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CANADA


The Bill proposes substantial amendments touching on various and unrelated subjects such as the environment, natural resources and human resources. For example, the Bill streamlines the environmental assessment system, increases the retirement age from 65 to 67 years, and makes changes to legislation so that the pennies, which will be removed from circulation, keep their status as legal tender. The omnibus character of


Bill C-42, the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Accountability Act was introduced in June 2012, to modernize the force’s disciplinary process.


Canadians’ confidence in the RCMP has been tested over the past few years and this legislation will ensure that the RCMP is fully accountable for its actions and is open and transparent in its service to Canadians.”


Copyright reform The Canadian Parliament enacted a copyright reform act that had been long overdue to adapt Canadian copyright legislation to 21st century realities. In 2005, the previous government led by former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, proposed the first initiative to overhaul


of today’s digital world. This initiative, as was the case with the 2008 and 2010 attempts from the Harper government to reform copyright legislation, had failed to be adopted by Parliament. In 2012, the “new” majority Harper government succeeded in having Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, adopted by Parliament. The Act will notably implement the rights and protections of the World Intellectual Property Organization Internet treaties.


Hon. Vic Toews, MP


the Canadian copyright regime and align it with the necessities


The 2012 Budget Implementation Bill The legislative proposal that monopolized most of the parliamentary debates and attention this spring was once again Bill C-38, the Budget Implementation Act (2012), also entitled the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act. The majority of the Harper Government in both the Senate and the House of Commons left little doubt as to the adoption of this Bill, but the Opposition had sworn to do everything it could to stop or defer this proposal. Bill C-38 is more than 400 pages long, and amends 70 statutes.


the Bill incensed the opposition parties who unsuccessfully tried to have the Bill divided in separate parts. The Bill was, however, referred


to a number of parliamentary committees as opposed to one single committee, which is usually the case with an ordinary piece of legislation. In the House of Commons, Bill C-38 was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance as are all budget implementation Bills. The portion of the Bill that dealt with natural resources was sent to a subcommittee of the Finance Committee for examination. The Senate also undertook a pre- study of the Bill, a mechanism that entitles the Senate to refer a Bill that is still before the House of Commons to a Senate committee for examination. Contrary to normal practices,


Finance, but specific parts of C-38 were referred to the Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, the Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, the Committee on National Security and Defence, the Committee on Transport and Communications, and finally the Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. The Opposition delayed as


much as it could the adoption of Bill C-38. In the House of Commons, it forced the government to propose time allocation motions for the second reading, report, and third reading stages. At the report stage, which


permits the introduction of amendments to the Bill in the House, the Opposition introduced 871 amendments to Bill C-38; Ms Elizabeth May, MP, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and its only elected Member in the House, led the charge by introducing more than 300 amendments. All proposed amendments


were defeated, but only after the Opposition forced a recorded division on each group of amendments, which triggered a 24-hour voting marathon in the House. Bill C-38 received Royal Assent on 29 June 2012. The spring Royal Assent


Ms Elizabeth May, MP


the pre-study of Bill C-38 was referred to six committees. The Bill in its entirety was referred to the Committee on National


ceremony also saw four private Members’ Bills receiving Royal Assent by the Governor General: Bill C-278, the Purple Day Act: aiming at increasing public awareness about epilepsy; Bill C-288, the National Flag of Canada Act, encouraging the display of the National Canadian flag; Bill C-310, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, making various amendments to the criminal law offences relating to trafficking in persons; and Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, allowing personal importation of wine from a province to another.


The Parliamentarian | 2012: Issue Three | 217


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