Focus on Parliament

CBA Focus on Parliament is a regular compendium of federal government bills, draft regulations, selected private members’ bills and other government initiatives. The CBA Legislation and Law Reform department has compiled this list for leaders of CBA Sections, Forums and Committees, as an overview of recent federal issues on which they may wish to comment. The government’s summary and a link to the full text are included.

Chances are that you have already discussed the issues of interest with your CBA staff lawyer. Any CBA group already working on a response is listed after the summary. If your Section, Forum or Committee wishes to contribute to a CBA submission on any of these initiatives, please contact your staff lawyer.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

C-1, An Act respecting the administration of oaths of office

The electronic version of the bill is currently not available.

First Reading in House of Commons December 5, 2019

C-3, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

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.

First Reading in House of Commons January 27, 2020

C-4, An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States

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.

The general provisions of the enactment set out rules of interpretation and specify that no recourse is to be taken on the basis of sections 9 to 20 or any order made under those sections, or on the basis of the provisions of the Agreement, without the consent of the Attorney General of Canada.

Part 1 approves the Agreement, provides for the payment by Canada of its share of the expenditures associated with the operation of the institutional and administrative aspects of the Agreement and gives the Governor in Council the power to make orders in accordance with the Agreement.

Part 2 amends certain Acts to bring them into conformity with Canada’s obligations under the Agreement.

Part 3 contains the coming into force provisions.

Committee Reporting Bill Without Ammendment in House of Commons February 27, 2020

C-5, An Act to amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code

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.

Second Reading and Referral to Committee in House of Commons February 19, 2020

C-6, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's call to action number 94)

This enactment amends the Citizenship Act to include, in the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship, a solemn promise to respect the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, in order to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action number 94.

First Reading in House of Commons February 18, 2020

C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying)

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to, among other things,

  1. repeal the provision that requires a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable in order for them to be eligible for medical assistance in dying;
  2. specify that persons whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental illness are not eligible for medical assistance in dying;
  3. create two sets of safeguards that must be respected before medical assistance in dying may be provided to a person, the application of which depends on whether the person’s natural death is reasonably foreseeable;
  4. permit medical assistance in dying to be provided to a person who has been found eligible to receive it, whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable and who has lost the capacity to consent before medical assistance in dying is provided, on the basis of a prior agreement they entered into with the medical practitioner or nurse practitioner; and
  5. permit medical assistance in dying to be provided to a person who has lost the capacity to consent to it as a result of the self-administration of a substance that was provided to them under the provisions governing medical assistance in dying in order to cause their own death.

First Reading in House of Commons February 24, 2020

(End of Life Working Group)

S-1, An Act relating to railways

The electronic version of the bill is currently not available.

First Reading in Senate December 5, 2019

PROPOSED REGULATIONS

Regulations Amending the Great Lakes Pilotage Tariff Regulations

Statutory authority: Pilotage Act
Sponsoring agency: Great Lakes Pilotage Authority
Date of publication: Saturday, January 11, 2020
Comment Period: 30 days (until February 10, 2020)

Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act

Statutory authority: Species at Risk Act
Sponsoring department: Department of the Environment
Date of publication: Saturday, January 25, 2020
Comment Period: 30 days (until February 24, 2020)

Regulations Amending the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations

Statutory authority: Canada Student Loans Act
Sponsoring department: Department of Employment and Social Development
Date of publication: Saturday, February 8, 2020
Comment Period: 30 days (until March 9, 2020)

Regulations Amending the Canada Student Loans Regulations

Statutory authority: Canada Student Loans Act
Sponsoring department: Department of Employment and Social Development
Date of publication: Saturday, February 8, 2020
Comment Period: 30 days (until March 9, 2020)

Regulations Amending the Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, 2019

Statutory authority: Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act
Sponsoring department: Department of Finance
Date of publication: Saturday, February 15, 2020
Comment Period: 30 days (until March 16, 2020)

Regulations Amending the Laurentian Pilotage Tariff Regulations

Statutory authority: Pilotage Act
Sponsoring agency: Laurentian Pilotage Authority
Date of publication: Saturday, February 22, 2020
Comment Period: 30 days (until March 23, 2020)

GOVERNMENT CONSULTATIONS

View complete list of government consultations.

Consultation on Access Equals Delivery Model for Public Companies. (Canadian Securities Regulators)

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published a consultation paper (Consideration of an Access Equals Delivery Model for Non-Investment Fund Reporting Issuers) which solicits views on the appropriateness of introducing an “access equals delivery” model in the Canadian market.

The consultation is open until March 9, 2020.

(Business Law Section)

Consulting Canadians on a Possible Modernization of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) (Global Affairs Canada)

The focus of public consultations is to determine how Canada should best prioritize and proceed with possible CUFTA modernization negotiations, including in areas such as services, investment, and inclusive trade. This consultation will help the government understand any issues or concerns that are relevant in modernization negotiations.

The consultation is open until March 16, 2020.

Consultation on strengthening corporate beneficial ownership transparency in Canada (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada)

The Government launched a consultation seeking the views of stakeholders on making beneficial ownership information of privately-held corporations more transparent.

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting Canadians and Canadian businesses against money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and tax avoidance, while ensuring it remains attractive to do business in Canada. That is why federally-incorporated, privately-held businesses are required to create and maintain a register of individuals with significant control over the corporation. Through continued coordination with provinces and territories, the government is now exploring options to make the information maintained in these registers more readily available to law enforcement, tax and other competent authorities, such as through the creation of a public registry.

The consultation is open until March 26, 2020.

(Anti-Corruption Team) 

Co-development of a new Indigenous Broadcasting Policy (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission)

The CRCT is gathering different perspectives for the development of a new Indigenous Broadcasting Policy.

The consultation is open until March 31, 2020.

Veteran Community Consultation  (Veteran Affairs)

Veterans Affairs Canada is working to improve the way it communicates with and reaches out to former Canadian Armed Forces members and their families. The goal is to make sure all Veterans know about the benefits and services that may be available to you throughout your post-military life. This consultation is geared toward released military members who do not receive benefits and services from Veterans Affairs Canada.

The consultation is open until March 31, 2020.

Modernizing the Official Languages Act (Canadian Heritage)

The government wants comments on the modernization of the Official Languages Act. 

The consultation is open for comment.