In the Parliament

Legislation Before the House of Commons

The spring sitting of Parliament which began January 25 is currently recessed until April 12 at which point it has a maximum of 39 business days remaining to debate and pass legislation before the June 23 scheduled summer recess. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, Parliament is continuing to meet based on a hybrid model adopted last year in which MPs either participate remotely from their ridings or attend in person.

MPs will spend a significant part of some of the remaining sitting days debating the government's April 19 budget. A budget implementation bill will follow, and debate on that bill is expected to be put near the top of the government's list of legislative priorities. Any vote on the budget will be a confidence motion on which the Liberal minority government could fall.

Presently there are 18 government bills in the House of Commons. Thirteen of them are at the first stage of debate in the House, second reading. One bill, C-10, the Broadcast Act, is being studied by the House Heritage Committee. Four more are at the report stage, having returned from study by parliamentary committees for debate, and possible amendment.

Bill C-19 gives Elections Canada the tools to conduct an election during the pandemic in a manner which, it is said, does not jeopardize the health and safety of voters and poll workers. It was introduced in December 2020 and remains at second reading.

None of the government bills currently before the house are yet at third reading, the final stage of debate in the House.

Included in the legislation before parliament are several bills to change or introduce laws to fulfill election promises made by the Liberal government. These include a promised Just Transition Act for workers affected by job losses related to the move towards clean energy; legislation to "modernize" the Environmental Protection Act; and legislation to create a new Canadian Disability Benefit program.

Anything that the government wants passed into law before the summer adjournment will also have to pass through the Senate, which mirrors each stage of the House's legislative process.

Government Bills in the House of Commons

Second reading:

S-2: An Act to Amend the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act
S-3: An Act to amend the Offshore Health and Safety Act
C-2: COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act
C-11: Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020
C-12: Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act
C-13: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (single event sport betting)
C-15: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act
C-19: An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (COVID-19 response)
C-20: An Act to amend the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador Additional Fiscal Equalization Offset Payments Act
C-21: An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms)
C-22: An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
C-23: An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Identification of Criminals Act and to make related amendments to other Acts (COVID-19 response and other measures)
C-25: An Act to amend the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, to authorize certain payments to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund and to amend another Act

In Committee:

C-10: An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

Report stage:

C-5: An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation)
C-6: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)
C-8: An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's call to action number 94)
C-14: Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2020

(Hill Times)

This article was published in

Volume 51 Number 4 - April 4, 2021

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