The Times They Are A-Changin’

5 minute read

What We’re Watching

  • David Johnston resigned from his role as special rapporteur last Friday, stating that his role had become too muddled in political controversy for him to continue.
  • Last Thursday, the House of Commons passed the Liberal government’s budget bill, which includes the grocery rebate, incentives for clean energy, and expanding dental care subsidies. The Senate will debate the budget bill this week before it can become law. 
  • The Liberal government will soon begin debate on making hybrid access to Parliament permanent. Government House Leader Mark Holland says he expects the debate to run through the week of June 12 but did not set a specific date for when voting will occur.
  • In response to a lawsuit filed by MP Han Dong, Global News released a statement of defence, claiming their reporting was based on a detailed investigation involving multiple sources. The Canadian Press has yet to verify the allegations against the MP independently. 

In the House 

  • Bill C-22, the Canada Disability Act, has completed third reading in the Senate and is currently being reviewed by the House of Commons. 
  • Bill C-33, the Strengthening the Port System and Railway Safety in Canada Act, is currently at second reading. 
  • Bill C-35, the Canada Early Learning and Childcare Act, has completed second reading and is currently at report stage. 
  • Bill C-41, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, is currently at second reading. 
  • Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (bail reform), is currently at second reading. 

Committee Updates

  • ENVI will discuss clean technologies in Canada later today. 
  • CHPC will discuss Safe Sport in Canada today.
  • FINA will discuss the current state of play on green finance, investment, transition finance and transparency, standards, and taxonomy, on Tuesday. 
  • SRSR will discuss Canada’s graduate scholarship and post-doctoral fellowship programs on Tuesday. 
  • NDDN will discuss the review of the impact of Canada’s procurement process on the Canadian Armed forces on Tuesday. 

In the Senate

  • Bill S-8, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, will be debated at report stage tomorrow.
  • Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms), is currently at second reading. 
  • Bill C-47, the Budget Implementation Act, is currently at second reading. 

Committee Updates 

  • SECD will discuss Bill C-224, An Act to establish a national framework for the prevention and treatment of cancers linked to firefighting, later today. 
  • RIDR will discuss Bill C-41, the government’s firearms bill, later today. Public Safety Minister Marco Mendochino will appear as a witness. 
  • TRCM will begin clause-by-clause considerations tomorrow for Bill C-18, the Online News Act. 
  • DEDC will discuss the draft report of their review of the use of the Emergencies Act on Wednesday. 


  • David Johnston resigned from his role as special rapporteur last Friday, stating that his role had become too muddled in political controversy for him to continue.
  • The Bank of Canada raised its overnight rate by 25 basis points to 4.75 percent last Wednesday, its first increase since pausing hikes in January. The central bank’s key interest rate has not been this high since April 2001.
  • The Liberal government recommended that the CRTC exempt social media users from measures included in Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act. 
  • ​​An indictment unsealed on Friday shows that former U.S. president Donald Trump faces 37 charges related to national security for allegedly improperly stashing, showing off and lying about classified documents.
  • Former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned his seat in Parliament after receiving the results of an investigation by lawmakers over misleading statements he made about “partygate,” a series of rule-breaking government parties during the pandemic.

Provincial Updates


  • The Ontario Legislature rose for the summer last Thursday. MPPs will return on September 25th, 2023.
  • Education Minister Stephen Lecce signalled possible funding incentives to retain front-line teachers in the province after key details of contract negotiations with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario were leaked to the media. The government is also set to increase the wages of early childhood educators to boost recruitment and retention amid a staff shortage that advocates warn could hamper the growth of the national $10-a-day child-care program.
  • Premier Doug Ford was chastised by opposition MPPs for refusing to link ongoing forest fires with climate change. Ford stated that he had been told that the flames were caused by lightning strikes and campfires. 
  • The field for the Kitchener Centre by-election is almost set, with city councillor Debbie Chapman announcing her candidacy for Ontario’s NDP. The seat will soon become vacant after current NDP MPP Laura Mae Lindo steps down. The Green Party will be represented by Kitchener city councillor Aislinn Clancy, and Kelly Steiss is carrying the torch for the Liberals.  


  • Premier Danielle Smith swore in her new Cabinet on Friday afternoon last week, including 25 new ministers, reducing the size of the Cabinet by two portfolios. 
  • Nine of the 12 elected UCP MLAs appointed to Premier Smith’s new cabinet are from Calgary, including the Ministers for Justice, Health, Education, and Advanced Education. 
  • When asked about the impact of climate change during a talk show interview last week, Premier Smith downplayed the link between wildfires and climate change, instead committing to investigate arsons and to build better safeguards for communities.


  • Aggressive wildfires continue to burn and spread across Northern B.C., requiring continued evacuations. 
  • Following changes to the Workers Compensation Act last year, B.C. will soon be the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement a licensing requirement for asbestos abatement contractors to only use formally trained personnel.
  • A number of health officials are speaking out against claims that drugs prescribed through the province’s safe supply program are being re-sold to young people. Federal Conservative Leader Pierre Polievre recently made statements attributing the worsening overdose crisis to safe supply of prescription drugs.


  • Last Friday, Premier Houston and representatives from the union representing school support workers returned to the bargaining table after a month-long strike. Thus far, the strike has disrupted support for students with disabilities and shut down the pre-primary program, affecting about 3,000 children.

Controversial changes to a New Brunswick policy meant to protect LGBTQ students in schools have sparked a revolt among the governing Progressive Conservatives. Eight government MLAs, including six cabinet ministers, sat out question period and other legislative business to protest the changes. The backlash has gone so far that it may bring down the government.

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