Forward Regulatory Plan: 2017 to 2019

From Employment and Social Development Canada

Official title: Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) - Forward Regulatory Plan: 2017 to 2019

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Introduction

A forward regulatory plan is a public list or description of anticipated regulatory changes or actions that a department intends to bring forward or undertake in a specified time frame. It is intended to give consumers, business, other stakeholders and trading partners greater opportunity to inform the development of regulations and to plan for the future. It should be noted that this forward regulatory plan will be adjusted and updated over time as ESDC’s operating environment also changes over time.

This plan provides information on planned and potential regulatory initiatives that ESDC expects to bring forward over the next two years. It also identifies public consultation opportunities and a departmental contact for each regulatory initiative.

Proposed regulatory initiatives: 2017 to 2019

Regulations amending the Employment Insurance Regulations and Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations – More flexible and inclusive caregiving and parental benefits and leaves

Description of the objective

The objectives of the regulatory amendments are to make necessary changes to enable the implementation of the legislative provisions included in the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1. In this regard, the proposed regulations are to prescribe those aspects of the program that the legislation stipulates should be prescribed, but are not currently included. These include amendments to current regulatory provisions in relation to the medical practitioners who are permitted to issue medical certificates, harmonizing the definitions of eligible family members, care and support across the Employment Insurance (EI) caregiving benefits, and creation of appropriate references to the new benefit to provide care to critically ill adults. These changes are required for the administration of the EI program.

Enabling Act: Employment Insurance Act

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

There are no direct costs to business resulting from the regulations. Some employers have noted that they may wish to adjust their employer-based supplementary benefits plans and collective bargaining agreements to align with the optional 61 week parental benefit option, as well as the new caregiver benefit. This may result in a one-time administrative cost to their business.

Public consultation opportunities

Consultations on the amendments to the Employment Insurance Act contained in the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1 took place in fall 2016. This included online consultations on caregiving, maternity, and parental benefits and leaves, as well as a stakeholder roundtable.

With regard to the Employment Insurance Regulations and Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations, stakeholder engagement was conducted through summer 2017. Stakeholders included employers, labour organizations, payroll and human resources professionals and medical practitioners regarding the implementation of the proposed legislative and regulatory provisions.

Departmental contact

Rutha Astravas
Director, Special Benefits
Employment Insurance Policy
Skills and Employment Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-2923
Rutra.astravas@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations amending the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations –Three-year pilot for adult learners and introducing flexibility for the period during which family income is determined when assessing eligibility for the Canada Student Grant for full-time students with dependants and Canada Student Grant for full-time students

Description of the objective

The objective of the amendment to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations is to make available non-repayable “top-up” funding for adult learners who qualify for the Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students and who have been out of secondary school for at least ten years. In addition, explicit references to “previous year” family income in sections 38.1(1)(e), 40.02(2) and the heading of Column 2 in the “Eligibility Thresholds for the Grant for Full-Time Students” table in Schedule 4 to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations would be removed. This would allow the appropriate authorities designated for each province and territory by the Minister of Labour styled as Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour (Minister) to determine the period for which family income would be used to determine student’s eligibility for the Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students and Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students with Dependants.

Budget 2017 committed funding over three-years to test new approaches to make it easier for adult learners to qualify for Canada Student Loans Program supports that would help adults who wish to return to school after spending several years in the workforce. The Government of Canada committed to implementing this proposal in-time for the 2018 to 2019 loan year.

Enabling Act: Canada Student Financial Assistance Act

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

The Department has been working with provincial and territorial partners, as well as student and educational stakeholder groups, following Budget 2017 to finalize program design parameters to test new approaches in support of adult learners. No stakeholder opposition has been received and 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 Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations – Expanding eligibility for the Canada Student Grant for part-time studies, Canada Student Grant for part-time students with dependants, Canada Student Grant for full-time students with dependants and part-time Canada Student Loans

Description of the objective

The objective of the amendment to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations is to expand eligibility for the Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Studies, Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Students with Dependants and Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students with Dependants by replacing the current “step” model used to determine eligibility with four national progressive eligibility thresholds that would determine eligibility based on family income and family size on a sliding scale. The objective is also to amend the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations to expand eligibility for Part-Time Canada Student Loans by replacing the current eligibility thresholds with national thresholds based on family income and family size using the “cut-off” rate for Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students eligibility thresholds.

Budget 2017 proposed expanding eligibility for the Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Studies and Part-Time Canada Student Loans to ensure that more Canadians pursuing part-time studies could receive the assistance they need to upgrade their skills, without the burden of having to incur a substantial amount of debt. Budget 2017 further proposed expanding eligibility for the Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Students with Dependants and Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students with Dependants to make postsecondary education more affordable for adult learners with dependent children. The Government of Canada committed to expanding eligibility for the Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Studies, Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Students with Dependants, Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students with Dependants and Part-Time Canada Student Loans for the 2018 to 2019 loan year.

Enabling Act: Canada Student Financial Assistance Act

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

The Department worked with provincial and territorial partners, as well as student and educational stakeholder groups, following Budget 2016 on the design parameters to expand eligibility for non-repayable grant funding targeted to low- and middle-income students, which led to the new single progressive eligibility thresholds for the Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students. During this consultative process, support was also expressed to have all Canada Student Grants and Part-Time Canada Student Loans align with these new eligibility thresholds. The Budget 2017 proposals to expand eligibility for the Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Studies, Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Students with Dependants, Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students with Dependants and Part-Time Canada Student Loans reflect this interest in aligning eligibility across the various supports provided by the Canada Student Loans Program and to build upon the Budget 2016 commitments. No stakeholder opposition has been received and 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 – Definition of apprentice

Description of the objective

The objective of this amendment to the Apprentice Loans Regulations is to ensure persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act can access Canada Apprentice Loans, regardless of citizenship. The passage of the Budget Implementation Act 2017, No. 1 included an amendment to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act to change the definition of “qualifying student” to include persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act, regardless of citizenship. The amendment to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act will come into force on August 1, 2018, and was made to ensure that those Indigenous students who do not have Canadian citizenship can access Canada Student Loan and Canada Student Grant funding through the Canada Student Loans Program. Given the Canada Student Loans Program is also responsible for administering the Canada Apprentice Loans, similar amendments are being proposed to the definition of “apprentice” in the Apprentice Loans Regulations to ensure Canada Apprentice Loans and Canada Student Loan applicants are treated the same.

Enabling Act: Apprentice Loans Act

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

This proposal falls within the Government of Canada’s commitment to support Indigenous learners and is intended to ensure alignment with similar changes that have already been made to the definition of “qualifying student” in the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act. No stakeholder opposition has been received and 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 Social Insurance Number Regulations and Employment Insurance Regulations – Miscellaneous amendments

Description of the objective

This regulatory initiative aims to address a number of issues raised by the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations. The Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations is a joint committee of the House of Commons and Senate that is tasked with reviewing and making recommendations on the legality and procedural aspects of regulations. The issues identified by the committee are administrative in nature and would improve consistency and clarity within the Social Insurance Number Regulations and consequential amendments to the Employment Insurance Regulations. The modifications consist of correcting typographical errors, ensuring concordance of French and English, repealing of words and sections, and making clarifications and modifications of wording used to reflect operational practices.

Enabling Acts: Employment Insurance Act, Department of Employment and Social Development Act

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. Treasury Board Secretariat approval will be sought for exemption to Canada Gazette, Part I pre-publication.

Departmental contact

André Michel Couture
A/Director, Policy and Partnerships
Integrity Services Branch
Service Canada
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-4757
andre.couture@servicecanada.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.

This item is part of a Governor-in-Council submission approved by Treasury Board and was pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on June 17, 2017. It is expected that this initiative will be effective by November 27, 2017.

Enabling Act: Old Age Security Act

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 Act in 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. In addition, no comments were received during the 30-day pre-publication period in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

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 some individuals.

This item is part of a Governor-in-Council submission approved by Treasury Board and was pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on June 17, 2017. It is expected that this initiative will be effective by November 27, 2017.

Enabling Act: Old Age Security Act

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 Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act which received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012.

No comments were received during the 30-day pre-publication period in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

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 Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations – Strengthening worker protections

Description of the objective

The objective of these amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations is to make further enhancements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program employer compliance regimes, including new conditions on employers, to strengthen protections for foreign workers.

Enabling Acts: Financial Administration Act; Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Indication of business impacts

There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or the small business lens may apply. The possible business impact of the worker protection regulatory changes is unknown as of August 2017.

Public consultation opportunities

The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) delivered its report, Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, on June 15, 2016.

Additionally, further consultation will be sought through publication in Canada Gazette, Part I. Target for pre-publication is Spring 2018.

Departmental contact

Donna Blois
Director, Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Skills and Employment Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-3243
donna.blois@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations – Elimination of the labour market impact assessment fee for caregivers

Description of the objective

As announced in Budget 2017, the objective of this amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations is to “eliminate the Labour Market Impact Assessment fee for families seeking to hire foreign caregivers to provide care for persons with high medical needs, and for middle income families with less than $150,000 in annual income seeking to hire foreign caregivers to provide child care.”

Enabling Acts: Financial Administration Act; Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) completed its review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program on June 15, 2016. ESDC did not receive any commentary from stakeholders regarding the Budget announcement for the elimination of the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment processing fee for families seeking to hire caregivers.

There will be no further consultation opportunities.

Departmental contact

Donna Blois
Director, Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Skills and Employment Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-3243
donna.blois@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations amending the Canada Education Savings Regulations

Description of the objective

The Canada Education Savings Regulations set out the rules that govern the payment of the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) into Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP). RESP promoters deliver the education savings incentives to the public through agreements with the Department.

Regulatory amendments are being proposed to make the administration and delivery of the incentives more efficient and less complex, and to clarify and modernize the regulations.

The proposed amendments are:

  • Proportional repayment after an investment loss:
    Currently, in the event of an investment loss in an RESP, the Canada Education Savings Regulations requires that, when a repayment is made, federal incentives be repaid in full before provincial incentives are repaid. The proposed amendment would permit the repayment to be made proportionally across federal and provincial incentives
  • Proportional partial transfers:
    The regulations governing eligible transfers of the CESG and CLB from one RESP to another require that all of the incentives, including those paid under a designated provincial program, be transferred proportionately. If one or more of the incentives cannot be transferred, the transfer is considered ineligible and the CESG and CLB in the relinquishing RESP must be repaid. The proposed amendment would remove the requirement that incentives paid under a designated provincial program be transferred proportionally for a transfer of CESG and CLB to be eligible. Existing provincial rules for proportional incentives will remain in effect, requiring the repayment of the provincial incentive, rather than all CESG and CLB
  • Educational assistance payment calculations:
    The Canada Education Savings Regulations contains formulas used to determine the amount of incentives and investment earnings in educational assistance payments (EAP), but no instructions on how to calculate an EAP when one or more of the incentives cannot be paid in an EAP. The proposed amendment would remove the formulas and replace them with text directing RESP promoters to calculate proportional amounts for an EAP
  • Repayment of pending grant:
    A proposed amendment that would clarify the requirement to repay CESG if the contribution on which it was granted was withdrawn before the grant was paid into the RESP
  • Technical amendments:
    Amendments are also proposed to address recommendations made by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations, which are administrative in nature. These amendments would remove the phrase "in the opinion of the Minister’ from the Canada Education Savings Regulations and ensure consistency between the English and French versions of the regulations

Enabling Act: Canada Education Savings Act

Indication of business impacts

There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” and/or Small Business Lens may apply.

Preliminary analysis suggests that business impacts for some RESP promoters may be limited to one time compliance costs to update computer systems. The Department will continue to work with stakeholders to determine these costs.

Public consultation opportunities

The Registered Education Savings Plan Advisory Group, which includes approximately 90 RESP promoters, and the provinces who offer education savings incentives, were consulted in November 2016. In addition, pre-publication of these amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I (likely in February 2018) will provide an opportunity for Canadians to comment on the proposed changes to the regulations.

Departmental contact

Chantal Simard
Director, Canada Education Savings Program
Learning Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-654-8497
chantal.simard@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Regulations amending the Apprentice Loans Regulations (Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP))

Description of the objective

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

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. The Apprentice Loans 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., Canada Apprentice 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. Implementation is to be determined.

Enabling Act: Apprentice Loans Act

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 Canada Apprentice Loans.

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 enable eligible apprentices to receive Canada Apprentice Loans 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 to complement other financial measures available to apprentices. Schedule 1 to the Apprentice Loans 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 reflects the trades that are designated as Red Seal in each province or territory. 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 Apprentice Loans Regulations is required to remove the trade “Mobile Crane Operator (Hydraulic)” and add Nunavut to “Mobile Crane Operator”. Implementation is to be determined.

Enabling Act: Apprentice Loans Act

Indication of business impacts

There are no expected business impacts.

Public consultation opportunities

Amendments made to Schedule 1 to the Apprentice Loans Regulations are administrative requirements and represent no change in policy. No pre-publication is required and there are no further opportunities for comment. The Apprentice Loans 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 master student financial assistance agreement)

Description of the objective

Under the current Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations students applying for Part-Time Canada Student Loans 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 Canada Student Loans by spring 2018. To implement the electronic delivery of Part-Time Canada Student Loans, sections 12, 12.1 and 12.2 of the Canada Student Financial Assistance 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 Part-Time Canada Student Loans with Full-Time Canada Student Loans. The proposed amendments are anticipated to be implemented for the 2017 to 2018 academic year.

Enabling Act: Canada Student Financial Assistance Act

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 as 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

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