To Be or Not to Be an Officer of Parliament, That Is the Question

(Disponible en français : Être ou ne pas être un haut fonctionnaire du Parlement, telle est la question) The year 2017 produced a new crop of officers of Parliament. New incumbents have been appointed in the roles of Commissioner of Official Languages, Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Commissioner of Lobbying and Information Commissioner. In addition, the…

Peace Tower close-up of clock face with detail, Parliament of Canada

Parliamentary Diplomacy, Canadian Parliamentarians and the World

Natalie Mychajlyszyn Economics, Resources and International Affairs Division In today’s complex world, the lines between domestic and international policy are blurred and governments are no longer the only global actors. As a result, Canadian parliamentarians are more than ever stepping outside their legislative chambers to speak directly with their international counterparts. In Canada, diplomatic engagement…

Peace Tower close-up of clock face with detail, Parliament of Canada

The Parliamentary Financial Cycle: An Introduction

Alex Smith Economics, Resources and International Affairs Division One of Parliament’s fundamental roles is to review and approve the federal government’s taxation and spending plans. While budget-setting is an executive function, the government cannot change taxation rates, impose new taxes or spend public funds without Parliament’s approval. This document provides an introduction to the parliamentary…

Peace Tower close-up of clock face with detail, Parliament of Canada

Bill C-59: Implementing the April 2015 Budget

Andre Barnes Legal and Social Affairs Division When the finance minister delivers the government’s budget in the House of Commons, a complex approval process is just beginning. Budget measures do not take effect until Parliament adopts the necessary legislation. Numerous measures contained in the most recent budget are implemented by Bill C-59, An Act to implement certain…

Supreme Court of Canada Building

Mandatory Minimum Sentences and Section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Charlie Feldman Legal and Social Affairs Division On 14 April 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R. v. Nur, a case that challenged the constitutionality of mandatory minimum sentences for the possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition. In a split 6–3 decision, the Court found that the required…