News / Canada

List of omnibus bill's contents a long one

OTTAWA - A partial list of the measures contained in the Conservative omnibus budget implementation act:

— Increases the age of eligibility for Old Age Security to 67 from 65, starting gradually in 2023.

— Removes the oversight office of the inspector general at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

— Repeals the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act.

— Repeals the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and introduces an entirely new one, setting retroactive timelines for environmental assessments and permitting Ottawa to delegate assessments to provinces.

— Gives cabinet power to over-ride the National Energy Board on decisions regarding pipeline approvals, order alternative environmental assessment processes.

— Changes Navigable Waters Protection Act to permit pipelines and hydro lines to be governed by the National Energy Board.

— Changes Fisheries Act to apply only to major waterways, and to prohibit "serious harm" to a commercial, recreational or aboriginal fishery, while granting cabinet power to exempt fisheries from these categories; removes protection of fish habitat.

— Changes Species at Risk Act to remove pipeline permits under the National Energy Board from having to fully comply, and allows long-term exemption permits (as opposed to current five-year, renewable exemptions).

— Amends the Coasting Trade Act to permit more seismic testing off-shore.

— Amends the Parks Canada Agency Act to remove requirement for annual plans, reports and audits.

— Shuts down the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.

— Shuts down the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development.

— Shuts down the National Council of Welfare.

— Shuts down the Public Appointments Commission.

— Shuts down Assisted Human Reproduction Canada.

— Shuts down the First Nations Statistical Institute.

— Shuts down the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal.

— Amends the Employment Insurance Act, including changes to benefit calculations, setting rates, and new powers to regulate the definition of suitable employment for claimants.

— Repeals part of the Employment Equity Act to exempt some federal contractors.

— Repeals the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act.

— Puts all appeals for Canada Pension Plan, EI, OAS and other benefits programs under a single new entity called the Social Security Tribunal.

— Amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act to reflect the Conservative government's new formula for health care transfers.

— Expands list of services and goods without sales tax, including dentures, hearing aids and some prescription drugs.

— Increases value of goods that Canadians can buy duty-free in the United States.

— Changes the rules for political advocacy by charities and gives the Canada Revenue Agency increased resources to audit them; gives the minister the power to suspend privileges for issuing tax receipts.

— Changes the Immigration and Refugee Act to eliminate and refund about 100,000 skilled worker applications that pre-date Feb. 27, 2008; gives the minister more power to issue instructions; allows new regulations to be applied retroactively; speeds up hiring of temporary foreign workers.

— Puts into law the 2009 Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Law Enforcement Operations with the U.S., permitting American authorities to make arrests on Canadian soil.

— Amends the Telecommunications Act to ease restrictions on foreign ownership and allows the CRTC to impose levies on telemarketers to pay for "do not call" enforcement.

— Amends law so pennies remain legal tender after the Mint stops producing them.

— Phases out issuance of plastic cards with Social Insurance Numbers.

— Makes the salary of the Governor General taxable, and effectively doubles the salary to account for tax hit.

— Increases government oversight and control of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

— Changes rules to allow temporary members of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to sit for three years, up from six months.

— Changes the Food and Drugs Act to give the minister the power to exempt a food from marketing rules.

— Removes the distribution requirements for the Canada Gazette.

— Amends the Health of Animals Act to give the minister power to declare areas "control zones" and prohibit movement of persons, animals or things to control disease outbreaks.

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