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Bill C-212

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2nd Session, 37th Parliament,
51 Elizabeth II, 2002

House of Commons of Canada

BILL C-212

An Act respecting user fees

      Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the User Fees Act.



2. The definitions in this section apply in this Act.

« comité »

``Committee'' means the Standing Committee of the House of Commons appointed by the House to deal with matters relating to user fees.

« ministre »

``Minister'' means the minister responsible for the regulating authority.

``OECD Country''
« pays de l'OCDE »

``OECD Country'' means a country which is member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

``regulating authority''
« organisme de réglementatio n »

``regulating authority'' means a department, agency, board, Crown corporation, commission, or any other body that has the power to fix a user fee or a cost recovery charge under the authority of an Act of Parliament.

``user fee''
« frais d'utilisation »

``user fee'' means a fee, charge or levy for a service, facility, authorization, permit or licence provided under the authority of an Act of Parliament, payable and fixed pursuant to that authority.



3. (1) This Act applies to all fees fixed by a regulating authority, including those fixed by a department within the meaning of section 2 of the Financial Administration Act.

Inter-departm ental fees

(2) This Act does not apply to a fee set by one department, agency, board, Crown corporation, commission or other body of the Government of Canada that is charged to another body of the same government.



4. (1) Before a regulating authority fixes, increases, expands the application of or increases the duration of a user fee, it must

    (a) take reasonable measures to notify clients, and other regulating authorities with a similar clientele of the user fee proposed to be fixed, increased, expanded in application or increased in duration;

    (b) give all clients or service users a reasonable opportunity to provide ideas or proposals for ways to improve the services to which the user fee relates;

    (c) conduct an impact assessment to identify relevant factors, and take into account its findings in a decision to fix or change the user fee;

    (d) explain to clients clearly how the user fee is determined and identify the cost and revenue elements of the user fee; and

    (e) establish an independent dispute resolution process to address a complaint or grievance submitted by a client regarding the user fee or change.

Tabling of proposal

(2) In addition to subsection (1), the Minister must table a proposal in the House of Commons

    (a) explaining in respect of what service, facility, authorization, permit or licence the user fee is being proposed;

    (b) stating the reason for any proposed change in user fee rate; and

    (c) outlining what performance standard is being proposed, as well as the actual performance level that has been reached;

    (d) giving an estimate of the total amount that the regulating authority will collect in the first three fiscal years after the introduction of the user fee, and identifing the costs that the user fee will cover.

Similarity with the OECD

(3) If the amount of user fee being proposed by the Minister pursuant to subsection (2) is higher than that existing in another OECD country, the Minister must as part of the proposal being made give reasons for the difference.


(4) Every proposal tabled under subsection (2) is deemed referred to the committee.


Review and report

5. The Committee must review every proposal referred to it pursuant to subsection 4(4) and submit to the House of Commons a report containing its recommendation as to the appropriate user fee.



6. (1) The House of Commons may pass a resolution approving, rejecting or amending the recommendation made by the Committee pursuant to section 5.

No report

(2) If, within forty days of receiving a proposal referred to it pursuant to subsection 4(4), the Committee fails to report its recommendation to the House of Commons, the House may pass a resolution approving, rejecting or amending the proposal.

No authority to amend

(3) A regulating authority may not fix or vary a user fee that is inconsistent with the amount approved or recommended by the House of Commons.



7. (1) If a regulating authority wishes to amend the definition of persons subject to the application of a particular user fee for the purposes of maintaining fairness or covering additional costs, the regulating authority may implement the amendments, but the Minister must within forty days of their implementation seek the Committee's approval for the new measures.

Invalid amendment

(2) An amendment that does not comply with the provisions of subsection (1) is invalid and of no effect.

Benefit must be conferred

(3) Despite subsection (1), a regulating authority may not fix, increase, expand the application of or increase the duration of a user fee unless the result gives an additional benefit to clients.



8. (1) Every Minister shall cause to be laid before the House of Commons, on any of the first fifteen days on which the House is sitting following the end of each fiscal year, a report setting out all the user fees in effect, including the information referred to in subsection 4(2).


(2) A report laid under subsection (1) shall be referred by the House to the Committee.



9. (1) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, by regulation,

    (a) prescribe the user fees to be paid for a service or the use of a facility provided by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada by the users or class of users of the service or facility; and

    (b) prescribe the user fees to be paid for a right or privilege conferred by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada, by means of a licence, permit or other authorization, by the person or class of persons on whom the right or privilege is conferred.


(2) The Governor in Council may authorize the Minister to prescribe by order those user fees, subject to such terms and conditions as may be specified by the Governor in Council.


(3) Despite the powers conferred by subsections (1) and (2), a regulation or order may not be inconsistent with the recommendation of the House of Commons.


R.S., c. F-11

10. The Financial Administration Act is amended by adding the following after section 19.3

Regulations subject to User Fees Act

19.4 The power to make a regulation under section 19 or 19.1 that fixes, increases or decreases or alters the application of a user fee within the meaning of the User Fees Act is subject to that Act.