- Following the long weekend, over 50% of Canadians have now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. On Friday, the percentage of Canadians who have received their first vaccine surpassed the United States.
- The issue of sexual misconduct in the military continues to plague the government. Most recently, Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin was replaced as the vice-president of vaccine logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada following allegations of sexual misconduct. Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie has stepped in as the new military officer in charge of Canada’s vaccine rollout.
- The Canada-US border closure has been extended by another 30 days. Non-essential travel remains restricted until June 21, 2021.
- The federal government has extended the suspension of direct flights to Canada from India and Pakistan until June 21, 2021.
- Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is requesting help from the federal government as his province continues to struggle with hospital capacity during the third wave of COVID-19. Manitoba is looking for additional critical care nurses, respiratory therapists, and contact tracers.
- Last Friday, federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for culture and heritage held their annual meeting. The ministers discussed “ways to help support and rebuild the sector” during the recovery from COVID-19.
- Also last Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland authorized a one-year extension for the Minister of Natural Resources to disburse 2019-20 federal price on pollution proceeds in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick. The Minister of Natural Resources now has until the end of the 2021-22 fiscal year to invest in eligible energy efficiency projects.
- Last Thursday, Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced more than $21 million in funding for new projects under the Rail Safety Improvement Program.
- Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Trudeau confirmed that Canada will receive nine million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in July. This means that Canada will continue to receive over two million Pfizer doses each week from now until the end of July.
- Also last Tuesday, Prime Minister Trudeau announced nearly $200 million in federal funding for Resilience Biotechnologies to expand their Mississauga medical facility in order to develop mass mRNA vaccine production capacity.
- Last week, Prime Minister Trudeau launched a call for proposals to recruit, train, and mentor up to 2,000 new energy advisors across the country to support the Canada Greener Homes Grant. The $10 million commitment will provide as many as 700,000 grants of up to $5,000 to help homeowners make energy-efficient improvements to their homes.
In the House
- Today marks the beginning of another (up to) five week sitting period before the House of Commons rises for the summer. Bill C-30, the Budget Implementation Act (No. 1), is expected to dominate the House agenda as the government works to ensure its passage before the break. Second reading debate on the bill is expected to resume this morning.
- There are currently ten government bills at second reading. Other priority bills include:
- Bill C-15, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, is scheduled for a third reading vote this afternoon.
- Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (COVID-19 response) remains stuck in committee due to filibustering.
- Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, is currently being considered by the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.
- Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms).
- Bill C-6, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy), is currently awaiting third reading.
- Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, which has resumed clause-by-clause consideration at committee, following appearances by Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault and Justice Minister David Lametti to discuss widespread concern over Canadians’ freedom of expression rights.
- The Standing Committee on Finance will meet today to hear from witnesses regarding Bill C-30, Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1.
- The Standing Committee on Public Accounts will meet today to discuss the Auditor General’s report on a National Shipbuilding Strategy.
- The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology will meet today to discuss Bill C-253, An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangements Act (pension plans and group insurance plans). The committee will also consider a draft report regarding the accessibility and affordability of telecommunications services.
- The Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food will meet today to hear witnesses and continue discussion on Bill C-205, An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act
- The Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities will meet today to have an in-camera discussion on the aircraft certification process.
- The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development will meet tomorrow for a clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-12, Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.
- The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration will meet tomorrow to consider a draft report on special immigration and refugee measures for the people of Hong Kong.
- Premier Doug Ford announced his government’s roadmap to reopen last Thursday as COVID-19 cases continue to gradually decline. The three-step plan aims to cautiously reopen the province based on vaccination rates and public health indicators. The government is expecting to enter step one of the roadmap the week of June 14, 2021. This will allow outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table, and non-essential retail at 15% capacity.
- The provincial government allowed more outdoor recreational amenities to reopen on Saturday, including golf and tennis.
- Vaccine appointments continue to fill up across Ontario, as the province expanded eligibility to individuals aged 12 and over on Sunday. Also last week, the province announced that it will be proceeding with second dose administration of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
- As COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Quebec, Premier Legault released the province’s reopening plan last week. As of this Friday, May 28, 2021, the curfew will be lifted, patios will reopen, and outdoor gatherings of up to eight people on private property will be allowed.
- Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec, continues to generate headlines. While there appears to be widespread support for the bill within Quebec, some commentators have raised concerns regarding proposed amendments to the Canadian constitution and the rights of Quebec’s anglophone minority. Quebec notably appears to have the Prime Minister’s go-ahead. Last week, Trudeau told reporters that the federal government’s initial analysis has concluded that Quebec can make the proposed changes to the constitution.
- Premier John Horgan announced the launch of a new provincewide program to support B.C.’s anchor tourism organizations last week. Applications are now open for the $50-million BC Major Anchor Attractions Program, which offers up to $1 million per attraction through one-time grants.
- On Saturday, documentary film producer Avi Lewis was acclaimed as the federal NDP candidate in the riding of West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country. The high profile candidate is the grandson of former federal NDP leader David Lewis and the son of former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis.
- Nearly all Alberta K-12 students will return to school this week as cases gradually decline across the province.
- Last Wednesday, Premier Jason Kenney announced the launch of the Alberta Jobs Now program, which will provide up to $370 million to help private and non-profit businesses support jobs for unemployed and underemployed Albertans across the province.
- Last week, former Liberal MP and cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi announced that he is running to be the next mayor of Edmonton. The municipal elections take place on October 18, 2021.
- Nova Scotia continues to struggle with a high number of COVID-19 cases. Last week the government announced that provincial public health restrictions will remain in place until at least the second week of June and that all schools will continue with at-home learning for the rest of the school year.
In Newfoundland & Labrador, the Premier’s Advisory Council on Tourism recently released a report calling on the provincial government to reopen the province’s borders to the rest of Canada by July 1, 2021.