Federal Budget Bill C-45 Passes in the House of Commons
Further to Davis LLP's earlier blog, the second of two omnibus federal budget bills has undergone its third parliamentary reading and was passed in the House of Commons on December 5, 2012 and is now before the Senate. Described by Government as an implementation tool, the Bill (C-45), will amend and repeal parts of various enactments to further the key initiatives of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012 (the "Action Plan"). In particular the initative to complete the regulatory regime required for Responsible Resource Development defined as "the Government of Canada’s plan to create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity for all Canadians by streamlining the review process for major resource projects" and further described here. Responsible Resource Development is one of several categories proposed in the Action Plan designed to improve business investment in Canada. Other categories include: investing in natural resources; expanding trade and operating in new markets, neutralizing certain preferential taxes and expanding tax relief for investment in clean energy; improving economic conditions for farmers and fishermen; strengthening business competitiveness; and, developing Canada's financial sector advantage.
The first of the two omnibus bills, tabled in Parliament as Bill C-35 on March 29, 2012 was assented to one month later and became "An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures." Most of the changes to the regulatory regime affecting project reviews were enacted under that Act.
The changes under Bill C-45, if passed by the Senate in the same form, will receive royal assent. If assented to, the changes will expand on the previous Act, closing loopholes, clarifying requirements and creating greater certainty of project reviews.