Revenue Canada On Track For November 1st Transition To The Canada Customs And Revenue Agency

Released: 26 July, 1999

Revenue Canada On Track For November 1st Transition To The Canada Customs And Revenue Agency

Ottawa, July 26, 1999…The Honourable Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of National Revenue and M.P. (Vancouver South-Burnaby), today announced Revenue Canada is making significant progress in its transition to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) on November 1, 1999.

Since the Government introduced Bill C-43, the legislation creating the CCRA, department officials have been working closely with the provinces and territories to identify opportunities to use the CCRA to improve service delivery for their programs.

“Reducing duplication between the levels of government makes excellent business sense,” said Mr. Dhaliwal. “As an agency, we will have the flexibility to deliver more services for the provinces and territories — even for those with different tax formulas than the federal government.”

Provinces have indicated their support for the CCRA through cooperation on various projects. For example, Revenue Canada has recently begun collecting provincial sales tax at border crossings on behalf of Ontario and is working with British Columbia to implement a similar program there. As of January 1, 2000, the CCRA will collect Workers Compensation Board premiums for the province of Nova Scotia. In addition, department officials are currently working with the government of Prince Edward Island to explore options to reduce overlap in the delivery of tax and benefit programs. Provincial child benefit programs are now being delivered on behalf of a number of governments, including Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.

A single tax administration — a one-stop tax window — will reduce overlap and duplication between the federal and provincial governments, which will, in turn, reduce the cost and paper burden for businesses, taxpayers and governments. The Public Policy Forum estimates that a single tax administration will save Canadian businesses between $116 and $193 million and governments between $37 and $62 million annually.

Mr. Dhaliwal is pleased with the progress on another front, as well: the nomination of the CCRA’s Board of Management. “We asked the provinces and territories for their nominations and we’re encouraged that all have responded,” said Mr. Dhaliwal

The Board of Management, one of the key features of the CCRA, will be composed of 15 individuals, 11 of whom are to be nominated by the provinces and territories. The remaining board members will include the Commissioner, Rob Wright (currently the Deputy Minister), and three members nominated by the Minister of National Revenue. The job of the board members will be to oversee the organization and business management of the CCRA. However, unlike the boards of Crown corporations, this board will not be involved in all the activities of the CCRA. In particular, the CCRA board will not be directly involved in the administration and enforcement of legislation, which includes the Income Tax Act and the Customs Act, for which the Agency will remain directly accountable to the Minister of National Revenue.

The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency is being established by the Government to streamline tax, customs and trade administration in Canada.

For media information only, contact:

Michel Cléroux
Media Relations
Revenue Canada
(613) 957-3504