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

(Disponible en français : La diplomatie parlementaire et les parlementaires canadiens dans le monde) 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…

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

The Parliamentary Financial Cycle: An Introduction

(Disponible en français : Introduction au cycle financier parlementaire) 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…

Supreme Court of Canada Building

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

(Disponible en français : Les peines minimales obligatoires et l’article 12 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés) 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…