News and notes from the Senate

The Senate of Canada does much good work that is little heralded. Lifestyles 55 believes Canadians need to know what the senators do and to understand their points of view.

Marijuana Bill in Sen- ate second reading Bill C-45 is entering second reading in the Senate, which is to report May 31. The

bill marijuana would legally. al-

low adults in Canada to possess and use small amounts of recreation- al


sets out the parameters around the


possession, safety stan- dards, distribution, and sale of mari- juana. It also creates new Criminal Code offences for selling marijuana to minors.

Bill C-45 was introduced in the Sen- Happy Easter

From the Senate

ate and given first reading on Nov. 28, 2017. It was passed in the House of Commons on Nov. 27, 2017.

Second reading contin- ues in the Senate. How- ever, the chamber adopt- ed a motion on Feb. 15, 2018 to allow four Sen- ate committees to study aspects of the bill while second reading debate is underway.

These com-

mittees must report back to the Senate by May 1, 2018. The motion also says that, if Bill C-45 is ad- opted at second reading, it will be referred to the Senate committee on so-

cial affairs, science and technology. A look at the Official Languages Act in Winnipeg

French has flourished in Manitoba since fur traders introduced it in the 1700s, but bilingualism and linguistic duality need help if they are to contin- ue to thrive across Canada, members of the Senate committee on official languages said during a three-day, fact- finding mission in Winnipeg. They

are in the second phase of a study on modernizing the Official Languages Act, which focuses on official language minority communities. The Official Languages Act, which is intended in part to advance the equality of status and use of English and French in Canada, needs to stay relevant to Canadians – especially to youth, who have high expectations for linguistic duality and bilingualism, the committee said in a report.

Modernizing the Official Languages

Act: The Views of Young Canadians is the first of six reports the committee will prepare as part of its study on the future of the Act, which turns 50 years old in 2019.

The last time the Official Languages

Act was overhauled was in 1988, nearly 30 years ago, when Canadians listened to music on a Walkman, made calls on rotary phones and watched movies on VHS tapes, committee deputy chair Senator Rose-May Poirier said. While in Winnipeg, senators held public hearings where representatives of Franco-Manitoban arts, immigra- tion, health, economic development, education and Métis organizations described the challenges they face, sur- rounded by English speakers.

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MLA for Kirkfield Park

204-986-5232 510 Main Street | Winnipeg, MB R3B 1B9

Bills to watch Passing new workplace harassment

protections, amending the federal po- litical financing regime, repealing old public service policy, and wrapping up the parliamentary process on legalized marijuana are among the top issues on the government’s current legislative agenda.

The debate over workplace harass- ment, protections dominated the House discussion in early March. Changes to Bill C-65 will merge

current, separate labour standards for sexual harassment and violence and subject them to the same scrutiny and dispute resolution process, which could include having an outside investigator brought in to review allegations. Canada Elections Act

Bill C-50 makes changes to federal political financing rules. This legisla- tion amends the Act to create new rules around political parties' fundraising. It builds in a requirement for fundraisers to be advertised publicly in advance if they cost $200 or more per ticket and feature the prime minister, cabinet ministers, party leaders, or party lead- ership candidates. It also requires these events be reported on in some detail to Elections Canada.

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