NEWS

Bill C-21 in its 3rd reading

Posted April 23rd, 2015 in Legislation by Doug Black

On Tuesday of this week, I had the honour of giving the 3rd reading speech for Bill C-21, the Red Tape Reduction Act. I am proud to sponsor this bill, and am happy to see it receive royal assent today. The government has now shown that it supports small business owners across the country.

This legislation enshrines the One for One rule into law, reducing the administrative burdens that small and medium-sized businesses face. This will help Canadian businesses innovate and create more jobs, and it will help our economy.

There are many examples of how the One for One rule proves its worth, and business owners have already seen an estimated annual savings of 290,000 hours in time spent dealing with regulatory red tape. This is the right choice for small business, and it’s the right choice for Canada’s prosperity.

You can listen to my entire speech below.

Tax changes for the LNG industry

Posted February 27th, 2015 in blog by Doug Black

I am very happy to hear that the Canadian Government is making strides to support our liquefied natural gas industry. The Government has announced its intent to establish a capital cost allowance rate of 30% for equipment used in natural gas liquefaction and 10% for buildings at a facility that liquefies natural gas.

The process to liquefy natural gas is an expensive one, but it allows us to transport our natural resources safely and efficiently. It is crucial to our economy and to the well being of all Canadians that the process is made as easy as possible and that investors are encouraged to support its development. These tax changes will allow our natural gas industry to meet the demand of both international and domestic markets, helping to solidify Canada’s prosperity.

You can click here to learn more about the Government’s changes.

Bill C-21: The Red Tape Reduction Act

Posted February 26th, 2015 in Legislation by Doug Black

Today I opened the debate on Bill C-21, the Red Tape Reduction Act, at its second reading in the Senate. It is a bill that I am proud to support. It will reduce the administrative burdens that Canadian businesses face while ensuring the safety of Canadians through thorough regulation review.

Businesses spend valuable time and resources wading through unnecessary red tape. By reducing this red tape, we will inevitably increase innovation, productivity, job creation, and international investments. We all benefit when the country is able to maintain a competitive edge in business.

Bill C-21’s One-for-One rule will ensure that for every regulation imposed on a business, one will be removed. It also ensures that the federal departments and agencies enforcing the regulations will offset any administrative burden a business faces due to these regulations. Among the bill’s aims are improving regulatory design and governance and improving the service offered to businesses by the government.

Within the One-for-One rule’s first two years, the administrative burden that companies face had already been reduced by $22 million. 290,000 hours had been saved, allowing businesses to use their time and resources more effectively and increasing productivity. This kind of progress is important for business owners, for our economy, and for all Canadians.

I hope my fellow Senators share my enthusiasm for supporting Canadian business. I am looking forward to ushering this bill through the committee to its final reading to see it become law.

 

If you would like to hear the reading in the Senate today, you can listen to it below.

Senate Statement: Obama’s choice to Veto Keystone

Posted February 25th, 2015 in Statement by Doug Black

I was very disappointed to learn that President Obama had vetoed the Keystone XL bill, and I addressed this in a statement in the Senate today. The Keystone bill is the most sophisticated and safest pipeline proposal in the world, and it is dramatically safer to transport oil via pipeline than by rail.

President Obama has turned a blind eye to Canada and our shared history.  Canada has shown immense support to the United States, and it is disappointing that we are receiving this type of treatment. You can listen to my entire statement in the Senate below.

My Question in Support of Canada’s Cattle Industry

Posted February 20th, 2015 in blog by Doug Black

Yesterday during Senate Question Period, I felt it was crucial to address an issue that Canada’s cattle industry has encountered. Here is the text of my question in support of our cattle industry, along with the Government Leader in the Senate’s response.


Hon. Douglas Black: My question is for the Leader of the Government of the Senate. Last week the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease, in an animal on a farm in Alberta. As Canadians, we know that Canadian beef is safe, and in this case the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed that no part of the animal has reached the human food or animal food systems. Notwithstanding this, South Korea has taken actions to block beef imports from Canada.

Will you please, as Leader of the Government in the Senate, inform the Senate what steps the government is taking to ensure that we keep markets open for Canadian beef and communicate the safety of our product to our trading partners?

[Translation]

Hon. Claude Carignan (Leader of the Government): Thank you for your excellent question, senator. You have made it clear that you are committed to the Canadian economy and the people you represent in your province. That is to your credit.

Obviously I wasn’t anticipating that question, but I can say that as part of the government’s ongoing BSE surveillance activities, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed that a beef cow born in 2009 was infected with BSE. As the honourable senator indicated, the agency confirmed that no part of the animal’s carcass reached the human food or animal feed systems. In accordance with the internationally recognized protocol, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is working with its provincial and industry partners. It will keep Canadians abreast of the situation as more information becomes available.

However, according to the World Organization for Animal Health, Canada remains a controlled BSE risk country, and we expect our trade partners to continue to recognize us as such.

As you probably know, on February 13, the organization told Reuters that the discovery and reporting of new cases of BSE gave the international community the assurance and evidence that the health surveillance systems were working and also showed Canada’s commitment to meeting its obligations and being transparent about reporting diseases to the World Organization for Animal Health.

As far as South Korea’s recent actions are concerned, that country followed our bilateral trade protocol. The government is applying Canada’s rigorous monitoring system and working to resolve this situation as soon as possible, because needless to say, it is disrupting trade.

I also want to take this opportunity to point out that the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association recently indicated that the finding of a case of BSE in a beef cow in Alberta, while unfortunate, demonstrates the robustness of the National BSE Surveillance Program Canada has in place.

The association added in its press release of February 13, 2015, that it has complete confidence in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the investigation that is under way.

Thank you.