Latest Updates

5 minute read

ICYMI

  • Last Thursday, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole pitched his party’s climate plan.  The plan includes a $20-per-tonne carbon price, with revenue being directed into individual “low carbon savings accounts” that Canadians could use to pay for products to help them live a greener life.
  • There were multiple COVID-19 vaccine developments last Friday:
    • Moderna announced that they will slash their vaccine deliveries to Canada as a result of a production issue at their facilities. The company was poised to send 1.2 million more doses to Canada this month, but that shipment has been cut back to just 650,000 shots. 
    • In better news, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada signed a deal to purchase eight million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The first four million additional doses will arrive in May. Canada is now scheduled to receive 24 million Pfizer doses from April to June.
  • Last week, Prime Minister Trudeau stated he would support provinces’ decision to prohibit inter-provincial travel to curb the rise in COVID-19 cases. This comes after B.C. Premier John Horgan spoke out about the surge of variants in his province. 
  • Earlier last week, the premiers of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick signed a memorandum of understanding to explore small-scale nuclear technology as a clean energy alternative. 
  • Prime Minister Trudeau recently said that Canada is “closely monitoring” the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause in the United States. This comes following news that U.S. officials are pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after several reports of rare blood clots. 
  • Last week, the federal government announced a $5.9 billion relief package to Air Canada. In exchange for the relief package, Air Canada has agreed to refund customers who had their flights cancelled last year because of the pandemic. The airline also committed to resuming flights on almost all suspended regional routes and promised to maintain its workforce at current levels. 

In the House

  • The federal government will unveil its first budget in two years today. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has indicated that the budget will feature a plan for getting women back into the workforce, including through a national child care plan.
  • Before Minister Freeland delivers the budget at 4:00pm today, the government is hoping to complete second reading debate of Bill C-11, An Act to enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act and the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act. Industry has been calling for the bill to be advanced through to committee.
  • MPs are scheduled to debate the budget on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week. 
  • On Friday, the government intends to resume second reading debate of Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms). 

Committee Business

  • The Standing Committee on Health will meet today to continue hearing from witnesses regarding the emergency situation facing Canadians in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage will meet today to continue clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts. 
  • The Standing Committee on International Trade will meet today to hear from witnesses regarding selected considerations concerning COVID-19 vaccines. 
  • The Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics will meet today regarding the protection of privacy and reputation on platforms such as pornhub.
  • The Standing Committee on National Defence will meet today for the consideration of a draft report concerning the impacts of COVID-19 on Canadian Armed Forces operations.  
  • The Standing Committee on Finance will meet tomorrow to continue hearing from witnesses regarding COVID-19 spending, programs, and related monetary policy.
  • The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development will meet tomorrow for the consideration of a draft report on vulnerabilities created and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.   
  • The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology will meet tomorrow to continue hearing from witnesses regarding competitiveness in Canada. 
  • The Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food will meet tomorrow regarding   Bill C-206, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (qualifying farming fuel). 
  • The Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities will meet tomorrow to continue hearing from witnesses regarding targeted infrastructure investment.
  • Earlier last week, Bloc Québécois MPs supported a government motion to shut down the national defence committee’s probe into the allegations of high-level sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces. The Standing Committee on the Status of Women continues to conduct its own study on the issue.

#ONpoli

  • Last Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced the extension of Ontario’s stay-at-home order from four weeks to six weeks, along with additional new public health restrictions and police enforcement powers. The decision came following alarming COVID-19 modelling that predicted growing case numbers throughout the summer unless strong action is taken. 
  • Amidst significant backlash from police, civil liberties groups and the general public, the government backtracked on the additional enforcement powers and shuttering of playgrounds and parks 24 hours later. 
  • Ontario will start offering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 40 and over starting this Tuesday.

#QCpoli

#BCpoli

#ATLpoli

  • On Saturday, Prime Minister Trudeau reached out to the premiers of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador to discuss potential support for Ontario, as the province continues to struggle with the third wave of COVID-19.
  • The Council of Atlantic Premiers agreed to delay the re-opening of the Atlantic bubble until May 3, 2021. They cited “the recent surge in cases of COVID-19 in parts of Atlantic Canada and the emergence of more transmissible forms of the virus” to explain the two-week delay. 
  • Last Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Judy Foote delivered the speech from the throne before the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly. Premier Furey acknowledged the “extensive economic crisis” facing the province and the consequential need for “responsible debt management.” The premier emphasized his majority government’s commitment to clean energy solutions as well as key sectors including technology, tourism, fisheries, and creative/cultural industries.

#ABpoli

  • A recent poll suggests that the Alberta NDP would likely form a majority government if an election were held today. 
  • Alberta will start offering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 40 and over starting this Tuesday.

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