A Year of Delivering Results for All Canadians

January 14, 2015

As we begin 2015, I am proud to reflect on all the ways our Conservative Government has delivered for hard-working Canadians over the past year.

Our Government announced measures to help families; including introducing the Family Tax Cut, doubling the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and making it refundable, increasing and expanding the Universal Child Care Benefit, and increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction limits.  These are savings that average over $1,100 per year for families with children.

We’re also helping generate jobs through the New Building Canada Fund, which delivers support for local infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports and rail service. Meanwhile, we’ve concluded free trade negotiations with the European Union and Korea, to help create jobs and growth for years to come.

We remain on track for balanced budgets this year, and our Government will continue to build on these achievements in 2015.

Below is a summary of the legislation introduced by our government and by Conservative MPs during the 41st Parliament, Second Session. If you would like additional information on any of these bills, please go to www.parl.gc.ca.


Bill C-2, Respect for Communities Act
Stage: Committee Report Presented in the House of Commons

A similar bill was introduced in the previous session as Bill C-65.

This legislation would require any potential applications for supervised drug consumption sites in Canada to meet clear criteria before such applications can be considered. Bill C-2 would raise the bar for applications to establish supervised drug consumption sites that would allow for the use of what would otherwise be illegal drugs.

Under the proposed new system, applicants for supervised drug consumptions sites would need to provide information outlining the views of a number of stakeholders including:

 Local law enforcement;
  Municipal leaders;

 Public health officials, and;

 Provincial and territorial ministers responsible for health, which would include documentation showing what treatment options are available for those dealing with addiction.

An applicant would also be required to provide documentation that shows the site's expected impact on crime rates, the public health reasons for needing such a site, and evidence that there are adequate resources to sustain the site's operations.

For more information: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/nr-cp/_2013/2013-76bk-eng.php.

 

Bill C-3, Safeguarding Canada’s Seas and Skies Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on December 9, 2014

A similar bill was introduced in the previous session as Bill C-57.

This legislation introduces the implementation of eight tanker safety measures as well as the creation of a Tanker Safety Expert Panel to review Canada's current tanker safety system and propose further measures to strengthen it.

The Tanker Safety Expert Panel will review Canada's current system and propose further measures to strengthen it. In the coming months, the panel will consult with key stakeholders to enhance the government's knowledge and understanding of how well the current system is working, review our current preparedness and response capacity, and propose new ways to bring Canada's tanker safety system to a world-class status.

For more information: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/releases-2013-h031e-7089.htm.

 

Bill C-4, Economic Action Plan 2013 No. 2
Stage: Royal Assent Received on December 12, 2013

Measures in the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2 aimed at spurring job creation and economic growth include:

Providing support for job creators

 Extending and expanding the Hiring Credit for Small Business, which will benefit an estimated 560,000 employers.

 Increasing and indexing the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption from $750,000 to $800,000, to make investing in small business more rewarding.

 Expanding the accelerated capital cost allowance to further encourage investments in clean energy generation.

 Freezing Employment Insurance premium rates for three years, leaving $660 million in the pockets of job creators and workers in 2014 alone.

Closing tax loopholes and combating tax evasion

 Introducing new administrative monetary penalties and criminal offences to deter the use, possession, sale and development of electronic suppression of sales software designed to falsify records for the purpose of tax evasion.

 Closing tax loopholes relating to character conversion transactions, synthetic dispositions, leveraged life insurance arrangements and other schemes to ensure that everyone pays their fair share.

 Extending, in certain circumstances, the period during which the Canada Revenue Agency can reassess a taxpayer who fails to report income from foreign property.

 Phasing out the Labour-Sponsored Venture Capital Corporations tax credit.

Improving Service Delivery

 Modernizing the Canada Student Loans Program by moving to electronic service delivery.

 Improving the efficiency of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program by expanding electronic service delivery.

For more information: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-137-eng.asp.

 

Bill C-5, Offshore Health and Safety Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on June 19, 2014

A similar bill was introduced in the previous session as Bill C-61.

This legislation is a result of cooperation between the federal and provincial governments to further strengthen safety in Canada’s offshore oil and gas industry. Amendments are subject to passage through both the House of Commons and provincial legislatures.

Amendments to the Canada-Newfoundland Atlantic Accord Implementation Act and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act, were tabled in both the Federal Parliament and in the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador legislatures.

The amendments will:

 Place authority and fundamental principles of occupational health and safety within the Accord Acts;

 Clarify the roles and responsibilities of governments, regulators, employers and employees. Notably, the federal Minister of Natural Resources and provincial labour ministers (in consultation with the federal Minister of Labour and Transport Canada) will develop regulations for offshore occupational health and safety, while the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NSOPB) and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) will administer the new legislation;

 Grant the offshore petroleum boards the authority to disclose information to the public related to occupational health and safety;

 Ensure that the new occupational health and safety regime clearly applies to workers in transit to or from offshore platforms, and it would require that the federal Minister of Transportation also recommend regulations related to the occupational health and safety of offshore workers in transit; and

 Provide clear and specific enforcement powers for occupational health and safety officers including the powers of inspection and investigation, warrant provisions, and order measures in case of dangerous situations.

For more information: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media-room/news-release/2013/7082 .

 

Bill C-6, Prohibiting Cluster Munitions Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on November 6, 2014

A similar bill was introduced in the previous session, Bill S-10.

The purpose of the bill is to implement Canada’s international obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in order that Canada may ratify the treaty. Under Canada’s constitutional system, obligations contained in international treaties must be implemented in legislation passed by Parliament in order to have direct effect under domestic law.

For more information: http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/LegislativeSummaries/bills_ls.asp?source=library_prb&ls=C6&Parl=41&Ses=2&Language=E&Mode=1

 

Bill C-7, Canadian Museum of History Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on December 12, 2013

A similar bill was introduced in the previous session, Bill C-49.

This legislation amends the Museums Act to create the Canadian Museum of History. The Museums Act establishes national museums and defines their names, mandates, powers, and governance.

The Canadian Museum of History, as a result of this legislation, will replace the Canadian Museum of Civilization. This change is in conjunction with Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, creating a national museum of history that tells our stories and presents our country’s treasures to the world.

For more information: http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/LegislativeSummaries/bills_ls.asp?source=library_prb&ls=C7&Parl=41&Ses=2&Language=E&Mode=1

 

Bill C-8, Combating Counterfeit Products Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on December 9, 2014

A similar bill was introduced in the previous session, Bill C-56.

This new legislation is intended to protect Canadian consumers, Canadian manufacturers and retailers as well as the Canadian economy from the health and economic threats presented by counterfeit goods coming into Canada.

Bill C-8 would provide the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) with the authority to take action against the commercial movement of counterfeit goods at the border, and would also include new criminal offences for commercial trademark counterfeiting. It would also allow Canadian businesses to file a request for assistance with the CBSA, in turn, enabling border officers to share information with them regarding suspect shipments.

For more information: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/064.nsf/eng/07280.html.

 

Bill C-9, First Nations Elections Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on April 11, 2014

A similar bill was introduced in the previous session, Bill S-6.

This bill is taking action on our government's commitment and priority to provide all Canadians with strong, accountable and transparent governments. Bill C-9 addresses longstanding issues with the current election system under the Indian Act. This new legislation was created using the recommendations provided by the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs (APC) and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) following a national engagement process with First Nations on the development of a better electoral system for First Nations.

Other points in the bill that offer improvement over the current Indian Act election system are:

 No role for the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to play in receiving, investigating and deciding on election appeals;

 Provisions that allow groups of First Nations to hold their elections on a common day and line up their terms of office;

 Clear criteria on the eligibility to be a candidate for the position of chief;

 The possibility for individual First Nations to institute a candidacy fee of no more than $250, which would be refunded if the candidate received at least 5% of the total votes cast;

 Similar to other election laws, penalties for defined offences such as obstructing the electoral process and engaging in corrupt or fraudulent activities in relation to an election, and;

 Powers to develop regulations surrounding mail-in ballots, advance polls and recall of elected officials.

For more information: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1323193986817/1323194199466

 

Bill C-10, Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on November 6, 2014

A similar bill was introduced in the previous session, Bill S-16.

This bill advances efforts to combat the trafficking and cross border smuggling of contraband tobacco by establishing a 50-officer RCMP Anti-Contraband Force and by creating a new Criminal Code offence with mandatory penalties of imprisonment for repeat offenders, many of whom are affiliated with other serious organized criminal activity such as weapons and illegal drug trafficking.

Bill C-10 also proposes mandatory minimum penalties of imprisonment for repeat offenders where a high volume of tobacco products is involved.

For more information: http://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2013/doc_32861.html.

 

Bill C-11, Priority Hiring for Injured Veterans Act
Stage: Second Reading in the House of Commons

This legislation aims to provide medically released Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who were injured in service to Canada the top level of priority consideration for job openings in the public service.

Every year, many military members transition out of the Canadian Armed Forces. For those CAF members who cannot deploy and meet the demands of operations, finding meaningful employment is a key factor in making a successful transition to civilian life.

Once the legislation comes into force, Regular Force and Reserve Force members who are medically released from the CAF for service-related reasons will receive a statutory priority for a period of five years. This will provide Veterans with the highest level of priority consideration, above all other groups, in recognition of their sacrifices and service to Canada. The changes will apply to Veterans who were medically released for service-related reasons and who had a priority entitlement on or after April 1, 2012.

For more information: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/department/press/viewrelease/1994.

 

Bill C-12, Drug-Free Prisons Act
Stage: Second Reading and Referral to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

This legislation seeks to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) to specifically stipulate that the Parole Board of Canada has additional legislative authority when making decisions on the conditional release of offenders who have been granted parole, but who then test positive for drugs or refuse a drug test before being released from an institution into the community.

The bill will also amend the CCRA to ensure that the Parole Board of Canada pays particular attention to whether a condition to abstain from drugs or alcohol should be imposed on offenders on conditional release.

For more information: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/nws/nws-rlss/2013/20131108-1-eng.aspx.

 

Bill C-13, Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on December 9, 2014

A similar bill was introduced in the 40th Parliament, Bill C-51.

This bill addresses criminal behaviour associated with cyberbullying, a growing issue in modern society. The legislation would:

 Prohibit the non-consensual distribution of intimate images;

 Empower a court to order the removal of intimate images from the Internet;

 Permit the court to order forfeiture of the computer, cell phone or other device used in the offence;

 Provide for reimbursement to victims for costs incurred in removing the intimate image from the Internet or elsewhere; and

 Empower the court to make an order to prevent someone from distributing intimate images.

The proposed investigative powers to identify and remedy this and other cybercrimes would be subject to appropriate judicial oversight. Our government worked closely with the provinces and territories in developing the report and recommendations on which this legislation is closely based.

For more information: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2013/doc_32995.html.

 

Bill C-14, Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on April 11, 2014

This legislation addresses concerns raised by victims of crime with respect to accused persons found Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) on Account of Mental Disorder, and is a key part of the government's plan for safe streets and communities.

Bill C-14 explicitly sets out that public safety is the paramount consideration in the decision-making process relating to accused persons found to be NCR. It creates a new designation to protect the public from high-risk NCR accused. Upon being designated by a court as high-risk, an NCR accused must be held in custody and cannot be considered for release by a review board until their designation is revoked by a court.

The other consequences of being designated as a high-risk NCR accused include that their review periods could be extended to up to three years, such individuals would not be entitled to unescorted passes, and could only obtain an escorted pass in narrow circumstances and subject to sufficient conditions to protect public safety.

Finally, Bill C-14 enhances the safety of victims by ensuring that they are specifically considered when decisions are being made about accused persons found NCR; ensuring they are notified when an NCR accused is discharged; and allowing non-communications orders between an NCR accused and the victim.

For more information: http://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2013/doc_33000.html.

 

Bill C-15, Northwest Territories Devolution Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on March 25, 2014

The Northwest Territories Devolution Act responds to calls from territorial governments, Aboriginal groups and industry to place decision-making in the hands of Northerners. The Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement was signed on June 25, 2013.

The introduction of legislation reinforces our government's commitment to completing devolution by the targeted effective date of April 1, 2014.

Devolution in the NWT will mean the transfer of decision-making and administration for land and resource management from the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories. The territorial government will become responsible for the management of onshore lands and the issuance of rights and interests with respect to onshore minerals and oil and gas. It will also give them the power to collect and share in resource revenues generated in the territory.

The bill also introduces important improvements to the regulatory process including more predictable, timely environmental reviews of resource development projects, reduced regulatory burden and duplication, and improved environmental protection.

For more information: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1386027208727/1386027249909

 

Bill C-16, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Governance Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on March 4, 2014

This self-government agreement provides Sioux Valley Dakota Nation with the authority to make laws affecting its community in over 50 subject areas. This includes governance, economic and social development, education, housing and more. Sioux Valley Dakota Nation laws will be harmonized with existing federal and provincial laws and exercised within the Canadian constitutional framework.

Once this agreement with Sioux Valley Dakota Nation is brought into effect, the Government of Canada will have concluded 20 comprehensive self-government agreements with 34 Aboriginal communities.

For more information: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1386268704112/1386268758158.

 

Bill C-17, Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act (Vanessa's Law)
Stage: Royal Assent Received on November 6, 2014

This bill is named after Vanessa Young, who tragically died of a heart attack while on a prescription drug that later was deemed not safe and removed from the market. The Law would protect Canadian families and children from unsafe medicine by enabling the government to:

 Require strong surveillance including mandatory adverse drug reaction reporting;

 Recall unsafe products;

 Impose tough new penalties for unsafe products, including jail time and new fines of up to $5 million per day instead of the current $5,000;

 Provide the courts with discretion to impose even stronger fines if violations were caused intentionally;

 Compel drug companies to revise labels to clearly reflect health risk information, including updates for health warnings for children; and

 Compel drug companies to do further testing on a product, including when issues are identified with certain at-risk populations such as children.

For more information: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/legislation/unsafedrugs-droguesdangereuses-eng.php.

 

Bill C-18, Agricultural Growth Act
Stage: Second Reading and Referral to the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry

Bill C-18 would increase farmers’ access to new crop varieties, enhance trade opportunities and the safety of agricultural products, reduce red tape and contribute to Canada’s overall economic growth.

Some of the key changes being proposed in this legislation include:

 Amendments to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act to align with the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV’91) in order to update Canada’s outdated legislation;

 Providing the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with the authority to consider foreign reviews, data and analyses during the approval or registration of new agricultural products in Canada, allowing for a more effective approvals process;

 Introducing amendments to the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act and the Farm Debt Mediation Act to provide greater flexibility and options for Canadian farmers;

 Simplifying delivery and ease access to the Advance Payments Program for producers;

 Allowing for multi-year advance guarantee agreements and repayment agreements with administrators improving delivery;

 Expanding the use of cash repayments;

 Providing greater flexibility and options for what will be accepted as security allowing producers to secure larger advances;

 Providing flexibility allowing breeding animals to be eligible under the program;

 Adjusting the rules related to the repayment of advances, producers in default, default penalties and stays of default, and;

 Expedite processing under the Farm Debt Mediation Act giving producers quicker resolutions.

For more information: http://www.agr.gc.ca/cb/index_e.php?s1=n&s2=2013&page=n131209&src=hp.

 

Bill C-19, Appropriation Act No. 4, 2013-14
Stage: Royal Assent Received on December 12, 2013

This legislation authorizes payments to defray certain expenses of the public service of Canada, not otherwise provided for, for the financial year ending 31 March 2014.

For more information: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/esp-pbc/aa-lc-eng.asp.

 

Bill C-20, Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on June 19, 2014

This legislation implements the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement as well as agreements on labour and environmental cooperation.

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and José Adonis Lavaire, Minister of Industry and Commerce for Honduras, signed the agreements in Ottawa on November 5, 2013.

The Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement will provide increased market access for goods, with almost 98 percent of tariff lines being duty-free once the agreement is fully implemented.

Key Canadian sectors that will benefit immediately from enhanced market access include beef, pork, potato products, vegetable oils and grain products, as well as a range of processed food products.

The agreement will include enhanced provisions on cross-border trade in services, investment and government procurement.

Canadian and Honduran economic ties are growing. The latest figures show 46-percent growth in merchandise trade between the two countries since 2007. In 2012, Canada exported $38.6-million worth of goods to Honduras.

For more information: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/honduras/index.aspx?lang=eng.

 

Bill C-21, Red Tape Reduction Act
Stage: Committee Report Presented in the House of Commons

This legislation implements the One-for-One Rule in law, fulfilling a commitment made in the government's October 2012 Red Tape Reduction Action Plan and reaffirmed in the October 2013 Speech from the Throne.

Canada is the first country in the world to give the One-for-One Rule the added muscle of legislation, making it the most aggressive red tape regulation in the world. The One-for-One Rule, which came into effect on April 1, 2012, places strict controls on the growth of regulatory red tape on business. Under the One-for-One Rule, for every new regulation added that imposes an administrative burden on business, one must be removed.

The One-for-One Rule is one of six systemic reforms under the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan. The Action Plan committed to reducing regulatory burden on Canadians and businesses, making it easier to do business with regulators and improving service and predictability in the federal regulatory system.

For more information: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/rtrap-parfa/faq-eng.asp?utm_source=referral&utm_medium=news&utm_term=canada&utm_content=faq&utm_campaign=1for1#s1.

 

Bill C-22, Energy Safety and Security Act
Stage: Second Reading and Referral to the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources

This Act will modernize safety and security for Canada’s offshore and nuclear energy industries, ensuring a world-class regulatory system and strengthening safety and environmental protections.

The legislation builds on Canada’s strong record of safety and security in the nuclear and offshore energy industries. It will ensure Canada’s energy sector can continue to thrive.

The Government of Canada worked in cooperation with the Provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador to develop amendments to the offshore liability legislation in each Accord Act, and each province is expected to introduce mirror legislation in the coming months.

In the offshore oil and gas sector, the new legislation will raise the absolute liability for companies operating in the Atlantic offshore from $30 million to $1 billion and in the Arctic from $40 million to $1 billion. Liability for fault will remain unlimited.

The new legislation will amend the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act, Canada-Newfoundland Atlantic Accord Implementation Act, the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (COGOA) and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act (CPRA).

In the nuclear sector, the new legislation will increase the absolute liability limit of operators from $75 million to $1 billion and permit Canada to implement the International Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage.

This legislation will replace the 1976 Nuclear Liability Act.

For more information: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media-room/backgrounder/2014/14658.

 

Bill C-23, Fair Elections Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on June 19, 2014

The Fair Elections Act will make our laws tough, clear and easy-to-follow. It will make life harder for election law-breakers, and put the focus back on Canadians being engaged and taking part in the electoral process, one of the cornerstones of our democratic system.

This legislation implements 38 of the Chief Electoral Officer’s past recommendations and brings to light concerns raised by Canadians about our country’s present Canada Elections Act.

The Fair Elections Act:

 Protects voters from rogue calls and impersonation with a mandatory public registry for mass calling, prison time for impersonating elections officials and increased penalties for deceiving people out of their votes.

 Gives law enforcement sharper teeth, a longer reach and a freer hand. “Sharper teeth” means allowing the Commissioner to seek tougher penalties for existing offences. “Longer reach” means empowering the Commissioner with more than a dozen new offences to combat big money, rogue calls and fraudulent voting. Finally, a “freer hand” means the Commissioner will have full independence, with control of his or her staff and investigations, and a fixed-term of seven years, so he or she cannot be fired without cause.

 Voter Identification: allowing electors to vote with two pieces of identification that prove their identity and a written oath as to their residence, provided that another elector from the same polling division who proves his or her identity and residence by providing documentary proof also takes a written oath as to the elector’s residence. This new measure will allow those who do not have identification proving their residence to register and vote on polling day. To ensure the integrity of the vote, new verification of potential non-compliance will be done after polling day, and an audit of compliance with registration and voting rules will be done after every election

 Parties will have the right to advance rulings and interpretations from Elections Canada within 45 days of a request (a service similar to one provided by the Canada Revenue Agency). Elections Canada will also be required to keep a registry of interpretations and provide for consultation with and notice to parties before changing them.

 Allows small donations in, and keeps big money out. Big money from special interests can drown out the voices of everyday citizens. That is why our laws strive to keep it out. The Fair Elections Act will ban the use of loans to evade donation rules. However, the Fair Elections Act will allow parties to better fund democratic outreach with small increases in spending limits, while imposing tougher audits and penalties to enforce those limits.

 Upholds Free Speech. The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the ban on premature transmission of election results infringes on freedom of expression. The Fair Elections Act repeals this ban and upholds free speech.

 The Act will also establish an extra day of advance polling. The proposed change would give Canadians access to four advance polling days – the 10th, 9th, 8th and 7th days before Election Day.

For more information: http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/government-supports-amendments-fair-elections-act.

 

Bill C-24, Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on June 19, 2014

This legislation introduced the first comprehensive reforms to the Citizenship Act since 1977. Bill C-24 will protect the value of Canadian citizenship for those who have it while creating a faster and more efficient process for those applying to get it.

This legislation streamlines Canada’s citizenship program by reducing the decision-making process from three steps to one. It is expected that, by 2015–2016, this change will bring the average processing time for citizenship applications down to under a year.

It is also projected that by 2015-2016, the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80 percent. Citizenship application fees will be better aligned with the actual cost of processing, relieving the burden on Canadian taxpayers who currently subsidize 80 percent of the cost.

The government also ensures citizenship applicants maintain strong ties to Canada. This act provides a clearer indication that the “residence” period to qualify for citizenship in fact requires a physical presence in Canada. More applicants will now be required to meet language requirements and pass a knowledge test, to ensure that new citizens are better prepared to fully participate in Canadian society. New provisions help individuals with strong ties to Canada, such as by automatically extending citizenship to additional “Lost Canadians” who were born before 1947, as well as to their children born in the first generation outside Canada.

This legislation includes stronger penalties for fraud and misrepresentation (a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or five years in prison), and expanding the grounds to bar an application for citizenship to include foreign criminality which will help improve program integrity.

Finally, the legislation brings Canada in line with most of our peer countries, by providing that citizenship can be revoked from dual nationals who are convicted of terrorism, high treason, and spying offences (depending on the sentence received), or who take up arms against Canada. Permanent residents who commit these acts will be barred from applying for citizenship.

For more information: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=tp&crtr.page=2&nid=814249&crtr.tp1D=1&_ga=1.262043790.2098061473.1391089645.

 

Bill C-25, Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on June 19, 2014

This legislation enables the Governor in Council to implement the agreements reached between Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians, which protect the integrity and credibility of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation and ensure that only those individuals with a legitimate claim to membership are registered following the completion of the enrolment process.

Bill C-25 reflects the original intention of the parties with respect to the creation of a Founding Members list and supports the implementation of 2013 Supplemental Agreement.

For more information: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1319805325971/1319805372507.

 

Bill C-26, Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act
Stage: Second Reading and Referral to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights

This proposed legislation is intended to better protect children from a range of sexual offences and exploitation at home and abroad.

These nine new measures reflect the government’s commitment in the 2013 Speech from the Throne to re-establish Canada as a country where those who break the law are punished for their actions, where prison time matches the severity of crimes committed, and where the most vulnerable victims – children – are better protected.

The legislation includes nine key measures:

 Requiring those receiving separate sentences at the same time for contact child sexual offences against multiple children to serve their sentences consecutively– one after another;

 Requiring those sentenced at the same time for child pornography offences and contact child sexual offences to serve their sentences consecutively;

 Increasing maximum and minimum prison sentences for certain child sexual offences;

 Increasing penalties for violation of conditions of supervision orders;

 Ensuring that a crime committed while on house arrest, parole, statutory release or unescorted temporary absence is an aggravating factor at sentencing;

 Ensuring that spousal testimony is available in child pornography cases;

 Requiring registered sex offenders to provide more information regarding travel abroad;

 Enabling information-sharing on certain registered sex offenders between officials responsible for the National Sex Offender Registry and at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA); and

 Establishing a publicly accessible database of high-risk child sex offenders who have been the subject of a public notification in a provincial/territorial jurisdiction to assist in ensuring the safety of our communities.

For more information: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?crtr.sj1D=&crtr.mnthndVl=2&mthd=advSrch&crtr.dpt1D=6681&nid=819369&crtr.lc1D=&crtr.tp1D=&crtr.yrStrtVl=2008&crtr.kw=&crtr.dyStrtVl=26&crtr.aud1D=&crtr.mnthStrtVl=2&crtr.page=1&crtr.yrndVl=2014&crtr.dyndVl=27.

 

Bill C-27, Veterans Hiring Act
Stage: Second Reading and Referral to Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence

This legislation is intended to provide medically released Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who were injured in service to Canada the top level of priority consideration for job openings in the public service. When a position becomes open in the public service, different groups have different levels of access. When this legislation comes into force, those Regular Force and Reserve Force members who are medically released from the Canadian Armed Forces for service-related reasons will receive a statutory priority for a period of five years. This will provide Veterans with the highest level of priority consideration for public service positions, above all other groups, in recognition of their sacrifices and service to Canada.

Those full-time Regular or Reserve Force Veterans who release for non-service-related medical reasons will continue to receive their existing level of priority. However, the duration of their access will be increased from two to five years, allowing them a longer period of priority entitlement for positions.

Veterans who will make use of this measure must qualify for the positions they are seeking. The changes will apply to medically released Veterans who received a priority entitlement on or after April 1, 2012.

For more information: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/news/viewbackgrounder/28.

 

Bill C-28, Appropriation Act No. 5, 2013-14
Stage: Royal Assent Received on March 27, 2014

This legislation authorizes payments to defray certain expenses of the public service of Canada, not otherwise provided for, for the financial year ending 31 March 2014.

For more information: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/esp-pbc/aa-lc-eng.asp.

 

Bill C-29, Appropriation Act No. 1, 2014-15
Stage: Royal Assent Received on March 27, 2014

This legislation authorizes payments to defray certain expenses of the public service of Canada, not otherwise provided for, for the financial year ending 31 March 2015.

For more information: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/esp-pbc/aa-lc-eng.asp.

 

Bill C-30, Safe Rail for Grain Farmers Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on May 29, 2014

This legislation amends the Canada Transportation Act and the Canada Grain Act, providing additional measures designed to help the entire grain transportation system reach the goal of getting product to market quickly and more efficiently following a record crop year for Canadian farmers.

Our government is taking immediate, concrete action to get grain moving faster through legislation and regulations designed to:

 Increase supply chain transparency;

 Strengthen contracts between producers and shippers; and,

 Help ensure the entire grain handling and transportation system is working efficiently at the top of its capacity.

This legislation also addresses the medium and long-term implications of higher crop yields and extreme cold weather. Going forward, railways will be required to deliver more timely data on grain movements to better monitor the overall performance of the supply chain. The Canadian Transportation Agency will also gather information from all grain supply chain partners on shipping capacities and plans prior to each new crop year, and will advise the Minister of Transport whether specific grain volumes should be mandated for the coming year.

For more information: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=index&crtr.page=1&nid=845719&_ga=1.180062564.1725713778.1398861821.

 

Bill C-31, Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1
Stage: Royal Assent Received on June 19, 2014

Bill C-31 legislates key elements of Economic Action Plan 2014, which commits to a return to balanced budgets in 2015. These elements include measures to help connect Canadians with available jobs and foster job creation; support families and communities; and invest in infrastructure, trade and responsible resource development.

Highlights of the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 include:

Connecting Canadians with available jobs and fostering job creation

 Providing $14 million over two years and $4.7 million per year ongoing towards the successful implementation of an Expression of Interest economic immigration system, to support Canada’s labour market needs.

 Providing apprentices registered in the Red Seal trades with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training.

 Cutting red tape on more than 50,000 employers by reducing the maximum number of required payments on account of source deductions.

Supporting families and communities

 Encouraging competition and lower prices in the telecommunications market by capping wholesale domestic wireless roaming rates, to prevent wireless providers from charging other companies who may be their competitors more than they charge their own customers for mobile voice, data and text services.

 Increasing the maximum amount of the Adoption Expense Tax Credit to $15,000 to help make adoption more affordable for Canadian families.

 Exempting acupuncturists’ and naturopathic doctors’ professional services from the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax.

 Enhancing access to Employment Insurance sickness benefits for claimants who receive Parents of Critically Ill Children and Compassionate Care benefits.

Investing in infrastructure, trade and responsible resource development

 Reducing barriers to the international and domestic flow of goods and services.

 Supporting mineral exploration by junior companies by extending the 15-per-cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for flow-through share investors for an additional year.

 Eliminating tariffs on mobile offshore drilling units used in offshore oil and gas exploration and development.

 Doubling to 10 years, for income tax purposes, the carry-forward period for donations of ecologically sensitive land to conservation charities.

For more information: http://www.fin.gc.ca/pub/C31/index-eng.asp.

 

Bill C-32, Victims Bill of Rights Act
Stage: Committee Report Presented in the House of Commons

This legislation would transform the criminal justice system by creating, at the federal level, clear rights for victims of crime – a first in Canadian history.

The legislation would create the following statutory rights for victims of crime:

 Right to information: Victims would have the right to general information about the criminal justice system and available victim services and programs, as well as specific information about the progress of the case, including information relating to the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of the person who harmed them.

 Right to protection: Victims would have the right to have their security and privacy considered at all stages of the criminal justice process, to have reasonable and necessary measures to protect them from intimidation and retaliation, and to request their identity be protected from public disclosure.

 Right to participation: Victims would have a right to convey their views about decisions to be made by criminal justice professionals and have them considered at various stages of the criminal justice process, and to present a victim impact statement.

 Right to restitution: Victims would have the right to have the court consider making a restitution order for all offences for which there are easy-to-calculate financial losses.

For more information: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/04/03/overview-canadian-victims-bill-rights.

 

Bill C-33, First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act
Stage: Second Reading and Referral to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

This legislation would provide First Nations students with the education standards, supports and opportunities that most Canadians take for granted. It will require that First Nation schools design curriculums that ensure students can transfer seamlessly between schools on and off reserve, that students meet minimum attendance requirements, that teachers are properly certified, and that First Nation schools award widely recognized diplomas or certificates.

Acknowledging that First Nations are best placed to know what their youth need to succeed, the legislation recognizes the responsibility of First Nations in the administration of their own education systems on-reserve. To support First Nations control of First Nations education, the Government of Canada has committed to providing for stable, more predictable statutory funding that increases annually at a rate of 4.5 per cent.

For more information: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1358798070439/1358798420982?utm_source=firstnationeducation&utm_medium=url.

 

Bill C-34, Tla'amin Final Agreement Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on June 19, 2014

This legislation ratifies the Tla’amin Final Agreement, reinforcing the government’s commitment to find common solutions through negotiation and move forward together in a spirit of partnership and reconciliation. With unanimous support from all parties, the bill was passed at all stages in the House of Commons.

The Tla’amin Final Agreement is the fourth and final agreement to be reached under the British Columbia treaty process, and gives the First Nation more control over land and resources, as well as self-government over their lands, resources and members. Once in effect, the Tla’amin Final Agreement will provide certainty with respect to the Tla’amin Nation’s Aboriginal rights, including title, providing economic benefits to the First Nation.

For more information: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1397050017650/1397050094605.

 

Bill C-35, Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto’s Law)
Stage: Second Reading and Referral to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights

This legislation would ensure that those who harm law enforcement, service and Canadian Armed Forces animals face serious consequences.

Our government recognizes the special role that these animals play in protecting our communities and improving the quality of life of Canadians. The proposed legislation is aimed at denouncing and deterring the wilful harming of specially trained animals used to help law enforcement officers, persons with disabilities or the Canadian Armed Forces.

The introduction of this legislation fulfills a commitment made by our government in the 2013 Speech from the Throne to recognize the daily risks taken by police officers and their service animals in their efforts to enforce the law and protect Canadians and communities. The legislation honours Quanto, a police dog who was stabbed to death while helping to apprehend a fleeing suspect in Edmonton, Alberta, in October 2013. Quanto had four years of decorated service and had participated in more than 100 arrests.

For more information: http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/05/12/pm-harper-announces-greater-protection-law-enforcement-service-and-military-animals.

 

Bill C-36, Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on November 6, 2014

This legislation is in response to the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling in Canada v. Bedford to ensure that Canada's laws and the criminal justice system continue to address the significant harms that flow from prostitution to those engaged in prostitution and to other vulnerable persons, while protecting Canadian communities.

The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act is a "made-in-Canada" model, which directly targets the demand for this dangerous activity. This model involves a significant overhaul of the Criminal Code's treatment of prostitution and related activities. It would:

 Criminalize those who fuel the demand for prostitution, i.e. purchasers of sexual services;

 Continue to criminalize those who financially benefit from the exploitation of others through prostitution, such as pimps, and those who procure others for the purpose of prostitution;

 Prohibit advertising for the sale of others' sexual services in print or online;

 Immunize those who sell their own sexual services from criminal liability for any part they play in the purchasing, material benefit, procuring or advertising offences;

 Protect our communities by criminalizing communicating for the purpose of selling sexual services in public places where a child could reasonably be expected to be present; and

 Increase existing penalties relating to child prostitution.

For more information: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=tp&crtr.page=1&nid=853729&crtr.tp1D=930.

 

Bill C-37, Riding Name Change Act, 2014
Stage: Royal Assent Received on June 19, 2014

Bill C-37 changes the names of 30 electoral districts (in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia) and amends the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act to change the name of the electoral district of the Northwest Territories. This includes readjustment within the riding of Edmonton-Leduc, which will be divided into Edmonton-Riverbend and Edmonton-Wetaskiwin.

For more information: www.elections.ca

 

Bill C-38, Appropriation Act No. 2, 2014-15
Stage: Royal Assent Received on June 19, 2014

This legislation authorizes payments to defray certain expenses of the public service of Canada, not otherwise provided for, for the financial year ending 31 March 2015.

For more information: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/esp-pbc/aa-lc-eng.asp.

 

Bill C-39, Appropriation Act No. 3, 2014-15
Stage: Royal Assent Received on June 19, 2014

This legislation authorizes payments to defray certain expenses of the public service of Canada, not otherwise provided for, for the financial year ending 31 March 2015.

For more information: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/esp-pbc/aa-lc-eng.asp.

 

Bill C-40, Rouge National Urban Park Act
Stage: Concurrence at Report Stage in the House of Commons

The Rouge National Urban Park Act will create Canada’s first national urban park, unique among protected areas in Canada. The Rouge National Urban Park will be 16 times larger than Central park in New York, contains stricter environmental protections, and protects an important ecosystem in the heart of Canada’s largest urban centre.

The Rouge National Urban Park possesses an unparalleled combination of natural and cultural features, including more than 10,000 years of rich human history, countless species of flora and fauna, and a vibrant farming community. The park’s urban context brings unprecedented accessibility for Canadians to learn about the park and all of Canada’s protected heritage areas, which will be enhanced by multiple access points and a strong sense of arrival and welcome.

For more information: http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/cp-nr/release_e.asp?id=2004&andor1=nr.

 

Bill C-41, Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on November 26, 2014

This landmark agreement constitutes Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region and will provide new access for Canadian businesses and workers to the world’s 15th-largest economy and the fourth-largest in Asia.

The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is projected to create thousands of jobs for hardworking Canadians by boosting Canada’s economy by $1.7 billion and increase Canadian exports to South Korea by 32 percent. South Korea is not only a major economic player in its own right and a key market for Canada; it also serves as a gateway for Canadian businesses and workers into the dynamic Asia-Pacific region as a whole.

For more information: http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/09/22/canada-korea-free-trade-agreement.

 

Bill C-42, the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act
Stage: Second Reading in the House of Commons

This bill meets the government’s objective to cut red tape for law-abiding firearms owners and provide safe and simple firearms policies.

Changes to the Criminal Code and the classification regime would enable the government to take steps to ensure the rights of lawful firearms owners are respected.

The amendments to the Firearms Act and Criminal Code would:

 Create a six-month grace period at the end of the five-year license period to stop people from immediately becoming criminalized for paperwork delays around license renewals;

 Streamline the licensing system by eliminating the Possession Only License (POL) and converting all existing POLs to Possession and Acquisition Licenses (PALs);

 Make classroom participation in firearms safety training mandatory for first-time license applicants;

 Amend the Criminal Code to strengthen the provisions relating to orders prohibiting the possession of firearms where a person is convicted of an offence involving domestic violence;

 End needless paperwork around Authorizations to Transport by making them a condition of a license for certain routine and lawful activities;

 Provide for the discretionary authority of Chief Firearms Officers to be subject to limit by regulation;

 Authorize firearms import information sharing when restricted and prohibited firearms are imported into Canada by businesses; and,

 Allow the government to have the final say on classification decisions, following the receipt of independent expert advice.

For more information: http://www.safeandsensible.ca/common-sense-firearms-licensing-act/.

 

Bill C-43, Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2
Stage: Royal Assent Received on December 16, 2014

This legislation implements measures from Economic Action Plan 2014 and other measures that will support jobs, economic growth, families and communities, as well as improve the fairness and integrity of the tax system, as the government returns to balanced budgets in 2015.

Highlights of the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 include:

Supporting Jobs and Growth

 Supporting job creation and growing Canada’s economy by introducing the new Small Business Job Credit

 Extending the existing tax credit for interest paid on government-sponsored student loans to interest paid on a Canada Apprentice Loan

 Introducing new reporting standards to meet Canada’s 2013 Group of Eight (G-8) commitment to increase transparency for entities operating in the extractive sector

Supporting Families and Communities

 Doubling the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit to $1,000 and making it refundable

 Permitting income contributed to an amateur athlete trust to qualify as earned income for Registered Retirement Savings Plan contribution limit purposes

 Expanding eligibility for the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy equipment

 Improving competition in the telecommunications market by providing telecommunications regulators with the power to impose administrative monetary penalties on companies that violate rules such as the Wireless Code

 Ending “pay-to-pay” billing practices by telecommunications service providers whereby subscribers are charged to receive bills in paper form

 Reducing the administrative burden on charities by allowing them to use modern electronic tools to raise funds

 Creating a national DNA-based Missing Persons Index to assist law enforcement in investigations and help bring closure to the families of missing persons through DNA matching

Improving the Fairness and Integrity of the Tax System

 Eliminating graduated rate taxation for trusts and certain estates

 Better targeting income tax rules relating to non-resident trusts

 Protecting the tax base by preventing the shifting of certain Canadian source income to no- or low-tax jurisdictions

For more information: http://www.fin.gc.ca/pub/c43/index-eng.asp.

 

Bill C-44, Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act
Stage: Committee Report Presented in the House of Commons

Terrorism remains a serious threat to Canada and Canadian interests. The nature of this threat continues to be apparent both abroad and at home. Abroad, the public and direct threat issued by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) against Canada demonstrates that Canada is not far from the minds of those who would seek to do us harm. The government is also aware of more than 130 individuals with Canadian connections who were abroad and were suspected of taking part in terrorism-related activities in Iraq, Syria and other countries. At home, just last year, our national security agencies also dealt with two separate conspiracies to conduct attacks here in Canada.

In order to continue to ensure the safety and security of Canadians, the government will take action on two fronts through the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act.

First, the government is introducing targeted and limited amendments to the CSIS Act to ensure that CSIS has the tools it needs to investigate threats to the security of Canada. The amendments proposed will:

 Confirm CSIS’s authority to conduct investigations outside of Canada;

 Confirm that the Federal Court can issue warrants for CSIS to investigate threats to our national security outside of Canada;

 Give the Federal Court authority to operate within the scope of relevant Canadian law when issuing warrants to authorize CSIS to undertake certain activities to investigate a threat to the security of Canada outside of Canada;

 Protect the identity of CSIS human sources from disclosure, similar to protections afforded to informants to Canadian law enforcement agencies; and

 Protect the identity of CSIS employees who may engage in covert activities in the future.

Second, the government will introduce technical amendments to the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act to allow the government to seek earlier implementation of the citizenship revocation provisions that received Royal Assent on June 19, 2014. These provisions will enable the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens who are convicted of terrorism, high treason, and treason or spying offences, depending on the sentence received. This action will reinforce the high value of citizenship, and ensure that dual citizens who have been convicted of terrorist acts do not continue to benefit from Canadian citizenship.

For more information: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=897139

 

Bill C-45, Appropriation Act No. 4, 2014-15
Stage: Royal Assent Received on December 16, 2014

This legislation authorizes payments to defray certain expenses of the public service of Canada, not otherwise provided for, for the financial year ending 31 March 2015.

For more information: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/esp-pbc/aa-lc-eng.asp

 

Bill C-46, Pipeline Safety Act
Stage: Introduction and First Reading in the House of Commons

This Act introduces legislative measures to further enhance Canada’s world-class pipeline safety system. Bill C-46 builds on previous action taken by the government to prevent incidents, including increasing the number of annual pipeline inspections and audits conducted by the National Energy Board (NEB) and strengthening the Board’s enforcement capabilities by giving it authority to fine pipeline operators for smaller incidents. Currently, 99.999 percent of the oil transported through 73,000 kilometres of federally regulated pipeline is completed safely.

The government’s latest measures proposed include:

 Introducing absolute liability for all NEB-regulated pipelines, meaning that companies will be liable for costs and damages irrespective of fault — up to $1 billion for major oil pipelines; companies continue to have unlimited liability when at fault or negligent;

 Providing the NEB authority to order reimbursement of any cleanup costs incurred by governments, communities or individuals; and

 Providing the NEB authority and resources to assume control of incident response if a company is unable or unwilling to do so (i.e., in exceptional circumstances).

For more information: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=index&crtr.page=1&nid=912979.

 

Bill C-47, Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act, 2014
Stage: Second Reading in the Senate

This legislation corrects certain anomalies, inconsistencies and errors and deals with other matters of a non-controversial and uncomplicated nature in the Statutes of Canada, and repeals certain provisions that have expired, lapsed or otherwise ceased to have effect.

The Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Program was established in 1975 and is administered by the legislation section of the Department of Justice. It was developed in order to provide a means of cleaning up federal statutes.

For more information: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/MSLA/.

 

Bill C-48, Modernization of Canada’s Grain Industry Act
Stage: Introduction and First Reading in the House of Commons

The Bill will build on major reforms made in 2012 by enhancing producer protections and improving grain quality and grain safety assurance.

The amendments will allow the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) to establish a producer compensation fund to protect producers in the event that a licensee fails to pay for grain deliveries. Producer access to binding determination of grade and dockage for their deliveries of grain will be extended to include process elevators, grain dealers, and container loading facilities. A new class of license will be created for container loading facilities, which will also be brought under producer payment protection programs.

Changes aim to make the monitoring of grain safety more consistent across the country, establish a non-binding decision review mechanism to evaluate certain Commission decisions, and allow for more effective enforcement of violations under the Canada Grain Act, Canada Grain Regulations, and orders issued by the Canadian Grain Commission. The government will undertake consultations with stakeholders, including provinces, in advance of implementation.

The Bill also updates the CGC's mandate clarifying that it acts in the public interest.

 

Bill C-49, Price Transparency Act
Stage: Introduction and First Reading in the House of Commons

The Price Transparency Act will help tackle the practice of geographic price discrimination, one of the key contributors to the Canada–U.S. price gap. This legislation provides the Commissioner of Competition with the tools necessary to investigate alleged cases of price discrimination and to publicly report situations where consumers are unfairly targeted with higher prices. The Commissioner will be authorized to seek court orders to compel the production of evidence to expose discriminatory pricing practices that are not justified by higher costs in Canada and to publicly report to consumers on the findings.

For more information: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=913059

 

Bill C-50, Citizen Voting Act
Stage: Introduction and First Reading in the House of Commons

The Citizen Voting Act will:

 Ensure only Canadian citizens vote in federal elections, by:

o requiring proof of citizenship from everyone voting in Canadian elections while abroad (except Canadian Forces);

o allowing the Chief Electoral Officer to cross reference Citizenship and Immigration data to remove non-citizens from the voters list.

 Put an end to the possibility of “riding shopping”, by ensuring that non-residents can only receive a ballot for the Canadian address at which they last resided.

 Apply the voter identification rules to all Canadians. Under the Fair Elections Act, Canadians living inside the country must prove who they are and where they live. 87% of Canadians support this requirement, according to an Ipsos Reid poll. The Citizen Voting Act will require voters residing abroad to prove their identity and their most recent Canadian address the same way everyone else in Canada does under the Fair Elections Act rules.

 Create one set of rules for voting from outside of Canada. The Citizen Voting Act will mean that those voting while abroad – whether temporarily on vacation or living permanently away – will need to apply for a ballot in the same way following the same rules.

For more information: http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-citizen-voting-act

 

Senate Bills

Below is a list of government bills introduced to the Senate during the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. For a complete list, please visit: http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/Home.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&ParliamentSession=41-2&OriginatingChamber=Senate&Page=1.

 

Bill S-2, Incorporation by Reference in Regulations Act
Stage: Committee Report Presented in the House of Commons

A similar bill was introduced in the previous session, Bill S-12.

This legislation amends the Statutory Instruments Act in the following ways:

 It imposes an obligation on regulation-making authorities to ensure that a document, index, rate or number that is incorporated by reference is accessible, and;

 It provides that a person is not liable to be found guilty of an offence or subjected to an administrative sanction for a contravention relating to a document, index, rate or number that is incorporated by reference unless certain requirements in relation to accessibility are met.

For more information: http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/LegislativeSummaries/bills_ls.asp?source=library_prb&ls=S2&Parl=41&Ses=2&Language=E&Mode=1.

 

Bill S-3, An Act to Amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act
Stage: Second Reading and Referral to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans

This legislation amends the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act to include a broader definition of “fishing vessel” to cover any vessels used for the trans-shipment of fish or marine plants not previously landed, and tougher prohibitions against the importation of fish, marine plants, and seafood products from illegal sources.

For more information: http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/LegislativeSummaries/bills_ls.asp?source=library_prb&ls=S3&Parl=41&Ses=2&Language=E&Mode=1

 

Bill S-4, Digital Privacy Act
Stage: Referral to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology Before Second Reading in the House of Commons

This legislation will provide new protections for Canadians when they surf the web and shop online. These changes to protect Canadians' personal information are key elements of Digital Canada 150, a plan for Canada's digital future.

The Digital Privacy Act will require organizations to inform consumers when their personal information has been lost or stolen—also referred to as a "data breach"—ensuring Canadians can act to protect themselves when they shop online. Companies that fail to do so, or that destroy these records, will face fines of up to $100,000.

The new measures also establish stronger rules to ensure that vulnerable Canadians, particularly children, fully understand the potential consequences when companies ask to collect and use their personal information. Companies will need to communicate these requests in clear and simple language for the target audience.

Changes will also be made to the way personal information is shared from one business to another. This includes vital information for financial institutions to detect financial abuse and attempts to defraud seniors or to communicate with the parents of an injured child.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada will also have improved powers, making the Commissioner more flexible and effective in protecting the rights of Canadians in the changing digital world.

For more information: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=836519&_ga=1.158256442.1268274362.1391607419.

 

Bill S-5, Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on December 16, 2014

This legislation will formally protect Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve under the Canada National Parks Act. Combined with the government’s significant expansion in 2009 of Nahanni National Park Reserve, the creation of Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve will protect the South Nahanni River watershed and habitat for the mountain woodland caribou, grizzly bears, Dall’s sheep, mountain goats and Trumpeter swans.

For more information: http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/cp-nr/release_e.asp?id=1892&andor1=nr.

 

Bill S-6, Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act
Stage: Second Reading in the House of Commons

This proposed legislation, which includes amendments to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act, and the Nunavut Waters and Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal Act will enhance, improve, and modernize Northern regulatory regimes and ensure consistency with other regulatory regimes across the North and in the rest of Canada.

Today’s introduction of Bill S-6 will complement Bill C-47, an Act to enact the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act and the Northwest Territories Surface rights Board Act, and Bill C-15 which introduced the Northwest Territories Devolution Act and changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. This will complete the legislative portion of the Government of Canada’s Action Plan to Improve Northern Regulatory Regimes.

 

Bill S-7, Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act
Stage: Third Reading in the Senate

This legislation would strengthen Canadian laws to prevent barbaric cultural practices from happening on Canadian soil.

The Act sends a clear message to individuals coming to this country that harmful and violent cultural practices are unacceptable in Canada. These practices are incompatible with Canadian values and will not be tolerated.

The Act would amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), the Civil Marriage Act and the Criminal Code. It would provide more protection and support for vulnerable immigrants—primarily women and girls—including:

 Creating a new inadmissibility under IRPA that would render permanent residents and temporary residents inadmissible if they practice polygamy in Canada;

 Strengthening Canadian marriage laws by amending the Civil Marriage Act to codify the existing legal requirements, at the national level, for “free and enlightened consent” and establishing a new national minimum age for marriage of 16;

 Helping to protect potential victims of early or forced marriages by creating a new specific court-ordered peace bond to be used where there are grounds to fear that a person would commit a forced or early marriage offence, including the mandatory surrendering of a passport to prevent a child from being taken out of the country to facilitate a forced marriage;

 Criminalizing certain conduct related to early and forced marriage ceremonies in the Criminal Code, including the act of removing a child from Canada for the purpose of such marriage;

 Limiting the defence of provocation so that it would not apply in so-called “honour” killings and many spousal homicides; and

 Including consequential amendments to the Prisons and Reformatories Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act to include the aforementioned peace bond.

These changes build upon existing federal initiatives that are providing vital support, protection and services for newcomers to Canada, specifically women and girls.

For more information: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=900339.

 

Private Member’s Bills

Below are some of the Private Member’s Bills and Motions that were introduced by Members of Parliament during the past Session of the House of Commons.

For a complete list of Private Member’s Bills and Motions, I welcome you to use the following link: http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/Home.aspx?language=E&ParliamentSession=41-2&BillType=Private+Member%e2%80%99s+Bill&Page=1.

 

Bill C-394, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and the National Defence Act (Criminal Organization Recruitment) Stage: Royal Assent Received on June 19, 2014
Parm Gill, MP (Brampton-Springdale)

This legislation will create a new indictable Criminal Code offence to prohibit recruiting or encouraging a person to join a criminal organization. The new offence will be punishable by a maximum of five years' imprisonment and carry a mandatory minimum penalty of six months if the person recruited is under the age of 18.

For more information: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2012/doc_32739.html.

 

Bill C-428, Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act
Stage: Royal Assent Received on December 16, 2014
Rob Clarke, MP (Desnethe- Missinippi-Churchill River)

This legislation contains measures to change the Indian Act including proposing to repeal all references to residential schools within the Indian Act.

For more information: http://robclarkemp.ca/pmb/faq-on-bill-c-428.

 

Bill C-586, Reform Act, 2014
Stage: Second Reading and Referral to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
Michael Chong, MP (Wellington – Halton Hills)

I was proud to second this important piece of legislation when it was presented. The legislation signals a real and substantive effort to improve parliamentary accountability for Members of Parliament and leaders of all political parties in Canada’s House of Commons.

C-586 seeks to introduce three key reforms to strengthen Parliament:

Proposing to restore local control over party nominations;

 Strengthen caucus as a decision-making body, and;

 Reinforce the accountability of party leaders to caucuses.

For more information: www.reformact.ca

 

Bill C-590, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Blood Alcohol Content)
Stage: Second Reading and Referral to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
Randy Hoback, MP (Prince Albert)

This legislation would establish more severe penalties for offenders who have a blood alcohol content exceeding twice the legal limit. Such offenders would be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years. Penalties for a first offence conviction would also result in a minimum fine of $2,000 and a minimum 60 day prison term. In the case of a second or subsequent offence, the minimum imprisonment term would be 240 days.

Those with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit who harm or kill someone, would also be additionally penalized: (a) a minimum fine of $5,000 and a minimum 120 day prison term (first offence); and (b) a minimum 12 month prison term (second or subsequent offence).

For more information: http://www.mprandyhoback.ca/prince-albert-mp-randy-hobacks-bill-c-590-passes-second-reading/

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