The Devil is in the Budget Implementation Act
Ah. For the good old days. When a Budget Implementation bill lived up to its, err, billing.Â You know, stuff from the budget was in the bill.Â Other stuff was dealt with in other bills where stuff could be properly debated.
Nowadays, you never know what you’re going to get when you open your Bill C-10 goody bag.Â Take the most recent edition of C-10 (new, improved, and condensed to just 551 pages of dense legal text that no one in their right mind would read without the help of a team of lawyers).
Let’s get a taste of what this bag of tricks and treats has brought us:
Oh, what have we here — a bright green (with dollar signs) proposal to lift foreign ownership limits on domestic carriers from the current 25% to as high as 49%.Â Where’s that in the budget? Hmmm.Â Anyway, it’s just in time too because Air Canada just lost three quarter of a billion bucks.
Oh, and what’s this bright shiny tasty looking treat (strangely enough, it too is green and comes with dollar signs affixed) : can it be? Yes, major changes to the Navigable Waters ProtectionÂ Act (goodbye pretty fish, hello industrial muck) that environmental groups, paddlers and others have been resisting for years.Â Tucked away nice and safe and deep in the heart of the goody bag where no one will look.
Oh, and what is this:Â a repeal of Section 18.2 of the Income Tax Act (this change actually was in the budget plan but you had to look really hard to find it — go to page 325) that will cost the feds, oh close to $200 million in foregone revenue for 2012 – 14 and who knows how much going forward. Â And wait, what are these regulatory changes buried in the back of C-10?Â Shouldn’t they have been eliminated along with the repeal of Section 18.2.Â I smell something fishy…Hmm…
Well, that’s enough candy for this post.Â Don’t want to over-do it you know. More tomorrow and later in the week.