Order Fixing April 2, 2021 as the Day on Which Subdivision B of Division 1 of Part 4 of that Act Comes into Force: SI/2021-12
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 155, Number 8
SI/2021-12 April 14, 2021
BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION ACT, 2019, NO. 1
Order Fixing April 2, 2021 as the Day on Which Subdivision B of Division 1 of Part 4 of that Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2021-223 March 26, 2021
His Excellency the Administrator of the Government of Canada in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, pursuant to section 97 of the Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1, chapter 29 of the Statutes of Canada, 2019, fixes April 2, 2021 as the day on which Subdivision B of Division 1 of Part 4 of that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
Pursuant to section 97 of the Budget Implementation Act 2019, No. 1 (BIA1 2019), this Order fixes April 2, 2021, as the day on which Subdivision B of Division 1 of Part 4 of the BIA1 2019 comes into force.
This Order sets the coming-into-force date for amendments to the Canadian Payments Act (the Act) made through the BIA1 2019. These legislative amendments further modernize the governance structure of Payments Canada by allowing an additional three-year term for elected directors; extending the term of the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Board to three years; and, permitting the remuneration of members of the Stakeholder Advisory Council subject to by-laws.
Payments Canada operates Canada's core payment systems, which processed over $55 trillion in 2019 — over $218 billion each business day.
The Act establishes Payments Canada and sets out the legal framework for the organization, including the role and responsibilities of its Board of Directors, the oversight responsibilities of the Minister of Finance, and the institutions eligible for membership. The Act also requires Payments Canada, in carrying out its mandate, to promote the efficiency, safety, and soundness of its systems while taking into account the interests of users. On the latter point, the Act requires Payments Canada to have a Stakeholder Advisory Council (SAC), whose composition is set out in by-laws that are subject to approval by the Minister of Finance and includes payment service providers, consumer groups, and representatives from the retail sector. The SAC is mandated to provide advice to the Board on payment, clearing, and settlement matters, contribute input on proposed initiatives that affect third parties, and identify issues that might concern payment system users and service providers.
In 2018–19, the Government conducted a review of the Act. During the review, some stakeholders noted that the current term limit for the independent Board members limits their ability to develop the technical expertise needed to make informed decisions on payment-related matters. Additionally, some stakeholders noted the difficulty Payments Canada was having in meeting its requirement to have two consumer groups participate on SAC due to resources constraints facing these groups. In response, Budget 2019 announced that the Government would make technical amendments to the Act to provide flexibility in Board terms and to permit the remuneration of consumer organizations participating on SAC.
Through BIA1 2019, the Government of Canada made technical amendments to the Act to allow an additional three-year term for elected directors; extend the term of the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Board to three years; remove the provisions of the Act defining the composition of the SAC to permit it to be defined in by-laws; and permit the remuneration of members of the SAC subject to by-laws.
These legislative changes did not come into force upon royal assent to allow Payments Canada to amend its by-laws prescribing consumer groups as members of the SAC eligible for remuneration and the composition of the SAC.
The legislative changes to permit remuneration of consumer representatives of the SAC will ensure that Payments Canada can meet its commitment to have sufficient consumer representatives to provide balanced advice to the Board. Payments Canada is in the process of completing by-laws that would permit consumer representatives of the SAC to be remunerated for their participation, but requires the BIA1 2019 amendments to be in force to complete their work. Payments Canada has estimated the total remuneration per individual to be $30,000 per year. Final cost figures will be set in by-laws.
There are no financial implications for the Government of Canada related to bringing these legislative amendments into force. Payments Canada is a not-for-profit association of financial institutions that collectively owns and operates Canada's national payments clearing and settlement systems. Payments Canada recovers its costs through transaction fees and common service dues levied on its financial institution members. Decisions relating to fees charged to members are decided by Payments Canada's Board, which includes elected member representatives, allowing for transparency into the decision-making process.
The legislation would also enable Payments Canada greater ability to ensure it maintains an appropriately qualified set of directors on its Board. Payment systems are complex and it can take time for directors to gain expertise. The third term for directors would enable Payments Canada to maintain important expertise as it concludes its modernization program started in 2015. Extending the terms of the Chair and Deputy Chair to up to three years will align with the elected terms of directors and would allow for leadership continuity for longer-term projects.
After the introduction of the BIA1 2019, Department officials had discussions with the Payments Committee of the Canadian Bankers Association regarding the proposed amendments, as large banks are the largest contributors to Payments Canada's budget and have reserved seats on the Board. They did not raise any concerns with the proposed amendments. No other organization has raised concerns with the proposed legislative amendments. Consumer groups are supportive of the amendments.
Payments Canada consulted on the draft by-law amendments for remuneration with its members and stakeholders before sending the by-laws to the Board for approval. They were also published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for public consultation. No concerns were raised by members, stakeholders, or the public during these consultations.
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