Bill C-35

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Second Session, Forty-third Parliament,
69-70 Elizabeth II, 2020-2021
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-35
An Act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit and making a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act
FIRST READING, June 22, 2021
MINISTER OF EMPLOYMENT, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND DISABILITY INCLUSION
91007


RECOMMENDATION

His Excellency the Administrator of the Government of Canada recommends to the House of Commons the appropriation of public revenue under the circumstances, in the manner and for the purposes set out in a measure entitled “An Act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit and making a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act”.

SUMMARY

This enactment establishes the Canada disability benefit to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of working-age persons with disabilities. It sets out general provisions for the administration of the benefit and authorizes the Governor in Council to implement most of the benefit’s design elements through regulations. It also makes a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act.
Available on the House of Commons website at the following address:
www.ourcommons.ca


TABLE OF PROVISIONS

An Act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit and making a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act
Preamble
Short Title
1
Canada Disability Benefit Act
Definition
2
Definition of Minister
Purposes of Act
3
Purposes
Canada Disability Benefit
4
Eligibility
5
Payment of benefit
General
6
Obligation to provide information
7
Social Insurance Number
8
Agreements
9
Payments cannot be charged, etc.
10
Consolidated Revenue Fund
Regulations
11
Regulations
Parliamentary Review
12
Parliamentary review
Consequential Amendment to the Income Tax Act
13
Coming into Force
14
Order in council


2nd Session, 43rd Parliament,
69-70 Elizabeth II, 2020-2021
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-35
An Act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit and making a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act

Preamble

Whereas working-age persons with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty than working-age persons without disabilities, because of economic and social exclusion;
Whereas persons with disabilities often face barriers to employment, including work disincentives such as the loss of income and other benefits as a result of becoming employed;
Whereas the Government of Canada is committed to the economic and social inclusion of persons with disabilities, as evidenced by its introduction of the Accessible Canada Act;
Whereas the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees persons with disabilities the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination;
Whereas reducing poverty contributes to the progressive realization of Canada’s international obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
Whereas Canada aspires to be a world leader in the eradication of poverty, and Parliament, with a view to this objective, enacted the Poverty Reduction Act;
Whereas progress made by Canada in reducing poverty for persons with disabilities and others contributes to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations;
Whereas the Government of Canada seeks to build on its successes in addressing poverty through providing benefits for seniors and for families with children;
Whereas, in the spirit of “Nothing Without Us”, the Government of Canada recognizes the importance, in developing support measures for persons with disabilities, of engaging with the disability community, in accordance with the Accessible Canada Act, which specifies that “persons with disabilities must be involved in the development and design of laws, policies, programs, services and structures”;
And whereas Parliament recognizes the leading role that the provinces and territories play in providing supports and services to persons with disabilities and the importance of engaging with them in developing income supports and other support services;
Now therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Short title
1This Act may be cited as the Canada Disability Benefit Act.

Definition

Definition of Minister
2In this Act, Minister means the Minister of Employment and Social Development.

Purposes of Act

Purposes
3The purposes of this Act are to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of working-age persons with disabilities.

Canada Disability Benefit

Eligibility
4A person is eligible for a Canada disability benefit if they meet the eligibility criteria set out in the regulations.
Payment of benefit
5The Minister must, in accordance with the regulations, pay a Canada disability benefit to a person who is eligible for the benefit, applies or has an application made on their behalf, in accordance with the regulations, and meets any other conditions set out in the regulations.

General

Obligation to provide information
6An applicant or the representative of an applicant who is incapable of managing their own affairs must provide the Minister with any information that the Minister may require in respect of the application.
Social Insurance Number
7The Minister is authorized to collect and use, for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Act, the Social Insurance Number of an applicant.
Agreements
8In order to carry out the purposes of this Act, the Minister may enter into agreements with any department or agency of the Government of Canada and may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into agreements with any department or agency of a province.
Payments cannot be charged, etc.
9A benefit under this Act
(a)is not subject to the operation of any law relating to bankruptcy or insolvency;
(b)cannot be assigned, charged, attached or given as security;
(c)cannot be retained by way of deduction, set-off or compensation under any Act of Parliament other than this Act; and
(d)is garnishable moneys for the purposes of the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act.
Consolidated Revenue Fund
10All benefits payable under this Act are to be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Regulations

Regulations
11(1)The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a)respecting the eligibility criteria for a Canada disability benefit;
(b)respecting conditions that are to be met in order to receive or to continue to receive a benefit;
(c)respecting the amount of a benefit or the method for determining the amount;
(d)respecting the manner in which a benefit is to be indexed to inflation;
(e)respecting payment periods and the amount to be paid each period;
(f)respecting applications for a benefit;
(g)respecting the amendment or rescission of decisions made by the Minister;
(h)respecting reviews or reconsiderations of decisions made under this Act;
(i)respecting appeals;
(j)respecting the circumstances in which retroactive payments may be made to persons who do not apply in the time specified in the regulations but are otherwise eligible;
(k)respecting applications made on behalf of persons who are incapable of managing their own affairs, payments to those persons and reviews, reconsiderations or appeals commenced on their behalf;
(l)respecting the circumstances in which the Minister may deem an applicant or beneficiary to be dead and may determine their date of death if the applicant or beneficiary has disappeared under circumstances that, in the opinion of the Minister, raise beyond a reasonable doubt a presumption that the applicant or beneficiary is dead;
(m)respecting the application of this Act when an applicant or beneficiary dies;
(n)authorizing the Minister to correct administrative errors;
(o)respecting the identification of debts due to Her Majesty in right of Canada;
(p)respecting the recovery of overpayments and debts due to Her Majesty in right of Canada, including limitation or prescription periods;
(q)establishing offences punishable on summary conviction for the commission of any of the following acts and setting fines or terms of imprisonment or both for such offences:
(i)knowingly using false identity information or another person’s identity information for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for themselves,
(ii)counselling a person to apply for a benefit with intent to steal all or a substantial part of it,
(iii)knowingly making false or misleading representations in relation to an application;
(r)establishing a system of administrative monetary penalties applicable to the commission of either or both of the following acts and setting the amounts of those penalties:
(i)knowingly making false or misleading representations in relation to an application,
(ii)making an application for, and receiving, a benefit while knowingly not being eligible to receive it;
(s)adapting section 44.‍2 of the Old Age Security Act for the purpose of applying that section as adapted to the verification of compliance or the prevention of non-compliance with this Act and to the use of copies as evidence;
(t)authorizing the Minister, for any purpose related to verifying compliance or preventing non-compliance with this Act, to require an applicant, a beneficiary or the representative of an applicant or beneficiary who is incapable of managing their own affairs, to be at a suitable place — or to be available by audioconference or videoconference or in any other suitable manner — at a suitable time in order to provide any information or any document that the Minister may require in respect of the application; and
(u)generally, for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.
Distinguishing — classes
(2)Regulations made under subsection (1) may distinguish among different classes of applicants and beneficiaries.

Parliamentary Review

Parliamentary review
12As soon as feasible after the third anniversary of the day on which this section comes into force and after each subsequent fifth anniversary, a review of this Act and of its administration and operation is to be undertaken by a committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament that may be designated or established for that purpose.
R.‍S.‍, c. 1 (5th Supp.‍)

Consequential Amendment to the Income Tax Act

13Paragraph 241(4)‍(d) of the Income Tax Act is amended by adding the following after subparagraph (vii.‍5):
(vii.‍51)to an official solely for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of the Canada Disability Benefit Act or the evaluation or formulation of policy for that Act,

Coming into Force

Order in council
14This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.