In today's edition:
- Mulcair wants to strengthen the mandate of the PBO
- time allocation x 2; bills S-15 and S-2 approach their debate limits
- Canadian Museum of History Act to be scrutinized clause by clause at committee
- International Trade committee considers benefits of TPP
- Looking at the week ahead
IN THE HOUSE TODAY
Private Members' Business
Leading off today's legislative agenda will be further debate on the bill standing in the name of NDP leader Thomas Mulcair (C-476) seeking to make the Parliamentary Budget Officer an independent Officer of Parliament and strengthening the mandate of the Office.
Bill status & details - C-476, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Parliamentary Budget Officer)
Short Title: Parliamentary Budget Officer Act.
Through amendments to the Parliament of Canada Act, this bill would provide for the appointment of the Parliamentary Budget Officer as an Officer of Parliament, like the positions of the Auditor General and the Chief Electoral Officer (currently the PBO is an Officer of the Library of Parliament). It details the process for appointment of the position including consultation with leaders of recognized parties and specifies educational background and bilingualism requirements. It also mandates annual reports to Parliament.
Status: Introduced on February 27, 2013. Second reading: April 26, 2013 (1st of 2 hours)
Sponsor: Thomas Mulcair (Official Opposition Leader, MP for Outremont)
Two bills are at the top of today's agenda to receive their remaining allotted hours of debate at their respective stages, including: legislation to establish Sable Island as a national park reserve (S-15); and a bill to establish rules and provisions regarding matrimonial and property rights on reserves (S-2). Just over one hour remains at second reading on S-15 before a vote to send it to committee and 2 hours and 48 minutes of debate remain on S-2 at third reading stage before a final vote in the House.
Bill status & details - S-15, An Act to amend the Canada National Parks Act and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and to make consequential amendments to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001
Short Title: Expansion and Conservation of Canada’s National Parks Act
This bill seeks to amend the Canada National Parks Act to create Sable Island National Park Reserve of Canada. It would also amend the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act to prohibit drilling for petroleum in Sable Island National Park within one nautical mile seaward. Additionally, amendments are proposed to the Canada Shipping Act, as well as to the description of the commercial zones for the Community of Field in Yoho National Park of Canada and of the leasehold boundary of the Marmot Basin Ski Area in Jasper National Park of Canada.
Status: Introduced in the Senate on February 12, 2013. Reviewed by the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources over the course of 3 meetings and adopted with one amendment. Passed by the Senate at third reading on May 1, 2013 and subsequently sent to the House for consideration where it was read for a first time on May 7, 2013. Second reading: May 31, 2013; June 6, 2013.
House sponsor: Minister of the Environment
Note: A motion to allot no more than 5 further sitting hours to this bill at this stage passed on June 6, 2013; one hour and 20 minutes remain for debate.
Bill status & details – S-2, An Act respecting family homes situated on First Nation reserves and matrimonial interests or rights in or to structures and lands situated on those reserves
Short title: Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act.
Legislative Summary: “This enactment provides for the adoption of First Nation laws and the establishment of provisional rules and procedures that apply during a conjugal relationship, when that relationship breaks down or on the death of a spouse or common-law partner, respecting the use, occupation and possession of family homes on First Nation reserves and the division of the value of any interests or rights held by spouses or common-law partners in or to structures and lands on those reserves."
Status: Introduced on September 28, 2011 in the Senate. The bill was adopted with two amendments by the Senate committee on Human Rights, passed third reading in the Senate on December 1, 2011 and referred to the House for consideration. Introduced in the House on December 8, 2011 and debated at second reading stage on: November 1, 2012; November 22, 2012; April 17, 2013. Review by the Status of Women committee was conducted over the course of 9 meetings in April and May 2013 with the bill being adopted and reported back to the House without amendment. Concurred in at report stage on May 27, 2013. Third reading: May 27, 2013; June 4, 2013
House Sponsor: Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
Note: A time allocation motion to limit debate to no more than 5 further hours at third reading was passed on June 3, 2013; two hours and 48 minutes remain for debate at this stage.
Following the conclusion of debate on the aforementioned government bills, the House is expected to proceed next to Bill S-17, currently standing at second reading and which would implement four recently concluded tax treaties and implement amendments to existing provisions in tax treaties with Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Bill status & details – S-17, An Act to implement conventions, protocols, agreements and a supplementary convention, concluded between Canada and Namibia, Serbia, Poland, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Switzerland, for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes
Short Title: Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2013
This bill would implement four tax treaties that Canada has concluded with Namibia, Serbia, Poland and Hong Kong. As well, it would implement amendments to provisions for the exchange of tax information in tax treaties that Canada has concluded with Luxembourg and Switzerland in order to ensure that these provisions reflect the current OECD standard.
Status: Introduced in the Senate on March 6, 2013. Considered over 4 meetings by the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce committee, reported back to the Senate without amendment and passed at third reading on May 7, 2013. Referred to the House of Commons for consideration where it received first reading on May 9, 2013. Second reading commenced on June 3, 2013.
House Sponsor: Minister of Finance
Note: the government gave notice on Friday June 7, 2013 of intent to move a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours to debate of this bills at this stage.
Should there be any time remaining during the time allotted for Government Orders, members could begin second reading debate on Bill C-57
, Safeguarding Canada's Seas and Skies Act.
Today's scheduled votes
Immediately following question period, the House is scheduled to vote on two government bills, both expected to pass given the majority government:
- final House vote on the budget implementation bill C-60, before being sent over to the Senate for consideration.
- final vote on Bill S-8, Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act, after which it will await Royal Assent.
Today's featured House committees
- Members of the Canadian Heritage committee will meet to conduct a clause by clause analysis of the Canadian Museum of History Act (C-49) – a bill to establish the Canadian Museum of History in place of the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
- Over at the International Trade committee hearings on the benefits for Canada of the Trans-Pacific Partnership continue with expected testimony from representatives of the Canadian Labour Congress, Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.
- An extended 3-hour session has been scheduled for the Justice and Human Rights committee to hear further testimony from victims groups, mental health organizations, and legal experts, on the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act (C-54) which would amend provisions in the Criminal Code and the National Defence Act relating to accused persons found not criminally responsible due to mental disorder.
- Veterans Affairs has scheduled a late evening meeting in order to hear from Australian officials as the committee continues its comparative analysis study on the services and benefits offered to veterans by Canada and its allies.
Today's featured Senate committees
- Senators on the Human Rights committee will resume hearings on bill C-279, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity) and are scheduled to hear testimony from groups including the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, and REAL Women of Canada.
- The ongoing study by the Official Languages committee on best practices for language policies and second-language learning in a context of linguistic duality or plurality continues, and Senators will next meet with the Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne et Consortium national de formation en santé.
ITEMS OF INTEREST IN THE DAYS AHEAD
Looking ahead at the week's agenda (subject to change)
Tuesday June 11, 2013
Wednesday June 12, 2013
- Private Members' Business: Bill C-266, Pope John Paul II Day Act. Sponsor: Wladyslaw Lizon (MP for Mississauga East—Cooksville) (report stage)
Thursday June 13, 2013
- Private Members' Business: M-428, motion on electronic petitions. Sponsor: Kennedy Stewart (MP for Burnaby—Douglas) (begin debate, first of 2 hours)
Friday June 14, 2013
- Private Members' Business: M-430, motion on persons with disabilities. Sponsor: Phil McColeman (MP for Brant) (resuming debate, 2nd of 2 hours)
- Private Members' Business: Bill C-428, Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act. Sponsor: Rob Clarke (MP for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River) (report stage)
The government house leader has indicated that in terms of government bills to be called, priority will be given to bills reported back to the House from committee from now until the House rises for summer.
Votes scheduled later this week
Wednesday June 12, 2013
Private members' bills:
- vote at second reading on Bill C-480, An Act to amend the Old Age Security Act (funeral arrangements), and to refer it to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities for study.
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