Focus on Parliament

CBA Focus on Parliament is a regular compendium of federal government bills, draft regulations, selected private members’ bills and other government initiatives. The CBA Legislation and Law Reform department has compiled this list for leaders of CBA Sections, Forums and Committees, as an overview of recent federal issues on which they may wish to comment. The government’s summary and a link to the full text are included.

Chances are that you have already discussed the issues of interest with your CBA staff lawyer. Any CBA group already working on a response is listed after the summary. If your Section, Forum or Committee wishes to contribute to a CBA submission on any of these initiatives, please contact your staff lawyer.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

C-1, An Act respecting the administration of oaths of office

The electronic version of the bill is currently not available.

First Reading in House of Commons December 5, 2019

C-3, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

This enactment amends the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act to, among other things, rename the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as the Public Complaints and Review Commission. It also amends the Canada Border Services Agency Act to, among other things, grant to that Commission powers, duties and functions in relation to the Canada Border Services Agency, including the power to conduct a review of the activities of that Agency and to investigate complaints concerning the conduct of any of that Agency’s officers or employees. It also makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

First Reading in House of Commons January 27, 2020

C-5, An Act to amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code

This enactment amends the Judges Act to restrict eligibility for judicial appointment to persons who undertake to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context. It also amends the Judges Act to require that the Canadian Judicial Council report on seminars offered for the continuing education of judges on matters related to sexual assault law. Finally, it amends the Criminal Code to require that judges provide reasons for decisions in sexual assault proceedings.

Second Reading and Referral to Committee in House of Commons February 19, 2020

C-6, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's call to action number 94)

This enactment amends the Citizenship Act to include, in the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship, a solemn promise to respect the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, in order to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action number 94.

First Reading in House of Commons February 18, 2020

C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying)

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to, among other things,

  1. repeal the provision that requires a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable in order for them to be eligible for medical assistance in dying;
  2. specify that persons whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental illness are not eligible for medical assistance in dying;
  3. create two sets of safeguards that must be respected before medical assistance in dying may be provided to a person, the application of which depends on whether the person’s natural death is reasonably foreseeable;
  4. permit medical assistance in dying to be provided to a person who has been found eligible to receive it, whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable and who has lost the capacity to consent before medical assistance in dying is provided, on the basis of a prior agreement they entered into with the medical practitioner or nurse practitioner; and
  5. permit medical assistance in dying to be provided to a person who has lost the capacity to consent to it as a result of the self-administration of a substance that was provided to them under the provisions governing medical assistance in dying in order to cause their own death.

First Reading in House of Commons February 24, 2020
(End of Life Working Group)

C-8, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to, among other things, create the following offences:

  1. causing a person to undergo conversion therapy against the person’s will;
  2. causing a child to undergo conversion therapy;
  3. doing anything for the purpose of removing a child from Canada with the intention that the child undergo conversion therapy outside Canada;
  4. advertising an offer to provide conversion therapy; and
  5. receiving a financial or other material benefit from the provision of conversion therapy.

It also amends the Criminal Code to authorize courts to order that advertisements for conversion therapy be disposed of or deleted.

First Reading in House of Commons March 9, 2020

C-9, An Act to amend the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act

This enactment amends the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act by deleting the schedule to that Act and the references to that schedule in that Act, in order to avoid potential discrepancies between the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, as amended from time to time, and the portions of that Convention that are reproduced in that schedule.

First Reading in House of Commons March 10, 2020

S-1, An Act relating to railways

The electronic version of the bill is currently not available.

First Reading in Senate December 5, 2019

GOVERNMENT CONSULTATIONS

View complete list of government consultations.

Compensation for Ship-source Oil Spills  (Transport Canada)

This is part of Canada’s rules and regulations for marine liability and compensation. Canada recently made changes to the Marine Liability Act to make sure all eligible claims from any spill can be fully compensated. Canada is always working to improve its system for marine liability and compensation to better protect Canadians and the government wants to hear from you.

The consultation is open until June 30, 2020.

Modernizing the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Transport Canada)

Transport Canada is conducting a regulatory review to modernize the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs).This work aims to make the CARs more agile, coherent and risk based in an effort to better meet the aviation sector’s needs and support the Department’s mission to promote a safe and secure, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system in Canada.

The consultation is open until August 31, 2020.

Modernizing the Official Languages Act (Canadian Heritage)

The government wants comments on the modernization of the Official Languages Act. 

The consultation is open for comment.