Priority Bill Monitored
On February 4, 2020, Bill C-5, An Act to amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code was introduced in the House at First Reading. The Bill was introduced by Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lemetti (LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, PQ). The AFN supported a previous iteration of this bill, Bill C-337, when it failed to achieve Royal Assent due to Senate delays. The Liberal government committed to reintroducing this bill in their 2019 election platform.
Summary: This enactment amends the Judges Act to restrict eligibility for judicial appointment to persons who undertake to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context. It also amends the Judges Act to require that the Canadian Judicial Council report on seminars offered for the continuing education of judges on matters related to sexual assault law. Finally, it amends the Criminal Code to require that judges provide reasons for decisions in sexual assault proceedings.
On February 4, 2020, An Opposition Motion introduced by Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, PQ) entitled Instruction to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (Parole Board of Canada) was debated and voted on in the House at Second Reading. The motion asks “that the House: (a) condemn the decision of the Parole Board of Canada that led to a young woman’s death by an inmate during day parole in January of this year; and (b) instruct the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to conduct hearings into this matter, including a review of the changes made by the government in 2017 to the board’s nomination process, with the view to recommend measures to be taken to ensure another tragedy such as this never happens again.” This Opposition motion passed unanimously 315-0. On February 4, 2020, during House Question Period, NDP MP Laurel Collins (Victoria, BC) asked: […] Will the current government commit to implement the calls for justice in the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls report, which provides many measures that seek to prevent violence against women?
Liberal MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services Pam Damoff responded: […] The recommendations from that report are important ones for us to move forward on. I thank the member for her question and look forward to working with her to see those recommendations implemented by our government.
On February 5, 2020, during House Question Period, NDP Leader and MP Jagmeet Singh (Burnaby South, BC) asked: […] Last year when referring to the RCMP raids on the Wet'suwet'en people, the Prime Minister said it was “not handled the way it should have been.” Now the situation again is very serious. The Prime Minister has a role to play. The chiefs have asked to meet with the Prime Minister, but he has refused. Police action is not the solution. Dialogue is. The Prime Minister claims that nation-to-nation relationships are the most important, so when will the Prime Minister meet with the Wet'suwet'en chiefs?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, PQ) responded: […] Our government continues to be committed to reconciliation, which means partnership, respect and engagement. This is an issue that is entirely under provincial jurisdiction. The RCMP's operations there were directed by the provincial government. On this side of the House, we respect Premier Horgan and the work he is doing to advance reconciliation, and I recommend that the members opposite do the same. He is doing good work on reconciliation and we continue to support him through a difficult situation.
On February 6, 2020, Bill C-4, An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States [CUSMA Bill] was debated in the House at Second Reading. It was adopted by a vote of 275-28 and referred to the Standing Committee on International Trade for study. The Bill was introduced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Chrystia Freeland (University-Rosedale, ON).
Summary: This enactment implements the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States, done at Buenos Aires on November 30, 2018, as amended by the Protocol of Amendment to that Agreement, done at Mexico City on December 10, 2019.
On February 6, 2020, during House Question Period, Leader of the Opposition and Conservative MP Andrew Scheer(Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK) asked: […] Yesterday the Prime Minister said something in the House that simply was not true. He said that in the TMX case, the court had ruled that free, prior and informed consent did not constitute a veto. It did no such thing. The court ruled that the duty to consult did not grant a veto. A United Nations declaration that the Liberal government is planning on proposing will in fact require free, prior and informed consent and will give one group that does not want to proceed with a project an effective veto. Will the Liberals abandon their plans to implement this UN resolution?
Minister of Justice, David Lametti (LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, PQ) responded: […] I was honoured to receive in my mandate letter from the Prime Minister the task of implementing UNDRIP into our Canadian law. One of our priorities therefore is to introduce co-developed legislation to implement UNDRIP by the end of 2020. We will be engaging with Canadians, indigenous and non-indigenous, and working in partnership in particular with indigenous peoples to make the declaration a reality in Canada as a framework for reconciliation.
On February 7, 2020, Bill C-3 An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act to make consequential amendments to other Acts was debated in the House at Second Reading. The Bill was introduced by Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair (Scarborough Southwest, ON).
Summary: This enactment amends the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act to, among other things, rename the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as the Public Complaints and Review Commission. It also amends the Canada Border Services Agency Act to, among other things, grant to that Commission powers, duties and functions in relation to the Canada Border Services Agency, including the power to conduct a review of the activities of that Agency and to investigate complaints concerning the conduct of any of that Agency’s officers or employees. It also makes consequential amendments to other Acts.
On February 3, 2020, the House Standing Committee on Health discussed committee business and briefing on the Canadian response to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
On February 4, 2020, the House Standing Committee on Finance conducted a meeting on Pre-Budget Consultations 2020. This included a testimonial by AFNQL Regional Chief, Ghislaine Picard. You are able to watch that testimonial here:FINA Pre-Budget Consultations 2020 on February 4, 2020. 12:54:10 is the time Chief Picard’s presentation begins.
On February 5, 2020, the House Standing Committee on Finance conducted a meeting on Pre-Budget Consultations 2020. This included a testimonial by AFN Representative, Dan Wilson. You are able to listen to audio of that testimonial here: FINA Pre-Budget Consultations 2020 on February 5, 2020. 15:51:25 is the time Mr. Wilson’s presentation begins.
On February 5, 2020, the House Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs had its 12 new membersselected. They are: LIB – Gary Anandasangree (Scarborough—Rouge Park, ON), Jaime Battiste (Sydney—Victoria, NS), Bob Bratina (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON), Marcus Powlowski (Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON), Adam Van Koeverden (Milton, ON), and Lenore Zaan (Cumberland—Colchester, NS); CON – Jamie Schmale (Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON), Gary Vidal (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK), Arnold Viersen (Peace River—Westlock, AB), and Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, BC); BQ– Sylvie Bérubé (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, PQ); and NDP – Mumilaaq Qaqqaq (Nunavut, NU).
Private Members and Senate Bills
This week the following Private Members and Senate bills were introduced that the AFN will continue to monitor:
House of Commons - See the Order of The Day, what committee meetings are coming up, and what is being discussed and debated in the House live.
Senate of Canada - See the Order of The Day, what committee meetings are coming up, and what is being discussed and debated in the Senate live.
Question Period Notes - Follow this link to find a downloadable table of prepared Government Responses to expected Question Period questions.