What We’re Watching
- Two more weeks of sitting days for Parliament remain before the six-week winter break. The House typically rises before its last scheduled sitting day.
- Ontario Liberals have selected Bonnie Crombie as their new leader. We’ll be watching for Crombie’s next steps as leader as she staffs up and refocuses from the leadership race to chipping away at Doug Ford’s 18-point lead.
- COP28 continues this week, with negotiations and events scheduled until December 12. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault will announce today Canada’s next steps to address methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. He said last week two recent court decisions delayed plans for an emissions cap.
- The government’s legislative priorities for this week are Bill C-50, the sustainable jobs act, Bill C-56, on affordable housing and competition act changes, and Bill C-59, the Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act. Thursday was set aside as an opposition day.
- The government has a closure motion on notice to end debate on a procedural motion to rush Bill C-50 through the House. Closure motions end debate on a motion on the day they are adopted.
- The Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act is set for its first day of second-reading debate. We’re watching for detailed party positions, key messages, and hints on procedural tactics to delay or expedite the bill.
- Government House Leader Karina Gould said she wanted a yet-to-be-introduced pharmacare bill to pass before the break but that it was unlikely. A former NDP staffer said there was “goodwill” in negotiations between the government and the NDP on the substance of the bill.
- Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said Friday the federal green fund suspension will remain in place until he sees the results of an investigation into “allegation of workplace misconduct” by law firm McCarthy Tétrault.
In the House
- Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, is being considered at INDU committee.
- Bill C-49, the Act to amend the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act, is being considered at RNNR committee.
- Bill C-52, the Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in the Transportation System Act, awaits second reading.
- Bill C-56, the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, is being considered at FINA committee.
- Bill C-57, the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, is being considered at CIIT committee.
- Bill C-58, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Industrial Relations Board Regulations, 2012, is still at second reading.
- Bill C-59, the Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, is set for its first day of second reading debate this week.
- HESA will meet today to discuss the Opioid Epidemic and Toxic Drug Crisis in Canada and the Government’s Advanced Purchase Agreement for Vaccines with Medicago.
- AGRI will meet today to discuss the Efforts to Stabilize Food Prices.
- TRAN will meet today to discuss Bill C-33.
- INAN will meet tomorrow to discuss Bill C-53, An Act respecting the recognition of certain Métis governments.
- ACVA will meet today to discuss the Experience of Women Veterans.
In the Senate
- Bill C-34, the National Security Review of Investments Modernization Act, awaits second reading.
- Bill C-241, the Act to amend the Income Tax Act (deduction of travel expenses for tradespersons) is being considered at LCJC committee.
- Bill C-244, An Act to amend the Copyright Act (diagnosis, maintenance and repair), awaits second reading.
- Bill C-252, the Child Health Protection Act, awaits second reading.
- Bill C-294, the Act to amend the Copyright Act (interoperability), awaits second reading.
- Bill S-244, the Act to amend the Department of Employment and Social Development Act and the Employment Insurance Act, is being considered at SOCI committee.
- Bill S-254, the Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (warning label on alcoholic beverages), is being considered at SOCI committee.
- SECD will meet today to discuss Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms).
- RIDR will meet today to discuss Forced Global Displacement.
- NFFN will meet tomorrow to discuss Supplementary Estimates (B) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024 and Bill C-241, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (deduction of travel expenses for tradespersons).
- AGFO will meet Thursday to examine and report on the status of soil health in Canada.
- ENEV will meet Thursday to discuss Bill S-14, An Act to amend the Canada National Parks Act, the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, the Rouge National Urban Park Act and the National Parks of Canada Fishing Regulations.
- The Government of Canada gave an update last Thursday on steps to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment needed to protect Canadians. The federal government announced that it would procure up to 16 Boeing P-8 Poseidons to fulfill requirements laid out in Canada’s Multi-Mission Aircraft procurement, which seeks to replace existing CP-140 Auroras.
- The Deputy Prime Minister unveiled a comprehensive plan last Tuesday intended to enhance affordability, accelerate home construction, and stimulate economic growth with a focus on job creation and benefits for Canadian workers. The plan includes competition law reforms, tax exemptions for mental health services, and housing incentives.
- Minister Mélanie Joly traveled to Brussels last week to attend a NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, addressing global security challenges, reaffirming Canada’s commitment to supporting Ukraine, and discussing tensions in the Western Balkans and the Israel-Hamas conflict.
- Last Monday, the Government of Canada and the City of Richmond Hill jointly announced that they had reached an agreement to fast-track over 780 housing units in the next three years, with the goal of spurring the construction of more than 41,500 homes over the next decade.
- The federal government and Google have reached a $100 million agreement on the Online News Act, securing Google’s commitment to sharing Canadian news online and addressing concerns about the act’s structural issues; seen as a victory for Canadian media, the deal sets an example for other countries and was praised by Prime Minister Trudeau for supporting local journalism.
- Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Canada’s investment tax credits (ITC) for Dow’s world-first net-zero emissions ethylene site in Fort Saskatchewan. Dow and its partners will invest $11.5 billion in the facility, creating jobs and reducing emissions using carbon capture and clean hydrogen technologies, supported by up to $400 million in federal tax credits – the first major ITC project announcement.
- The Liberal Party of Ontario selected Bonnie Crombie as its new leader on Saturday in a beating Liberal MP Nate Erskine-Smith, and Liberal MP and former provincial cabinet minister Yasir Naqvi on the third ballot.
- Ontario takes control of Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway in exchange for Ontario Place redevelopment. The deal includes $1.2 billion for transit, refugees, and housing. Premier Doug Ford and Mayor Olivia Chow both emphasized the significance of the historic partnership.
- Kitchener Centre residents voted in a provincial byelection to fill a seat that had been vacant since July. The Green’s Aislinn Clancy was elected capturing 5,022 more votes than the NDP’s Debbie Chapman, who came in second in a byelection where affordability was a top concern.
- Ontario’s housing minister, Paul Calandra, has dismissed pleas from big city mayors to modify funding criteria to help more municipalities qualify for housing infrastructure funding. Calandra has opted to maintain housing targets linked to starts, prompting criticism for potential funding setbacks in the face of infrastructure needs. Calandra has also hinted at introducing a new housing bill in the upcoming year.
- Alberta government has allocated $30 million for the 2023-2024 school year to address rising enrolment, with changes to the grant formula benefiting growing school authorities; the Alberta Teachers’ Association deems the new funding insufficient.
- Alberta Premier Danielle Smith used the Sovereignty Act to challenge Ottawa’s net-zero electricity grid by 2035, emphasizing concerns about the impact on the province’s natural gas-based grid. A motion was introduced to resist federal regulations and explore a Crown electricity corporation, signaling opposition to Ottawa’s green energy plan.
- A women’s health advocate has condemned the Alberta government’s rejection of a motion for free prescription contraceptives, emphasizing the essential nature of accessible birth control for women’s health and economic empowerment.
- The Township of Langley opposes the BC NDP’s Bill 44, deeming it a rigid approach that challenges urban plans, while Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon has defended the government’s cost-effective housing strategy.
- B.C.’s new legislation regulating short-term rentals has triggered a spike in property listings, notably in Kelowna and Victoria, as investors seek to offload properties amidst uncertainty and stricter regulations set to take effect by 2024.
- Nova Scotia announces the replacement of Northside Community Guest Home and Miners Memorial Manor in 2032, adding 14 long-term care rooms to Cape Breton, as part of a larger plan to add 2,200 rooms to meet the healthcare needs of the aging population.
- Carters Beach in Nova Scotia is becoming Carters Beach Provincial Park, aiming to balance visitor enjoyment and environmental protection; plans include a new parking lot, beach trail, toilets, and garbage facilities on the 97-hectare area, known for its nesting habitat for the endangered piping plover.
- The Conception Bay East-Bell Island byelection in Newfoundland and Labrador has new candidates with the PC Party nominating Tina Neary, a mental health advocate, and the NDP putting forward Kimberly Churchill, known for her fight for proper deaf education.
- The P.E.I. Legislative Assembly concluded its fall sitting after 14 days, focusing on the capital budget of $368.8 million and grappling with health care, housing, and the Community Outreach Centre, marking a shift in dynamics with the Progressive Conservatives now commanding all power.