What We’re Watching
- The government put forward a notice of motion to reintroduce late-night House sittings and temporarily permit ministers to table a motion to adjourn the House of Commons until fall ‘without notice’.
- Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, will be hosting a National Culture Summit from May 2nd to the 4th. The Summit’s themes focus on promoting competitive growth, engagement, incorporating digital platforms, and reconciliation.
- C-19, The Budget Implementation Act, was introduced by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on Thursday, and will now become the government’s main legislative priority.
- The Ontario Provincial Election is set to begin this week, with the writs expected to be issued on May 4th, and voting to take place on June 2nd.
In the House
- The House will resume debate on the extension of sitting hours and commence third reading debate on Bill C-8 today. Tomorrow, the House will begin consideration at second reading of the Budget bill, and on Wednesday and Thursday, the House will continue with the Budget Debate.
- NRRN will meet twice this week, today and Wednesday, to continue their discussions about Creating a Fair and Equitable Canadian Energy Transformation.
- TRAN will continue their study of the state of Canada’s supply chains this week, hearing testimony from industry professionals.
- FINA will study Bill C-19, with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and senior officials from the department set to testify today.
- HESA will hear from the country’s top doctors on the latest in the COVID-19 pandemic today.
- Also related to health, the government is set to commence a statutory review of Medical Assistance in Dying, with a special joint committee on the subject beginning hearings today.
- Bill C-5, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, will continue to be studied by the Justice Committee.
In the Senate
- Health Canada has approved Canadian Blood Services’ (CBS) submission to lift the three-month waiting period for gay and bisexual men and some members of the LGBTQ2S+ community. Rather than limiting donations based on sexual orientation, CBS will introduce a new ‘behaviour-based questionnaire’ that identifies risks by the end of September 2022.
- The Bank of Canada announced that Canada’s key interest rate could rise another 0.5% in June to address rising inflation. This comes after the central bank had already raised its key interest rate by 0.5% only two weeks ago.
- Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendocino, appeared before a special committee to review the use of the Emergencies Act, but remained pretty tight-lipped about details other than to say the government was guided by a ‘simple principle of use’.
- Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, appeared in front of the Senate’s energy, environment, and natural resources committee on Bill S-5, Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act.
- Friday was the deadline for those running for the Conservative Leadership to qualify for the ballot. So far six candidates have qualified.
- Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy unveiled the government’s 2022 Budget last Thursday. Highlights included additional spending on infrastructure and highways, expanding a tax credit for low and middle-income Ontarians, and holding firm on existing promises including an increase to the minimum wage and cutting the province’s gas tax.
- The budget is set to serve as the Ontario PC Party’s platform for the upcoming election. The opposition NDP released their whole platform, focusing on pharmacare, healthcare, and affordability measures such as rent control and regulating fuel prices. The Ontario Liberals, led by Steven Del Duca, have made promises around long-term care and guaranteed income.
- As a first step to developing a new forestry revenue-sharing model, the B.C. Government announced it would ‘more than double’ current First Nations revenue moving forward. The new revenue-sharing model is expected to be fully complete in two years.
- The BC Government and their public insurance corporation, ICBC, will face an upcoming class-action lawsuit for illegally reimbursing the government for medical fees already covered through the public health plan. Lawyers leading the case claim these actions have inflated costs and withheld access to treatment due to financial burden. The class action will review what is owed to each plaintiff and whether ICBC owes further damages.
- On Wednesday, the Government of Alberta introduced Bill 22, proposing the self-generation and sale of excess power in Alberta, including supply generated through wind and solar. It would also approve the dissolution of the Balancing Pool by 2030, an organization that manages power purchase agreements under Alberta’s privatized energy market.
- Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Barbara Romaine ruled that confidential discussions between Alberta’s CMOH, Dr. Deena Hinshaw and cabinet regarding pandemic restrictions could be shared publicly. Some experts believe this decision won’t impact broader cabinet confidentiality.
- As Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is set to deliver his first annual State of the Province Address tomorrow, Summa’s public opinion research partners at Abacus Data surveyed 500 Nova Scotia residents from April 14 to 21 to explore their overall mood, their views on the government’s performance today, the top issues in the province, and specifically what their priorities are when it comes to healthcare in the province. The poll will be released later today so be sure to follow Abacus on twitter or subscribe for Abacus updates in your inbox.
- Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston named former Liberal cabinet minister Geoff MacLellan as Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. MacLellan was previously hired to chair the government’s housing task force.
- The data is in: according to the latest census, Atlantic provinces will soon have the highest population of seniors, tripling the average across the rest of the country. Health officials, advocacy groups, and residents are concerned about the growing lack of services, funding, and community support.