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so-called “lost Canadians”, people who, for various legal reasons, had lost their citizenship or never obtained it in the first place. The Bill also streamlined the approval process for citizenship applications, specified the residency requirements for those seeking Canadian citizenship and increased the penalties for fraud and misrepresentation. The Bill also provided for the revoking of citizenship from dual nationals who are convicted of terrorism, high treason or spying. Shortly after the Bill’s passage, a court challenge was launched against the provisions for revoking citizenship. As reported in Issue One: 2014

of The Parliamentarian, in December 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s prostitution laws and gave Parliament a year to come up with a new approach. In June, Hon. Peter MacKay,

MP, Minister of Justice, introduced new legislation, Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. This Bill proposed a new approach that would criminalize the purchase of sexual services. It would also

of hearings on the Bill, during which it heard from about 80 witnesses. In response to some

House of Commons, over a dozen substantive reports were tabled on a variety of topics, including: • the Canadian music industry; • water quality in the Great Lakes; • youth employment; • the conflict in Syria;

• open data; • Aboriginal persons in the workforce; and

• Rail safety.

Spending by the Official Opposition

On 15 May, the Leader of the Official Opposition, Hon. Thomas

Hon. Thomas Mulcair, MP

of the witnesses’ concerns, the government proposed several amendments. One of them changed the prohibition from selling sex in any place where children could be present, to a prohibition from selling sex next to a school ground, playground or daycare centre.

In June, meanwhile, the

Supreme Court issued another decision that may have an impact on two Bills currently before Parliament: Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, and Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said police need to obtain a warrant before asking Internet service providers to disclose their subscribers’ information. However, both Bills contain provisions on the disclosure of subscriber information without a warrant.

Committee reports Hon. Peter Mackay, MP

prohibit advertising the sale of others’ sexual services in print or online and communicating for the purpose of selling sexual services in places where children could be present.

In early July, the House of Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights held four days

As is often the case, a number of parliamentary committees tabled reports in the weeks leading up to the summer adjournment. In the Senate, the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry tabled a report on innovation in agriculture. The Committee on National Security and Defence tabled reports on ballistic missile defence and on the transition to civilian life of veterans. In the


Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act, 2014 In 1973, the Agricultural Land Commission was established as an independent agency with a mandate to preserve British Columbia’s agricultural land, through the adoption of the Land Commission Act. On 27 March 2014, acting on the findings of its “core review” to improve efficiency and reduce costs of all programmes, the government introduced Bill 24, Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act, 2014. The Bill’s provisions would: establish six panel regions consolidated within two zones in order to increase the Commission’s attention to regional considerations related to the preservation of agricultural land; increase the minimum size of the Commission from at least seven to at least 13 individuals, and provide for the appointment of six Vice Chairs, each of whom must be resident in a different panel region, to expand regional representation on the Commission; and strengthen transparency and accountability for Commission decisions. During debate on the Bill,

opposition and independent Members expressed concerns that it could reduce the protection of agricultural land. On 27 May the House adopted, on division, a government motion providing for time allocation of the Bill. Several government amendments to Bill 24 were adopted during

Committee stage debate on 29 May, which addressed some of the concerns expressed by opposition Members. These included more detailed considerations for Commission decisions on land use, and additional measures to ensure the Commission’s independence. Bill 24 received Royal Assent on the final day of the spring sitting, on 29 May 2014.

Water Sustainability Act British Columbia’s Water Act was adopted as the province’s primary water law in 1909. In 2009, the government launched consultations with the public, First Nations, and stakeholders on ways to modernize the century-old statutory framework for water.

On 11 March, the government introduced Bill 18, the Water Sustainability Act, with the objectives of providing greater certainty and efficiency for water use in the face of growing water demands, improving environmental protection, and increasing responsiveness to local needs. The Bill consolidates water regulation provisions from other statutes, adds groundwater to the water licencing system, provides new regulatory powers for water sustainability plans, and requires that water objectives and environmental flow be considered in decision- making.

The Bill also received Royal Assent on 29 May 29 2014.

The Parliamentarian | 2014: Issue Three | 203

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