federal institution and provide a reference to the superannuation legislation that PSPC administers in Section 3.1 of the DESD Regulations. This change will allow for an information sharing agreement (ISA) to replace the consent requirement.

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

Pre-publication in Canada Gazette, Part I involving a 30-day consultation period, occurred on March 5, 2016. No comments were received.

Departmental contact

Marianna Giordano
Director
Seniors and Pensions Policy Secretariat
Income Security and Social Development Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-1672
marianna.giordano@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations amending the Old Age Security Regulations – Proactive Enrolment for Old Age Security (OAS) Benefits – Phase 2

Description of the objective

Regulatory amendments are required to support the second phase of the Old Age Security (OAS) proactive enrolment initiative, which was announced in Budget 2012. The second phase of this initiative will enable automatic enrolment for the full OAS pension for individuals who have 40 years of Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan participation and income tax filings after age 18.

The first phase of proactive enrolment allowed 45% of new pensioners to receive the OAS pension without having to apply. The second phase, scheduled to be implemented in November 2016, will allow an additional 11% of new pensioners to be enrolled automatically.

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

Consultations on the proactive enrolment initiative were held via Parliamentary debate as part of the tabling of the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act. Legislative amendments to the Old Age Security Act were included as part of that Act, and received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012. In addition, pre-publication of these amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I on June 25, 2016, provided an opportunity for Canadians to comment on the proposed regulation. There are no further opportunities for comment.

Departmental contact

Nathalie Martel
Director
Old Age Security Policy
Income Security and Social Development Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-2757
nathalie.martel@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations amending the Old Age Security Regulations – Proactive Enrolment for Old Age Security (OAS) Benefits – Phase 3

Description of the objective

Regulatory amendments are required to support the third phase of the Old Age Security (OAS) proactive enrolment initiative, which was announced in Budget 2012. The third phase of this initiative will enable automatic enrolment for the Guaranteed Income Supplement for certain individuals.

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

Consultations on the proactive enrolment initiative were held via Parliamentary debate as part of the tabling of the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act. Legislative amendments to the Old Age Security Act were included as part of that Act, and received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012.

Pre-publication of these amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I (expected in 2017) will provide an opportunity for Canadians to comment on the proposed regulation. There will be no further opportunities for comment.

Departmental contact

Nathalie Martel
Director
Old Age Security Policy
Income Security and Social Development Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-2757
nathalie.martel@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations amending the Old Age Security Regulations – Repeal of the Increase in the Age of Eligibility

Description of the objective

Regulatory amendments are proposed to align with the amendments to the Old Age Security Act introduced in Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1, to repeal the increase to the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) benefits, which was scheduled to begin in 2023. These legislative amendments restored the age of eligibility from 67 to 65 for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and from 62 to 60 for the Allowance and the Allowance for the Survivor.

Subsection 2(1.1) of the Old Age Security Regulations should be repealed as it refers to the increase in the age of eligibility.

This proposal is not time sensitive. Should there be delays in aligning the regulations with the legislation, subsection 2(1.1) will simply become inoperative.

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

There has been a lot of public dialogue on the age of eligibility for OAS benefits: first, when the increase in the age of eligibility was included in the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Actin 2012, and again during the 2015 election campaign.

Similarly, the issue was debated publicly in Parliament as part of the tabling of Budget 2016. The proposed regulatory amendments do not introduce new issues not already addressed in legislation. Pre-publication of these amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I, will provide an opportunity for Canadians to comment on the proposed regulation. There will be no further opportunities for comment.

Departmental contact

Nathalie Martel
Director
Old Age Security Policy
Income Security and Social Development Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-2757
nathalie.martel@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Reducing the Employment Insurance waiting period from two weeks to one

Description of the objective

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No.1 (BIA), which received Royal Assent on June 22, 2016, contains changes to the Employment Insurance Act to reduce the Employment Insurance (EI) waiting period from two weeks to one week. Budget 2016 announced this measure would be effective January 1, 2017. Complementary changes to the Employment Insurance Regulations (EI Regulations) are proposed including: consequential amendments to align references in the EI Regulations to a one-week waiting period; corresponding changes to streamline standards for Premium Reduction Program (PRP) plans with the reduced EI waiting period, including a four-year transition period; and mitigation measures to minimize the potential impact on employers/employees due to the reduced waiting period in circumstances where employers provide benefit plans that supplement EI benefits (top-ups), including a four-year transition period.

Indication of business impacts

Preliminary analysis indicates that a small minority of employers (approximately 5%) with PRP plans that meet existing rules may not meet the new standard for PRPs. While a change to the PRP standard in the EI Regulations does not compel employers to adjust their plans, it is anticipated that many, if not most, may choose to do so over time in order to continue to receive a premium reduction. To accommodate employers and encourage retention in the PRP, the intent is to provide these employers with a four-year transition period within which to adjust plans while continuing to receive a premium reduction.

Some employers who provide top-ups may be impacted as a result of the reduction in the waiting period and may wish to make adjustments to their employer supplementary benefit plans. In addition, in some cases employees may potentially have a week in which EI benefits are reduced and/or receive one less week of employer benefits. Proposed regulatory amendments would provide these employers with transitional measures for a four-year period to help mitigate the potential impact, on both employers and employees, while they adjust plans.

Public consultation opportunities

Consultations on the reduction of the EI waiting period from two weeks to one week were held via Parliamentary debate as part of the tabling of BIA. In addition, Governor in Council approval will be sought early in fall 2016 to pre-publish proposed amendments to the EI Regulations in order to provide Canadians, including business and worker associations, with the opportunity to comment on the proposed regulatory amendments.

A robust operational communications plan will be developed and implemented to ensure a smooth transition to implementation of a reduced waiting period and ongoing clarity thereafter for claimants, employers and stakeholders. Communications will highlight the benefits for EI claimants of reducing the waiting period, while managing expectations and ensuring that the impacts on claimants and employers are understood. Communications will also emphasize that the proposed measure will provide claimants additional flexibility to manage their financial resources.

Departmental contact

Andrew Brown
Senior Director
Employment Insurance Policy
Skills and Employment Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-6849
andrew.brown@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

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