Legislative Reports

Article 10 / 11 , Vol 46 No. 2 (Summer)

Legislative Reports

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House Proceedings

The fall 2022 sitting of the 2nd Session of the 6th Legislative Assembly convened on October 26, 2022, and concluded on November 8, 2022. The proceedings of the Committee of the Whole during the fall 2022 sitting were dominated by the consideration of the government’s proposed 2023-2024 capital estimates.

Six bills received Assent during the fall 2022 sitting:

  • Bill 4, Liquor Tax Act;
  • Bill 8, Supplementary Appropriation (Capital) Act, No. 2, 2022-2023;
  • Bill 9, Write-Off of Assets Act, 2021-2022;
  • Bill 10, Appropriation (Capital) Act, 2023-2024;
  • Bill 11, Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act; and
  • Bill 15, An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act.

Bill 15 was introduced as a House Bill under the authority of the Legislative Assembly’s Management and Services Board. Speaker Tony Akoak appeared before the Committee of the Whole on the occasion of its clause-by-clause consideration of the bill. Bill 15 amended the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act to update the wording of the prescribed Oath of Allegiance to reflect the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

The winter 2023 sitting of the 2nd Session of the 6th Legislative Assembly convened on February 22, 2023, and concluded on March 14, 2023. The proceedings of the Committee of the Whole during the winter 2023 sitting were dominated by the consideration of the government’s proposed 2023-2024 main estimates.

Eight bills received Assent during the winter 2023 sitting:

  • Bill 12, An Act to Amend the Commissioner’s Land Act;
  • Bill 14, An Act to Amend the Northern Employee Benefits Services Pension Plan Act;
  • Bill 16, Supplementary Appropriation (Operations and Maintenance) Act, No. 1, 2022-2023;
  • Bill 17, Supplementary Appropriation (Capital) Act, No. 1, 2023-2024;
  • Bill 18, Appropriation (Operations and Maintenance) Act, 2023-2024;
  • Bill 19, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act;
  • Bill 20, An Act to Amend the Public Service Act; and
  • Bill 21, Supplementary Appropriation (Capital) Act, No. 3, 2022-2023.

Committee Hearing

From September 26-27, 2022, the Standing Committee on Oversight of Government Operations and Public Accounts held a televised hearing on the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 annual reports of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Nunavut, Graham Steele. Standing Committee Chair and Iqaluit-Tasiluk MLA George Hickes subsequently presented the standing committee’s report to the House at its sitting of November 8, 2022.

Establishment of Electoral Boundaries 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.

A motion was unanimously passed by the Legislative Assembly at its sitting of October 26, 2022, to appoint Justice Susan Cooper as presiding member of the Electoral Boundaries Commission. Justice Cooper sits on the Nunavut Court of Justice and is a former Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel to the Legislative Assembly. The other members of the Electoral Boundaries Commission are Michael Hughson of Baker Lake and John Maurice of Iqaluit.

Resignation of Member of the Executive Council

During the Legislative Assembly’s sitting of March 9, 2023, Minister of Justice and Baker Lake MLA Craig Simailak announced his resignation from the Executive Council. The Minister’s statement cited work-life balance in respect to his decision.

Following deliberations by the Legislative Assembly’s Full Caucus, Chairperson and Arviat South MLA Joe Savikataaq announced that the decision had been taken not to select a new Minister.

Acting Table Officers

During the winter 2023 sitting, the Nunavut Table was ably assisted by Northwest Territories Clerk of Journals Michael Ball from February 22, 2023-March 10, 2023, and Deputy Clerk Glen Rutland from March 13-14, 2023. Messrs. Ball and Rutland served in acting capacities during the temporary absence of the Clerk.

Passing of Former Member

On April 17, 2023, Speaker Akoak released a statement concerning the passing of Rebekah Uqi Williams, former Member for Quttiktuq. The community flags of Arctic Bay, Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay were half-masted at the Legislative Assembly Precinct in honour of her passing. Speaker Akoak’s statement noted Ms. Williams’s distinguished record of public service, including her tenure as Deputy Commissioner of Nunavut from 2019 to 2022.

Alex Baldwin

Office of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut


Fourth Session of the 30th Legislature

The spring sitting of the Fourth Session of the 30th Legislature began on February 28, 2023. That afternoon, following the transmittal of the estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, and the tabling of the budget documents by Travis Toews, MLA, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance, the Assembly adjourned until March 6, 2023. The main estimates were considered by the three Legislative Policy Committees, starting on the evening of March 6 and continuing until the afternoon of March 16, when the vote on the estimates occurred in Committee of Supply.

The spring sitting adjourned on March 23, a week earlier than indicated on the sessional calendar. Under Alberta’s fixed election date legislation the next provincial general election is to be held on
May 29. Therefore, the writ of election is anticipated to be issued on May 1.

Budget 2023-24

The Alberta budget forecasts a surplus of $2.4 billion in 2023-24. Highlights of the province’s budget include record-high funding for health care, with initiatives to reduce wait times, recruit front-line staff, and build or improve healthcare facilities. Other budget priorities include funding for public safety initiatives, affordability programs to support families and vulnerable populations, and investments in workforce training and rural economic development.

Bill 10

On March 9, Mr. Toews introduced Bill 10, Financial Statutes Amendment Act, 2023, for first reading. The Bill proposed legislative amendments to almost a dozen Acts and sought to implement components of Budget 2023. Highlights of the Bill include:

  • Mandating balanced budgets and policies for the allocation of surplus cash;
  • Implementing a two per cent cap on tuition increases;
  • Developing an agriprocessing tax credit program;
  • Tying municipal funding to provincial revenues; and
  • Permitting all of the investment income earned by the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund to remain within the Fund.

The Bill received third reading on March 23.

Bill 204

Bill 204, Missing Persons (Silver Alert) Amendment Act, 2022, sponsored by Mark Smith, MLA, Drayton Valley-Devon, received third reading on March 22, with support from all sides of the Assembly. The Bill proposes a “Silver Alert” notification system that would function in a manner similar to the current Amber Alert system and would be deployed when a senior citizen or an adult with cognitive impairment goes missing. To address the challenges of early onset Alzheimer’s disease, the Bill identifies seniors as those individuals 55 years of age or older. A similar Private Member’s Public Bill, also sponsored by Mr. Smith, received royal assent in 2017, but it did not come into force after the Government’s legal experts determined that the proposed changes could give police access to information in a manner not in accordance with the Missing Persons Act. The current Bill responds to concerns raised by the 2017 proposal and introduces legislative amendments that are consistent with the privacy protection found in the Missing Persons Act.

Composition of the Assembly

With no cabinet changes, by-elections, or resignations since January 2023, the current composition of the Assembly remains at 60 members of the United Conservative Party, 23 members of the New Democratic Party and two independent MLAs. Two seats remain vacant, both of which are constituencies in the city of Calgary.

Alberta Hansard Special Edition

On March 22, a special edition of Alberta Hansard was provided to all Members of the Assembly. A reminder of the special sitting held on September 15, 2022, following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the special edition features photographs from both the special sitting and the outdoor memorial ceremony that followed days later. It also includes a collection of images reflecting the Queen’s life and work. Speaker Nathan M. Cooper noted that the special edition Alberta Hansard had been produced specifically for Members and stated, “I hope that this keepsake will be a treasured reminder of your service to the Queen and to the province.”

Committee Business

Traditionally, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts meets when the Assembly is sitting; however, because of the brief spring sitting and budget debates, the Committee held a planning meeting and two out-of-session meetings to meet with the Ministries of Justice, Jobs, Economy and Northern Development, and Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

On December 14, 2022, the Assembly referred the 2021-2022 annual report of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate to the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices for review. The Committee met with the Advocate, received presentations from four ministries, and requested written updates from three other ministries. The Committee released its report on February 26, 2023 and recommended that the “Office of the Child and Youth Advocate and relevant ministries work together to identify ways to improve the outcomes for children and youth in care in Alberta.”

The Standing Committee on Private Bills received one petition; however, the short spring sitting and pending provincial election expected to occur in May did not allow the time needed for the Committee to complete its consideration of the matter.

Renovations to North Grounds

Alberta Infrastructure will be upgrading and redesigning portions of the northern sections of the Legislature Grounds. Three drawings to illustrate options for redeveloping the wading pools in the north plaza were released for public input through an online survey. The selected design will be announced prior to commencing work on the site. The project will also include improvements to the walkways and refurbishments to the reflecting pool and dome fountain; however, these upgrades are not expected to impact the appearance of these facilities. The anticipated timeline for the project is the spring of 2023 through the summer of 2024.

Jody Rempel

Committee Clerk



Prior to the opening of the spring sitting, a number of promotions occurred within the Legislative Assembly Service. Kathy Burianyk was promoted from Principal Clerk to Deputy Clerk, while Rob Park was promoted from Clerk Assistant to Principal Clerk. Meanwhile, Lyall Frederiksen was appointed Sergeant-at-Arms following the resignation of Sean Darling. John Ford succeeded Mr. Frederiksen as Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms.

Spring sitting of the third session of the twenty-ninth legislature

The spring sitting of the third session of the twenty-ninth legislature began on March 6, 2023. The Assembly will sit for 40 days before adjourning on the Thursday before Victoria Day, in accordance with the parliamentary calendar.

At the time of writing, the Assembly had passed 13 bills in the spring sitting. Among these was Bill No. 88, The Saskatchewan First Act, which, after five hours of consideration in committee, received third reading on March 16, 2023, on a recorded division of 40-11.

Member resignations

Two Members of the Legislative Assembly resigned their seats in the Assembly this year. Mark Docherty, MLA for Regina Coronation Park, resigned his seat during the intersessional period on February 10, 2023. Lyle Stewart, MLA for Lumsden-Morse, announced his resignation, effective March 10, 2023, on the first day of the spring sitting, citing health concerns. Both Members were part of the government caucus, representing the Saskatchewan Party.

Passing of a member

Derek Meyers, MLA for Regina Walsh Acres, passed away after an illness on March 28, 2023, at the age of 45. He had been serving in the Legislative Assembly as a member of the government (Saskatchewan Party) caucus since his election in 2020.

On March 28, 2023, Deputy Premier Donna Harpauer rose after prayers and informed the Assembly of Mr. Meyers’ passing. Members agreed to forego routine proceedings and orders of the day, and the Assembly adjourned immediately. Mr. Meyers’ desk was draped with the Saskatchewan flag, and a memorial tribute consisting of flowers and a photo was placed on the desktop. A memorial display and book of condolences were also set up in the rotunda, and flags at the Legislative Building were lowered to half-mast.

The following day, by unanimous consent of the Assembly, the Assembly’s regular orders of business were again suspended so that condolences could be offered for the late Member. Premier Scott Moe, Opposition Leader Carla Beck, and 28 other Members from both sides of the aisle offered statements of condolence. A transmittal motion was subsequently passed for transcripts of the tributes to be transmitted to the late Member’s family by the Speaker.

Upcoming by-elections

The composition of the Legislative Assembly is now 45 Saskatchewan Party members, 12 New Democratic Party members, one independent (Saskatchewan United Party) member, and three vacancies. Saskatchewan legislation stipulates that a by-election must be held within six months of a seat in the Assembly being vacated. By-election dates for the three vacant seats have not yet been announced.


The Finance Minister, Ms. Harpauer presented the province’s 2023-24 budget on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. The budget, titled Growth that Works for Everyone, contained no new taxes or tax increases and projected a $1 billion surplus. “Saskatchewan is growing at its fastest pace in more than a century,” said Minister Harpauer. “This budget is designed to ensure that growth continues and that it’s growth that works for everyone.” Highlights included investment into priority programs and services in health care, education, social services, and the protection of people and property.

The opposition called the budget out of touch and criticized the government for not doing more to address current pressures facing Saskatchewan residents. On March 23, 2023, Finance critic Trent Wotherspoon moved an amendment in opposition to the budgetary policy of the government “because it fails to provide cost-of-living relief for families, fails to make needed investments in health care and education; and further, that the Assembly has lost confidence in the government.”

The Rules and Procedures of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan allow the Assembly to spend up to five days debating the budget motion and any proposed amendments. However, due to the death of a sitting Member on March 28, 2023 and the Assembly’s subsequent alteration of business, the budget and the amendment were instead voted off on March 30, 2023 after three days of consideration. The amendment was defeated and the budget motion was passed, both on recorded division. The estimates were automatically committed to their respective committees for consideration.

Notable Speaker’s ruling

On March 7, 2023, Opposition House Leader Nicole Sarauer raised a point of order alleging that Government House Leader Jeremy Harrison had used numerous unparliamentary phrases during question period including “fake news,” “misinformation,” “misrepresenting,” and “alternative facts.” Speaker Randy Weekes took the matter under review and ruled the following day that words that impute intentional falsehoods are inflammatory, provocative, and thus unparliamentary. The Government House Leader was accordingly asked to withdraw his remarks and apologize, which he did.

Later that day, the Opposition House Leader raised another point of order alleging that the Minister of Finance had used the term “alternative facts” during question period, which she stated was a term the Speaker had deemed out of order in his ruling earlier that day. In response, the Government House Leader argued that the Speaker had not referred specifically to that term in his ruling. The Speaker again committed to reviewing the matter.

On March 9, 2023, the Speaker delivered his ruling, stating that certain words have been used in political speech and are widely recognized as labels that insinuate misrepresentation of the truth. He reiterated that accusing other members of being purposely untruthful is unparliamentary. While the Speaker did not ask anyone to apologize, he cautioned all members to be respectful and specified that terms such as “alternative facts,” “misinformation,” and any other term calling into question the integrity of a member would be ruled unparliamentary going forward. The ruling received broad attention from the media in the days that followed.

Board of Internal Economy directive changes

On March 21, 2023, Speaker Weekes, Chair of the Board of Internal Economy (BOIE), announced that the Board had approved changes to Members’ annual indemnity. Members had been due to receive a 6.6 per cent pay increase on April 1, 2023 under the existing formula-based system, which was tied to the consumer price index. However, the changes made to directives #17.2, #19, and #21 limit the formula by imposing a 0 per cent minimum and a 3 per cent maximum.

Presiding Officers Conference held in Saskatchewan

Speaker Weekes, with the assistance of the Legislative Assembly Service, hosted the 39th Canadian Presiding Officers Conference in Regina from February 2 to 5, 2023. Speakers and Clerks attended from across the country, and business sessions were held on a variety of topics, such as e-parliaments, refusals to take the oath of allegiance, security, diversity in parliamentary institutions, and the Speakership.

Miranda Gudereit

Procedural Assistant

British Columbia

This account covers the period from December 14, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

New Session

The Third Session of the 42nd Parliament was prorogued on the morning of February 6, 2023. The Fourth Session began that afternoon with the delivery of the Speech from the Throne by the Lieutenant Governor, Janet Austin. The Speech from the Throne outlined the government’s agenda to tackle the challenges of rising costs, affordable housing, healthcare, and climate change.

Following the Speech from the Throne, the Legislative Assembly adopted a Sessional Order enabling the continuation of hybrid virtual and in-person proceedings of the House, similar to those adopted since June 2020.

BC NDP Members Spencer Chandra Herbert and Ronna-Rae Leonard were reappointed as Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chair of the Committee of the Whole, respectively. BC Liberal Party Member Jackie Tegart was reappointed Assistant Deputy Speaker.

On February 9, 2023, the Legislative Assembly amended Standing Order 25, so that Private Members’ motions are considered before Private Members’ bills. Standing Order 25 outlines the daily routine business of the House and allocates Monday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to be Private Members’ Time. The procedural change aligns the Standing Orders with the practice of the House for the last two decades.

As in previous years, on February 28, 2023, the Legislative Assembly adopted a Sessional Order authorizing proceedings of the House to be undertaken in three concurrent sections.

Budget 2023-24 Presentation

The Minister of Finance, Katrine Conroy, presented the 2023-24 provincial budget on February 28, 2023. The budget focused on initiatives to improve healthcare and mental health care, increase the supply of affordable housing, provide workers with skills to secure employment, and create an environmentally sustainable economy. The Official Opposition Critic for Finance, Peter Milobar, expressed concern about projected budget deficits over the next three years, the shortage of affordable housing, and the need to support investment and job creation. The Leader of the Third Party, Sonia Furstenau, called for more funding to address climate change and criticized the use of Gross Domestic Product to measure the budget’s success.


The budget presentation was accompanied by the tabling of Supplementary Estimates for the 2022-23 fiscal year and Main Estimates for the 2023-24 fiscal year. The Supplementary Estimates of nine government ministries totaling $2.7 billion were considered in Committee of Supply for over 33 hours and Bill 9, Supply Act, 2022–2023 (Supplementary Estimates) was introduced and adopted on March 8, 2023. Consideration of the Main Estimates began on March 9, 2023.

Party Standings

On February 9, 2023 and February 22, 2023, former Premier John Horgan and Minister without Portfolio Melanie Mark addressed the Legislative Assembly to deliver farewell remarks. Their intention to resign from their positions as the Member for Langford-Juan de Fuca and the Member for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, respectively, had been known outside the Chamber. As noted in previous publications, Mr. Horgan resigned as Leader of the BC NDP on October 21, 2022 and was succeeded as Premier by David Eby on November 18, 2022. Mr. Horgan reflected fondly on his decades working in politics and celebrated the collaborative work that was accomplished in the House during the pandemic and extreme weather events in recent years. Ms. Mark was first elected in 2016 and was the first First Nations woman to serve as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. In 2017, she became the first First Nations woman to hold a Cabinet position. Ms. Mark cited the difficulties of serving as a woman and, particularly, an Indigenous woman in the Legislative Assembly as a contributing factor to her resignation. Mr. Horgan formally resigned on March 31, 2023; the provincial Constitution Act requires by-elections to be held within six months of the resignation of a Member. It is anticipated that Ms. Mark will resign in the near future.

On February 16, 2023, Independent Member, John Rustad, joined the Conservative Party of BC, the only Member representing the party, and subsequently announced his intention to seek the party’s leadership. Mr. Rustad was acclaimed Leader of the Conservative Party of BC on March 31, 2023. The provincial Constitution Act provides that a political party must be comprised of two or more Members to be a recognized political party in the Legislative Assembly.

Party standings are 56 BC NDP, 27 BC Liberal Party, two BC Green Party, one Independent, and one vacant.

Committee Business

On February 21, 2023, the Legislative Assembly adopted the terms of reference for the Select Standing Committee of Finance and Government Services. There is a new addition to the sessional terms of reference as it now empowers the Committee to consider and make decisions, on behalf of the Legislative Assembly, regarding the terms and conditions of employment of any statutory officer by request of a statutory officer during their term of appointment. The Committee is one of 10 select standing committees and is responsible for general legislative oversight of BC’s nine statutory officers, including considering and making recommendations on annual reports, service plans, and budget submissions.

Speaker’s Ruling

On February 22, 2023, Todd Stone, Official Opposition House Leader, sought leave pursuant to Standing Order 35 to move adjournment of the House to discuss the healthcare crisis in British Columbia as a matter of urgent public importance. Raj Chouhan, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, noted that the Standing Order requires that a matter of urgent public importance must involve new or unexpected events requiring the House to suspend all other business for an emergency debate. He ruled that the general issue of the province’s healthcare challenges did not meet this threshold, and indicated that there were ongoing opportunities for the House to discuss the provincial healthcare situation.


On March 9, 2023, the Legislative Assembly adopted Bill 2, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Act. The Bill establishes the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday in the province to be observed every September 30, starting this year, in alignment with the federal statutory holiday. In 2021 and 2022, as an interim measure, the provincial government advised all public employers to observe September 30 as a day of remembrance and reflection. The Legislative Assembly Management Committee (LAMC) aligned with this approach and recognized September 30 as a workplace day of commemoration for all employee groups within the Legislative Assembly, treated as a statutory holiday for administrative purposes.

Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement Amending Agreement (No. 2)

On March 27, 2023, the Legislative Assembly considered the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement Amending Agreement (No. 2) in a Committee of the Whole and subsequently consented to the Agreement by way of a resolution of the House. The Agreement reinstates a federal and provincial tax exemption for Tsawwassen First Nation members on reserve lands, and was reached through collaboration with the federal government, provincial government, and the Tsawwassen First Nation. Valerie Cross (Chemkwaat), Executive Councillor of the Tsawwassen First Nation and Squiqel (Speaker) of the Tsawwassen Legislature, made an address from the floor of the House regarding the importance of the Agreement.

Legislative Assembly Management Committee (LAMC)

As noted in the last Legislative Report, LAMC began consideration of the 2023-24 Legislative Assembly budget submission at its December 13, 2022 meeting. At its January 13, 2023 meeting, LAMC concluded its consideration and approved the budget submission. The budget was prepared in consultation with Members and caucuses and aligns funding with the Legislative Assembly Administration Strategic Plan, in addition to the organizational risk profile, strategic priority investment areas and the need to sustain core operations. The budget provides funding for a new Client Services department to serve as a single point-of-contact for Members and their staff to receive services and support provided by Administration departments.

The budget also makes significant investments to:

  • improve Members’ safety and security, including safeguards at constituency offices;
  • modernize digital and information technology infrastructure; and
  • support a healthy workplace culture through reconciliation and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility initiatives.

The 2023-24 budget also includes several inflation-based increases, including cost of living increases for staff. The Constituency Office Allowance and the Capital City Living Allowance for Members living outside the Capital Region District were also adjusted in line with the BC Consumer Price Index.

Jesse Gordon

Committee Researcher


5th Session of the 42nd Legislature – Spring Sitting

The Fifth Session of the 42nd Legislature resumed on March 1, 2023 commencing the last sitting period before the scheduled October 3, 2023 general election.

The Government introduced a number of bills this session addressing different areas of governance. A total of 31 of these bills were introduced in time to meet the criteria for Specified bill status and are therefore guaranteed to have all questions put before June 1 (subject to the right of the Opposition designating five of those bills to be delayed until the fall). The legislative agenda includes:

Bill 9 – The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Amendment and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Amendment Act, which wouls allow an existing retail beer vendor or specialty wine store operator that wants to expand the products they sell may enter into an agreement with the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation and obtain a licence that authorizes the sale of other types of liquor from their current premises;

Bill 16 – The Domestic Violence and Stalking Amendment Act amends The Domestic Violence and Stalking Act, which would clarify that a protection order may include provisions that enable the parties to the order to attend a family arbitration, family dispute resolution activities and supervised child visitations and transfers;

Bill 17 – The Regulated Health Professions Amendment Act (2) amends The Regulated Health Professions Act, which would extend a Minister’s powers relating to inquiries, directives and orders to the regulatory colleges and associations of health professions that are not yet governed under the Act;

Bill 18 – The Legislative Security Amendment Act, which would amend The Legislative Security Act to add a portion of Memorial Park to the legislative precinct;

Bill 20 – The Conflict of Interest (Members and Ministers) Amendment Act, which would amend The Conflict of Interest (Members and Ministers) Act as follows:

Reports concerning gifts, benefits and private air travel are made public;

Securities or stocks that a Minister entrusts to another person are excluded from the Minister’s disclosure statement; and,

Records that become public under the Act are not subject to destruction.

Bill 23 – The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Amendment Act, which would require the executive director to inform an adult living with an intellectual disability and their substitute decision maker or committee about any reports made about the possible abuse or neglect of the adult. The executive director must attempt to determine and accommodate the adult’s wishes respecting the conduct of the investigation.

The Bill provides that the amended Act must be reviewed for effectiveness within five years and every 10 years and the Act also made numerous changes to various definitions including:

  • “vulnerable person” is replaced with “adult living with an intellectual disability”;
  • “mental disability” is replaced with “intellectual disability”;
  • “abuse” identifies conduct that constitutes physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or property abuse. Such conduct is not required to cause serious physical or psychological harm to be considered abuse; and,
  • “neglect” now includes acts or omissions that cause physical or psychological harm even if the harm is not serious.

Bill 27 – The Intimate Image Protection Amendment Act amends The Intimate Image Protection Act, which would shift the burden of proof in an action for the non-consensual distribution of an intimate image. The distribution of an intimate image of a person would be presumed to have occurred without their consent. A person who distributed the intimate image would need to establish that they had reasonable grounds to believe that they had consent from the person in the image to distribute that image;

Bill 32 – An Act respecting Child and Family Services (Indigenous Jurisdiction and Related Amendments), which would make numerous amendments to affirm the right of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to exercise jurisdiction in relation to child and family services and sets out a framework for coordinated service provision Some of the changes would allow for The Advocate for Children and Youth to collaborate on reviews and investigations with persons and entities who perform similar functions under Indigenous laws. Except in specific circumstances, the Advocate is not authorized to review or investigate services provided to a child or young adult under The Child and Family Services Act if an applicable Indigenous law is in effect.

At the date of this submission, the Official Opposition indicated that Bill 33 – The Addiction Services Act, would be designated as one of the five Bills it is entitled to delay under Manitoba’s Rules until the Fall sitting. Given that Manitoba has a general election scheduled for October 3, 2023, the House will not have a Fall sitting this year so this designation effectively ensures that the Bill will not pass in this Legislature. Bill 33 would establish that a licence is required to provide addiction services that involve overnight accommodation, supervised consumption services and withdrawal management services to people with substance use addictions. The Bill met with vocal opposition from some community organizations and the Official Opposition NDP announced the Bill’s designation in early April.

Budget Debate

On March 7, 2023, Finance Minister Cliff Cullen delivered his first budget, which included the following highlights:

  • an unprecedented $1.8 billion in affordability and tax measures while bolstering vital programs and services Manitobans most rely on with a record-setting investment of $2 billion;
  • the largest personal income tax reduction in Manitoba history. Changes to the Provincial Basic Personal Amount will ensure that Manitobans do not pay a cent of income tax on the first $15,000 they earn in 2023. This measure alone will save the average two-income family over $1,000 and will remove 47,400 low-income Manitobans from the tax rolls. Changes to tax bracket thresholds in 2024 will provide even greater savings for Manitobans. These changes include increasing the Education Property Tax Rebate to 37.5 per cent in 2022 and 50 per cent in 2023, thereby saving the average homeowner $1,355 over two years;
  • the largest-ever investment in healthcare of $7.9 billion (an increase of $668 million) to help shorten wait times and rebuild the front lines. It also initiates a $1.2-billion multi-year capital campaign that will add capacity to nine facilities;
  • the largest increase in Manitoba schools funding in a quarter century bringing funding for kindergarten to Grade 12 schools to $1.7 billion ($100 million more than last year);
  • an historic investment of $217 million in total municipal operating funding ($47 million more than last year and the largest increase in a decade)
  • an investment of $65 million more into post-secondary institutions and a 2.75 per cent cap on university tuition increases;
  • doubling the funds dedicated to venture capital to $100 million and eliminating payroll taxes for an additional 150 employers. The payroll tax rate will be reduced for the first time in 25 years in 2024;
  • an investment of a further $40 million to develop infrastructure to allow CentrePort South to expand and $147.6 million over two years to improve the Hudson Bay rail line to the Port of Churchill; and
  • an investment of more than $2.5 billion in trade-enabling highway infrastructure over the next five years and making investments to spur economic development opportunities and generate well-paying jobs.

The Leader of the Official Opposition and NDP leader Wab Kinew moved a motion expressing non-confidence in the Government on March 8, 2023. The motion stated that the budget was not in the best interests of the people of the province and that it neglected the priorities of Manitobans by:

  • breaking Manitobans’ trust for seven years through supporting Brian Pallister and making deep cuts to healthcare, including closing emergency rooms, cutting cancer care, and firing nurses;
  • cutting education, including teachers and education assistants, supporting and seconding Bill 64 and ignoring local community voices;raising the cost of living by raising rent and hydro bills by hundreds of dollars at the cabinet table, sending money to billionaires, and failing Manitobans by not being responsible and not balancing the budget despite record revenues, increased federal transfers and funds from Manitoba Hydro; and
  • failing to reverse cuts to roads and highways in rural and northern Manitoba and failing to apologize for years of underspending and annual cuts including failing to address homelessness in local communities.

On the same day, Independent MLA Dougald Lamont (Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party), moved a sub-amendment, stating that the budget failed Manitoba in many areas, including by:

  • failing to recognize that a budget full of big promises will not make up for seven years of cuts and freezes to all areas of government and not standing up for people in need;
  • failing to mention Indigenous Reconciliation even just once, which depicts an utter lack of inclusivity in a budget document touted as ‘Historic Help for Manitobans’;
  • failing to sufficiently reverse course from the disastrous NDP health policy of hallway medicine to avoid preventable deaths in Manitoba Emergency Rooms;
  • failing to ensure that provincial revenues (as a result of increased rebates from the education property tax) are fully replaced with additional yearly increments which are sufficient to ensure Manitoba’s education system continues to be well funded; and
  • failing to increase the number of long-term care beds in Manitoba or to sufficiently support home care and palliative care services to keep people at home, which has contributed to the disastrous bottleneck of patients in hospital hallways.

Sessional Order enabling virtual sittings

The Legislature is still operating under the Sessional Order allowing for virtual participation among other things. Originally passed on October 7, 2020 and discussed in previous issues, the Sessional Order has been extended to the end of this current Legislature.

Interim Supply and Budget Implementation

On March 22, the Committee of Supply considered and passed supply resolutions dealing with temporary funding for operating and capital expenditures until the 2023/24 fiscal year budget, budget processes and the main supply bills are completed later this session. The House also dealt with passing all stages of Interim Supply legislation resulting in Bill 37 – The Interim Appropriation Act, 2023 receiving Royal Assent on March 22, 2023.

On April 3, Bill 14 – The Budget Implementation and Tax Statutes Amendment Act, 2023 also received Royal Assent. This Bill implements various tax and other measures announced in the 2023 Manitoba Budget. Additional amendments implement and support the summary budget and make various amendments to tax legislation.

Standing Committees

In the wake of the cabinet shuffle reported in the last submission, a new Government and a new Opposition Member have been appointed to the Public Accounts Committee. Jim Maloway of the Opposition NDP retains his position as Chair and Shannon Martin from the PC Government caucus has been designated as the new Vice-Chair.

Broadcasting Enhancement

The Digital Media Branch has created an enhancement to all Assembly broadcasts by enabling name keys for each Member as they are speaking in debate. Whenever a Member rises to speak in debate, the Member’s name, constituency or portfolio, and their party (with an appropriate colour code) will appear at the bottom of the screen, greatly enhancing the viewer experience.

Greg Recksiedler

Clerk Assistant/Research Officer


2023 Spring Sitting

The 2023 Spring Sitting of the First Session of the 35th Yukon Legislative Assembly began on March 2 and concluded on April 27, the 32nd sitting day.


During the 2023 Spring Sitting, the following government bills were introduced:

  • Bill No. 22, Act to amend the Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues Act (2023) – Jeanie McLean
  • Bill No. 23, References to the Sovereign Statute Law Amendment Act (2023)Tracy-Anne McPhee
  • Bill No. 24, Act to amend the Coroners Act and the Public Service Act (2023)Sandy Silver
  • Bill No. 25, Act to amend the National Aboriginal Day Act (2023)Richard Mostyn
  • Bill No. 26, Act to amend the Municipal Act (2023) – Mostyn
  • Bill No. 27, Community Services Statute Law Amendment Act (2023) – Mostyn
  • Bill No. 207, Third Appropriation Act 2022-23 – Silver
  • Bill No. 208, First Appropriation Act 2023-24 – Silver
  • Bill No. 209, Interim Supply Appropriation Act 2023-24 – Silver

As of the time of writing (the midway point of the Sitting), two of the government bills – the interim supply bill, and the second supplementary budget bill – passed the House and received assent. On March 13, Bill No. 209 was assented to by Yukon Administrator Adeline Webber, and on March 23, Bill No. 207 was assented to by Yukon Commissioner Angélique Bernard.

As of the time of writing, no new private members’ bills have been introduced.

New Liberal-NDP Confidence and Supply Agreement

Following Yukon’s April 12, 2021 general election, a confidence and supply agreement (“CASA”) was reached between the Yukon Liberal Party caucus and the NDP caucus. The CASA enabled the incumbent Liberal government (led by then-Premier Silver) to continue to hold power in a reconfigured House. That version of the CASA, which was signed on April 28, 2021, expired on January 31, 2023.

As noted in Yukon’s preceding legislative report, Yukon has a new Premier – Ranj Pillai, the Member for Porter Creek South. On January 13, 2023, Premier Pillai was sworn in as Yukon’s tenth Premier, along with a new Cabinet. The incoming Executive Council includes former Premier Silver, who had resigned as Premier mid-term but who remains the Member for Klondike.

The renewed CASA, which took effect on the date that the previous CASA expired, was signed by Mr. Pillai as Liberal Leader and by Kate White as NDP Leader. It includes additional commitments and “will remain in effect through the passage of the Mains of the 2025-26 budget, until an election is called.”

Public Accounts Committee hearing

On January 31, 2023, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (PAC), chaired by Currie Dixon, the Leader of the Official Opposition, held a public hearing in the legislative Chamber on a performance audit of the Auditor General of Canada on Yukon housing.

As noted in a PAC news release issued on January 10, 2023, the Auditor General’s report, which was released on May 25, 2022, contains recommendations “for improving how the Government of Yukon responds to vulnerable Yukoners’ housing needs.” Officials from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG), the Yukon Housing Corporation, and the Department of Health and Social Services appeared as witnesses at the hearing.

During his opening statement, OAG Principal
Glenn Wheeler stated that the OAG’s findings were that “little progress had been made by either the Yukon Housing Corporation or the Department of Health and Social Services to fix long-standing issues affecting housing programs and services,” that “adequate and affordable housing” hadn’t been provided for those who most needed it, and that the corporation and the department “did not work together or with their housing partners to effectively manage housing for those who needed it most.”

Announcement re: non-binary MLA

On March 29, 2023, the MLA for Whitehorse Centre, who serves as Third Party House Leader and Deputy Chair of Committee of the Whole, rose on a point of personal privilege to inform the House that their name is now Lane Tredger (their first name having changed from “Emily”) and that their pronouns are “they” and “them.”

Linda Kolody

Deputy Clerk

New Brunswick

This report covers the period from January 1 to March 31, 2023.


The Second Session of the 60th Legislature adjourned on December 16, 2022 and resumed on March 21, 2023 when Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves tabled the 2023-2024 budget. This is the fifth budget delivered by the Progressive Conservative government led by Premier Blaine Higgs.

The 2023-2024 budget projects a surplus of $40.3 million after total spending of $12.2 billion. The Department of Finance and Treasury Board forecasts real GDP growth to slow to 0.8 per cent in 2023 after two years of faster growth. The net debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to decrease to 24.9 per cent, which is the lowest among provinces east of Saskatchewan.

In his budget speech, Steeves outlined investments in priority areas including health, education, and supporting vulnerable populations, while also maintaining a sustainable and responsible approach to managing the Province’s finances.

Highlights of the budget include an overall increase of 5.2 per cent in spending, an estimated $200 million of which deals with the inflationary increase in the cost to deliver public services; an additional $2.8 million for repairs to social housing and rental assistance for low-income households; $32.6 million for more frontline police officers and specialized crime units; $44.9 million to increase wages for personal support workers in home support and special care homes; a 10.6 per cent increase in healthcare spending, including $39.2 million to improve access to primary healthcare; and $37 million to improve access to affordable child-care.

On March 23, Finance critic René Legacy delivered the Official Opposition’s reply to the budget. He criticized the budget for continuing a pattern of underestimating revenues, resulting in large, unplanned surpluses. He urged the government to spend more on access to primary healthcare and recruitment of healthcare providers. He also called for increased expenditure on public housing and assisting New Brunswickers with the rising cost of living. In the education sector, he called for additional funds for recruitment and retention of teachers. He criticized the budget’s failure to do more to combat climate change.

After approving the budget, the House adjourned on March 31 and is scheduled to resume sitting on May 9.


As of March 31, nine bills had been introduced during the Spring sitting, one of which received Royal Assent. Certain bills of note included:

Bill 30, An Act to Amend the Coroners Act, introduced by Public Safety Minister Kris Austin, proposes additional mandatory reporting to the Chief Coroner of deaths due to use of force by a peace officer or while a person is detained by a peace officer, and of deaths in certain institutions including psychiatric facilities. The bill would require an inquest to be held when deaths occur in such circumstances, subject to exceptions including deaths due to natural causes that were not preventable and where the public interest would not be served by holding an inquest.

Bill 34, An Act Respecting Highway Safety, also introduced by Austin, proposes to increase penalties for extreme speeding by creating two new categories: driving 50 to 80 km/h over the speed limit, which would be punishable by having one’s vehicle impounded for seven days in addition to the existing fine and licence demerit points; and driving more than 80 km/h over the speed limit, which would result in a 30-day vehicle impoundment, a $1,000 fine and six demerit points. The bill also proposes to require drivers whose licence has been expired longer than five years to re-take the written and road tests.

Bill 37, An Act Respecting the Official Languages Act, introduced by Premier Higgs, proposes to establish a Secretariat of Official Languages within the executive branch to carry out several functions, including preparing and reporting on the Province’s official languages implementation plan, continuously evaluating and recommending amendments to the Official Languages Act, providing advice and support on compliance with official languages legislation and policies, and public outreach.


On March 22, Minister responsible for Immigration Arlene Dunn, seconded by Green Party Leader David Coon, moved that the Legislative Assembly declare 2015 to 2024 the International Decade for People of African Descent in New Brunswick. This resolution followed a similar resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013. With representatives of several organizations, including the New Brunswick African Association and Black Lives Matter New Brunswick observing from the gallery, the House adopted the resolution.

On March 30, the House adopted a resolution introduced by Official Opposition Energy Critic Keith Chiasson, as amended on motion of Finance and Treasury Board Minister Steeves, urging the government to study the possibility of removing the provincial portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax from residential electricity bills.

Megan Mitton gave notice of motion on March 22 that the House declare a climate emergency.

Committee Activity

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts, chaired by Chuck Chiasson, held seven meetings in January to review the annual reports of various government departments, Crown corporations, and other entities.

In February, the Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship, chaired by Ryan Cullins, held hearings regarding small modular nuclear reactors, during which various organizations and individuals presented, including representatives of the nuclear industry, and environmental and Indigenous groups. The Committee also received presentations about freshwater health. For the first time, Ministers of several departments with responsibilities under New Brunswick’s Climate Change Action Plan attended to answer questions from Committee members.

The Standing Committee on Law Amendments, chaired by Minister of Justice and Attorney General Hugh J.A. Flemming, met in February to consider the subject matter of Bill 24, An Act to Amend the Business Corporations Act and Bill 27, An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act. In March, the Committee reported to the House that it supports the intent of Bill 24 (modernization of the Business Corporations Act) but recommended that it not be passed until the government considers certain amendments. The Committee recommended that Bill 27 (which would provide employees with 10 paid sick days each year) not be passed in its current form and that the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour study the issue and report back to the House.

The Select Committee on Public Universities, chaired by Sherry Wilson, met over two days in February and March, and heard from representatives of New Brunswick’s publicly funded universities, as well as the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission and the Federation of New Brunswick Faculty Associations.

On March 22, the Standing Committee on Procedure, Privileges and Legislative Officers, chaired by Ross Wetmore, met to review the annual report of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

Final Report of the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission

The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission filed its final report on March 13. This followed public hearings to receive comments on the Commission’s preliminary report. The final report contains the Commission’s recommendations on readjustment of New Brunswick’s 49 provincial electoral districts.

Exceptionally, the Commission recommended that its enabling legislation be amended to address the inclusion of part of the majority francophone community of Cap-Acadie within the majority anglophone electoral district of Tantramar. The Commission reported that it was forced to draw the boundary in that manner to comply with the legislated maximum deviation in any district of 25 per cent from the electoral quotient (the total of all electors in the Province divided by 49).

On March 28, Government House Leader Glen Savoie introduced Bill 36, An Act Respecting the Proposed Electoral District of Tantramar, to allow the Commission to adjust the boundaries of the Tantramar electoral district even if this results in a number of electors in that district that deviates by more than 25 per cent from the electoral quotient. With unanimous consent, the bill advanced through all stages and passed in one sitting, and it received Royal Assent on March 30.

After the Commission filed its final report, there was a further period of 14 days during which objections could be submitted, following which the Commission had 30 days to amend its recommendations. The readjusted electoral district boundaries will then be included in a regulation to come into force before the next general election.

By-elections called

On March 23, writs were issued for by-elections to fill the vacancies in the electoral districts of Bathurst East-Nepisiguit-Saint-Isidore, Dieppe, and Restigouche-Chaleur. All three constituencies were represented by Members of the Official Opposition Liberals who resigned in the fall of 2022. Polling day was set for April 24.


The standings in the House are 29 Progressive Conservatives, 13 Liberals, three Greens, one Independent Member, and three vacancies.

Patrick Dunn

Law Clerk and Committee Clerk


Proceedings of the National Assembly


On March 7, 2023, Marie-Louise Tardif, Member for Laviolette–Saint-Maurice, left the caucus of the Coalition avenir Québec to sit as an independent Member. She later reintegrated the caucus on March 28, 2023.

A by-election was held on March 13, 2023, in the Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne riding. Following the ballot count, the Québec solidaire candidate, Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, was declared elected.

In consequence, the National Assembly is now composed of 125 MNAs: 90 from the Coalition avenir Québec, 19 from the Quebec Liberal Party, 12 from Québec solidaire, three from the Parti québécois and one independent.

Budget Speech

On March 21, 2023, Éric Girard, Minister of Finance, delivered the budget speech. The estimates of expenditure for 2023–2024 were also tabled. The interim supply and Bill 18, Appropriation Act No. 1, 2023–2024, were passed during the next sitting day. The Assembly then began the 25-hour debate on the budget speech on March 23, 2023.

Ruling from the Chair

On March 16, 2023, Nathalie Roy, President of the National Assembly, ruled on the admissibility of the point of privilege or contempt raised by the Official Opposition House Leader on February 23, 2023, concerning the Minister of Families’ statements with regard to the number of children waiting for a childcare space.


Our parliamentary law recognizes that the deliberate misleading of the Assembly or its committees may constitute contempt of Parliament.

There are two situations where a prima facie case of contempt may be made and where the presumption established by the sixth paragraph of Standing Order 35 that parliamentarians must be taken at their word may be rebutted.

To demonstrate that a Member has misled the Assembly or one of its committees when speaking, jurisprudence holds that it must be proven that the Member has subsequently acknowledged having done so deliberately.

In the absence of proof of such an acknowledgment, it must be established that the Member has given two contradictory versions of the same facts in parliamentary proceedings.

In all cases, the intentional nature of the act must be proven in order to conclude that a Member knowingly misled the House. In other words, for an allegation of misleading the Assembly to give rise to a point of privilege, there must be a clear demonstration of the intent to mislead or hinder parliamentary proceedings.

In this case, during the February 2023 question periods cited by the Official Opposition House Leader, the Minister of Families stated several times that 33,000 children were on the waiting list for childcare spaces. However, according to an article published by Radio-Canada, a different method of calculation would add some 39,000 spaces to that list, for a total of over 72,000 spaces. The issue here is the difference between the results of the two methods of calculation.

If we return to the first criterion established by parliamentary jurisprudence to demonstrate that a Member has misled the House, there is clearly no proof that the Minister of Families acknowledged misleading the Assembly with regard to the number of childcare spaces. Indeed, at no time was it even suggested that the Minister had made such an admission.

As for the second criterion, there is no evidence that the Minister gave two contradictory versions in this regard during parliamentary proceedings. In fact, all agree that the Minister repeatedly stated the same fact, namely that the waiting list had 33,000 spaces. In regards to the concept of contradictory statements, the documents tabled by the Official Opposition House Leader during his remarks refer to extra-parliamentary statements and thus cannot be evidence of contradictory statements made during parliamentary proceedings. In any event, although these documents include more information, they are intended to provide details on the Minister’s method of calculation and it would be difficult to conclude that they contradict her statements.

Consequently, it has not been established that the Minister of Families knowingly attempted to mislead the House. Instead, it has been demonstrated that there is a discrepancy between the number stated by the Minister regarding childcare spaces on the waiting list and the number reported by Radio-Canada, a discrepancy explained by the method of calculation used. Thus, we have different interpretations by different people regarding the number of spaces. Jurisprudence is clear in this regard: differing interpretations of the same situation by different people cannot give rise to contempt of Parliament.

As the opposition leaders have mentioned, it is certainly important for the Members of this House, particularly ministers, to answer questions as accurately as possible. Citizens and parliamentarians should expect to receive the clearest information possible from the Government in parliamentary proceedings. However, the Chair cannot become the arbiter in interpreting the methods used to compile government data. The Chair’s role is not to determine which method should be used.

In this regard, the point of privilege is intended only for serious breaches and violations of the rights of the Assembly and of its Members.

However, in the course of parliamentary proceedings, the Members of the Assembly may ask the Minister of Families to explain her calculation of the number of childcare spaces on the waiting list, the method she used and the reasons why her result is different from the one reported by the media. This is an important part of the work done in the Assembly and in committee where ministers are accountable, to the opposition Members who perform the important role of overseeing the Government’s activities, for the management of their department and their results. Thus, if the numbers presented by the Minister are different from those reported by the media, this may be the subject of various means of parliamentary control, including exchanges during question period, but this does not meet the criteria of parliamentary jurisprudence for raising a point of privilege or contempt on the basis that the Minister deliberately misled the House. Points of privilege cannot be used as a means of parliamentary control.

For all these reasons, the point of privilege or contempt raised by the Official Opposition House Leader is declared out of order.

Legislative agenda

Between January 31, 2023, and March 31, 2023, a total of 20 bills, including 12 private Members’ bills were introduced in the National Assembly. During the same period, five government bills were passed:

  • Bill 2, An Act mainly to cap the indexation rate for Hydro-Québec domestic distribution rate prices and to further regulate the obligation to distribute electricity;
  • Bill 3, An Act respecting health and social services information and amending various legislative provisions;
  • Bill 6, An Act to give effect to fiscal measures announced in the Budget Speech delivered on 22 March 2022 and to certain other measures;
  • Bill 8, An Act to improve justice efficiency and accessibility, in particular by promoting mediation and arbitration and by simplifying civil procedure in the Court of Québec; and
  • Bill 18, Appropriation Act No. 1, 2023–2024.

Other events

29th Legislature of the Student Forum

After a two-year interruption, the National Assembly hosted the 29th Legislature of the Student Forum in the Parliament Building from January 9 to 13, 2023. Chaired by Chantal Soucy, First Vice-President of the National Assembly, the Forum was composed of 120 college students who, for a few days, played the role of parliamentarians or journalists.

75th anniversary of the Fleurdelisé

On January 21, 2023, the National Assembly held major festivities for the 75th anniversary of the flag of Québec. For the flag ceremony, Ms. Roy, President of the National Assembly, welcomed dignitaries, colleagues from the different parliamentary groups and the general public. At 3:00 p.m., the flag flying atop the Parliament Building’s central tower was taken down. It will be kept in the National Assembly’s archives as a souvenir of the event. A fresh fleurdelisé was then raised, symbolizing the common values and ideas that have united the population for 75 years.

Committee Proceedings

Here are some of the highlights of committee proceedings held between January and March 2023.

First working sessions

During February 2023, each of the sectorial committees and the Committee on Public Administration met for an initial working session to let members introduce themselves, establish their respective steering committees and receive training on parliamentary committee proceedings.


The consideration of public bills took up most of the parliamentary committees’ time during the months of January to March 2023. A dozen bills crossed the parliamentary committees’ worktables during this period, either for consultations or for clause-by-clause consideration.

The Committee on Public Finance held special consultations on two bills, including four public hearings on Bill 3, An Act respecting health and social services information and amending various legislative provisions, which provided an opportunity to hear some 30 individuals and organizations. The Committee then completed clause-by-clause consideration of the 267 sections comprising that bill over the course of a total of 25 hours.

The Committee on Institutions also held special consultations on two bills. Two hearings provided an opportunity to hear a dozen witnesses on Bill 8, An Act to improve justice efficiency and accessibility, in particular by promoting mediation and arbitration and by simplifying civil procedure in the Court of Québec. A little less than eight hours were then required to complete the clause-by-clause consideration of the 41 sections comprising that bill.

The Committee on Citizen Relations held special consultations and public hearings on Bill 11, An Act to amend the Act respecting end-of-life care and other legislative provisions. Some 40 individuals and organizations were heard over the course of seven public hearings on that bill. Note that the Select Committee on the Evolution of the Act respecting end-of-life care was created during the 42nd Legislature and tabled its report on December 8, 2021.

Order of initiative

On February 16, 2023, the Committee on Culture and Education took up an order of initiative concerning the revelations of violence during hazing in the junior hockey league and the possibility that such violence occurs in other sports. To be carried out, an order of initiative must first be adopted by a majority of the members from each parliamentary group represented on a committee. Once it is adopted, the committee organizes its own proceedings, so the duration of the mandate may vary.

Within the framework of this order of initiative, the Committee has held public hearings with around 15 groups thus far.

Mandates referred by the Assembly

The Committee on Transportation and the Environment was mandated by the National Assembly to hold special consultations and public hearings on the Government’s draft 2023–2028 sustainable development strategy, tabled in the Assembly on December 9, 2022. The hearings, which were held on January 31 and February 1, 2 and 7, 2023, provided an opportunity to hear around 15 witnesses. The Committee then tabled a report containing recommendations in the Assembly on February 14, 2023. Note that this mandate is required under the Sustainable Development Act.

In addition, the Committee on Public Finance was mandated by the National Assembly to hold special consultations and public hearings on the Québec Pension Plan consultation document tabled in the Assembly on December 9, 2022. The consultation document concerns a plan for adapting to 21st century challenges and is entitled “Un régime adapté aux défis du 21e siècle.” Some 20 witnesses were heard during the hearings held on February 8, 9 and 14, 2023. The Committee then tabled a report containing recommendations in the Assembly on February 21, 2023. Note that this mandate is required under the Act respecting the Québec Pension Plan.

Mandate under the Standing Orders

As provided for under National Assembly Standing Orders 272 and 275, the debate on the budget speech continued, in the presence of the Minister of Finance, in the Committee of Public Finance at the end of March and at the beginning of April 2023 for a total of
10 hours.

Émilie Caouette

Sittings and Parliamentary Procedure Directorate

Mathieu LeBlanc

Parliamentary Committees Directorate

House of Commons


This account covers key highlights of the period from January to the end of March 2023. After having been adjourned since December 14, 2022, the House resumed sittings on January 30.


Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

On June 21, 2022, the House read a third time and passed Bill C-11. On February 3, the House received a message from the Senate that it had passed Bill C-11 with amendments. In cases where the Senate amends bills emanating from the House, it is for the House itself to decide whether it accepts or rejects the amendments proposed by the Senate and whether it wishes to inform the latter of the reasons for its decision.

On March 8 and 9, the House considered a motion that a message be sent to inform the Senate that the House agreed with some amendments, respectfully disagreed with other amendments, and proposed that two amendments be further amended. During the debate on the main motion, Rachael Thomas (Lethbridge) moved an amendment to revoke the order respecting the consideration of Senate amendments to the Bill and to strike the Bill from the Order Paper.

On March 24, after finding a drafting error in the French version of the motion for consideration of the Senate amendments to the Bill, a second motion was placed on notice.

On March 27, Andrew Scheer (Regina—Qu’Appelle) rose on a point of order and argued that the second motion for consideration of the Senate amendments was substantively identical to the first one, that the House should not concurrently consider two motions which are substantively identical, and that the first motion should be withdrawn before the second one could be moved. Later that day, the Speaker gave his ruling. Citing past precedents, he ruled that the House may consider two items simultaneously until a decision is made on one of them and that a decision once made must stand. The Speaker pointed out that the objective of the second motion was to correct an error found in the first, an error that arose because the numbering of the amendments was not the same in English and in French. The Speaker agreed that one way to make this correction could be to propose an amendment to the first motion, once the current amendment was dealt with, but stated that it was not the only way. Since the substantive effect of the two motions was different, and that the House had not yet made a decision on the first motion, he concluded that the House could proceed with debate on the second motion.

On March 30, the House adopted a motion of closure on the second motion and resumed its consideration. At the expiry of debate later that day, the second motion was adopted.

Bill C-18, An Act respecting online communications platforms that make news content available to persons in Canada

On January 30, the Speaker informed the House that an administrative error had occurred in the version of the bill sent to the Senate. The parchment version of the bill sent to the Senate contained a sub amendment that had been rejected by the committee and should not have appeared in the final text of the bill. The Speaker assured the House that the error, which came from the committee report, had been corrected and that a revised version of Bill C-18 reflecting the proceedings of the House had been transmitted to the Senate. The Speaker asked that the bill be reprinted and that the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage be corrected.

Financial procedures


On March 10, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland (University—Rosedale) requested that an Order of the Day be designated for the consideration of a ways and means motion for the presentation of the budget on March 28, 2023. That day, Minister Freeland moved that the House approve the general budgetary policy of the government. Following a questions and comments period, the Leader of the Official Opposition Pierre Poilievre (Carleton) moved that the debate be now adjourned and the motion was deemed adopted. On March 29, the House resumed the adjourned debate.

Royal Recommendation

On March 29, the House resumed consideration of Bill C-215, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (illness, injury or quarantine) at third reading. The Speaker had previously ruled that the bill required a royal recommendation and, as the bill had not received it, the question was not put on the motion at the end of Private Members’ Hour, the order for third reading was discharged and the item was dropped from the Order Paper, pursuant to Standing Order 79.

Procedure and privilege

Question of privilege—technical interruptions at party caucus meetings

On February 8, Mr. Scheer raised a question of privilege and informed the House that interpretation services for that morning’s Official Opposition caucus meeting had been interrupted. Mr. Scheer argued that caucus meetings entailed parliamentary proceedings, that technical arrangements were the responsibility of the House of Commons Administration, and that members of Parliament being interfered with in performing their parliamentary functions constituted a breach of privilege. On February 13, Claude DeBellefeuille (Salaberry—Suroît) spoke in support of the question of privilege and elaborated on several technical incidents related to interpretation that had occurred in committee. Later that day, the Speaker gave his ruling and determined that caucus meetings do not entail parliamentary proceedings, but rather are ancillary to those proceedings. He concluded that administrative recourses already exist to address the issues raised by Mr. Scheer and, as a result, that there was no prima facie question of privilege.

Use of Proper Equipment During Video Conferencing

On March 7, the Speaker made a statement regarding the use of headsets for members participating remotely in House proceedings and in other proceedings involving interpretation, including committee meetings. The Speaker explained that the House had been informed by the Translation Bureau that from now on, interpreters would only operate under a new directive from the Labour Program of Employment and Social Development Canada stating that interpretation work only be done when the virtual participants are wearing an ISO-compliant microphone. Consequently, to ensure the safety of the interpreters and that parliamentary proceedings be available in both official languages, the Speaker stated that the use of House-approved headsets would be mandatory for remote participation in parliamentary proceedings. The Speaker advised the House that, while the onus is on members to use the approved headsets when participating in proceedings, the Chair would also provide assistance to ensure all members are in compliance with technical requirements. He added that in cases where the Chair is made aware of compliant equipment not being used, a member participating remotely would be interrupted or not recognized for debate.

The process of debate and the period provided for questions and comments

On March 22, during a debate on an opposition motion from the Conservative party, several members left the Chamber immediately after their speech, not participating in the prescribed questions and comments period. Several points of order were raised, and Deputy Speaker Chris d’Entremont (West Nova) informed the House that because the relevant members were not in the Chamber to respond to questions and comments, the House had to move on to the next speaker. On March 28, the Speaker returned to the matter. Referencing a 1985 Speaker’s ruling, he stated that it is the expectation of the Chair that members having just completed a speech take part in the ensuing period for questions and comments. The Chair added that should a member making a speech not be available immediately after, the Chair would still recognize other members wishing to ask questions or comment on the speech, for the duration of the prescribed period.

The Speaker used discretionary power to withhold a question from a party during Question Period

On March 31, during Question Period, Pierre Poilievre (Carleton) referred to the absence of the Prime Minister from the Chamber. The Assistant Deputy Speaker Alexandra Mendès (Brossard–Saint-Lambert) reminded Mr. Poilievre not to refer to the presence or absence of a member in the Chamber. Mr. Poilievre mentioned the absence of the Prime Minister a second time. Consequently, the Assistant Deputy Speaker used her discretionary power to remove a question from the next round of Conservative questions.


Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying—final report presented to the House

On October 5, 2022, the deadline for the Special Joint Committee to submit its final report on the review was extended to February 17, 2023. On February 15, 2023, the committee presented its report, upon which it ceased to exist.

Other Matters

New Parliamentary Poet Laureate

On February 1, the Speaker announced the appointment of Marie Célie Agnant to a two-year term as the 10th Parliamentary Poet Laureate. The role of the Parliamentary Poet Laureate is to promote the importance and value of poetry among all Canadians.

Joint Address to the Senate and the House by the President of the United States

On March 10, the House agreed by unanimous consent to stay adjourned on March 24, for the purpose of a joint address by the President of the United States of America before members of the Senate and the House of Commons. On March 24, Joe Biden delivered his address, which was printed as an appendix to the Debates of March 23.

Joint Address to the Senate and the House by the President of the European Commission

On March 6, the House agreed by unanimous consent to adjourn the sitting of March 7, following the time provided for Oral Questions, for the purpose of a joint address by the President of the European Commission before members of the Senate and the House of Commons. On March 7, Ursula von der Leyen delivered her address, which was printed as an appendix to the Debates of March 7.


On January 30, the Speaker informed the House of the resignation of members Bob Benzen (Calgary Heritage) on December 31, and Dave MacKenzie (Oxford) on January 28. On March 6, the Speaker informed the House of the resignation of Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar) on February 28. On March 9, the Speaker informed the House of the resignation of Marc Garneau (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount) on March 8.

Member to sit as an independent

On March 22, Han Dong (Don Valley North) announced that he would leave the Liberal caucus and sit as an independent member.


On January 30, the Speaker informed the House that the Clerk of the House had received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election of Charles Sousa (Mississauga—Lakeshore). Mr. Sousa, having taken the oath required by law, was introduced to the House by the Prime Minister and took his seat.

Appointment of the Acting Clerk of the House of Commons

On January 30, Government House Leader Mark Holland (Ajax) announced the government’s intention to appoint Eric Janse as Acting Clerk of the House. His appointment was tabled in the House on February 13. Mr. Janse started his career at the House of Commons in 1992 and most recently served as Deputy Clerk, Procedure—a role he was appointed to in 2021. In this position, Mr. Janse provided corporate leadership and served to uphold and promote the vision, mission, and values of the House of Commons. As the head of Procedural Services, he oversaw the delivery of procedural and legislative support to the Speaker, Members of Parliament, and Officers of the House of Commons. Prior to 2021, Mr. Janse held various positions in Procedural Services, including Clerk Assistant of the Committees and Legislative Services Directorate, Clerk Assistant and Director General of International and Interparliamentary Affairs, and Principal Clerk of International and Interparliamentary Affairs. A Table Officer since 1998, Mr. Janse has extensive experience providing advice and support to the Speaker and Members in the Chamber. He played a pivotal role in transitioning committees to hybrid proceedings during the pandemic and was instrumental in the development of the Parliament of Canada’s international program. Mr. Janse has also gained extensive knowledge of the functioning of other parliaments around the world as a member of the Association of Clerks-at-the-Table in Canada and a former secretary to the Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth.

Leif-Erik Aune

Table Research Branch

Prince Edward Island

Dissolution of the 66th General Assembly

On March 6, 2023, on the advice of Executive Council, Lieutenant Governor Antoinette Perry dissolved the Legislative Assembly and ordered that writs be issued for a general election to take place on April 3, 2023. Under the Election Act, a general election would have occurred on October 2, 2023, but the Act also provides for the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly when the Lieutenant Governor sees fit.

Members Not Reoffering

Four members of the 66th General Assembly decided not to reoffer in the 2023 election. Speaker Colin LaVie (District 1, Souris – Elmira) was first elected in 2011, re-elected in 2015 and 2019, and served as Speaker for the duration of the 66th General Assembly (2019-2023). Sonny Gallant (District 24, Evangeline – Miscouche) was first elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011, 2015 and 2019. He served in many government and opposition roles over his career as a member, including Leader of the Third Party, Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning, and House Leader. James Aylward (District 6, Stratford – Keppoch) was first elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2015 and 2019. The government and opposition roles he occupied over these years include Leader of the Official Opposition, Minister of Health and Wellness, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and Opposition House Leader. Hannah Bell (District 11, Charlottetown – Belvedere) was elected in a by-election in November 2017 and re-elected in the 2019 general election. She served as Third Party House Leader and later as Opposition House Leader.

Election Campaign

At the close of nominations on March 17, there were 119 candidates for election across PEI’s 27 districts. The Progressive Conservative and New Democratic parties each had candidates running in every district. The Green and Liberal parties each had candidates in 25 of the 27 districts. The Island Party had candidates in 11 districts and there were four independent candidates.

The election campaign saw a notable increase in women candidates, at 52 of 119, or 44 per cent. In the two previous general elections of 2019 and 2015, women made up 33 per cent and 30 per cent of candidates, respectively. There were also more candidates who are Black, Indigenous or people of colour compared to previous elections.

Party platforms focused primarily on healthcare, with housing and land use also receiving significant attention.

Election Results

The results of the April 3 election, which as of this writing remain unofficial, gave the Progressive Conservative Party 22 seats, the Liberal Party three seats, and the Green Party two seats. The Progressive Conservative Party will thus form government, with Dennis King (District 15, Brackley – Hunter River) returning as Premier. The three returning Liberal Party members will form the Official Opposition, whereas they were the Third Party in the previous Assembly. Party leader Sharon Cameron, however, was not elected. The two Green Party members will form the Third Party, after serving as part of the Official Opposition in the previous Assembly. Leader Peter Bevan-Baker was re-elected in District 17, New Haven – Rocky Point.

According to Elections PEI, 68.5 per cent of the 109,587 registered voters cast ballots. This is the lowest voter turnout in a provincial general election since at least 1966. Shares of the popular vote were 55.9 per cent Progressive Conservative, 21.6 per cent Green, 17.2 per cent Liberal, 4.5 per cent NDP, 0.5 per cent Island, and 0.3 per cent Independent candidates. Seven women candidates (six Progressive Conservatives and one Green) were elected.

Under the terms of the Election Act and the Legislative Assembly Act, the new Legislative Assembly must meet no later than May 12, 2023, in order to elect a Speaker. Cabinet appointments and plans for a Speech from the Throne have not yet been announced.

Ryan Reddin

Director of Parliamentary Research

The Senate


On January 31, the Speaker made a statement informing the Senate of an administrative error concerning Bill C-18, An Act respecting online communications platforms that make news content available to persons in Canada, and invited senators to reflect on the best approach going forward. Later that week, on February 2, a motion was moved and adopted to declare all proceedings to date on the bill null and void, after which the Speaker read a message with the corrected version of the bill, which was then read a first time and placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading two days hence.

On February 2, Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, was read a third time and passed, with amendments. A message was sent to the House of Commons to acquaint it that the Senate had passed the bill with amendments, and seeking its concurrence.

On March 9, Bill C-39, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), was passed without amendment and received Royal Assent.

Bill C-43, An Act for granting to His Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, and Bill C-44, An Act for granting to His Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, were read a third time and passed, without amendment, on March 29. The bills received Royal Assent on March 30, along with Bill S-203, An Act respecting a federal framework on autism spectrum disorder, which had been passed without amendment in the other place on March 28.

Chamber, Procedure and Speaker’s Rulings

A motion calling upon the government to designate the Wagner Group as a terrorist entity was moved with leave and adopted on January 31.

On March 30, Senator Percy Downe rose on a point of order regarding unparliamentary language used during Question Period. The Speaker reserved his decision.

Committee of the Whole

On March 8, the Senate resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole to consider the subject matter of Bill C-39, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), with David Lametti, MP, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and
Jean-Yves Duclos, MP, Minister of Health, appearing, accompanied by three officials.


On February 1, a motion was adopted authorizing joint committees to hold hybrid meetings until end of the day on June 23, 2023, with the provisions of the order of February 10, 2022, concerning such meetings, having effect. A message was sent to acquaint the House of Commons accordingly.

On February 7, the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament presented its fourth report, proposing various amendments to the Rules of the Senate. Also on that day the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration (CIBA) presented its seventh report, the Senate budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs presented its eleventh report on Bill C-233, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Judges Act (violence against an intimate partner), without amendment, on February 14. The bill was placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading at the next sitting.

On February 15, two reports were tabled by committees: the second report of the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying, entitled Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada: Choices for Canadians, and the fifth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Commerce and the Economy, entitled The State of the Canadian Economy and Inflation. Later that day, the Senate adopted the ninth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs on Bill S-205, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to another Act (interim release and domestic violence recognizance orders), which had been presented with amendments and observations. The bill, as amended, was placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading at the next sitting.

The fifth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, entitled Canada’s Restrictions on Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan, was adopted on February 16, and a response from the government was requested.

The Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament tabled its fifth report on March 9, with respect to equity between recognized parties and recognized parliamentary groups.

The sixth report of CIBA, which proposed amendments to the Senate Administrative Rules, was adopted on March 28. That same day, a motion was adopted allowing CIBA to appoint certain senators who are not members of the committee itself to its subcommittees.

On March 30, the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages tabled its second report, entitled Francophone immigration to minority communities: towards a bold, strong and coordinated approach, and the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology tabled its eleventh report, entitled All Together — The Role of Gender-based Analysis Plus in the Policy Process: reducing barriers to an inclusive intersectional policy analysis. The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications also presented its fourth report on Bill S-242, An Act to amend the Radiocommunication Act, with amendments and observations.


Senator Dan Christmas resigned from the Senate on January 31. He was appointed to the Senate on December 6, 2016, on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and represented the province of Nova Scotia. The first Mi’kmaq senator, Senator Christmas had been a leader and advisor for the Membertou First Nation community as well as an advisory services director to the Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq prior to his appointment. Senator Christmas served as chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Indigenous Peoples, as well as a member of a number of committees, including the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, and the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights.

Senator Sandra Lovelace Nicholas also resigned on January 31. Appointed to the Senate on September 21, 2005, on the advice of Prime Minister Paul Martin, Senator Lovelace Nicholas was the first Indigenous woman senator and represented the province of New Brunswick. Prior to her appointment, she was an activist for Indigenous women’s rights, including the reinstatement of rights to non-status Indigenous women and children. Senator Lovelace Nicholas served on several committees including the Standing Senate Committee on Indigenous Peoples, the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, and the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.

Senator Dennis Dawson resigned from the Senate on February 9. He was appointed to the Senate on August 2, 2005, on the advice of Prime Minister Martin, and represented the Senate division of Lauzon in Quebec. Prior to joining the Senate, Senator Dawson had previously served as a trustee on the Commission des écoles catholiques de Québec as well as a Member of Parliament. As a senator, he was an active member of many committees including the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Commerce and the Economy, and the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

Senator Larry W. Campbell retired from the Senate on February 28. He was appointed to the Senate on August 2, 2005, on the advice of Prime Minister Martin, and represented the province of British Columbia. Prior to joining the Senate, he served in the ranks of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and transitioned into death investigation, where he became the chief coroner for British Columbia. In 2002, he was elected mayor of Vancouver. He served on several committees during his tenure as a senator, including the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, and the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

Katy Quinn

Procedural Clerk


1st Session 43rd Parliament (Spring Session)

The First Session of the 43rd Parliament resumed on February 21, 2023. The winter adjournment was a busy time for committees; there were multiple meetings during January and February while the legislature was not meeting.

New Leader of the Official Opposition

On February 21, 2023, the sitting opened with the Speaker announcing that MPP Marit Stiles, the Member for the Electoral District of Davenport would be recognized as the leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Ms. Stiles was confirmed as the leader of the Ontario New Democrat Party during a convention on February 4.

Hamilton Centre By-election

MPP Sarah Jama joins the legislature as a member of the Ontario NDP after winning in the by-election for the Electoral District of Hamilton Centre. Ms. Jama was sworn in and took her seat on March 27, 2023. As Ms. Jama uses a mobility scooter, the Speaker announced that pursuant to Standing Order 2, the member is authorized to vote, signify her desire to speak, and participate in any proceeding that requires members to stand in their places in the House or in Committees by raising her hand.

This seat was previously held by the former leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Andrea Horwath.


David Charles Onley, 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Former Lieutenant Governor, David C. Onley passed away on January 14, 2023. Mr. Onley lay in state in the lobby of the legislative building on January 28 and 29, 2023. His state funeral followed in the Yorkminster Baptist Church on January 30, 2023. On the first day of the spring sitting, the House expressed its condolence on his passing and observed a moment of silence. Mr. Onley served as Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor from September 5, 2007, to September 23, 2014.

Former Members

The House expressed its condolence on the passing of several former Members, including:

  • Michael Charles Ray, Member for the Electoral District of Windsor—Walkerville (September 10, 1987, to September 5, 1990)
  • Barbara Sullivan, Member for the Electoral District of Halton Centre (September 10, 1987, to June 7, 1995)
  • Drummond White, Member for the Electoral District of Durham Centre (September 6, 1990, to June 7, 1995)
  • Charles Morris Godfrey, Member for the Electoral District of Durham West (September 18, 1975, to June 8, 1977)
  • Bob Huget, Member for the Electoral District of Sarnia (September 6, 1990, to June 7, 1995)
  • David Caplan, Member for the Electoral Districts of Oriole and Don Valley East (September 4, 1987, to October 5, 1990)
  • Marietta L.D. Roberts, Member for the Electoral District of Elgin (September 10, 1987, to September 5, 1990)
  • Gary Fox, Member for the Electoral District of Prince Edward—Lennox-South—Hastings (June 8, 1995, to June 2, 1999)

Budget Day

On March 23, 2023, the Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy presented the 2023 Budget. The motion that the House approve in general the Budgetary Policy of the Government was seconded by Premier Doug Ford. The House then reverted to Introduction of Government Bills for the introduction of Bill 85, An Act to implement Budget measures and to amend various statutes.

Changes to the Parliamentary Calendar

On March 6, 2023, Government House Leader Paul Calandra moved that, notwithstanding Standing Order 7(a), when the House adjourns on April 27, 2023, it shall stand adjourned until May 8, 2023; and that the House shall continue to meet in the Spring Meeting Period until June 8, 2023.

The motion effectively changed the Parliamentary Calendar by adjourning the House for the first week of May and adding that week to the end of the sitting period. Prior to this change, the Legislature would have met for five weeks with no break for a constituency week.

Committee Activities

Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs

In January and February, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs met to conduct public hearings on Pre-Budget Consultations 2023 (PBC 2023) and Bill 46, An Act to enact one Act and amend various other Acts. The Committee travelled across Ontario and conducted hearings in 10 cities (Kenora, Windsor, Essex, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Ottawa, Kingston, Peterborough, and Barrie). Overall, the Committee received over 200 written submissions and heard from 150 witnesses on PBC 2023 and Bill 46.

The Committee met for clause-by-clause consideration on February 16, 2023, and reported Bill 46, without amendment, on February 21, 2023.

The Committee expects to present the final report on Pre-Budget Consultations 2023 to the House in early April, a copy of which was previously shared with the Minister of Finance.

Standing Committee on the Interior

Bill 71, An Act to amend the Mining Act was referred to the Committee on March 9, 2023.

The Committee travelled to Timmins and Sudbury to conduct public hearings on the Bill on April 5, and 6, 2023. The Committee heard from the Minister of Mines, George Pirie on the first day of hearings in his Electoral District of Timmins.

Standing Committee on Justice Policy

The Standing Committee on Justice Policy met on January 18, 2023, to consider a motion respecting a proposed study related to the reform of Canada’s bail system as it relates to the provincial administration of justice and public safety. Once the motion passed, the committee met for public hearings on January 31 and February 1, inviting the expert witnesses from Ontario Provincial Police, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, the Ontario Provincial Police Association, the Police Association of Ontario, the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police Association to appear on the first day. After two days of report writing, the Chair presented the report, A Report on the Modernization of the Bail System: Strengthening Public Safety to the House on March 22, 2023.

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs continued with its ongoing study of the Legislative precinct and the need for rehabilitation and restoration. The Committee travelled to Ottawa in early February to learn more about the renovations currently in progress at the House of Commons. The Committee received tours of Centre Block, West Block, the Sir John A. MacDonald Building and 180 Wellington Street with officials from the House of Commons and Public Services and Procurement Canada. On the day following the tours, the Committee met with members of the federal Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs as well as invited officials from the House of Commons administration team to discuss best practices and lessons learned from their experience with large capital projects.

The Committee finalized its First Interim Report related to the Study of the Rehabilitation and Restoration of the Legislative Precinct, which was reported to the House on March 8, 2023.

On March 9, 2023, Bill 75, Queen’s Park Restoration Act was referred to the Committee. The Bill seeks to create a Queen’s Park Restoration Secretariat, whose responsibility it would be to oversee the Queen’s Park renovation project. The Committee met to discuss the method of proceeding on the Bill and intends to hold public hearings in April 2023, with clause-by-clause consideration scheduled for early May 2023.

Standing Committee on Public Accounts

The Chair of the Committee presented four reports to the House on February 21, 2023. The reports were on the following Value-for-Money Audits from Annual Reports of the Office of the Auditor General:

  • Condominium Oversight in Ontario (2020 Annual Report of the Auditor General)
  • COVID-19 Economic Response and Supports for Businesses (2021 Annual Report of the Auditor General)
  • COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment Supply (2021 Annual Report of the Auditor General)
  • Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (2021 Annual Report of the Auditor General)

Tanzima Khan

Committee Clerk

Nova Scotia

Spring 2023 Sitting

The Sixty-Fourth General Assembly convened for the Spring 2023 Sitting from March 21 until April 12. The Spring 2023 Sitting consisted of a total of 14 meetings. The House departed from its ordinary schedule for 11 of those 14 meetings. Extended hours began on the fourth day of the sitting and continued until the fourteenth and final day. At 10:24 p.m. on April 12, the Lieutenant Governor assented to nine Bills: eight Government Bills and one Private and Local Bill.

Budget 2023-2024

On March 23, the House observed its time-honoured tradition of pre-empting the Daily Routine for Budget Day. Having provided the requisite two days’ notice pursuant to Rule 32(1), the Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier (Inverness) read and tabled the message from the Lieutenant Governor, the Estimate Books, the Estimate Resolutions, and the Province’s Business Plan, before then delivering the Budget Speech.

Entitled More Healthcare, Faster, the Estimate Resolutions forecasted a $278.9 million deficit and a total revenue of $14.1 billion. The Province’s economic outlook is shaped by Nova Scotia’s fastest population growth since 1926 and the tightest labour markets since the 1970s. The population reached 1,019,725 in 2022, growing at an estimated rate of 2.89 per cent. The unemployment rate declined to as low as 6.5 per cent. Looking ahead, the Government intends to increase deficits over the next three years to finance major healthcare initiatives. For the 2023-2024 fiscal year, 45 per cent of the Province’s spending is allocated towards healthcare.

On the other side of the House, the Member for Northside-Westmount rose to reply as the Official Opposition’s Finance Critic. The Member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island also offered input in their capacity as the New Democratic Party’s Finance Critic.

Throughout the 40 hours allocated for examination of estimates before the Committee of the Whole House on Supply, the Ministers responsible for the following five departments appeared: 1. Health and Wellness (Antigonish); 2. Natural Resources and Renewables (Cumberland South); 3. Municipal Affairs and Housing (Kings North); 4. Public Works (Queens); 5. Community Services (Pictou West).

The House departed slightly from past practice during Supply. Due to the unique sharing of responsibility for Health Infrastructure, the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services (Argyle) also appeared during the Committee’s consideration of the estimate resolutions for Public Works. Additionally, the Minister of Community Services also answered questions on two separate Offices for which she bears responsibility (L’Nu Affairs and Status of Women). In the past, the estimates for those two Offices would have been confined to the Subcommittee on Supply.

Public Bills

According to the final tally of Bills passed, the Spring 2023 Sitting unfolded with the lightest legislative agenda in 20 years. The Fall 2003 Sitting of the 59th General Assembly (1st Session) was the last time the House passed eight or fewer Bills during a regular Sitting (i.e., a Sitting not pre-empted by a General Election, nor a Special Sitting called to address emergency business pursuant to Rule 3(5)).

In addition to the annual Appropriations Act, which authorizes the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board to spend and borrow the sums in the budget, the Government’s legislative agenda consisted of the following Public Bills:

    • Bill 256, Patient Access to Care Act – expedites the licencing of healthcare professionals from outside of the Province to five business days and authorizes the Government to expand the scope of practices in regulated health professions
    • Bill 262, Interim Residential Rental Increase Cap Act – extends the pre-existing restriction on rent increases for residential tenancies for an additional two years, until December 2025, while also delegating the authority for setting the amount of the restriction to the Executive Council
    • Bill 263, Public Utilities Act (amended) – enhances the enforcement tools available against Nova Scotia Power by increasing the cumulative annual limit of penalties to $25 million
    • Bill 264, Electricity Act (amended) – allows for the procurement of renewable, low-impact energy-storage projects

Bill 273, Road Trails Act – authorizes all-terrain vehicles to operate on designated portions of the highway

  • Bill 269, Construction Projects Labour Relations Act (amended) – to avoid work stoppages at large-scale green hydrogen production facilities, contractors and unions may now enter collective agreements for constructing those facilities
  • Bill 279, Financial Measures Act (2023) – authorizes measures that carry financial implications for the Province, including the elimination of penalties for reinstating revoked companies, the transfer of authority for charging taxes on horse race betting, the strengthening of oversight of the credit union system, the Federal harmonization of excise tax on vaping products, and the repeal of the non-resident property tax.

Private Members’ Business

The total number of Private Members’ Bills introduced during the first Session of the Sixty-Fourth General Assembly climbed from 180 to 233. The following chart depicts the proportion of Private Members’ Bills introducing during each sitting of the First Session:

Fall 2021


Spring 2022


Summer 2022


Fall 2022


Spring 2023


The following graph displays the proportion of Private Members’ Bills introduced to date during the First Session:

Nova Scotia Private Members’ Business (Opposition Days)

Independent Member’s Bill Called for Second Reading

Notably, during Opposition Business on March 29, the Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition (Fairview-Clayton Park) called Bill 278, Non-disclosure Agreement Prohibition Act for Second Reading. The occasion is procedurally noteworthy because Bill 278 is sponsored by the Independent Member (Cumberland North), but the Rules and Forms of Procedure of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly lack any mechanism for Independent Members to call Bills for debate. Only House Leaders (and their Deputies) possess standing to call Bills.

Bill 278 proposes to ban members of political parties from entering a contractual agreement called a Non-disclosure Agreement, which “prohibits or restricts a complainant from disclosing information concerning sexual assault or harassment or alleged sexual assault or harassment that the complainant has experienced.”

Two Competing Notices of Motion

The Second Reading of Bill 278 is also procedurally noteworthy because the debate prompted the introduction of two competing Notices of Motion. During her speech on Second Reading, the Independent Member (Cumberland North) tabled a document she characterized as a “NDA” between her former employee and the Progressive Conservative Caucus. The tabled document, however, was not an original document, nor a certified copy, but rather appeared to be a fuzzy copy of an image that depicts an unsigned single-page document.

During the four Opposition Days, the House debated the following items of Private Members’ Business:

March 22 – NDPMarch 29 – LiberalApril 5 – NDPApril 12 – Liberal
Bill 259, Income Tax (amended) Bill 257, Health Services and Insurance Act (amended) Bill 261, Revenue Act (amended)Bill 278, Non-disclosure Agreement Prohibition Act Bill 268, Primary Care Physician Incentive Program Extension ActBill 184, Collaborative Care Act Bill 80, Free Birth Control Act Res. 600, Affordable Housing ProgramBill No. 306, the Serious Illness Leave Act Res. 622, MLA Expulsion Resolution: Need to Repeal Bill No. 284, the School Lunch Program Act

On April 3, the Minister of Community Services (Pictou West) gave written notice of Resolution No. 598. Noting the ambiguous provenance and content of the Independent Member’s tabled document, the preamble disclaimed any involvement of the PC caucus and PC party in the matter. The operative clause asked the House to “determine the Member for Cumberland North misled the House, and that she not be allowed to take her seat until such time as she retracts her comments and apologizes.” The House refused to grant waiver of the requisite two-day period for Notice and to pass the Resolution without debate.

On April 12, the Leader of the Official Opposition gave written notice of Resolution No. 622 seeking to strike Resolution No. 598 from the Orders of the Day. The preamble in part warned against “setting a dangerous precedent by using a majority to censor an elected member of this House.” As with Resolution No. 598, the House also refused to grant waiver of the requisite two-day period for Notice and to pass the Resolution without debate. At present, both Resolutions remain on the Orders of the Day. Resolution No. 598 was not called for debate, while Resolution No. 622 was debated during Opposition Business on the House’s final sitting day.

Procedural Dilemma: Allegations of Deliberately Misleading the House

The two competing Notices of Motion illustrate a procedural dilemma (or “Catch-22”).

Theoretically, an allegation that a Member has deliberately misled the House can be pursued as either (1) a matter of contempt or (2) a question of privilege. Practically, however, a procedural dilemma can arise if another Member attempts to pursue the alleged misleading conduct as a question of privilege (for example, asserting the House’s collective freedom from obstruction).

The dilemma arises because it would constitute unparliamentary language for another Member to verbally accuse another Member of deliberately misleading the House. The House would be thus stifled from determining the question because the debate on the question would trigger a cascade of unparliamentary language. Unless the impugned Member proactively admits to misleading the House, there is only one way around the dilemma: that is, by containing the allegation of misleading the House in a substantive, separate written notice of motion for a resolution of the House. The written motion is the only procedural mechanism capable of containing the language necessary to capture an accusation of deliberate misleading behaviour—which, if spoken, would otherwise constitute unparliamentary language (see Joseph J.P. Maingot, Parliamentary Immunity, 2016, at pp. 229-30; Parliamentary Privilege in Canada, 2d ed., 1997, pp. 240-47).

Renovations for Legislative Television

The Subcommittee on Supply and the Law Amendments Committee were relocated for the Spring Sitting due to major renovations to Legislative Television’s Broadcast Control Room. Normally, both the Subcommittee on Supply and the Law Amendments Committee convene in Province House’s historic red chamber. This time around, Members hopped to the Legislative Committees Office on Granville Street to attend both the Subcommittee on Supply and the Law Amendments Committee. Members also acclimated to sustained jackhammering and blasting from construction projects in the downtown core. As always, Legislative Television broadcasted the proceedings seamlessly.

Upcoming Byelection

On January 24, 2023, the Member for Preston (Angela Simmonds) provided written notice pursuant to section 13 of the House of Assembly Act that she would vacate her seat on April 1, 2023. Simmonds was the first African Nova Scotian to serve as Deputy Speaker and the first African Nova Scotian woman to run for leadership of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia. With Simmonds’ resignation, the roster of Deputy Speakers is now reduced from five to four (see Nova Scotia’s Legislative Report in Vol. 46, Issue 1).

Section 10 of the House of Assembly Act requires the writ for the by-election to be issued within six months of the vacancy. The by-election must then be held within 46 days of the writ’s issuance. Pending the by-election, the composition of the House is as follows: 31 Progressive Conservative; 16 Liberal; six NDP; and one Independent.

Cara Locke

Assistant Clerk of the House