Legislative Reports

Legislative Reports

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New Brunswick

Appointment of Legislative Officer

The Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick, Katherine d’Entremont, announced her retirement effective July 22, 2018. Five years earlier on July 22, 2013, she was sworn-in as New Brunswick’s second Official Languages Commissioner on recommendation of the Legislative Assembly. Ms. d’Entremont’s retirement closes out a 37-year career of public service and dedication to the Province of New Brunswick.

On July 23, 2018, Michel A. Carrier became Interim Official Languages Commissioner. Mr. Carrier was appointed as New Brunswick’s first Official Languages Commissioner in 2003 and served a ten-year term. He will serve as interim commissioner until a new commissioner is appointed.

The Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick is an independent agent of the Legislative Assembly. The Commissioner’s role is to investigate, report on, and make recommendations with regards to compliance with the Official Languages Act, as well as being responsible for the promotion of the advancement of both official languages in the province.

Dissolution

The Fourth Session of the 58th Legislature adjourned on March 16 after 39 sitting days. The 58th Legislature was subsequently dissolved on August 23. At dissolution, the standings in the House were 24 Liberals, 21 Progressive Conservatives, 1 Green, 1 Independent, and 2 vacancies.

39th General Election

New Brunswick’s 39th general election took place on September 24. The results of the provincial election produced a minority government, the first since 1920. Twenty-five of the 49 seats are needed to form a majority government in New Brunswick.

Brian Gallant’s Liberal Party won 21 seats, while Blaine Higgs’ Progressive Conservative Party won 22, and David Coon’s Green Party won three. The People’s Alliance Party won their first seats in New Brunswick’s history by electing their leader, Kris Austin, as well as two other candidates. In total, 18 new Members were elected. Eleven women were elected, representing 22 per cent of the seats in the House, a 6 per cent increase compared to the 2014 election results.

In October, Members of the 59th Legislature are expected to take their Oath of Allegiance and sign the Members’ Roll during a ceremony in the Chamber, presided over by Lieutenant-Governor Jocelyne Roy Vienneau. Following which, the expectation is that the House will elect a Speaker by secret ballot and Premier Gallant will test the confidence of the House at the opening of the First Session of the 59th Legislature with a Speech from the Throne.

Judicial Recounts

Three judicial recounts were requested for the ridings of Saint John Harbour, Memramcook-Tantramar, and Oromocto-Lincoln-Fredericton. The preliminary results in Saint John Harbour saw a difference of only 10 votes, 11 votes in Memramcook-Tantramar, and 93 votes in Oromocto-Lincoln-Fredericton.

Alicia R. Del Frate

Parliamentary Support Officer


Yukon

Fall Sitting

The 2018 Fall Sitting of the Second Session of the 34th Legislative Assembly commenced on October 1, and is expected to conclude on the 30th sitting day, November 22.

Government Bills

During the first five days of the Sitting, the following government bills were introduced:

  • Bill No. 19, Electoral District Boundaries Act (whose objects, per the bill’s explanatory note, are “to establish Yukon’s electoral districts in accordance with the final report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission…”);
  • Bill No. 20, Societies Act;
  • Bill No. 21, Equality of Spouses Statute Law Amendment Act;
  • Bill No. 22, Act to Amend the Forest Resources Act and the Territorial Lands (Yukon) Act (2018);
  • Bill No. 23, Lobbyists Registration Act;
  • Bill No. 24, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
  • Bill No. 25, Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly Act (2018);
  • Bill No. 26, Technical Amendments Act (No. 2), 2018;
  • Bill No. 27, Coroners Act;
  • Bill No. 207, Second Appropriation Act, 2018-19;

First Nations Acknowledgement

At the outset of the Fall Sitting, Speaker Nils Clarke began the proceedings by acknowledging that the Assembly was meeting upon the traditional territory of two First Nations – the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. This first-day-of-the-Sitting acknowledgement was given pursuant to Standing Order 11(7) which was adopted on April 23, 2018. The Standing Order says: “On the first sitting day of a Spring Sitting, Fall Sitting or Special Sitting the Speaker shall commence the proceedings by acknowledging the traditional territory of the Yukon First Nation, or Yukon First Nations, upon which the Legislative Assembly is meeting.” The acknowledgement was followed by a prayer written by Sam Johnston, Speaker from 1985-1992. Mr. Johnston was the first First Nation Speaker of a Legislative Assembly in Canada.

Art on Display in Chamber

Following the First Nations acknowledgement, the Speaker delivered a statement regarding artwork newly installed in the Chamber. He noted the four showcases (two each on the government and the opposition side) came about as a result of a decision taken on February 23, 2017 at the first meeting of the Members’ Services Board (MSB) to form an all-party subcommittee to consider changes to the Chamber’s décor. It was subsequently decided that more art by Yukon artists should be included in the Chamber. The Speaker observed that in 1976, when the Assembly first sat in the then-new Chamber, the room did not feature any Yukon art.

The eight works now on display, chosen from the Yukon permanent art collection, are: Traditional Doll — Girl by Annie SmithTlingit Eagle Frontlet, by master carver Keith Wolfe SmarchArrival of the Dog Team (a traditional type of blanket designed to be worn by a dog, featuring beadwork, bells and tassels), by Deb EnochCaribou Flagon (sterling silver and antler), by jeweler/sculptor David AshleyFire Bag by Gertie TomRaven’s Flight by carver Eugene AlfredForget-Me-Not Mukluks by Mary Deguerre, and Wood-Ash Glazed Vessel With Lid by ceramicist Monika Kate Steputh. The works are fashioned from a variety of materials, including aster, birch, caribou, moosehide, beaver fur, and wolf paws. Different artwork will be selected for the start of the 2019 Fall Sitting.

Motion re: Chief Electoral Officer

On October 1, the Assembly adopted a motion moved by Premier Sandy Silver recommending that the Commissioner in Executive Council appoint Maxwell Harvey as the Chief Electoral Officer of Yukon. The motion carried unanimously on a recorded division, fulfilling the stipulation in Yukon’s Elections Act that the Assembly’s recommendation be made by at least two-thirds of all MLAs.

As detailed in Yukon’s preceding Legislative Report, the Assembly’s Members’ Services Board (MSB) had announced in a May 31, 2018 news release its recommendation that Mr. Harvey be Yukon’s fourth Chief Electoral Officer. As also noted in that Legislative Report, on June 26, Max Harvey joined Elections Yukon.

Report on MLA Salaries and Benefits

On September 30, Speaker Clarke (Chair of the Members’ Services Board) released a report that had been presented to MSB by a non-partisan, independent contractor, Patrick Michael (the retired Clerk of the Assembly) respecting MLA salaries and benefits. The report, which is not binding, is posted on the Assembly’s website: http://legassembly.gov.yk.ca/pdf/MLA_Salaries_and_Benefits_Report_February_27_2018.pdf.

The report was issued pursuant to section 54 of the Legislative Assembly Act (“the Act”), which tasks MSB in each new Legislative Assembly with deciding whether such a review should take place, and if so, “establish[ing] a mandate for that review and make the appointment of a person or persons to conduct the review not later than six months’ after the polling day of the past general election.”

Section 54 was added to the Act “pursuant to a recommendation made to the Yukon Legislative Assembly by the MLA Salaries and Benefits Commission in October of 2007” (Mr. Michael had also authored that Commission’s 2007 report).

After the 2011 general election, MSB deemed that the review was not required.

The 2018 report makes recommendations regarding MLA indemnities and expense allowances, the salaries of certain office holders, the MLA pension plan, severance allowances, and expense reimbursement.

In light of an amendment to the federal Income Tax Act making members’ formerly non-taxable expense allowances taxable effective January 1, 2019, the report recommends that as of April 1, 2019, the annual indemnity for members be increased, and that members cease to receive an expense allowance.

The report also recommends increases to salaries of presiding officers, ministers, and leaders. These increases would also be effective as of April 1, 2019.

Another recommendation in the report is that the Assembly ensure the sustainability of the MLA pension plan with a view to “equitably sharing the costs of the plan between MLAs and the Government of Yukon.” In that vein, the review recommends replacing members’ current pension plan.

Another recommendation in the salaries and benefits report is that the Legislative Assembly Act be amended to contain “simple and clear direction” on severance allowances.

Finally, the report recommends that MSB undertake a comprehensive review of the Legislative Assembly Act, and focus in particular on governance authority.

Some of the recommendations contained in the report are reflected in Bill No. 25, Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly Act (2018).

Bill No. 25, Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly Act (2018)

On October 9, following the introduction of Bill No. 25, Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly Act (2018) by Government House Leader Tracy-Anne McPhee, Speaker Clarke (in his role as Chair of the Members’ Services Board) issued a news release regarding the bill. The release notes that the bill, which concerns MLAs’ pay and benefits, “proposes four amendments to the Legislative Assembly Act:

  • The amounts specified for indemnities and salaries are changed to reflect adjustments that have been made since 2007 (the last time the Act was revised for this purpose). The adjustments are based on changes to the Consumer Price Index for Canada and do not represent a net increase.
  • The amount specified for the expense allowance has been changed to reflect Consumer Price Index adjustments since 2007 and to compensate MLAs for the loss of tax-exempt status due to changes to the Income Tax Act (Canada). These changes take effect on January 1, 2019 and needed to be addressed. The changes do not represent a net increase. Yukon is one of only three remaining jurisdictions where MLAs still receive a tax-free expense allowance as part of their pay.
  • The salaries of the Premier, the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Leader of the Third Party will be increased. The increases will take effect on April 1, 2019. Once they are changed, the salaries will be at a level equivalent to 25 percent below the national average for each respective office holder. Salaries paid to Yukon office holders remain the lowest in Canada. The salaries for Cabinet Ministers (other than the Premier) and the Leader of the Official Opposition will not increase as their current compensation is slightly higher than 25 percent below the national average proposed benchmark.
  • The formula for calculating the severance allowance for former MLAs has been changed. The new formula links severance payments to completed years of service rather than to fixed service thresholds. This results in significantly lower severance costs going forward and reflects the approach of most other jurisdictions.”

The news release is posted at the following link: http://legassembly.gov.yk.ca/pdf/news_release_oct9_2018.pdf.

Linda Kolody

Deputy Clerk

Alberta

Change to Cabinet

On June 18, 2018, Brian Malkinson, MLA (Calgary-Currie), replaced Stephanie McLean, MLA (Calgary-Varsity) as Minister of Service Alberta. In addition, Brandy Payne, MLA (Calgary-Acadia), is no longer serving as Associate Minister of Health and this portfolio has been discontinued. This move reduces the size of Cabinet to 19 ministers in addition to the Premier.

Change to Caucus

On July 14, 2018, Prab Gill, MLA (Calgary-Greenway), resigned from the United Conservative Party (UCP) caucus following the completion of a report into accusations of his alleged involvement in procedural irregularities during the election of a board for the constituency association in Calgary-North East. Mr. Gill indicated that he disagreed with the findings of the report but would accept them and that he would continue serve his constituents as an Independent MLA.

Derek Fildebrandt, MLA (Strathmore-Brooks), who has been sitting as an Independent in the Assembly, has become the interim leader of the new Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta (FCP) and will be recognized in the upcoming sitting as a member of the FCP in the Assembly. The FCP has indicated it will have a leadership contest this fall, and that it will only run candidates in areas of the province where the governing New Democratic Party (NDP) is less popular in order that a conservative candidate may have the best opportunity to prevail.

With these developments the composition of the Legislative Assembly is now 54 seats for the NDP, 26 seats for the UCP, three seats for the Alberta Party, and one seat each for the Alberta Liberal Party, the Progressive Conservative Party, the FCP and an Independent Member.

Changes to the Standing Orders

On May 8, 2018, the Assembly approved amendments to the Standing Orders which impacted the daily routine of the Assembly and participation in committee meetings. Standing Order 7, which requires unanimous consent for the Daily Routine to extend beyond 3 pm, was amended with the addition of a suborder stating that the “Government House Leader, or member of the Executive Council acting on the Government House Leader’s behalf, may provide notice to the Assembly prior to 3 pm on that day that the daily routine shall continue beyond 3 pm.” Standing Order 56 was also amended to remove the 24-hour notice requirement for the temporary substitution of committee members at meetings. While the 24-hour notice requirement remains in place for the Chair and Deputy Chair, the substitution of other Members is now permitted right up to the scheduled start time for the meeting. In addition, the Chair or Deputy Chair may now designate an existing committee member to act as Chair or Deputy Chair, while also designating another Member as a substitute on the committee.

Committee Activity

The Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship completed its review of the Conflicts of Interest Act and released its report which contains recommendations regarding changes to employment and post-employment restrictions, clarification related to receipt of gifts and travel on non-commercial aircraft, and multiple changes to the consideration of private interests.

The Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future is continuing its review of Bill 201, Employment Standards (Firefighter Leave) Amendment Act, 2018. The Committee has received written submissions and stakeholder presentations regarding the Bill and will pursue its deliberations this fall.

Clerk of the Assembly – Retirement

The seventh Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Robert Reynolds, retired at the end of September 2018. During his 25-year career with the Legislative Assembly Office, Mr. Reynolds served in many capacities including Senior Parliamentary Counsel, and Law Clerk and Director of Interparliamentary Relations, before taking on the role of Clerk in 2016.

Jody Rempel

Committee Clerk

British Columbia

As reported in the Volume 41, No. 3 (Autumn) issue, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia adjourned on May 31. While the fall sitting of the 41st Parliament did not resume until October 1, parliamentary committees were active during the July to September reporting period, with two public consultations and two statutory appointment processes underway.

As consideration of the budget and estimates were completed in the spring, the fall sitting, which is expected to conclude by the end of November, will likely focus on legislation.

Parliamentary Committees

Public Consultations

As previously reported in the fall, the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Food was reinstated and given a terms of reference to inquire into and make recommendations concerning local meat production and inspection. The Committee travelled to five communities and heard 50 presentations from those in the meat producing and processing industries. The Committee also received 36 written submissions, and 74 survey responses during the consultation and received informational briefings from the Ministry of Agriculture, officials from two regional health authorities, and a representative of the Sustainable Ranching Program at Thompson Rivers University. The Committee’s unanimous report was released on September 28 and presented to the Legislative Assembly on October 2. The report makes 21 recommendations to address challenges including local slaughter capacity and training and retention of skilled labour, and focuses on ways to support and encourage industry growth.

The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services held its annual budget consultation from September 17 to October 15, pursuant to the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. This year, the Committee renewed their consultation outreach and engagement to encourage more British Columbians to participate, particularly Indigenous organizations, community-based groups and first-time presenters. The Chair and Deputy Chair reached out directly to 37 Indigenous leaders in the 14 communities visited by the Committee to encourage participation. Advertisements were placed in local newspapers in three languages, and distributed to libraries, constituency offices, and community centres across the province. The Committee will review all input to make recommendations to the Legislative Assembly on what should be in the next provincial budget. The Committee’s report must be released by November 15.

Statutory Officer Appointment Processes

As reported in the previous issue, the Legislative Assembly appointed the Special Committee to Appoint a Representative for Children and Youth in April following Bernard Richard’s announcement of his resignation as B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth, effective August 31. In a report released on July 16, the Special Committee to Appoint a Representative for Children and Youth unanimously recommended Jennifer Charlesworth be appointed as Representative.

Pursuant to section 2(1) of the Representative for Children and Youth Act, the Representative is appointed by a resolution of the House. As the House would not be sitting until October 1, to provide continuity in the position, the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth unanimously appointed Ms. Charlesworth as Acting Representative effective August 31, 2018, pursuant to section 5(2) of the Act. On October 1, 2018, the Legislative Assembly adopted a resolution appointing Ms. Charlesworth as B.C.’s third Representative for Children and Youth for a five-year term.

The Special Committee to Appoint a Police Complaint Commissioner is continuing its work pursuant to section 47 of the Police Act. The committee is accepting applications until October 12.

Legislative Assembly Management Committee Accountability Report

The Legislative Assembly Management Committee released its Accountability Report 2016-17 on August 27. The report summarizes and reports on the financial and administrative work of the Assembly. The independently audited financial statements for the 2016-17 fiscal year received an unqualified opinion from the Auditor General of B.C. for the fourth year in a row.

Key Assembly initiatives highlighted in the report include transition services for the large number of new Members following the 2017 provincial election including a new website, procedural briefings, and orientation open houses. The Assembly is also working to ensure that citizens are informed about the work of the Legislative Assembly through information initiatives such as digitizing documents, and conducting engagement through the Assembly website, social media accounts, and a new consultation portal. Finally, constituency office expenses were centralized to streamline administration, enhance reporting, provide consistent procedures and ensure that Members remain in control of spending decisions.

Statute Revisions

On May 16, 2018, the Legislative Assembly referred the revision of four statutes to the Select Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders and Private Bills for examination and recommendation, pursuant to section 3 of the Statute Revision Act. At its meeting on May 28, the Committee approved the recommended revisions to three statutes: the Health Act, the Veterinary Drugs Act and the Trespass Act. The Committee considered revisions for the fourth statute, the Workers Compensation Act, on July 25. As there were concerns that additional revisions may be made to the statute in the fall sitting, the Committee decided further discussion was warranted.

Social Media

The Legislative Assembly launched an Instagram account on September 28. The account will add to the existing social media presence that the Legislative Assembly has built through its Facebook and Twitter accounts. Instagram will serve as another outreach tool to reach a new demographic of British Columbians. As with all of the Assembly’s social media accounts, the focus will be on raising awareness of and educating British Columbians about the work of the Legislative Assembly and its Members, and the history of parliamentary democracy in B.C.

The account already has 200 followers, and as it grows will reach a new audience adding to the Assembly’s 5,500 Facebook and Twitter followers. All three accounts are also a part of outreach efforts for parliamentary committee consultations. Over the summer, there has been a new interest in producing and posting videos, and Members have been featured in videos shared from the road to promote committee consultation opportunities.

Sustainability Initiatives

Two bike repair stations were added to existing bike racks and lockers at the Legislative Assembly on August 24, 2018. The repair stations are equipped with hand pumps and nine tools for performing repairs and adjustments to bikes. The initiative is part of ongoing work to promote sustainable and healthy modes of transportation by facilitating cycling, public transit, and the use of electric vehicles.

Employee Recognition

The Legislative Lights Employee Recognition Program recognizes Legislative Assembly staff for their leadership dedication and service to the Assembly. Fifty-five nominations from across all Assembly departments were received in five award categories. All nominees and the winners, as well as eight employees celebrating 25 and 35 years of service, were recognized on June 6.

Nicki Simpson

Committee Researcher

Prince Edward Island

Third Session, Sixty-fifth General Assembly

Having adjourned to the call of the Speaker on June 12, 2018, the Third Session of the Sixty-fifth General Assembly shall resume on November 13, 2018, in the Honourable George Coles Building.

House Business

In terms of business carried over from the last sitting, there remain two Government Bills, nine Private Members’ Bills, 11 Government Motions, and 44 Motions Other Than Government available for debate.

Leader of the Opposition

On September 17, 2018, Leader of the Official Opposition James Aylward announced his intention to resign as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of PEI. He will remain leader of his party until a new leader is chosen and intends to run again in the next provincial election in the district of Stratford-Keppoch. The other members of the Official Opposition caucus have indicated that they do not intend to seek the party leadership.

Joint CCPAC-CCOLA Conference

From September 23-25, 2018, the Legislative Assembly hosted the annual joint conference of the Canadian Council of Public Accounts Committees and Canadian Council of Legislative Auditors. Delegations of parliamentarians, auditors general, parliamentary staff and audit staff met to discuss topics such as communications in the current digital landscape, qualified audit opinions, information technology audit and accountability, and a recent survey of Canadian Public Accounts Committees. The CCPAC group held additional sessions on matters such as new developments in Canadian Public Accounts Committees and orientation to the role of Public Accounts Committee Member.

Clerk of the Legislative Assembly

In August, 2018, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly Charles MacKay announced his intention to retire effective March 30, 2019. Mr. MacKay has served the Legislative Assembly for 33 years, and has held the position of Clerk since May 18, 2000. The Standing Committee on Legislative Management began its search for a new Clerk in fall 2018.

Ryan Reddin

Clerk Assistant – Research and Committees

Senate

In the Chamber

In September 2018, Bill S-228, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (prohibiting food and beverage marketing directed at children), was read a third time in the House of Commons and returned to the Senate with amendments.

In addition, three government bills were introduced and read a first time: C-64, An Act respecting wrecks, abandoned, dilapidated or hazardous vessels and salvage operations; C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence; and C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms.

The second reading debate began on two government bills, C-21, An Act to Amend the Customs Act, and C-62, An Act to amend the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act and other Acts.

Committees

On September 20, 2018, the nineteenth report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, entitled From Soldier to Civilian: Professionalizing the Transition, was adopted and a government response was requested.

On September 25, 2018, the twenty-seventh report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, entitled The Shame is Ours: Study on the Forced Adoptions of the Babies of Unmarried Mothers in Post-war Canada, as well as the thirty-second report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance report, entitled The Phoenix Pay Problem: Working Toward a Solution, were adopted and government responses were requested.

On September 27, 2018, the twenty-fourth and twenty-sixth reports of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, entitled The Federal Role in a Social Finance Fund, and Breaking Down Barriers: A critical analysis of the Disability Tax Credit and Registered Disability Savings Plan, respectively, were adopted and government responses were requested. On the same day, the twenty-fourth report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, entitled Fair, Simple and Competitive Taxation: The Way Forward for Canada was also adopted and a government response was requested.

The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications tabled its thirteenth report of the committee, entitled, The Tax Deductibility of Foreign Internet Advertising in Canada, with the Clerk of the Senate during the summer adjournment.

Between August 7 and 11, 2018, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights travelled to Edmonton, Alberta, and Abbotsford, British Columbia, for public hearings to continue its study on the human rights of prisoners in the federal correctional system. Senators met with stakeholders, including correctional officers, prisoners, government officials and members of advocacy groups.

The Special Senate Committee on the Arctic began a week of fact-finding in the Arctic as part of its investigation into the issues facing the region. Between September 5 and 12, 2018, members of the committee conducted their fact-finding mission in Kuujjuaq, Québec; Nain, Newfoundland and Labrador; Iqaluit, Nunavut; Baker Lake, Nunavut; Cambridge Bay, Nunavut; Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; Inuvik, Northwest Territories; and Whitehorse, Yukon. The committee is working to produce a report intended to complement the government’s work in developing a long-term vision for the Canadian Arctic.

Senators

During this period, three senators appointed on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were introduced and sworn in. Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne (Québec– Inkerman), had been summoned to the Senate in June, and was introduced and sworn in on September 18, 2018, the first sitting day following the summer adjournment. She is an award winning journalist who can also count amongst her accomplishments becoming the first woman ombudsman of Radio-Canada, being named Chair of the Québec government’s Conseil du statut de la femme and representing Québec at the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO as the Québec government envoy for human rights and freedoms.

Senator Beverly Ann Busson (British Columbia) and Senator Martin Klyne (Saskatchewan) were introduced and sworn in on September 25, 2018. Senator Busson held a career as a law enforcement officer of many firsts. She was the first woman commissioned officer, the first woman criminal operations officer, the first woman commanding officer, the first woman deputy commissioner of a region and in 2006 she was named the first Commissioner of the RCMP. Senator Busson was invested as a Commander of the Order of Merit of Police Forces, awarded the Canadian Forces Vice Chief of Defence Staff Commendation and the Order of British Columbia, and appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada.

Senator Klyne is a proud Cree Métis who has spent much of his time advancing Aboriginal economic development and speaking up for Aboriginal interests to promote their participation in the economy. He is a member of the FHQ Developments Ltd. Board of Directors and has held senior positions such as Chief Executive Officer of the RCMP Heritage Centre and Chief Operating Officer of the Queen City Sports and Entertainment Group (operating as the Regina Pats Hockey Club). Senator Klyne has received the Alumni Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement from the University of Regina, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, and a First Nations Blanket from the Assembly of First Nations’ National Chief, Perry Bellegarde.

In terms of departures from the Upper House, Senator Anne C. Cools (Toronto-Centre – York) retired on August 11, 2018. Senator Cools was appointed to the Red Chamber on the advice of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1984. She was the first black person to be appointed to the Senate of Canada. Senator Cools was a social worker and she ran as a candidate in the 1979 and 1980 federal elections. Senator Cools served as deputy chair on the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance and the Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs. She has served as a member on numerous Senate standing committees, including: Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Rules, Procedures and the Rights of ParliamentLegal and Constitutional Affairs; and the special Senate committees on Senate Modernization; and on Aging; and the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access.

Senator Art Eggleton, (Ontario – Toronto) retired on September 29, 2018. He was appointed on the advice of Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2005. Senator Eggleton, P.C., is a former Mayor of Toronto and cabinet member. Senator Eggleton served as a member on many Senate standing committees, including Transport and Communications, National Finance, Human Rights, and Social Affairs, Science and Technology, the latter of which he chaired from 2006 to 2011 and again from 2017 until his retirement. He also served on the Special Senate Committee on Senate Modernization and the Subcommittee on Cities.

Ferda Simpson

Procedural Clerk

Nova Scotia

The Fall 2018 sitting of the House of Assembly commenced with the Speech from the Throne read by Lieutenant Governor Arthur J. LeBlanc on September 6, 2018.

The sitting continued until October 11, 2018 when Royal Assent was given to 22 government bills, one private Members’ bill and one private bill and one Local bill.

Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of Assembly

The House of Assembly amended Rule 60 relating to the House of Assembly standing committees. Two former committees, the Economic Development and the Resources Committees, were combined. The newly created committee was named the Natural Resources and Economic Development. A new committee, the Health Committee, was also created with the mandate of considering matters relative to access to and delivery of health care services.

Deputy Speaker

On September 13, 2018, Brendan Maguire, Liberal MLA for Halifax Atlantic was elected as Deputy Speaker by the House of Assembly. On July 5, 2018 one of the former Deputy Speakers, Chuck Porter, resigned his position and was appointed to the Executive Council.

Speaker’s Ruling

On October 2, 2018 the Speaker delivered a ruling on a point of privilege raised on September 26, 2018. The issue related to the government majority on the Public Accounts Committee passing a motion purported to result in fundamentally changing the mandate of that committee. The committee’s mandate can only be changed by amending the Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of Assembly thus requiring a two-thirds majority vote in the House. The Speaker found that there had been no point of privilege and stated the following regarding the purported change in mandate of the committee: “I want to add a further comment because the objection was framed as a change to the House Rules having been made by a committee rather than by a two-thirds vote of the House itself; that is, the mandate of the Public Accounts Committee set out in Rule 60 had been changed. This was not the case. The motion that was passed by the committee reads: All agenda items for PAC be set through the Auditor General reports beginning with the May 29, 2018 performance report and future agenda sequences for scheduling to follow the order of chapters for each subsequent report tabled by the Auditor General with appropriate department witnesses. This was simply a motion to establish the agenda items for the committee, within the mandate of the committee. It does remain open to the committee to adopt other agenda items in the future, and nothing precludes any member of that committee from proposing motions for other agenda items. I have only addressed this because I wanted to bring clarity to the point that the Rules and Forms of Procedure have not been changed and that the Public Accounts Committee’s mandate remains the same.”

200th Anniversary Province House

The Legislature met for the first time in the current Province House on February 11, 1819. It is the oldest legislative building in Canada and preparations are underway to celebrate this 200th anniversary in 2019. Great effort has been made in recent years to protect and maintain Province House as a symbolic home of all Nova Scotians. The anniversary will emphasize its role in the constitutional evolution of Canada, its rich history, unique architecture, and continuity as the seat of government and an important cultural asset to our province.

Of note will be a ceremony in the Assembly Chamber on February 11, 2019 as well as several citizenship ceremonies and a concert series in the Red Chamber. In partnership with Symphony Nova Scotia a new fanfare composition will premiere at the February 7 concert. In July, the House of Assembly will host the 57th Annual Canadian Regional Conference for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

A new logo was unveiled to mark the anniversary and represents the building and its wealth of architecture and unique details. The logo draws its inspiration from a circular window from the pediment on the west side of the building. It presents a pattern and shape seen throughout the House. The circular shape implies movement, openness, and unity. It is a symbol of eternity and celebrates the longevity of Province House. The window represents a place for looking inward and outward and it is a place to look and see a province that is moving in a positive direction and an opportunity to look in and see our impressive past. The Caslon font was used in Joseph Howe’s newspaper, the Novascotian, in the 1840s and the blue is based on an historic colour from that period.

Annette M. Boucher

Assistant Clerk

Manitoba

3rd Session of the 41st Legislature – Fall Sitting

The Third Session of the 41st Legislature resumed on October 3, 2018 with the Session scheduled to end on November 8, 2018. During the Fall sittings, the House is required to complete consideration of the following five Designated Bills selected by the Official Opposition in the Spring for further consideration this Fall:

  • Bill 8 – The Government Notices Modernization Act (Various Acts Amended), which amends The Queen’s Printer Act to establish the deputy minister of the department that administers the Act as the Queen’s Printer and to require the Queen’s Printer to make The Manitoba Gazette, an official government publication, available to the public online at no cost. The Bill also amends provisions in 24 statutes that relate to the government’s publication of official notices so that they may be published online;
  • Bill 12 – The Red Tape Reduction and Government Efficiency Act, 2018, which amends several Acts and repeals four Acts to reduce or eliminate regulatory requirements or prohibitions and to streamline government operations;
  • Bill 16 – The Climate and Green Plan Implementation Act, enacting a new Act requiring the government to develop a plan with a comprehensive set of policies, programs and measures designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address the effects of climate change, promote sustainable development and protect Manitoba’s water resources and natural areas;
  • Bill 24 – The Social Services Appeal Board Amendment Act, adding a provision to The Social Services Appeal Board Act stating that the appeal board has no jurisdiction to consider constitutional challenges to legislation or to grant remedies under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
  • Bill 27 – The Fiscal Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act, amending the act in parts relating to penalizations for ministers by reducing their salaries if the deficit is not reduced by at least $100 million each year.

In accordance with the Manitoba Rules, the House completed Second Reading of Designated Bills on October 4, 2018. At the time of this submission, Committee consideration must be completed by October 30, while Concurrence and Third Reading must be then completed by November 8, 2018, with the five Designated Bills receiving Royal Assent before the House rises that day.

New Member for St. Boniface

On July 17, 2018, citizens of the constituency of St. Boniface elected Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont as their MLA, filling a seat left vacant when former premier Greg Selinger resigned in March. Prior to entering into politics, Mr. Lamont worked as a writer, editor and policy analyst. He was elected Manitoba Liberal leader at the October 21, 2017 Liberal leadership convention.

Second Opposition Party

Following the by-election in St. Boniface, the Manitoba Liberal Party obtained a fourth seat in the Legislative Assembly, hence achieving the status of an officially Recognized Party. The last time the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba had three recognized parties was March 21, 1995, during the 35th Legislature.

As a Recognized Opposition Party, the Liberal Leader will now become Leader of the Second Opposition and will have unlimited speaking time on government motions. The caucus also obtained a permanent seat on every Standing Committee (membership was previously assigned to the Independent Members), they are no longer required unanimous consent to reply to Ministerial Statements and a new rotation of speakers in Oral Questions and Members’ Statements is now in place.

Standing Committees

During the summer, the Standing Committees on Legislative Affairs met twice to start the hiring process of a new Ombudsman and to reappoint the Conflict of Interest Commissioner and Information and Privacy Adjudicator.

Amendments to the Rules, Orders and Forms of Proceedings

On October 3, the Standing Committee on the Rules of the House met to consider amendments to the Rule Book. The following amendments were agreed to by the Committee at that meeting and if concurred in by the House by November 8, 2018 will become permanent rules effective November 20, 2018:

  • Specifying enforcement procedures for concluding the “Business of Supply” to take place in the Fall sitting;
  • Changing the timing of the Second Reading question period on deadline days to follow the same process as a regular sitting day, with the Question Period after the sponsor’s speech;
  • Allowing House Leaders to call bills for debate on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the first hour of Private Members’ Business and to allocate blocks of time for consideration of each bill if they wish to call more than one bill for debate;
  • Codifying existing practice that challenges to Speaker’s Rulings on Matters of Privilege require the support of at least four Members;
  • Deleting the model where a Committee of Seven met to determine the membership composition of Standing Committees and assigns determination to the House Leaders, in cooperation with the Speaker.

Current Party Standings

The current party standings in the Manitoba Legislature are: Progressive Conservatives 39, New Democratic Party 12, Liberals four, with two Independent Members.

Andrea Signorelli

Clerk Assistant/Clerk of Committees

House of Commons

The First Session of the Forty-Second Parliament continued as the House reconvened on September 17, 2018, having adjourned for the summer on June 20, 2018. The report below covers the period from June 22, 2018 to October 1, 2018.

Procedure and Privilege

Points of Order

On October 1, 2018, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North) rose on a point of order regarding a picture published on social media by Pierre Nantel (Longueuil—Saint-Hubert). The Speaker immediately reminded Members that photography is not permitted in the House while it is in session. Although the picture was removed from social media, Mr. Nantel made no apologies for his actions. On October 3, 2018, the Assistant Deputy Speaker, Anthony Rota (Nipissing—Timiskaming), reminded Mr. Nantel that by disobeying the rules of the House, he would not be recognized to speak for a few days.

Other Matters

Members

Effective September 14, 2018, Maxime Bernier (Beauce) began sitting as a member of the People’s Party of Canada.

On September 17, 2018, the Speaker informed the House of the resignation of Thomas Mulcair (Outremont) and Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby South) effective August 3 and September 14, 2018, respectfully.

On September 17, 2018, Leona Alleslev (Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill) rose on a point of personal privilege to announce her departure from the Liberal caucus and began sitting as a member of the Conservative caucus. Immediately following her announcement in the House, Ms. Alleslev crossed the floor to join the Official Opposition.

Effective September 17, 2018, Rhéal Fortin (Rivière-du-Nord), Monique Pauzé (Repentigny), Louis Plamondon (Bécancour–Nicolet–Saurel), Gabriel Ste-Marie (Joliette) and Luc Thériault(Montcalm) are no longer members of Québec debout and now sit as members of the Bloc Québécois.

On September 17, 2018, the Speaker informed the House that the Clerk had received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of election of Richard Martel (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord). Mr. Martel, having taken and subscribed to the oath required by law, was introduced in the Chamber by the Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Scheer (Regina—Qu’Appelle), and Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska).

On September 24, 2018, Peter Van Loan (York—Simcoe) made a statement on the occasion of his imminent resignation as Member of Parliament during Government Orders and second reading of Bill C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada. During the period of debate, the Speaker and the Assistant Deputy Speaker, Mr. Rota, as well as Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton—Canso), Diane Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk), Kyle Peterson (Newmarket—Aurora) and Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke) made comments in tribute to Mr. Van Loan. On October 1, 2018, the Speaker informed the House of the resignation of Mr. Van Loan, effective September 30, 2018.

On September 26, 2018, the Speaker informed the House that Mark Holland (Ajax) had been appointed to the Board of Internal Economy in replacement of Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier) who is now Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. Mr. Holland assumed the duties of Chief Government Whip.

Resolutions

On September 20, 2018, the House adopted by unanimous consent a resolution that endorsed the findings of the United Nations fact-finding mission that crimes committed by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya and other ethnic monitories constitutes genocide.

Danielle Widmer

Table Research Branch

Québec

National Assembly Proceedings

Composition

On August 15, 2018, the Member for Brome-Missisquoi, Pierre Paradis, rejoined the caucus of the parliament group forming the Government. Mr. Paradis had been sitting as an independent Member since January 26, 2017.

Dissolution of the National Assembly

On August 23, 2018, the Lieutenant-Governor dissolved the National Assembly. Consequently, voters of Québec’s 125 electoral divisions will go to the polls for a general election on October 1, 2018. It should be recalled that on February 23, 2017, the Commission de la représentation électorale du Québec established a new electoral map changing the boundaries of 28 electoral divisions. This new map came into effect on 23 August 2018.

At the dissolution of the 41st Legislature, the composition of the Assembly was as follows: Québec Liberal Party, 68 Members; Parti Québécois, 28 Members; Coalition Avenir Québec, 21 Members; independent Members, 8 including 3 sitting under the Québec Solidaire banner. On September 15, 2018, at the close of nominations, 32 Members were not running for re-election.

Special events

Under the chairmanship of Jacques Chagnon, President of the National Assembly and President of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF), the 44th Annual Session of the APF was held in Québec City, from July 5 to 10, 2018. With its focus on good practices for parliaments in a digital world, this meeting was attended by nearly 300 parliamentarians hailing from 58 branches composed of parliaments and interparliamentary organizations.

For the first time since its creation, a president’s plan promoting the digital theme had been presented by the Québec Branch at the 2017 session in Luxembourg. The plan was implemented during the past year and led to the publishing of a compendium of good practices on this topic and the adoption of the Québec declaration on challenges of the digital era.

During this 44th Session, Mr. Chagnon unveiled a monument inspired by Alfred Laliberté’s original bronze Le député arrivant à Québec housed in the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. Located on the Parliament Building’s esplanade, this statue, erected as part of the 225th anniversary of Québec’s parliamentary institutions celebrated in 2017, depicts one of the first Members of Parliament arriving in Québec City after the first election, held in 1792.

Committee proceedings

Tabling of the first 2018 Pre-election report

Since 2015, the Québec Minister of Finance must table a pre-election report on the state of Québec’s public finances and economic forecasts. The Auditor General of Québec (VGQ), who is an officer of the Québec National Assembly, must examine, in a separate report, the plausibility of forecasts and assumptions contained in the pre-election report.

In preparation for the Québec general election of October 1, 2018, both of these reports were sent for the first time to the President of the Québec National Assembly on August 20, 2018. The Québec Auditor’s findings were also presented to the members of the Committee on Public Administration (CPA) and the Committee on Public Finance (CPF) during an informal briefing.

See both reports at the following addresses:

Assessment of the 41st Legislature

The months of July to September 2018 coincided with the summer break and the calling of a general election. This ended the 41st Legislature (May 20, 2014 to August, 23 2018). Here is an overview of the main mandates carried out by the committees during this period:

Clause-by-clause consideration of public bills: a type of mandate that mobilizes committees

This type of mandate represented more than half of committee sittings. The committees gave clause-by-clause consideration to 124 public bills. Among these, the clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 157, An Act to constitute the Société québécoise du cannabis, to enact the Cannabis Regulation Act and to amend various highway safety-related provisions, required the most sittings – a total of 32 – and over 137 hours of work.

Furthermore, we noted a large number of amendments. More precisely, 5,518 amendments and subamendments were introduced during the clause-by-clause consideration of bills and close to 74 per cent of them were adopted.

More special consultations and less general consultations: a growing trend

Indeed, there has been a definite decline in general consultations since 2009. The 41st Legislature confirmed this trend since there were 127 special consultations and three general consultations, including two held in the Committee on Institutions (CI).

Over 60 per cent of public bills examined during this legislature were the subject of special consultations. This too has been a trend for several years now. Over the course of these 127 special consultations, committee members heard more than 2,000 witnesses, during a total of 418 sittings, and received 2,774 briefs.

Orders of initiative: mandates carried out over several years

The parliamentary committees carried out 15 orders of initiative. We note that certain more complex mandates took place over a period of two years or more. This is particularly the case of the order adopted by the Committee on Citizen Relations (CCR) on Aboriginal women’s living conditions as affected by sexual assault and domestic violence, which lasted over three years. The CPF’s order of initiative concerning the tax havens phenomenon lasted two years and required 16 public meetings.

Other mandates: petitions and statutory orders

During this legislature, 702 petitions were tabled. The committees chose to examine six petitions. Once a mandate has been adopted, members hear the petition’s originator or his or her representatives, as well as any other person or organization according to the committee’s terms and conditions (length of hearings, choice of witnesses, etc.) Among these six petitions, four were examined by the Committee on Culture and Education (CCE). Three of these four petitions concerned the same subject, namely opposition to weighing students in physical education classes. In such cases, petitions on the same subject are grouped together within the same mandate. The Committee on Health and Social Services (CHSS) examined two petitions on introducing and implementing a Lyme disease action plan. Committee members heard four individuals and organizations, including a European expert.

Thirteen statutory orders were also carried out by the committees, including five by the Committee on Institutions (CI). These mandates generally consist in the examination of annual management reports, the hearing of chief executive officers of public bodies or the examination of reports on the implementation of acts.

In conclusion, each year the National Assembly publishes a statistical report on committee proceedings. This document provides an annual snapshot of the number of mandates, sittings and hours carried out by the committees overall and each committee individually. It is also interesting to note in this document how committee activities have evolved over the past 10 years.

The statistical reports are available at the following address (in French only): http://www.assnat.qc.ca/en/travaux-parlementaires/commissions/index.html.

Nicole Bolduc

General Directorate for Parliamentary Affairs, Sittings Service

Sabine Mekki

General Directorate for Parliamentary Affairs, Committees Service

Newfoundland and Labrador

Resignations

On August 21, Cathy Bennett, MHA for the District of Windsor Lake resigned her seat. Ms. Bennett first elected in a by-election in April 2014 was re-elected in the 2015 general election and served as Minister of Finance from December 4, 2016 to July 31, 2017.

On October 18, Paul Davis, MHA for the District of Topsail – Paradise and former Premier, announced his intention to resign his seat on November 2. Mr. Davis was first elected in a by-election in 2010, and was re-elected in 2011 and 2015. He served as Premier from September 2014 to December 2015.

Ches Crosbie, Leader of the Official Opposition was elected the Member for the District of Windsor Lake on September 20, 2018 and sworn in on October 12 by Lieutenant Governor Judy Foote. The other candidates in the by-election were Paul Antle and Kerri Claire Neil.

Other Developments

The Privileges and Elections Committee have been meeting regularly during the summer adjournment in accordance with a Resolution passed on May 2 ordering the House to undertake the development of a legislature-specific harassment-free workplace policy. The Committee has been consulting with groups and individuals experienced in handling harassment complaints. It expects to present an interim report during the fall sitting.

During the fall sitting the Commissioner for Legislative Standards is expected to report to the House the results of his investigations into allegations of breaches by Members of the House of certain provisions of the Code of Conduct made pursuant to provisions of the House of Assembly Accountability, Integrity and Administration Act.

Kim Hawley George, who had been Acting Law Clerk since October 2017 was confirmed in the position on November 15, 2018.

In accordance with the parliamentary calendar the House will convene on November 5, for the continuation of the Third Sitting of the 48th General Assembly.

Elizabeth Murphy

Clerk Assistant

Saskatchewan

Cabinet Shuffle

Premier Scott Moe announced a small cabinet shuffle on August 15, 2018. Lyle Stewart, the Minister of Agriculture, resigned from cabinet due to health-related issues. Replacing Mr. Stewart as the Minister of Agriculture is David Marit. Mr. Marit was the Minister of Highways and Infrastructure and the Minister responsible for SaskBuilds. Lori Carr, who entered cabinet for the first time, took over the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure. Gordon Wyant, who is the Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, also returned as the Minister responsible for SaskBuilds.

By-Election

A by-election in the constituency of Regina Northeast was held on September 12, 2018. NDP candidate Yens Pedersen won the by-election. He was sworn in on October 17, 2018 and took his seat in the Legislative Assembly on October 24, 2018.

The composition of the Assembly is now 48 Saskatchewan Party members and 13 NDP members.

Prorogation and the Opening of a New Session

At the request of the government and pursuant to the order adopted by the Assembly on May 31, 2018, the second session of the twenty-eighth legislature was prorogued on the morning of October 24, 2018. The third session of the twenty-eighth legislature was opened in the afternoon by W. Thomas Molloy, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, who delivered his first Speech from the Throne.

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy

From November 17 to 21, 2018, Speaker Mark Docherty, on behalf of the Legislative Assembly, will host a group of teachers for the 20th Saskatchewan Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy. Since the program’s launch in 1999, over 300 teachers from across Saskatchewan have participated. This year, the alumni of the program have been invited to participate in special events to celebrate the milestone anniversary.

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy gives Saskatchewan teachers the opportunity to gain a better understanding of our system of parliamentary democracy by observing, first-hand, our political system in operation. They meet with the Lieutenant Governor, Speaker, ministers, House and caucus leaders, committee chairs, as well as with private members, media, the Clerk, Legislative Assembly Service, and the members of the judiciary. On the final day of the program, the teachers participate in a mock parliament in the Legislative Chamber. They also have the opportunity to explore the Ministry of Education’s websites and suggested curriculum links.

Stacey Ursulescu

Procedural Clerk

Ontario

New Parliament

Ontario’s June 7 election returned 76 Progressive Conservatives, 40 New Democrats, seven Liberals and one Green Party member. The Legislature reconvened on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 to begin the First Session of the 42nd Parliament with the election of a Speaker. Ted Arnott, MPP for Wellington – Halton Hills and a 27-year veteran MPP at Queen’s Park, was elected as Speaker of the Legislature on the first ballot. The House returned the following day, when the Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell delivered the new Government’s speech from the throne.

Bills

Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act, 2018, was introduced on July 16, 2018 and was subsequently time allocated, receiving Royal Assent on July 25, 2018. The Bill altered the structure of the board of directors for Hydro One, Canada’s largest electricity transmission distribution service provider. The Bill also addressed a labour dispute at York University and set terms by which the White Pines Wind Project would be retroactively terminated.

Bill 5, Better Local Government Act, 2018, was introduced on July 30, 2018 and was subsequently time allocated, receiving Royal Assent on August 14, 2018. The Bill altered the City of Toronto Act, 2006 to cause the ward boundaries in the City of Toronto to align with federal and provincial electoral districts for the region, reducing the total number of wards in the October election from 47 to 25.

Following a legal challenge and court ruling that found Bill 5 to be unconstitutional, the Government introduced Bill 31, Efficient Local Government Act, 2018, on September 12, 2018. This Bill substantially recreated the contents of Bill 5, but added a provision declaring that the amendments made would operate notwithstanding sections 2 and 7 to 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The use of the notwithstanding clause in legislation is a first in Ontario’s history.

The Official Opposition House Leader rose on a point of order on September 15, 2018, claiming that Bill 31 should not be allowed to proceed for two reasons. First, the subject matter of the bill falls under the sub judice convention, as it was still being reviewed by the courts. Second, the Bill attempted to make a decision on a question that has already been decided on by the House in the same session of Parliament. The Speaker delivered his ruling two days later, explaining that the sub judice convention does not “operate to limit the superior and pre-eminent right of the Legislature to legislate….” The Speaker went on to state the following: “Since the first reading of Bill 31, I think it would be hard for anyone to credibly sustain the argument that the debate has not substantially changed from the appropriate size of the city of Toronto council, and is now focused on the legitimacy and advisability of the government’s willingness to invoke the Constitution’s ‘notwithstanding’ clause in response to the court’s ruling.”

The Ontario Government’s request for a stay of proceedings on the court’s ruling associated with Bill 5 was granted on September 19, two days after the Speaker delivered his ruling. This allowed the City of Toronto to move forward with a 25-ward election without the need for the Provincial Government to proceed any further with Bill 31.

Committee Activities

Since the election, each of the Legislature’s nine Standing Committees has met to elect a Chair and Vice-Chair, appoint a Sub-committee on Committee Business, and receive an in-camera orientation.

Standing Committee on General Government

Bill 4, Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018, was referred to the Standing Committee on General Government on October 3, 2018. The Bill seeks to repeal the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016, and provides for various matters related to the wind down of the Cap and Trade Program. The Bill was time allocated on October 3, 2018, to allow for two days of public hearings and two days of clause-by-clause consideration. The Bill is expected to be reported back to the House no later than October 25, 2018.

Standing Committee on Social Policy

Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018, was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy on October 4, 2018. The Bill seeks to establish safety rules in Ontario related to cannabis prior to its legalization on October 17, 2018, by making amendments to the Cannabis Act, 2017; Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017; Liquor Control Act; Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017and the Highway Traffic Act. The Bill was time allocated on October 3, 2018, to allow for two days of public hearings and one day of clause-by-clause consideration. The Bill is expected to be reported back to the House for Third Reading no later than October 16, 2018.

Select Committee on Financial Transparency

On October 2, 2018, the House passed a motion that a Select Committee on Financial Transparency be appointed to consider and report to the House its observations with respect to the report submitted by the Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry. The committee has until November 1, 2018 to table an interim report and shall present its final report on December 13, 2018 or on a date to be determined by the Committee.

Christopher Tyrell

Committee Clerk