Alberta | British Columbia | Manitoba | New Brunswick | Newfoundland and Labrador | Northwest Territories | Nunavut | Ontario | Prince Edward Island | Quebec | Saskatchewan| House of Commons | Senate | Yukon |
House of Commons
This account covers key highlights of the period from April to the end of June 2022. On June 23, the House adjourned until September 19, 2022.
C-8, An Act to implement certain provisions of the economic and fiscal update tabled in Parliament on December 14, 2021 and other measures
Bill C-8, An Act to implement certain provisions of the economic and fiscal update tabled in Parliament on December 14, 2021 and other measures, was introduced in the House on December 15, 2021, by Chrystia Freeland (University—Rosedale, LIB), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. After the bill had made its way through second reading and consideration in committee, it was passed at report stage on May 2 and third reading on May 4 before receiving royal assent on June 9.
C-14, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 (electoral representation)
On March 24, 2022, Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 (electoral representation), was introduced in the name of Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour, LIB), Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. On June 15, prior to debate at report stage, Sherry Romanado (Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne, LIB) sought and received unanimous consent to establish parameters for consideration of the bill at report stage and third reading. Bill C-14 received royal assent on June 23.
C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures
On April 28, 2022, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland (University—Rosedale, LIB) moved that a Ways and Means motion to introduce Bill C-19, an Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures, be concurred in. The motion was adopted. The bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance on May 10.
At the opening of the sitting on June 2, the Speaker declared null and void an amendment to clause 135 of Bill C-19 which had been adopted in committee. In the Chair’s view, the amendment infringed on the financial initiative of the Crown and therefore necessitated a Ways and Means motion. A further amendment, put forward by Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP), was adopted at report stage on June 7, and the bill passed third reading on June 9. Bill C-19 received royal assent on June 23.
C-28, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (self-induced extreme intoxication)
On June 17, 2022, Minister of Justice David Lametti (LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, LIB) introduced Bill C-28, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (self-induced extreme intoxication), in response to Supreme Court decisions in Brown and Sullivan and Chan. On June 21, unanimous consent was given for C-28 to be deemed passed at all stages the following day. In the same motion, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights was instructed to study the subject matter of C-28. The bill received royal assent on June 23.
S-10, An Act to give effect to the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement, to amend the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act and the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
On June 16, 2022, the Senate informed the House that it had passed Bill S-10, An Act to give effect to the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement, to amend the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act and the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts. On June 21, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Marc Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs, LIB) moved that the bill be read a first time, and on June 22, Patrick Weiler (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, LIB), sought and received unanimous consent for Bill S-10 to be deemed passed at all stages. Bill S-10 received royal assent on June 23.
Private Members’ Business
C-233, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Judges Act (violence against an intimate partner)
On April 29, 2022, Anju Dhillon (Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, LIB) moved that Bill C-233, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Judges Act (violence against an intimate partner), be read a second time. During debate, the House agreed by unanimous consent that the bill be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women at the conclusion of the first hour of debate. The bill was reported with amendments on May 17 and concurred in at report stage on May 30. It was read the third time and passed in the House of Commons on June 1.
Private members’ bills suspended
On May 11, the Deputy Speaker made a statement concerning similarities between Bill C-250, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (prohibition—promotion of antisemitism), and Bill C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022, and other measures. He ordered that Bill C-250 remain pending so that the House could avoid deciding the same question twice.
Similarly, on June 6, the Speaker ordered that Bill C-243, An Act respecting the elimination of the use of forced labour and child labour in supply chains, remain pending, given that Bill S-211, An Act to enact the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act and to amend the Customs Tariff, had been adopted at second reading.
Suspending these private members’ bills leaves open the possibility that they could be reinstated in the next session if bills C-19 or S-211 should fail to be enacted.
Procedure and privilege
Government Business No. 11: Extension of sitting hours and conduct of extended proceedings
On April 28, 2022, a motion concerning the extension of sitting hours was moved in the name of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Mark Holland (Ajax, LIB). Among other matters, it stated that on sitting days until June 23, 2022, a minister could, with the agreement of a House Leader of a recognized party, rise before 6:30 p.m. and request that the House sit until midnight on that day and that such a request would be deemed adopted. The motion also stated that on extended sitting days, no quorum calls or dilatory motions would be permissible after 6:30 p.m.
Two points of order were raised in relation to Government Business No. 11. First, House Leader of the Official Opposition John Brassard (Barrie–Innisfil, CPC) argued that the motion contained seven procedurally distinct questions and requested that the Speaker divide the motion accordingly. Second, Blaine Calkins (Red Deer–Lacombe, CPC) argued that subparagraph (b)(ii) of the motion was inadmissible, as it would limit the Speaker’s ability to receive quorum calls after 6:30 p.m., thereby effectively waiving the procedural and constitutional requirement for quorum. He requested that the Speaker rule subparagraph (b)(ii) of the motion be inadmissible. On May 2, Deputy Speaker Chris d’Entremont (Nova West, CPC) ruled that subparagraph (b)(ii) of the motion was admissible, listing various circumstances during which quorum calls are not permitted pursuant to the Standing Orders or established practice. He also ruled that two provisions of the motion were sufficiently distinct as to merit separate votes. He divided the motion into three parts:
- provisions relating to the business of the House until June 23, 2022,
- a provision related to deadlines for the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying, and
- a provision seeking to permanently amend Standing Order 28(1).
On May 2, closure was moved by Minister of Justice David Lametti (LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, LIB) on Government Business No. 11 and it was adopted. Later in the sitting, the question was put on all three parts of the motion, and all were agreed to on recorded divisions.
Government Business No. 19: Extension of hybrid proceedings until June 2023
On June 22, 2022, Mark Holland (Ajax, LIB), Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, moved a motion respecting the business of the House and its committees. The motion provided for hybrid proceedings of the House of Commons to continue until June 23, 2023. Certain Standing Orders were suspended or modified to allow the House to sit in a hybrid fashion, documents to be tabled electronically, and recorded divisions to be deferred. It also allowed for the continuation of the electronic voting system. Similar provisions have been in effect since a motion governing hybrid proceedings was adopted on November 25, 2021. Government Business No. 19 was adopted after Mr. Holland moved closure on the motion on June 23, 2022.
Suspensions of the House due to technical difficulties with hybrid proceedings
On June 15, 2022, during a vote, problems with the electronic voting system caused the sitting to be suspended. After 28 minutes the technical problems were resolved, and the sitting resumed. Members were given the opportunity to indicate if they had been unable to vote using the system, and their votes were recorded.
On June 21, the House was suspended between 7:28 and 8:54 p.m. due to technical issues with access to the internet and therefore to the virtual sitting. The House, which had been scheduled to sit until midnight, adjourned at 8:55 p.m. on account of these issues. On June 22, Greg McLean (Calgary Centre, CPC) raised a question of privilege based on his inability to access the hybrid proceedings the night before and the subsequent early adjournment of the House. The next day, the Speaker ruled that because there was no deliberate attempt to block members from participating in the proceedings, and because the necessary measures had been taken to ensure that members’ access was not unduly restricted (including adjourning the sitting early), there was no prima facie case of privilege.
Suspension of provisions related to COVID-19 vaccination
On June 16, 2022, during the customary Thursday statement, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Mark Holland (Ajax, LIB) sought and received unanimous consent for a motion to suspend the provisions related to COVID-19 vaccination in effect in the House. The motion took effect on June 20. Previously, in accordance with a decision from the Board of Internal Economy and a motion adopted in the House on November 25, 2021, individuals had been required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before accessing the House of Commons Precinct. Exceptions included children under 12 years old and those with a medical exemption.
On April 6, the House adopted a motion by unanimous consent that gave all witnesses appearing before a standing, standing joint, special, special joint, or legislative committee the option to do so in person or by videoconference as of Monday, April 25, 2022. Previously, witnesses had been required to appear by videoconference. Government Business No. 19, adopted on June 23, extended the availability of hybrid committee proceedings until June 23, 2023. However, the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency may hold in-person-only meetings if required by section 61(2) of the Emergencies Act.
As part of Government Business No. 11, adopted on May 2, the deadline for the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (AMAD) to present its final report was extended to October 17, 2022. On May 4, the House was notified that the Senate has also adopted a motion to extend the deadline. AMAD presented its first report on June 22.
On May 12, 2022, Michael Chong (Wellington—Halton Hills, CPC) moved an opposition motion that would create a special committee charged with hearing testimony from witnesses on all aspects of the relationship between Canada and the People’s Republic of China once the Special Committee on Afghanistan had finished its work. On May 16, the motion was adopted by deferred recorded division. The membership of the Special Committee on the Canada–People’s Republic of China Relationship (CACN) was appointed on May 20. On June 8, 2022, Sukh Dhaliwal (Surrey—Newton, LIB) presented the first and final report of the Special Committee on Afghanistan. As stipulated by Mr. Chong’s motion, CACN subsequently held its first meeting on June 13.
Several committees received instructions before the House adjourned for the summer. On June 2, Sébastien Lemire (Abitibi—Témiscamingue, BQ) sought and received unanimous consent to summon representatives from Hockey Canada to appear before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC) to address allegations of sexual misconduct within the organization. Furthermore, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights was ordered to study the subject matter of Bill C-28, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (self-induced extreme intoxication). Finally, as part of Government Business No. 19, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) was instructed to conduct a study on hybrid proceedings and the various changes to the Standing Orders set out in the motion.
On Thursday, April 7, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland (University—Rosedale, LIB), tabled Budget 2022. On Friday, April 8, the House considered the Ways and Means Motion No. 3 for the budget presentation. The fourth and final day of the budget debate took place on Wednesday, April 27, and the main motion was adopted.
On June 2, Rob Moore (Fundy Royal, CPC) gave notice of opposition to Vote 1 under Department of Justice – Operating expenditures in the Main Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. As a result, the President of the Treasury Board, Mona Fortier (Ottawa—Vanier, LIB) gave notice of a motion to concur in the vote. On June 7 (the final supply day for the period ending on June 23, 2022), the motion was adopted by recorded division. The Main Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, were also concurred in, and Bill C-24, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, was accordingly adopted at all stages.
Resignations, absences and tributes
On May 19, 2022, a supply day, Sven Spengemann (Mississauga–Lakeshore, LIB) used his allotted speaking time to present farewell remarks to the House in light of his imminent resignation to serve in a role at the United Nations. A number of members thanked Mr. Spengemann for his service and extended their best wishes. On May 30, the Deputy Speaker notified the House of Mr. Spengemann’s resignation, effective Friday, May 27.
On March 21, 2022, Speaker Anthony Rota (Nipissing—Timiskaming, LIB) underwent scheduled bypass surgery in Sudbury. The Speaker was absent from the House of Commons for over two months. On May 31, the Speaker addressed the House for the first time since his surgery to thank those who supported him during his extended absence. He returned to preside over the opening of the sitting on June 1.
On June 21, by unanimous consent, time was set aside following Oral Questions for Candice Bergen (Portage–Lisgar, CPC) and members from all parties to make statements. Members paid tribute to Ms. Bergen’s tenure as Leader of the Opposition in advance of her successor’s election. The next Leader of the Opposition is scheduled to be elected at the Conservative Party leadership election on September 10, 2022, during the House’s summer adjournment period.
Reopening of the House of Commons galleries
On April 25, 2022, the galleries of the House were opened to the public for the first time since the Board of Internal Economy closed visitor access to the House of Commons precinct on March 13, 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following day, April 26, the Speaker’s parade recommenced.
Changes to the House of Commons Administration
On June 16, 2022, Philippe Dufresne was confirmed as Privacy Commissioner after the House approved his appointment. Following the adoption of the motion, the Speaker, members of each recognized party, and Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP) rose to congratulate Mr. Dufresne and thank him for his service as Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel. Mr. Dufresne had served in the role since 2015, overseeing the legal and legislative drafting services provided to the House of Commons and its administration. Michel Bédard, Deputy Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, Legal Services, will be assuming the functions of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel on an interim basis.
On September 6, certain changes will come into effect in the Procedural Services management team. Natalie Foster, who will be returning from leave, will become Acting Clerk Assistant for the Parliamentary Information and Publications Directorate (PIPD). Robert Benoit will assume the role of Principal Clerk for the PIPD, and Jubilee Jackson will be assigned to PIPD as Deputy Principal Clerk and will become a Table Officer. Suzie Cadieux will be assigned as Principal Clerk for the Legislative Unit of the Committees and Legislative Services Directorate (CLSD), Evelyn Lukyniuk and Mariane Beaudin will be assigned to the Committees team of the CLSD, and Julie Geoffrion will be assigned to the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate.
Table Research Branch
Six Senate public bills were passed and sent to the House of Commons this quarter: Bill S-211, An Act to enact the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act and to amend the Customs Tariff, on April 28; Bill S-219, An Act respecting a National Ribbon Skirt Day, on May 10; Bill S-203, An Act respecting a federal framework on autism spectrum disorder, Bill S-209, An Act respecting Pandemic Observance Day, and Bill S-227, An Act to establish Food Day in Canada, on May 12; and Bill S-245, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (granting citizenship to certain Canadians), on May 17.
Bill C-8, An Act to implement certain provisions of the economic and fiscal update tabled in Parliament on December 14, 2021 and other measures, was adopted by the Senate at third reading, without amendment, and received Royal Assent by written declaration on June 9.
On June 16, Bill S-8, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, to make consequential amendments to other Acts and to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as amended, and Bill S-10, An Act to give effect to the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement, to amend the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act and the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, were read a third time and passed. Bill S-7, An Act to amend the Customs Act and the Preclearance Act, 2016, and Bill S-6, An Act respecting regulatory modernization, as amended, were read a third time and passed, on division, on June 20. On June 21, the Senate passed bills S-4, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Identification of Criminals Act and to make related amendments to other Acts (COVID-19 response and other measures), as amended, and S-9, An Act to amend the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act. In all cases, messages were sent to the House of Commons to acquaint it that the Senate had passed the bills, to which it desires its concurrence.
The following Commons government bills were also passed, without amendment, on June 21: Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 (electoral representation), Bill C-24, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, and Bill C-25, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023.
Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, to make related amendments to the Food and Drugs Act and to repeal the Perfluorooctane Sulfonate Virtual Elimination Act, as amended, was read a third time and passed, on division, on June 22. A message was sent to the House of Commons to acquaint it that the Senate had passed the bill, to which it desires its concurrence.
On June 23, Bill C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures, and Bill C-28, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (self-induced extreme intoxication), were read a third time and passed. Later that day, the following bills received Royal Assent by written declaration: S-10, C-14, C-24, C-25, C-19 and C-28. Bill C-19, it may be noted, contains amendments to the Parliament of Canada Act to take account of changes that have occurred in the Senate’s Rules and practices since 2015.
Chamber and Procedure
On May 5, the Senate adopted a motion, as amended, to extend the provisions of previous orders concerning hybrid meetings of the Senate and its committees, and other matters (the original order was adopted on November 25, 2021, and extended on March 31, 2022). This allowed the provisions to continue in effect until June 30, 2022, subject to some adjustments.
As a result of adopting the fourth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs on April 7, which dealt with its study of a government motion that proposed that the Senate agree with a proposed resolution to amend the Constitution in relation to the taxation of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Senate accordingly adopted said motion.
On May 19, the Senate adopted a motion to amend section 2 of Chapter 4:03 of the Senate Administrative Rules concerning the Committee of Selection, relating to the authority to make office allocation decisions during periods of prorogation or dissolution.
On June 23, a motion to conclude all deliberations on Bill C-28 was adopted. The motion outlined the process by which debate would be completed on the bill, including limiting speaking times and a provision that if third reading was not completed by 9 p.m., all questions to dispose of the bill would then immediately be put, with a maximum 15-minute bell in the event a standing vote was requested. Later in the sitting, with leave, the timeline was extended. The motion also authorized the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs to examine and report on the matter of self-induced intoxication, including self-induced extreme intoxication, in the context of criminal law, including in relation to section 33.1 of the Criminal Code, with a reporting date of March 10, 2023.
Also on June 23, a motion to extend the electronic tabling of documents pursuant to rule 14-1(6) to the end of the current session was adopted by the Senate. This authority was previously contained in the motion allowing hybrid proceedings, which was set to expire on June 30.
Committees of the Whole
On June 14, the Senate resolved into a Committee of the Whole in order to receive Philippe Dufresne respecting his appointment as Privacy Commissioner. Following the Committee of the Whole, the Senate adopted a motion approving his appointment for a term of seven years.
On June 21, with leave, a motion was adopted for the Senate to resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole at 5 p.m. the same day, to receive David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, accompanied by two officials, to consider the subject matter of Bill C-28, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (self-induced extreme intoxication).
Speaker’s Rulings and Statements
On June 2, a point of order was raised by Senator Donald Plett respecting various aspects of Question Period. On June 9, the Speaker delivered a ruling stating that senators should be mindful that questions can be asked of committee chairs during Question Period, but not chairs of subcommittees, and that any questions relating to a subcommittee should be directed to the chair of the committee in question. He also noted that questions should only pertain to the activities of the committee. In relation to concerns about the length of questions and answers, the Speaker advised that debate is not permitted during Question Period, and that only brief comments or explanatory remarks are permitted, in accordance with rule 4-8(2). He reminded senators to be brief and refrain from asking multiple questions at once, in order to avoid long and complex answers, as well as to ensure the relevance of supplementary questions.
A second point of order was raised on June 9 by Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne, concerning Question Period and possible references made to in-camera committee proceedings. The Speaker ruled on June 16 that the matter should be discussed by the committee in question. The Speaker also reminded senators that deliberations and any proceedings related to in-camera meetings are confidential.
The Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament tabled its second interim report concerning the use of displays, exhibits and props in Senate proceedings. The report was put on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting and debate concluded on May 12. The committee noted with approval the flexibility inherent in the non-codified practices on the matter, and that items of cultural or religious significance would generally be acceptable, if not used as tools in debate. The committee also presented its third report dealing with amendments to the Rules relating to committee mandates. The report was adopted on May 12. The changes include a reordering of the list of committees, adjustments in the names of some committees, and clarifications about mandates. They take effect on July 31. The first report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, entitled Amendments to the Rules — Speaker pro tempore, which had been presented on March 29, was also adopted on April 7. This report provided for elections to this position to be by secret ballot, rather than by nomination by the Committee of Selection.
On April 28, the Senate passed a motion authorizing multiple committees to examine and report on the subject matter of various elements of Bill S-6, An Act respecting regulatory modernization, with a reporting deadline of May 30. The bill was referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce after second reading.
On May 3, the Speaker read a message from the House of Commons concerning their sittings and the extension of the reporting deadline for the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying to October 17, 2022. A similar motion was adopted by the Senate on May 4.
On May 4, the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance received an order of reference to examine the subject matter of all of Bill C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022, and other measures, in advance of the bill coming before the Senate. Multiple committees were also authorized to examine the subject matter of certain elements of C-19 and to submit their final reports no later than June 10, 2022, and to deposit their reports with the Clerk of the Senate if the Senate was not then sitting.
The Senate adopted two motions on May 31 to authorize two committees to examine the subject matter of bills in advance of them coming before the Senate. One authorized the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages to examine the subject matter of Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Official Languages Act, to enact the Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act and to make related amendments to other Acts. The other motion allowed the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communication to examine the subject matter of Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts. The motions gave the committees the power to meet on these studies even though the Senate may then be sitting or adjourned.
On June 2, the Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight tabled its third report, entitled Annual Report of the Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight: Activities and Observations, October 1, 2020, to March 31, 2022, and presented its fourth report concerning a Senate Audit and Oversight Charter. The fourth report was adopted on June 7.
On June 14, a number of reports on Senate government bills were presented with amendments. The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce presented its third report on Bill S-6, An Act respecting regulatory modernization, with amendments, and the report was adopted the next day. The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade presented its fifth report on Bill S-8, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, to make consequential amendments to other Acts and to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, which it reported with one amendment, and the report was adopted the following day. The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs presented its sixth report on Bill S-4, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Identification of Criminals Act and to make related amendments to other Acts (COVID-19 response and other measures). The report was presented with amendments and was adopted the following day.
On June 15, the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence presented its third report on Bill S-7, An Act to amend the Customs Act and the Preclearance Act, 2016, also with amendments. The report was adopted on June 16. Also on June 15, the Standing Committee on Audit and Oversight presented its sixth report concerning amendments to the Rules of the Senate and the Senate Administrative Rules to reflect the Senate Charter on Audit and Oversight. The report was adopted on June 23.
On June 20, the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources presented its third report on Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, to make related amendments to the Food and Drugs Act and to repeal the Perfluorooctane Sulfonate Virtual Elimination Act, with amendments. The report was adopted on June 21. The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce tabled its fourth interim report on its study on business investment in Canada. Finally, the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance also tabled its fifth report on the Supplementary Estimates (A), for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023.
The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance presented its sixth report, on Bill C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022, and other measures, without amendment, on June 21.
On June 22, the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples tabled its sixth interim report entitled Not Enough: All Words and No Action on MMIWG. The Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying tabled its first interim report entitled Medical assistance in dying and mental disorder as the sole underlying condition: an interim report.
Senator Terry Mercer retired from the Senate on May 6, 2022. He was appointed to the Senate on November 7, 2003, on the advice of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and represented the province of Nova Scotia. Prior to his appointment, Senator Mercer served as Director of Fundraising and National Director of the Liberal Party and had also been an administrator and fundraiser for a number of charitable organizations. As a senator, he was an active member of several committees, including the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, the Committee of Selection, the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector, and the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament.
Senator Howard Wetston retired from the Senate on June 3, 2022. He was appointed to the Senate on November 10, 2016, on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and represented the province of Ontario. Senator Wetston had previously served as a judge of the Federal Court of Canada, a chairperson of the Ontario Securities Commission, and chair and CEO of the Ontario Energy Board, prior to his appointment. Senator Wetston served on a number of committees during his time at the Senate, including the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance and the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications.
Proceedings of the National Assembly of Québec
Following the by-election held on April 11, 2022, in the Marie-Victorin riding, Shirley Dorismond, Coalition avenir Québec candidate, was proclaimed elected. Since then, the National Assembly has been composed of 76 Coalition avenir Québec Members, 27 Liberal Party of Québec Members, 10 Québec solidaire Members, seven Parti Québécois Members, and five independent Members, including one affiliated with the Conservative Party of Québec.
Additionally, on June 1, 2022, as a result of the passage of Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec, the Ministère de la Langue française was established and Simon Jolin-Barette, previously Minister Responsible for the French Language, became its minister.
Terms for National Assembly sittings
On May 22, 2022, after returning from the final week of work in the electoral districts, the Assembly adopted a motion to abolish the requirement to wear a mask during sittings. In force since February 2, 2021, this requirement had been renewed with each new agreement that set the terms for parliamentary proceedings in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Between the April 5, 2022, sitting and the last sitting of the sessional period on June 10, 2022, 31 bills were introduced. During the same period, 30 bills were passed, including 20 Government bills, two private Members’ public bills, and eight private bills. The following are some of those bills:
- Bill 2, An Act respecting family law reform with regard to filiation and amending the Civil Code in relation to personality rights and civil status;
- Bill 9, An Act respecting the National Student Ombudsman;
- Bill 21, An Act mainly to end petroleum exploration and production and the public financing of those activities;
- Bill 28, An Act to terminate the public health emergency while maintaining transitional measures necessary to protect the health of the population (modified title);
- Bill 32, An Act respecting academic freedom in the university sector;
- Bill 35, An Act to harmonize and modernize the rules relating to the professional status of artists;
- Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec;
- Bill 101, An Act to strengthen the fight against maltreatment of seniors and other persons of full age in vulnerable situations as well as the monitoring of the quality of health services and social services;
- Bill 498, An Act to proclaim the National Day for the Promotion of Positive Mental Health;
- Bill 998, An Act to amend the Act respecting the National Assembly to establish the office of Commissioner for Respect.
On April 7, 2022, following the 25-hour debate that began on March 24, 2022, the Assembly ended the budget process for 2022–2023 by adopting the motion approving the Government’s budgetary policy.
Francophone Face-Off competition
On April 25, 2022, the Assembly held a debating competition. Nine young people, aged 17 to 22, battled verbally on various current topics in front of a jury of five parliamentarians presided over by François Paradis, President of the Assembly. After the face-off, three finalists competed for a prize by presenting their point of view on a current issue assigned on the spot.
Unveiling the monument in honour of Jacques Parizeau
On June 1, 2022, at the intersection of Rue Jacques-Parizeau and Rue des Parlementaires, Mr. Paradis, President of the Assembly, unveiled a bronze statue of Jacques Parizeau, Premier of Québec from 1994 to 1996, before loved ones, dignitaries, and Members of the Assembly.
Implementing voice recognition technology for the Journal des débats
During this sessional period, a voice recognition system was introduced to support the employees transcribing the debates and press activities held on Parliament Hill. In particular, this technology allows the transcriptions to be available on the Assembly website within a shorter timeframe.
Below are some of the highlights of the parliamentary committee proceedings held between April and June 2022. It should be noted that this period coincided with two important moments in parliamentary proceedings: the examination of the budget estimates and the final period of extended hours of meeting for the 42nd Legislature.
Examination of the budget estimates
Under an agreement approved by the Assembly on March 29, 2022, examination of the annual budget estimates took place during the weeks of April 25 and May 2, 2022. For a third consecutive fiscal year, the time allocated for this mandate was reduced, passing from 200 to 120 hours. A total of 100 hours was allocated to the exchanges with opposition Members, while Members of the parliamentary group forming the Government had 20 hours for their exchanges with the Ministers.
During the last two years, the time devoted to the examination of budget estimates had been reduced by half, from 200 to 100 hours. This shortened format meant that only opposition Members were allowed to question Ministers on the management of their department’s portfolio.
The consideration of public bills took up most of the parliamentary committees’ time during the months of April to June 2022. Six public bills were the subject of special consultations and public hearings, while clause-by-clause consideration of 18 public bills was carried out across the nine sectorial committees.
In a rare occurrence, on June 9, 2022, the Committee on Institutions carried out clause-by-clause consideration of a bill not authored by a minister: Bill 192, An Act to recognize the Members’ oath to the people of Québec as the sole oath required for Members to take office. This was the first clause-by-clause consideration of a private Members’ public bill carried out in parliamentary committee during this Legislature, except for those carried out in Committee of the Whole.
The Committee on Health and Social Services carried out clause-by-clause consideration of four bills. The deliberations included the more than 50 hours needed to complete consideration of Bill 15, An Act to amend the Youth Protection Act and other legislative provisions. As indicated in its title, this bill proposes various provisions concerning youth protection, including in particular new provisions to take into account the historical, social, and cultural factors specific to Indigenous people. The clause-by-clause consideration of the bill’s 64 sections ended on April 11, 2022. The Committee also carried out special consultations and began clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 38, An Act to amend the Act respecting end-of-life care and other legislative provisions. However, clause-by-clause consideration of this bill was not completed before the end of the 42nd Legislature’s sessional period.
Finally, on April 14, 2022, the Committee on Culture and Education completed clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec, which had begun in November 2021. The purpose of the bill is to affirm that the only official language of Québec is French and that French is the common language of the Québec nation. It proposes new fundamental language rights and various measures to reinforce French. Approximately 30 meetings, totalling more than
125 hours of work, were devoted to the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill’s 201 sections.
As usual, several private bills were examined at the end of the sessional period. The Committee on Planning and the Public Domain examined five bills concerning municipalities. It should be noted that, unlike public bills, private bills are passed in principle by the Assembly after they have been examined in committee.
Mandate under the Standing Orders
Pursuant to Standing Order 117.6, on May 31, 2022, the Committee on Public Administration heard the Auditor General of Québec on her annual management report. In accordance with the Committee’s usual biennial practice, the hearing took place during a deliberative meeting. Following the two-hour hearing, the committee members formulated conclusions and three recommendations. The latter were presented in the Committee’s spring 2022 report on accountability, tabled in the Assembly on June 7, 2022.
Movement of personnel
On April 29, 2022, after 12 years as a Parliamentary Committee Clerk, Louisette Cameron retired from the Parliamentary Committees Directorate.
Sittings and Parliamentary Procedure Directorate
Parliamentary Committees Directorate
The spring sitting of the Third Session of the 30th Legislature commenced on February 22 and adjourned on May 26. The fall sitting is scheduled to begin on October 31, 2022. The spring sitting saw the introduction of 24 government bills, 22 of which have received royal assent, including:
- Bill 15, Education (Reforming Teacher Profession Discipline) Amendment Act, 2022, which creates the Alberta Teaching Profession Commission to oversee teacher conduct and competency complaints.
- Bill 18, Utility Commodity Rebate Act which repeals the Natural Gas Price Protection Act in order to allow for rebates on electricity bills. The Government is now working to implement both an Electricity Rebate Program and a Natural Gas Rebate Program.
- Bill 22, Electricity Statutes (Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity Grid) Amendment Act, 2022 responds to the changing needs of producers and consumers. The updated legislation provides for unlimited self-supply and export and it reassigns many of the responsibilities of the current Balancing Pool in order to allow the Pool to wind down its operation once its statutory responsibilities are complete.
Two private bills and eight private members’ public bills were introduced and referred to the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills. Both private bills have received royal assent. Of the private members’ public bills one remains with the committee, three will not proceed if the Assembly concurs with the committee’s recommendation, and the others are in various stages of consideration. The one exception is Bill 205, Human Tissue and Organ Donation (Mandatory Referral) Amendment Act, 2022, sponsored by R.J. Sigurdson, which received royal assent. Bill 205 will require health care practitioners to report imminent deaths to the province’s organ procurement organization in order to minimize lost donation opportunities and permit potential donors to make the necessary arrangements in a timely fashion. The bill will come into force on April 1, 2023.
United Conservative Party Leadership Race
Premier Jason Kenney has announced his intention to resign as leader of the United Conservative Party (UC). Mr. Kenney will continue to serve as the leader and Premier until the party announces a new leader, which is set to occur on October 6. Some members of the current UC caucus have already announced their candidacy for party leader and three ministers have resigned from cabinet in order to participate in the race. Leadership candidates include Brian Jean, the former leader of the Wildrose Party, who lost to Mr. Kenney in the previous UC leadership race, Danielle Smith, a former MLA and former leader of the Wildrose Party, and Leela Aheer, a former cabinet member.
The current year has already seen multiple adjustments to Premier Kenney’s cabinet. On February 25, 2022, Tyler Shandro, who was the Minister of Labour and Immigration, exchanged roles with Kaycee Madu, former Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
Shortly after Premier Kenney announced that he would be stepping down as leader of the UC, three ministers resigned from cabinet to enter the leadership race: Travis Toews, former Minister of Finance and Treasury Board; Rebecca Schulz, former Minister of Children’s Services; and Rajan Sawhney, former Minister of Transportation. As of June 21, the following additional changes are in effect:
Jason Nixon, previously the Minister of Environment and Parks, who had been acting as the Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, has taken on the role permanently;
Whitney Issik is now the Minister of Environment and Parks, and her previous role as the Associate Minister for the Status of Women has been taken on by Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk;
Prasad Panda has been moved from Infrastructure to Minister of Transportation, and Hon. Nicholas Milliken has been appointed Minister of Infrastructure and resigned his position as Deputy Chair of Committees;
Matt Jones is the new Minister of Children’s Services, and
Brad Rutherford has been appointed both chief government whip and minister without portfolio.
The Select Special Information and Privacy Commissioner Search Committee completed its recruitment process and recommended Diane McLeod as the next commissioner. Ms. McLeod comes to Alberta from Yukon, where she served as Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ombudsman, and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner. She will take on her new role effective August 1, when the current commissioner, Jill Clayton, completes her second term.
The current Ombudsman and Public Interest Commissioner, Marianne Ryan, completes her term on June 30 and will be retiring. Following her departure, the current Deputy Ombudsman and Deputy Public Interest Commissioner, Peter Sherstan, will be appointed as the acting officer for both positions until the recruitment process has been completed. On May 12 the Legislative Assembly appointed the Select Special Ombudsman and Public Interest Commissioner Search Committee for the purpose of inviting applications for the positions of Ombudsman and Public Interest Commissioner and to recommend to the Assembly the applicant it considers most suitable for each position. The committee will be accepting applications until July 25.
On June 20, after receiving two extensions from the Assembly, the Select Special Committee on Real Property Rights released its final report. The committee made six recommendations relating to the abolition of future adverse possession claims, compensation for loss of reasonable use of property, and the process for determining fair market value in situations of expropriation. The committee also added consideration of surface rights to the scope of its review in response to input from stakeholders and the public, which resulted in multiple recommendations regarding the Surface Rights Act.
After receiving an extension to its reporting deadline, the Select Special Committee to Examine Safe Supply released its final report on June 27. The report contained eight recommendations, including the implementation of a provincial strategy for the management of pain, insulating medical education from the influence of the pharmaceutical industry, ensuring maximum coverage for evidence-based medications for use in treating addictions, and enhancing alternatives to the criminal justice system that could be used to support addictions recovery.
The Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future completed its consideration of the Lobbyists Act and released its final report, which included recommendations that copies of the written submissions to the committee be provided to the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General and “that any amendments made to the Lobbyists Act take into account the importance of public transparency with respect to the practice of lobbying.”
On May 25 the Assembly referred consideration of a draft amendment to the Publication Ban (Court Applications and Orders) Regulation. Under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act any new regulation or proposed amendment to a regulation made under section 131(1) of the Act must be considered by a committee of the Assembly. The proposed amendment would extend the expiry date for the regulation for five years, to September 30, 2027. The committee met on July 5 and completed its review with no recommendations regarding the draft amendment.
The Assembly has tasked the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing to conduct a review of the October 2021 amendments to the Standing Orders related to interventions. The committee has released an online survey to all MLAs to collect their thoughts regarding the new procedure.
Canada Day at the Legislature
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were once again in-person events on the Legislature Grounds to celebrate Canada Day. Speaker Nathan M. Cooper invited Albertans to attend the July 1 festivities, saying “Canada Day at the Alberta Legislature is a wonderful opportunity to learn about our parliamentary system and enjoy examples of our diversity, culture, talents, and traditions.” In addition to the annual Legislature Chamber open house, the event included multiple stages for live performances, interactive entertainers such as magicians and musicians as well as several food trucks and food stands.
Happy Birthday Hansard
Following the passage of a government motion on March 8, 1972, a true transcript of parliamentary proceedings, Hansard, was created in Alberta. Although some records of Assembly debate exist prior to the official Hansard, these are found primarily in news clippings, et cetera. Some transcripts of debate, particularly Oral Question Period, were produced in 1971, but these were not produced in a timely fashion nor were they a complete record of what had been said. On March 8, 2022, Speaker Cooper marked the 50th birthday of Alberta Hansard in the Chamber by noting that “in 2020-2021 more than 6 million words were spoken in the Assembly and its committees; 6,453,127 words to be exact. I know this because that is how many words were transcribed by our amazing Hansard staff.”
Spring Sitting Period
During the spring sitting period of the Legislative Assembly, a total of 13 bills received Royal Assent. Of note was the Anti-Racism Data Act, which lays the foundation for the province to collect, publish and use disaggregated race-based data to address service gaps and barriers faced by racialized people. For the first time in 15 years, a Private Member’s bill was debated during Private Members’ Time, when former B.C. Liberal Party Member Stephanie Cadieux moved second reading of Bill M 202, Equal Pay Reporting Act. On the final day of the summer sitting on June 2, a long adjournment motion was adopted and the Legislative Assembly is scheduled to return on October 3, 2022.
On May 11, B.C. NDP Member Rick Glumac made B.C. history by proposing to his partner, who was seated in the public gallery, during Members’ Statements. This is the first marriage proposal to take place in the Chamber during a proceeding of the Legislative Assembly.
Committee of Supply
The Legislative Assembly adopted a Sessional Order on May 10 authorizing the Committee of Supply to sit in three sections to consider the 2022-23 Estimates; Section A was also authorized to consider bills at committee stage. Unlike 2021, when Committee of Supply proceedings were held in a hybrid format, the spring proceedings took place primarily in person. The Committee of Supply spent 170 hours considering Estimates in the spring sitting period which is similar to last year when the Committee of Supply spent approximately 171 hours considering the 2021-22 Estimates.
Liberal Caucus Party Standings
The new B.C. Liberal Party Leader, Kevin Falcon, was sworn in as the Member for Vancouver-Quilchena on May 16. Former B.C. Liberal Party Member Ms. Cadieux resigned on April 28 to take on the role as Canada’s first Chief Accessibility Officer. A by-election for South Surrey must be called by October 28, 2022. Following the resignation of Ms. Cadieux, current party standings in British Columbia are 57 B.C. NDP, 26 B.C. Liberal Party, two B.C. Green Party and, one vacancy.
Governor General’s Visit
Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, visited the Legislative Assembly on her first official visit to B.C. on May 20, 2022. The Governor General was welcomed by Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin, Premier John Horgan, Speaker Raj Chouhan, and Indigenous leaders. The Governor General was met with a performance by the Lekwungen traditional dancers of the Songhees Nation and received a 21-gun salute fired by the 5th Field Artillery Regiment of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery.
On April 28, the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act released its report, Transforming Policing and Community Safety in British Columbia. The Legislative Assembly appointed the Committee to undertake a broad inquiry into policing and related systemic issues. In total, 411 organizations and individuals from across the province made presentations and written submissions, and over 1,400 British Columbians provided input on their experiences and perspectives regarding policing and related systemic issues via a survey. The Committee’s report details the Committee’s public consultation as well as 11 recommendations to transform policing and community safety in B.C.
The Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act released its report, FIPPA for the Future, on June 8, pursuant to section 80 of the Act, which requires a special committee to undertake a comprehensive review of the Act once every 6 years. The report includes 34 recommendations to improve and modernize access and privacy rules in B.C.’s public sector including immediately clarifying and expanding the types of records that must be released, while moving toward proactive disclosure of all documents that are not explicitly noted as exceptions in the Act; modernizing and improving how public bodies handle freedom of information requests; establishing a comprehensive health information privacy law; regulating automated decision-making; and enhancing the powers of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
On May 9 and 18, 2022, the Select Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders and Private Bills met and considered a private bill, Bill Pr 401, Sea to Sky University Amendment Act, 2022, including a recommended amendment from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. The Committee agreed to amend the bill and recommend to the Legislative Assembly that the bill proceed as amended. As per usual practice, the bill proceeded through second reading, Committee of the Whole, and third reading in one day with limited debate, and the bill received Royal Assent on June 2, 2022.
The Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth released its annual report for 2021-22 on May 12, 2022. The report covers the activities of the Committee from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, during which the Committee reviewed three reports from the Representative for Children and Youth.
The Interim Report on Statutory Offices was released by the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services on June 2, 2022. The Committee meets with B.C.’s nine statutory officers in the fall to review budgetary proposals and in the spring to receive updates. This interim report provides a summary of the spring 2022 meetings.
The Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts released its annual report on May 31, 2022, summarizing its activities between April 2021 and March 2022 in reviewing reports of the Office of the Auditor General and approving the Office’s Financial Statement Audit Coverage Plan for fiscal years ending in 2023, 2024 and 2025.
The Select Standing Committee on Health received its Terms of Reference on April 4, 2022, to examine the urgent and ongoing illicit drug toxicity and overdose crisis. This is the first time since February 2017 that the Committee has received a Terms of Reference.
A Special Committee to Appoint a Merit Commissioner was appointed on June 2, 2022.
Legislative Assembly Administration
On June 29, the 2022-23 to 2024-25 Legislative Assembly Administration Strategic Plan was approved by the Legislative Assembly Management Committee. The Administration’s first-ever Strategic Plan outlines the Administration’s purpose and operating principles and sets out three key priorities: enhance the Legislative Assembly’s organizational capacity to provide unified, innovative and seamless support to the Legislative Assembly and Members; invest in modern secure and sustainable infrastructure; and promote engagement, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, and learning. The plan is a three-year rolling plan, updated regularly and undertaken with input from Administration staff and leadership.
In April 2022, Kate Ryan-Lloyd, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, announced an administrative restructuring with the formation of a new department, Precinct Services, which consolidates Capital Planning and Development, Legislative Facility Services, and the Parliamentary Dining Room. This new department will be led by a new Director reporting to the Executive Financial Officer.
The Legislative Assembly opened a Meditation Room which is available to all Members, caucus staff, and Legislative Assembly Administration employees. The room is designed for prayer, reflection, spiritual practices, as well as mindfulness and meditation.
The Legislative Assembly held its 8th annual Legislative Lights Employee Recognition Ceremony on June 13. Speaker Chouhan of the Legislative Assembly, and Artour Sogomonian, Clerk Assistant, stepping in for the Clerk, Ms. Ryan-Lloyd, addressed Legislative Assembly employees from the Legislative Chamber and congratulated award nominees and recipients for their outstanding achievements in categories including teamwork, spirit, and leadership as well as long service awards recognizing staff who have worked in the public sector for 25, 30, and 35 years.
Appointment of Chief Human Resources Officer
On May 4, 2022, Daisy Jassar joined the Legislative Assembly in the new position of Chief Human Resources Officer. Daisy brings over 25 years of senior leadership experience in the public service, most recently as the Executive Director of the Health Benefits Digital Office with the Ministry of Health.
Appointment of Acting Executive Financial Officer
Randy Smith was appointed as the Acting Executive Financial Officer on June 23, 2022 until the role is permanently filled through a competitive process. Randy is a senior financial executive with 25 years of experience. Prior to his retirement, Randy was the Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Leader of the Corporate Services Division at the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission.
Committee Research Analyst
4th Session of the 42nd Legislature
The Fourth Session of the 42nd Legislature resumed on March 1, 2022, and adjourned for the summer on June 1, 2022. It was a relatively busy session as seven (7) Government Bills received Royal Assent in March and an additional nineteen (19) Government Bills were introduced in time to meet the criteria for Specified Bill status, which resulted in them having the questions put and ultimately being passed and receiving Royal Assent before the House rose in June. Five Private Member Bills (two from the Government and three from the Official Opposition) passed during these sittings as well, and the following four non-Specified Government Bills passed with the consent of the Opposition:
Bill 35 – The Commemoration of Days, Weeks and Months and Related Repeals and Amendments Act consolidates into one statute all current legislation proclaiming commemorative days, weeks and months. In addition, May 12 is to be commemorated as Manitoba Day.
Bill 37 – The International Child Support and Family Maintenance (Hague Convention) Act implements the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance in Manitoba to facilitate the international recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance. This Bill also applies procedures under The Inter-jurisdictional Support Orders Act to applications made under the Convention.
Bill 41 – The Child and Family Services Amendment Act amends The Child and Family Services Act to clarify certain sections and facilitate collaboration and information sharing between the persons and entities who administer the Act and the Indigenous governing bodies and Indigenous service providers who administer Indigenous laws respecting child and family services. Part VI.1 is added and sets out new authority and rules respecting:
- the sharing of information contained in service-related records by the director, authorities, agencies, Indigenous governing bodies and Indigenous service providers;
- the disclosure of personal information and personal health information to Indigenous service providers by public bodies and trustees, when requested for the purpose of ensuring the safety, health or well-being of children;
- access by Indigenous service providers to provincial electronic information systems and the child abuse registry, including entering information in the information systems and reporting names for entry in the registry; and
- transferring the supervision of care and the guardianship of children in care to Indigenous service providers.
Bill 34 – The Employment Standards Code Amendment Act (Minimum Wage) amends The Employment Standards Code to enable the minimum wage to be increased by an additional amount set out in a regulation. The regulation:
- may be made only in a year in which the inflation rate in Manitoba exceeds five per cent (as measured in the first three months of that year), and
- must be made 30 days before it takes effect and that effective date must be within the period of October 1 to December 31 of the applicable year.
The House is set to resume sitting on September 28, 2022. This upcoming sitting period promises to be extremely busy, especially for Committees, as the Estimates process in the Committee of Supply still needs to be completed and the Official Opposition designated the following five (5) Bills for delayed consideration in the Fall:
Bill 13 – The Social Services Appeal Board Amendment Act amends The Social Services Appeal Board Act. The following changes are to be made to the procedures before the board:
- An appeal may be heard by a single member of the board.
- An appeal may be heard in writing or by telephone or other electronic means.
- The board may dismiss an appeal in certain circumstances, including when the appeal is trivial, not made in good faith, or is vexatious.
- Certain procedural deadlines are extended.
Bill 14 – The Drivers and Vehicles Amendment, Highway Traffic Amendment and Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Amendment Act, amends several statutes to make changes to Manitoba’s driver licensing, vehicle registration, and vehicle insurance framework. Some of its provisions include:
- Amending The Drivers and Vehicles Act by restricting new residents who have international driving licences from operating heavy trucks, allowing driver’s licences to be issued electronically, enabling a database to check the validity of licences, and authorizing the Registrar to specify the types of identification necessary for obtaining a driver’s licence or identification card
- Amending The Highway Traffic Act by increasing the minimum amount of required automotive third-party liability insurance from $200,000 to $500,000
- Amending The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act to clarify the ability of Manitoba Public Insurance to take into account a person’s claims history and to enable Manitoba Public Insurance to establish and implement driver premiums based on the approval of the Public Utilities Board
Bill 22 – The Environment Amendment Act (Pesticide Restrictions) removes the prohibition on the sale and application of certain pesticides to lawns. The list of premises where the use of certain pesticides is prohibited is expanded to include municipal playgrounds, picnic areas, dog parks, and provincial parks.
Bill 24 – The Real Property Valuation Board and Related Amendments Act makes amendments to a number of Acts and establishes the Real Property Valuation Board (the “Board”) to take over the roles of other boards and commissions in relation to the following matters:
- applications for a determination of compensation under The Expropriation Act for expropriated property, which are currently heard by the Land Value Appraisal Commission;
- applications for a determination of compensation under The Land Acquisition Act for property acquired by the government, which are also currently heard by the Land Value Appraisal Commission;
- property tax assessment appeals under The Municipal Assessment Act, which are currently heard by the Municipal Board;
- applications under The Surface Rights Act, which are currently heard by the Surface Rights Board.
Bill 36 – The Manitoba Hydro Amendment and Public Utilities Board Amendment Act creates a new framework in which both electricity rates and gas rates will be regulated under The Manitoba Hydro Act instead of the current setup administered by the Public Utilities Board. The new legislative framework applies to the determination of electricity rates for each three-year rate period beginning after March 31, 2025. The general rate increase for a fiscal year cannot exceed five per cent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
Since the last submission, the following Standing Committees met in April and May to complete clause-by-clause consideration of numerous Bills:
- Social and Economic Development met four times to pass 17 Bills
- Justice met three times to pass 13 Bills
- The Committee of the Whole also met four times to pass six Bills.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has met on seven occasions so far this year and the Committee had a significant change in personnel in June. Government MLA James Teitsma was elected as the new Vice-Chair during its meeting on June 20. The election was necessary due to the former Vice-Chair, Greg Nesbitt, being appointed to cabinet as the new Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development. The cabinet appointment was prompted by the resignation of Scott Fielding as a Minister on June 6 and subsequently as an MLA on June 17. Len Isleifson, Government MLA for Brandon East, was also added as a new PAC Member to replace Mr. Nesbitt.
The Legislature is still operating under the Sessional Order allowing for virtual participation among other things. Originally passed on October 7, 2020, as discussed in previous issues, the Sessional Order has been extended to December 1, 2022.
The Legislature passed further changes to the Rules of the House that will take effect at the start of the Fall Sitting effective September 28, 2022. Some of the Rule changes include:
- Amending the provisions regarding the qualifications and deadline days for Specified Bills;
- Removing the 10-day notification period for calling meetings for the Rules or Public Accounts Committees;
- Formally recognizing and empowering the PAC Steering Committee comprised of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Auditor General, Committee Clerk, and Research Officer;
- Creating a Members’ Dress Code;
- Making permanent the current practice of having an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement read at the start of each sitting day;
- Clarifying that digital as well as paper copies of documents may be used during proceedings;
- Clarifying speaking time exceptions;
- Refining some processes for Standing Committees including the questioning of public presenters on legislation.
On June 7, 2022, voters in the Thompson constituency elected a new Member to the Official Opposition New Democratic Party Caucus Eric Redhead, a former chief of the Shamattawa First Nation. Mr. Redhead was officially sworn in on June 24, 2022.
Research Officer/Clerk Assistant
Newfoundland and Labrador
The first session of the 50th General Assembly continued in the spring sitting of 2022, with the House sitting for 25 days between March 15 and June 1, 2022. During that time, the House debated and passed 20 bills, including the Interim Supply Act, 2022 and the Supply Act, 2022.
Highlights – Spring 2022 Sitting
The Minister of Finance delivered the 2022 Budget Speech on April 7, following which the Estimates were referred to the Resource, Social Services and Government Services Standing Committees for review. During the Estimates process, some Members and departmental officials required isolation due to COVID-19, and several meetings of the Standing Committees reviewing the Estimates required virtual accommodations. Additional clerking support was required to facilitate the virtual capacity, which was successfully achieved. Each Committee delivered its Concurrence Report to the House on May 9. The budget motion was passed by the House on May 12 and main supply on May 16.
On April 13, the Speaker tabled a report of the Commissioner for Legislative Standards under the conflict of interest provisions of the House of Assembly Act, concerning the non-compliance of the Member for Humber – Bay of Islands with statutory financial disclosure requirements. The report, which recommended that the Member be suspended from the House until the financial disclosure was provided, is available here: https://www.assembly.nl.ca/business/electronicdocuments/CLSJoyceReportApril2022.pdf.
On May 2, the Member for Humber – Bay of Islands raised a point of privilege related to the report referenced above, alleging it contained false and misleading statements and questioned the reputation of the Member.
On May 3, the Speaker ruled there was no prima facie point of privilege. In his ruling, he stated that conflict of interest is a serious matter, particularly for elected officials, as they are intended to provide the public with confidence and protect the integrity of our political system. He further stated that a report respecting the compliance of a Member with these requirements does not, in and of itself, breach the privileges of that Member. The entire ruling can be referenced in Hansard, available here: https://www.assembly.nl.ca/HouseBusiness/Hansard/ga50session1/22-05-03.htm
Also on that day, the Government House Leader gave notice of a motion that the House concur in the report but would provide the Member with seven days following the adoption of the motion in which to comply with the requirements, otherwise, the suspension without pay would take effect.
During debate on the motion, the Government House Leader moved an amendment that: (i) a mediator be appointed by the Speaker to assist with resolution of the matter; (ii) the time to comply was extended to seven clear sitting days; and (iii) the mediator be required to report to the House. The motion as amended was adopted.
Accordingly, the Speaker appointed Gail Hamilton as the mediator. Her report, submitted and tabled on May 18, advised that the information requested of the Member was reasonable in terms of the applicable legislation and authority granted to the Commissioner. The report also indicated that the Member had met their statutory obligations within the seven clear sitting days as required. The full report is available here: https://www.assembly.nl.ca/business/electronicdocuments/MediationReportReJoyceReportApril12-2022.pdf.
On May 2, the Opposition House Leader made a motion under Standing Order 36 to adjourn the House to commence an urgent debate regarding issues on the rising cost of living in the province. The Speaker’s ruling on the matter focused on the important distinction between an urgent matter and an urgent debate and concluded that the matter of urgency of debate in the House, which would supersede all other business, had not been established.
In the ruling, the Speaker was guided by a previous ruling of the House from Speaker Hodder on April 22, 2004, and a passage from Parliamentary Practice in British Columbia. While the Speaker concurred that the matter of rising gas prices, among other commodities, was of importance to the province, the Speaker was not satisfied the debate itself was of an urgent nature. The Speaker reminded the House of other opportunities to debate the matter, including the budget debate and a private Member’s resolution on the rising cost of living, for which notice had been given on May 4.
The Spring 2022 sitting adjourned on June 1, 2022, with a traditional Royal Assent ceremony held in the Chamber. Lieutenant Governor Judy M. Foote assented to bills passed during the Spring sitting and gave short remarks.
Policy & Communications Officer, Office of the Clerk
Pandemic Restrictions Lifted
The 1st Session of the 60th Legislature resumed its spring sitting on May 10, 2022. This marked the end of all COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that had been in effect at the Legislative Assembly in various forms for more than two years. As of May 6, 2022, Members and staff were no longer required to wear a mask in the Legislative Assembly Building, its main Chamber, and Committee Rooms. While still recommended, masks became optional. As well, the main Legislative Assembly Building, including the Gallery, was opened to the public for the first time since March 2020.
A total of 19 bills were introduced following the House’s resumption in May. These, along with 15 bills introduced by the Government at the end of March, were considered in the House and committee. In total, 34 bills received Royal Assent on June 10 before the House rose for the summer. Certain bills of note considered later in the spring sitting included:
Bill 113 – An Act to Amend the Motor Vehicle Act, introduced by Public Safety Minister Bill Hogan, allows for the development of regulations devoted exclusively to bicycle safety. The amendments also provide the flexibility to address changing practices and new technologies like power-assisted bicycles.
Bill 114 – Child and Youth Well-Being Act, introduced by Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch, aims to promote the interests, protection, participation and well-being of children and youth along with the health and well-being of families. It is stand-alone legislation intended to modernize portions of the Family Services Act. The bill’s approach is child-centred, rather than parent-centred. Among other things, the bill expands on provisions to include circumstances under which a child or youth may be at substantial risk of harm, which would permit the Minister to intervene before harm has occurred.
Bill 117 – An Act Respecting Heavy Industrial Property, introduced by Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves, establishes a new heavy industrial classification of property and permits local governments and rural districts to levy a corresponding local property tax rate.
Bill 118 – Fair Registration Practices in Regulated Professions Act, introduced by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder, aims to help internationally educated people practice their professions in New Brunswick sooner. The legislation requires that professional regulatory bodies in the province establish transparent, objective, impartial and efficient application and registration processes and recognize credentials from other Canadian jurisdictions in compliance with the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
On June 8 the House adopted a resolution to designate August 1 as Emancipation Day in New Brunswick. Emancipation Day commemorates the United Kingdom Parliament’s August 1, 1834, abolition of slavery in the British Empire, including British North America. The motion was introduced by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Arlene Dunn and seconded by Green Party Leader David Coon.
On June 9 the House adopted a resolution introduced by Mr. Coon and seconded by Kevin Arseneau, as amended on motion by Minister Dunn, to designate September 30 as the Day for Truth and Reconciliation in New Brunswick. The Day for Truth and Reconciliation honours survivors of residential schools, their families and communities, and ensures that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.
The Standing Committee on Estimates and Fiscal Policy, chaired by Ross Wetmore, met in the Legislative Assembly Chamber for four weeks in April to review and approve the budgetary estimates of various government departments. The Committee tabled its second report on May 10.
The Standing Committee on Economic Policy, chaired by Greg Turner, remained active during the spring sitting. In a first for this committee, on motion of Government House Leader Glen Savoie, the House on June 8 authorized and instructed the committee to identify and invite four presenters to appear at public hearings as part of the committee’s consideration of Bill 114 – Child and Youth Well-Being Act. Child, Youth and Senior Advocate Kelly Lamrock appeared and recommended amendments. Representatives from Partners for Youth, the New Brunswick Association of Social Workers, and Mi’gmaq Child and Family Services of New Brunswick, Inc. also appeared. After the public hearings, the committee considered amendments to the bill proposed by all parties and adopted eight amendments moved by the sponsoring Minister (Mr. Fitch).
The Standing Committee on Law Amendments, chaired by Attorney General Hugh J.A. (Ted) Flemming, met on May 27 to discuss the subject matter of Bill 28 – An Act to Amend the Municipal Elections Act. The bill would allow permanent residents to vote in municipal elections. The committee heard from representatives of the Department of Environment and Local Government regarding permanent resident voting and, on May 31, reported to the House with recommendations concerning Bill 28 and two other bills.
The Standing Committee on Private Bills, chaired by Ryan Cullins, met on May 27 and considered three bills, which it reported favourably to the House on May 31. The Committee met again on June 7 and heard from several interested parties regarding Bill 119 – An Act to Amend the Engineering Technology Act.
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts, chaired by Chuck Chiasson, met with Auditor General Paul Martin on June 23 to discuss his latest report regarding the provincial health and dental benefits plan as well as NB Liquor’s role in the development of the liquor industry in the province.
Review of MLA Compensation
On May 5, it was announced that the Legislative Administration Committee had named an independent committee to review MLA salaries and benefits. Margaret Larlee, a retired judge of the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick, and Robert Basque, a senior lawyer practicing in Moncton, were tasked with conducting the review as mandated by the Legislative Assembly Act. The committee has sought input from the public as well as current and former MLAs. They are expected to report their recommendations in the fall of 2022.
On May 13, Chief Electoral Officer Kim Poffenroth issued the writs for by-elections in the electoral districts of Miramichi Bay-Neguac and Southwest Miramichi-Bay du Vin. These two seats had been vacant since mid-August 2021 when the MLAs for the two ridings resigned to offer as candidates in the federal election. Advance voting occurred on June 11 and 13, and polling day was June 20. The Progressive Conservatives claimed both ridings, with Réjean Savoie elected in Miramichi Bay-Neguac and Mike Dawson elected in Southwest Miramichi-Bay du Vin. The newly elected Members took and subscribed the oath of allegiance before Lieutenant-Governor Brenda L. Murphy at a ceremony in the Legislative Assembly Chamber on July 5.
Sitting Days and Standings
The House sat from May 10 to May 20 and from May 31 to June 10, for a total of 86 sitting days during the 1st Session since it opened in 2020. The House is scheduled to resume sitting on October 4, 2022. The standings in the House are 30 Progressive Conservatives, 16 Liberals, and three Greens.
The Second Session of the 19th Legislative Assembly resumed on May 26 through June 3, 2022. pursuant to Rule 10.2, Speaker Frederick Blake Jr. approved a hybrid sitting from May 30 through June 3, 2022
With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the Northwest Territories, Chamber setup and operations returned to pre-pandemic arrangements without social distancing requirements. Interpretation services were increased to include Chipewyan, Tlicho, North Slave, South Slave, Inuvialuktun, and French. Pages returned for the first time since COVID-19 restrictions were mandated.
Speaker’s Opening Statement
Speaker Blake opened the sitting by congratulating participants of the 18th Youth Parliament which was held prior to this sitting. There were participants from most of the Northwest Territories ridings. Many Members volunteered their time to serve as pages during Youth Parliament session. The Youth Parliamentarians read statements and moved and debated motions on various topics.
The Speaker also thanked the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall for their visit to the Northwest Territories during their Canadian tour in May. In addition to visiting Yellowknife, the Prince and Duchess first visited the Indigenous community of Dettah, which was attended by many Indigenous Leaders from other communities. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall observed traditional ceremonies, demonstrations of traditional games, and a drum dance in which the Prince participated in.
During the spring of 2022, the territory experienced unprecedented flooding affecting thousands of residents. Speaker Blake thanked the volunteers and community for their kindness and generosity during this time of need.
On May 30, the Member for Yellowknife Centre rose on a Point of Order alleging that the Member for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh made allegations against her and imputed false motives.
The Speaker took it under advisement and on May 31, 2022, Speaker Blake ruled that the Member for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh made comments that went beyond what is appropriate debate, stating:
I expect Members of this House to conduct themselves appropriately. The language you use in the House should reflect this. While it is appropriate to share what constituents are saying to you, you must share those concerns in a manner that is consistent with the rules.
The Member for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh was asked to apologize to the House and withdraw the specific remarks found out of order. The Member refused and in accordance with Rule3.4(1) was suspended from the House for the remainder of the sitting day.
During the May/June 2022 Sitting, the Assembly considered and passed several Bills. The following Bills received Assent on June 3, 2022:
- Bill 40 An Act to Amend the Medical Profession Act
- Bill 46 An Act to Amend the Motor Vehicles Act
- Bill 47 An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act, No. 2
- Bill 54 Supplementary Appropriation Act (Operations Expenditures), No. 1, 2022-2023
- Bill 55 Supplementary Appropriation Act (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2022-2023
The following motions were passed during the Spring 2022 sitting:
- 53-19(2) Appointments to the Standing Committees on Social Development and Government Operations
- 54-19(2) Improving Health Care in Small Communities
- 55-19(2) Appointment of Integrity Commissioner
- 56-19(2) Reappointment of Human Rights Commission Member
- 57-19(2) Housing NWT Transfers to Long-Term Tenants
- 58-19(2) A Strategy to Match Canada’s Population Growth
- 59-19(2) Extended Adjournment of the House to October 13, 2022
Statutory Officers of the Legislative Assembly
Re-appointment of Integrity Commissioner
David Phillip Jones was re-appointed as Integrity Commissioner effective June 2, 2022.
Re-appointment of Human Rights Commission Member
Gail Cyr of the City of Yellowknife, was re-appointed as a Member, for a term of four years.
Committee Business: Appointments to Standing Committees:
Standing Committee on Social Development
The Member for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh was appointed.
The Member for Hay River South was appointed as alternate.
Standing Committee on Government Operations
The Member for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh.
Standing Committee on Social Development
- Report on Bill 40: An Act to Amend the Medical Profession Act
Standing Committee on Government Operations:
- Report on the Review of the 2020-2021 Annual Report of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
- Report on the Review of the Languages Commissioner for the Northwest Territories Annual Report 2020-2021
Special Committee on Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs
- Interim Report: What We Heard About the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Negotiating Agreements
With the lifting of restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic, Committees have begun travelling into the communities and have resumed in-person public meetings.
The winter 2022 sitting of the 1st Session of the 6th Legislative Assembly convened on March 7, 2022, and was prorogued on March 21, 2022. The proceedings of the Committee of the Whole during the winter 2022 sitting were dominated by the consideration of the government’s proposed 2022-2023 capital estimates.
Three bills received Assent during the winter 2022 sitting:
- Bill 1, Interim Appropriation (Operations and Maintenance) Act, 2022-2023;
- Bill 2, Appropriation (Capital) Act, 2022-2023; and
- Bill 3, Supplementary Appropriation (Operations and Maintenance) Act, No. 2, 2021-2022.
The 2nd Session of the 6th Legislative Assembly opened on March 22, 2022. Commissioner Eva Qamaniq Aariak delivered the Opening Address.
The spring 2022 sitting of the 2nd Session of the 6th Legislative Assembly convened on May 25, 2022, and concluded on June 13, 2022. The proceedings of the Committee of the Whole during the spring 2022 sitting were dominated by the consideration of the government’s proposed 2022-2023 main estimates.
Six bills received Assent during the spring 2022 sitting:
- Bill 1, Appropriation (Operations and Maintenance) Act, 2022-2023;
- Bill 2, Supplementary Appropriation (Capital) Act, No. 1, 2022-2023;
- Bill 3, Write-Off of Assets and Debts Act, 2020-2021;
- Bill 5, An Act to Amend Certain Acts Respecting the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation;
- Bill 6, An Act to Amend the Judicature Act; and
- Bill 7, Interim Language of Instruction Act.
Appointment of New Member of the Executive Council
The House was recalled for a one-day sitting held on April 20, 2022, to consider a report submitted by the Integrity Commissioner of Nunavut in respect to the Minister of Human Resources, Adam Arreak Lightstone, MLA for Iqaluit-Manirajak. A motion to accept the report was moved by Iqaluit-Sinaa MLA Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster and seconded by Arviat North-Whale Cove MLA John Main. Mr. Lightstone spoke to the motion and announced his resignation from the Executive Council. The motion was carried unanimously.
The House immediately recessed and the Nunavut Leadership Forum, which consists of all Members of the Legislative Assembly, subsequently convened. The Forum is used to conduct the selection process for the Speaker, Premier, and members of the Executive Council of Nunavut. The Forum’s proceedings were televised live. Three Members accepted nominations to serve on the Executive Council. After delivering remarks, the candidates responded to questions posed by their colleagues. Baker Lake MLA Craig Simailak was elected after one round of balloting. The House subsequently reconvened and a formal motion recommending his appointment was moved and adopted.
From April 26-27, 2022, the Standing Committee on Oversight of Government Operations and Public Accounts held a televised hearing on the 2021 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut: Follow-up Audit on Corrections in Nunavut. Standing Committee Chair and Iqaluit-Tasiluk MLA George Hickes subsequently presented the standing committee’s report to the House at its sitting of May 31, 2022.
Electoral Boundaries Commission
On June 13, 2022, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Gjoa Haven MLA Tony Akoak announced that the next Nunavut Electoral Boundaries Commission will be established during the fall 2022 sitting of the Legislative Assembly. The Commission will consist of three members and be presided over by a judge or retired judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice or the Court of Appeal. The other two members must be eligible Nunavut voters. Speaker Akoak’s announcement invited qualified Nunavummiut to submit applications to serve on the Commission.
Section 14 of the Nunavut Elections Act requires that an electoral boundaries commission “must be established for Nunavut every 10 years commencing in 2022.” The last electoral boundaries commission was established in 2010. Its final report was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on September 28, 2011.
Order of Nunavut
On June 13, 2022, the Order of Nunavut Advisory Council, which is chaired by Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Gjoa Haven MLA Tony Akoak, announced that the 2021 appointments to the Order would be Maryanne Inuaraq Tattuinee and Dorothy Atuat Tootoo of Rankin Inlet.
Maryanne Inuaraq Tattuinee is a respected Elder who has provided counselling and guidance to generations of young people. Ms. Tattuinee is renowned for the aid and comfort that she provided to Inuit receiving treatment for tuberculosis at the Clearwater Lake Sanatorium during the 1950s. Ms. Tattuinee participated in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Dorothy Atuat Tootoo’s career has included significant roles with Nunavut Arctic College and the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps. Ms. Tootoo is a long-time community volunteer who has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Governor General’s Polar Medal.
Office of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut
Prince Edward Island
2nd Session, 66th General Assembly
The House adjourned to the call of the Speaker on May 6, 2022, after sitting for 36 days during the Winter-Spring period. The 2nd session of the 66th General Assembly opened in February 2021.
Government and Private Member’s Bills
During the Winter-Spring sitting, the House reviewed 27 bills. Nine of these bills did not progress beyond first reading; all others passed and received Royal Assent.
Most bills originated with Government, mostly to amend existing legislation. These included Bill 56, An Act to Amend the Education Act, which re-establishes an elected school board for the Public Schools Branch, PEI’s English-language school authority, and Bill 60, An Act to Amend the Climate Leadership Act, which sets a new carbon pricing framework for the province. The latter bill was unusual in that the motion for its second reading was debated over three sitting days; debate on most bills in PEI takes place during Committee of the Whole House instead. Debate mainly focused on whether Government should use carbon pricing revenue to fund climate change programs or return it to Islanders in the form of refunds. The House also passed Bill 19, Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, which had been introduced in 2021, referred to a standing committee and amended as a result of that committee’s report. The bill aims to protect temporary foreign workers by imposing licensing, registration, and other obligations on recruiters and employers.
Three private member’s bills were passed during the sitting. Bill 125, An Act to Amend the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, replaces the definition of “officer of the Legislative Assembly” in the parent Act with a more general definition that covers current officers and officers that may be provided for in future legislation. Bill 123, An Act to Amend the Real Property Tax Act, empowers the Minister of Finance to waive penalties or interest on unpaid property taxes when satisfied that the reason for non-payment is beyond the control of the property owner. This bill had a winding trip through the House, with several days of debate in Committee of the Whole House, amendment, and re-referral to committee at the third reading stage, but did ultimately pass. Finally, Bill 124, Emancipation Day Proclamation Act, establishes August 1 as Emancipation Day in Prince Edward Island to serve as a reminder of the need to eliminate discrimination in all its forms.
2022-23 Operating Budget
After reviewing the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure in Committee of the Whole House over several days, the House passed Bill 65, Appropriation Act (Current Expenditures) 2022 on May 6, approving an operating budget of $2.6 billion for the 2022-23 fiscal year. A deficit of $92.9 million is forecast.
Rule Changes: Recognition of Guests and Parliamentary Calendar
During the Winter-Spring sitting the House modified the Rules of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island by adopting two reports by the Standing Committee on Rules, Regulations, Private Bills, and Privileges. The first report recommended changes to the “Matters of privilege and recognition of guests” segment of the Ordinary Daily Routine to limit members to 45 seconds in their recognition of guests, except leaders of recognized parties, who shall have no time limit. The second report recommended changing the parliamentary calendar to begin the fall sitting on the first Tuesday in November instead of the third Tuesday in October, and to discontinue the practice of not sitting every fourth week when the House is in session. These non-sitting weeks, called “planning weeks”, had been part of the calendar since January 2021. The rule changes took immediate effect upon the adoption of the reports.
On April 28, Minister of Fisheries and Communities Jamie Fox rose on a point of order to interrupt proceedings in order to provide information about a Government program. The following day, Speaker Colin LaVie chastised the Minister for using a point of order in this manner, as it was “in no way, shape or form” an actual point of order.
Director of Parliamentary Research
The final session of the 42nd Parliament witnessed the return of the Committee of the Whole House and several reports by Committees. The Provincial Election was held on June 2, 2022.
Committee of the Whole House
For the first time in 20 years, the House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole House following the referral of a few Private Members’ Bills. On March 29, 2022, Bill 105, An Act to proclaim the month of May as Armenian Heritage Month was considered by the Committee and reported without amendments. Subsequently, on April 7, 2022, the House again resolved into a committee and, after some time, rose and reported two Bills without amendments: Bill 112, An Act to proclaim Green Shirt Day; and Bill 45, An Act to proclaim Ontario Cadets Week.
Dissolution and 2022 Ontario Election
On May 3, 2022, a proclamation was issued dissolving the 42nd Parliament of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Writs for a general election for Members to serve in the 43rd Parliament were prepared by the Chief Electoral Officer and signed by the Lieutenant Governor. The writs were issued bearing the date of May 4, 2022. The election returned a Progressive Conservative majority with Premier Doug Ford securing his second consecutive term. Overall, the membership of the Legislature will be 83 Progressive Conservatives, 31 New Democrats, eight Liberals, one Green, and one independent Member. Of the 124 Members elected, 36 will take their seats as new Members.
The 43rd Parliament will also see a familiar two-recognized-party structure with the Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats obtaining recognized party status. The Ontario Liberals secured eight seats, falling shy of the 12 seats needed for recognized party status.
The House expressed its condolence on the passing of several former Members during the second session of the 42nd Parliament, including:
Hugh Alden Edighoffer, Member for the Electoral District of Perth from September 17, 1967, to September 5, 1990, and served as Speaker from 1985 to 1990.
Michael James Breaugh, Member for the Electoral District of Oshawa from September 18, 1975, to September 5, 1990.
Harry Craig Parrott, Member for the Electoral District of Oxford from October 21, 1971, to March 18, 1981.
Bette M. Stephenson, Member for the Electoral District of York Mills from September 18, 1975, to September 9, 1987.
Aileen Carroll, Member for the Electoral District of Barrie from October 10, 2007, to October 5, 2011.
Stuart Lyon Smith, Member for the Electoral District of Hamilton West from September 18, 1975, to January 24, 1982.
Walter R. Elliot, Member for the Electoral District of Halton North from September 10, 1987, to September 5, 1990.
Claude Frederick Bennett, Member for the Electoral District of Ottawa South from October 21, 1971, to September 9, 1987.
Marvin Leonard Shore, Member for the Electoral District of London North from September 18, 1975, to June 8, 1977.
William Walter Barlow, Member for the Electoral District of Cambridge from March 19, 1981, to September 9, 1987.
Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs tabled its Report on the Pre-Budget Consultations 2022 on March 24, 2022. The Committee heard from a total of 137 witnesses during public hearings held over three weeks in January and received over 300 written submissions. The Committee also considered both Bill 106, An Act to enact two Acts and amend various other Acts, and Bill 111, An Act to amend the Fuel Tax Act and the Gasoline Tax Act with respect to a temporary reduction to the tax payable on certain clear fuel and on gasoline.
Standing Committee on Public Accounts
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts held public hearings to examine the Auditor General’s value-for-money audits on the COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment Supply (2021 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General) and Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (2021 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General). The Committee also met for report writing on the Condominium Oversight in Ontario (2020 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General). Lastly, the Committee tabled its report on Electrical Safety Authority (2020 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario).
Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills
The Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills met to consider several Private Bills. During the month of April, eight Bills were reported back to the House. Amongst the Bills reported back, Bill Pr65, An Act respecting the Ross Memorial Hospital was debated in the House and carried on division. Unlike public bills, it is not typical for the motion for second reading to be debated in the House. It is also rare that a division is required for both second and third reading of a Private Bill. Furthermore, the Committee recommended that Bill Pr63, An Act to revive Superior Corporate Services Limited, be not reported. Finally, on April 28, 2022, the Committee tabled its First Report 2022 relating to regulations filed from July to December 2020.
Adjournment of the spring sitting
The Assembly adjourned the spring sitting of the second session of the twenty-ninth legislature on May 19, 2022, until October 26, 2022. Prior to adjournment, committees spent 74 hours considering the estimates of ministries, agencies, and Crown corporations before the sums were reported, approved, and included in an appropriation bill. On May 18, 2022, Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty gave royal assent to 47 bills, including the appropriation bill, bringing the total number of bills passed this session to 52.
Expeditious passage of bills
Of note during the spring sitting was the swift passage of Bill No. 85, The Taxpayers’ Fairness (CPR) Act, which was introduced on May 9, 2022 ,and immediately passed through all subsequent stages of business. The bill, which pertains to the tax status of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR), deems valid all taxes imposed on, collected from, and paid by CPR, and deems valid the abolishment of any exemption regarding these taxes. It further stipulates that no proceedings may be launched against the Crown on this subject and removes the Crown of any liability for imposing or collecting these taxes after August 29, 1966.
The introduction of this legislation came in the wake of both the House of Commons and Senate of Canada’s adoption of resolutions in early 2022 authorizing an amendment to the Canadian constitution. The constitutional amendment, requested by the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan in late 2021, repealed section 24 of the Saskatchewan Act, which dealt with a tax exemption granted to CPR by the federal government in 1905. This tax exemption is the subject of an ongoing court case in which CPR is suing the Government of Saskatchewan for $341 million in taxes it has paid.
The government and opposition also found common cause to give expeditious passage to a second piece of legislation during the spring sitting. Bill No. 78, The Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Amendment Act, 2022, which was introduced on March 24, 2022, preserves the province’s right to take legal action against opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in the ongoing addiction and overdose crisis in Saskatchewan. The bill received second reading on April 4, 2022, was immediately considered in Committee of the Whole on Bills, and was read a third time and passed the same day.
Motion pursuant to rule 61
Rule 61 of the Rules and Procedures of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan allows a motion to be moved without the usual two days’ notice by unanimous consent of the Assembly in cases of urgent and pressing necessity. Throughout the second session of the twenty-ninth legislature, seven motions were moved pursuant to this rule, the largest number since 2002-03. Of these, three were given leave, debated, and passed.
The final debate pursuant to rule 61 occurred on May 5, 2022, when Justice and Attorney General Minister Gordon Wyant moved a motion regarding missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The motion expressed the Assembly’s support for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations’ (FSIN) Articles of the Declaration to Honour Indigenous Women and Girls. Twelve members, from both sides of the Assembly, spoke to the motion before it was passed on a recorded vote of 45–0.
Bill No. 70 — The Legislative Assembly Amendment Act, 2021
Bill No. 70, The Legislative Assembly Amendment Act, 2021, introduced by the government during the fall sitting, reduces the jurisdiction of the Legislative Protective Service, led by the Sergeant-at-Arms. The bill redefines the term “legislative precinct” to consist of the floor of the Chamber of the Legislative Assembly; establishes a “legislative district” which encompasses the remainder of the Legislative Building and a defined parcel of land surrounding it (previously the Legislative Precinct); and provides for the government to appoint a Director of Legislative Security who is responsible through the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety for the security of this district.
During the spring sitting, Bill No. 70 proceeded through the remaining stages of consideration. On April 6, 2022, opposition MLA Nicole Sarauer moved an amendment at second reading outlining the reasons for which the opposition disagreed with the bill in principle. The reasoned amendment was negatived on a recorded vote of 11-42 on May 4, 2022, and second reading of Bill 70 was agreed to on division. The bill was then committed to the Standing Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs and Justice.
As per the Rules and Procedures of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, any government bill introduced during the fall period that has received at least 20 hours of debate is required to be voted on the day prior to completion day. Such bills are referred to as specified bills. Bill 70 reached its 20-hour threshold of debate during committee consideration and, in accordance with the rules, the Standing Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs and Justice met on May 18, 2022, to vote on a combined question on all clauses of the bill. The bill was reported back to the Assembly without amendment and received third reading on a recorded vote of 44–12. The bill was given royal assent later that day.
Naming of two members
On the second last day of the spring sitting, two MLAs were named and removed from the Chamber in separate incidents. It was the first time a member was named in Saskatchewan since 2017, and the first time two members were named on the same day since 1993.
The first incident involved independent MLA Nadine Wilson, who made unparliamentary remarks towards a minister and then refused to withdraw and apologize when asked to do so by the Speaker. Ms. Wilson was subsequently named and removed from the Chamber.
The second incident involved opposition MLA Doyle Vermette, who used expletive language and accused government members of being untruthful while asking a question regarding suicide prevention during question period. While Speaker Randy Weekes did not initially ask Mr. Vermette to withdraw and apologize, he later did, at which point Mr. Vermette repeatedly refused to do so. He was accordingly named and removed from the Chamber.
Resignation of the Leader of the Opposition
On May 19, 2022, the final day of the spring sitting, Opposition Leader Ryan Meili announced his resignation as MLA for Saskatoon Meewasin, effective July 1, 2022. This followed an announcement made by Mr. Meili in February that he would be stepping down as Leader of the Opposition but would continue to serve in the position until the New Democratic Party had chosen a new leader.
Following Mr. Meili’s resignation, the composition of the Assembly is now 48 Saskatchewan Party members, 11 NDP members, one independent member, and one vacancy.
New Leader of the Opposition
The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party held its leadership convention on June 26, 2022, and selected a new leader, Carla Beck, MLA for Regina Lakeview. Subsequently, Ms. Beck was named the Leader of the Opposition.
Cabinet shuffle and changes to House leadership
On May 31, 2022, Premier Scott Moe announced several changes to his cabinet.
Five cabinet ministers switched portfolios:
- Jim Reiter became the Minister of Energy and Resources;
- Gordon Wyant became the Minister of Advanced Education;
- Bronwyn Eyre became the Minister of Justice and Attorney General;
- Gene Makowsky became the Minister of Social Services; and
- Lori Carr became the Minister of SaskBuilds and Procurement, Minister Responsible for the Public Service Commission, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, and Minister Responsible for the Global Transportation Hub Authority.
Two MLAs entered cabinet for the first time:
- Jeremy Cockrill became the Minister of Highways and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Water Security Agency; and
- Dana Skoropad became the Minister of Environment.
Ten cabinet ministers retained their current portfolios:
- Donna Harpauer, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance;
- Don Morgan, Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister of Crown Investments Corporation, Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy Incorporated, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Power Corporation, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Telecommunications, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Water Corporation, and Minister Responsible for the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board;
- Dustin Duncan, Minister of Education;
- Christine Tell, Minister of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety and Minister Responsible for the Firearms Secretariat;
- Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Trade and Export Development, Minister of Immigration and Career Training, Minister Responsible for Innovation, and Minister Responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan;
- David Marit, Minister of Agriculture and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation;
- Paul Merriman, Minister of Health;
- Don McMorris, Minister of Government Relations, Minister Responsible for First Nations, Metis and Northern Affairs, and Minister Responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission;
- Laura Ross, Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women; and
- Everett Hindley, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health.
In addition to these changes, Tim McLeod was appointed to the role of Provincial Secretary, as well as Legislative Secretary to the Premier. Eight additional legislative secretaries were appointed:
- Lyle Stewart as Legislative Secretary to the Premier (Provincial Autonomy);
- Terry Dennis as Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Trade and Export Development (Saskatchewan-Ukraine Relations);
- Daryl Harrison as Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture (Value Added Agriculture/Livestock Engagement);
- Todd Goudy as Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Education;
- Alana Ross as Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Energy and Resources (Forestry);
- Jim Lemaigre as Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health;
- Marv Friesen as Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport (Francophone Affairs Liaison); and
- Terry Jenson as Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Social Services.
Two changes were also made to the government House leadership team, with Ms. Carr named Deputy Government House Leader and Ms. Alana Ross named Deputy Government Whip. Mr. Jeremy Harrison and Greg Ottenbreit retained their roles of Government House Leader and Government Whip, respectively.
Changes to committee membership
Following the cabinet shuffle, many changes were made to the membership of the standing committees. Three new chairs and one new deputy chair were elected: Fred Bradshaw was elected Chair of the Standing Committee on Crown and Central Agencies, Derek Meyers was elected Chair of the Standing Committee on Human Services, Mr. Dennis was elected Chair of the Standing Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs and Justice, and Joe Hargrave was elected Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
New Table Officer
Rob Park has been promoted to the position of Clerk Assistant and Table Officer. Mr. Park first joined the Legislative Assembly Service of Saskatchewan in 2008 as a committee administrator and progressed through the roles of committee clerk, procedural clerk, and, most recently, senior procedural clerk. Mr. Park has gained experience at the Table on a rotational basis in recent years.
In addition to this change, Kathy Burianyk has been promoted from Clerk Assistant to Principal Clerk.
Saskatchewan Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy
From April 30 to May 4, 2022, Speaker Weekes, with the assistance of the Legislative Assembly Service, hosted 18 teachers from across the province for the 22nd Saskatchewan Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy. The non-partisan professional development program, which had been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, allows teachers the opportunity to gain a better understanding of Saskatchewan’s system of parliamentary democracy by observing it firsthand. Participants had the opportunity to meet with the Speaker, ministers, caucus leaders, Whips, and Chairs, as well as members of the judiciary, the media, and the Lieutenant Governor. They also attended information sessions provided by the Legislative Assembly Service.
2022 Spring Sitting
The 2022 Spring Sitting of the First Session of the 35th Legislative Assembly commenced on March 3 and concluded on April 28, the 32nd sitting day.
Main budget bill assented to
As detailed in Yukon’s preceding Legislative Report, prior to the final day of the Sitting, eight government bills (six amending bills, a supplementary budget bill, and the interim supply bill) were assented to by Commissioner Angélique Bernard. A ninth government bill – the almost $2 billion main budget bill – was assented to on April 28. On that final day of the Sitting, the only government bill remaining on the Order Paper was Bill No. 204, First Appropriation Act 2022-23 (Sandy Silver), which was in Committee of the Whole.
Pursuant to the Sessional Order adopted on March 8, 2022, the application of Standing Order 76 (a standing order referred to as “the guillotine clause”) was restricted to appropriation bills during the 2022 Spring Sitting. Accordingly, at 5:00 p.m. on the final day of the Sitting, Bill No. 204 was expedited through the remaining stages and was assented to.
Private Member’s bill assented to
On April 6, as previously noted, a private member’s bill standing in the name of Third Party House Leader Emily Tredger was reported from Committee of the Whole with amendment. As summarized in the bill’s explanatory note, the object of Bill No. 304, Act to Amend the Education Act, was to ensure that all Yukon schools “have safe spaces for LGBTQ2S+ students in the form of student activities or organizations.”
On April 20, Bill No. 304 passed third reading (15 yea, nil nay), and on April 28, was assented to by Commissioner Bernard.
It had been a decade since a private member’s bill had last progressed through all stages. On April 25, 2012, a private member’s bill standing in the name of Official Opposition MLA Jan Stick – Bill No. 102, Act to Amend the Ombudsman Act (a bill seeking to delete the sunset clause in the Ombudsman Act) – passed third reading and received assent.
Report of the Auditor General of Canada
Deputy Auditor General Andrew Hayes and other officials from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) were in Whitehorse on May 25, 2022, to present a performance audit report on Yukon housing: Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Legislative Assembly of Yukon – Yukon Housing – Yukon Housing Corporation – Department of Health and Social Services. They presented the report to Deputy Speaker Annie Blake, and later that morning provided an in-camera briefing on the report to MLAs in the Chamber. The report, which was critical of progress made on certain long-standing issues that had been the subject of previous performance audits, concluded “…. [t]ransformative changes are required to support Yukoners in need of housing.” Pursuant to Standing Order 45(3), the report stands referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
Special Committee on Electoral Reform
As noted previously, the Special Committee on Electoral Reform held virtual hearings to hear from expert witnesses in late January and late March. The committee held an additional video conference hearing in late April.
The membership of the three-person committee comprises chair Kate White, who is the Third Party Leader, Government House Leader John Streicker and Opposition MLA Brad Cathers.
The results of a survey of Yukon residents that had been conducted on behalf of the committee by the Yukon Bureau of Statistics (YBS) are posted online in the YBS’s May 31 report, Yukon Electoral Reform Survey Report, and a June 3 news release by the committee. The report noted that over 17 per cent of eligible residents (aged 16 years and up) took part in the survey.
On May 30, the committee held a town-hall style public hearing in Whitehorse. The hybrid hearing included Zoom participants. In July, additional town-hall style, hybrid public hearings are planned for Carmacks, Mayo, Haines Junction, Teslin, and Watson Lake. As well, in early September, the Committee will hold a hybrid public hearing in Dawson City and a second one in Whitehorse.
The committee’s amended reporting deadline (originally, the deadline was March 31, 2021) provides for the committee to report to the House during the 2022 Fall Sitting of the Legislative Assembly.
Governor General’s visit
Governor General Mary Simon and her spouse, Whit Fraser, were in Yukon from June 26 to 28. Their Excellencies’ first official visit to the territory began on June 26 at the office of the Commissioner of Yukon – Taylor House – and the following day included a meeting with Premier Silver. During the official visit, the Legislative Assembly was adjourned for the summer recess.