April Showers Bring May Sitting Hours

5 minute read

What We’re Watching

  • On Thursday, Ontario’s budget will be tabled, leaving only a few legislative sitting days before the expected election call.
  • The first deadline for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race is this Friday. Candidates must submit $300 000 in registration fees and a compliance deposit, as well as signatures from 500 party members, to appear on the ballot. So far, at least eight candidates have met the requirements.
  • The House of Commons will be debating the federal budget this week. This is after two weeks of government ministers touring the country and selling their budget to Canadians.

In the House

  • Following a two-week-long break, the House of Commons resumes sitting today. 
  • The House will undergo the second, third, and fourth days of debate on the 2022 Budget during the first half of the week.

Committee Business

  • Committees are getting right back into the swing of things, with 13 committee meetings scheduled on Monday and Tuesday. 
  • Notable committee meetings on Monday include HUMA meeting to discuss labour shortages, working conditions, and the care economy with an appearance from Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough. There will be a FINA meeting to discuss monetary policy with an appearance from Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem. 
  • On Tuesday, INDU will begin their study on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and competition issues.

In the Senate

  • The Senate resumes sitting this week after a two-week break. The Senate is dealing with several pieces of government legislation that were introduced in the Senate, as opposed to the House of Commons.
  • On Thursday, the Senate Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee will be holding a meeting regarding Bill S-5, Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act. Several witnesses will appear at the meeting, including the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault.


  • In solidarity with Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland boycotted the group plenary session at the G20 finance ministers’ meeting last week when Russian representatives spoke. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also pledged to send heavy artillery weapons to Ukraine.
  • While mask mandates for major airlines in the United States were lifted last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra stated on separate occasions that the mask mandates for air travel in Canada would remain in place.
  • The leadership of the Canadian Armed Forces underwent a major shakeup last week. These changes include a significant milestone, as Lt.-Gen. Jocelyn Paul will become the first Indigenous person to be appointed commander of the Canadian Army.

Provincial Updates


  • Minister of Health Christine Elliot and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Moore have both indicated that the mask mandate for high-risk settings such as public transit, hospitals, and long-term care homes will likely be extended by another four weeks from the original deadline set for this Wednesday, April 27th. *update over weekend
  • The Ontario budget will be tabled this Thursday, April 28th. Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy stated the budget will focus on building the province. He described the plan as ambitious yet responsible.
  • In the latest flurry of election promises ahead of the June 2nd election, the Progressive Conservatives have run up over $10 billion in spending commitments. The Liberals committed to cover HIV medications and ban the sale, possession, transport, and storage of handguns across the province, if elected. 
  • The Ontario government stated that real estate regulations set to take effect next April will include an option for home sellers to undergo an “open offer” process. This will allow them to share details of competing bids on their properties, if they choose. This regulation will offer an alternative to the standard blind bidding system, and aims to increase transparency within the home buying process.


  • The BC government announced that starting May, it will simplify the pathway for eligible internationally educated nurses (IENs) to enter the province’s health system to meet the increasing demand for nurses. This initiative is pegged at $12 million, and the funding will go towards fast-tracking the accreditation process, offering bursaries, and providing assistance to IENs as they undergo the regulatory and licensing process.


  • To boost tourism to rural areas within the province, the government announced a flight subsidy program that will commence on June 1 and ensure a $500 cap on round-trip flights within Quebec. The plan will cost the government $261 million over five years, and airlines must serve destinations year-round to qualify for the subsidy.
  • Quebec announced that the mask mandate for public spaces and transit, which was set to be lifted at the end of this month, will be extended until mid-May.
  • A few months before the provincial elections, Quebec’s political parties are taking stock of the recent by-elections. Some parties, like the Liberals, have a lot of work to do between now and October. Read more on the race for votes in Quebec.


  • A motion to decriminalize simple possession of illegal drugs was approved by Edmonton city councillors last Tuesday to decrease drug-related injuries and deaths. It will result in a submission to Health Canada for a section 56(1) exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Edmonton is the third municipality after Vancouver and Toronto to do so.
  • Premier Jason Kenney announced a $2 million initiative last Wednesday that will allow the province to provide health, employment, and educational support to arriving Ukrainians.
  • Alberta government House leader Jason Nixon was accused of intimidation last Wednesday by Independent legislature member Todd Loewen, following an exchange between the two of them a few weeks ago. It led to an intervention by the House Speaker, to which Nixon replied by shouting a profanity.


  • Last Tuesday, the federal government and the Government of New Brunswick signed an agreement for $22 million to be invested in improving long-term care services. This funding comes from the $1 billion Safe Long-term Care Fund announced in the 2020 federal Fall Economic Statement.
  • The Nova Scotia government released its long-awaited plan to improve the province’s healthcare system last Friday, following a three-week delay. The strategy has faced backlash from the leaders of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party and Nova Scotia NDP.

Read more from this week's Look Ahead

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