Home » Justin Trudeau News – Hill Pass: Budget bill, conversion therapy, and net-zero GHGs
Justin Trudeau News – Hill Pass: Budget bill, conversion therapy, and net-zero GHGs
This is it. We’re in the final week — days, actually, possibly even “day” — of action in the House before everyone packs it in for the summer. And what’s on the agenda? The exact same bills the government identified last week as being atop their priority list. With the past week filled up with opposition days and farewells from non-returning MPs, we’re getting a strong feeling of déjà vu, here at the Hill Pass. Here are three pieces of policy and politicking to follow next week.
The Budget Implementation Act will take priority in the final hours dedicated to government business.
Background: Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled the government’s Budget Implementation Act on April 30, and it’s been making the rounds in the House, at committee, and in Senate pre-study ever since.
But members voted in favour of a time-allocation motion on Monday, so further report-stage and third-reading debate was limited to five hours each. The timer has been set and the clock is ticking.
Why it matters: There are only so many ways we can spell out the importance to Justin Trudeau’s government of this bill’s passage, so we’ll borrow from House leader Pablo Rodriguez’s response to the traditional Thursday question this week: “Priority will be given, once again, to Bill C‑30 at third-reading stage, because it is absolutely essential.”
The bill includes several spending measures and the prolonging of COVID-19 relief, which are scheduled to take effect this summer, so “absolutely essential” is absolutely right.
Next steps: Third-reading debate of Bill C-30 is likely to continue on Monday, as the government wants it sent to the Senate ASAP.
The Liberals’ attempt to ban conversion therapy is also against the clock.
Background: If successful, the government’s amendment of the Criminal Code would make it illegal to force a minor or non-consenting adult to: undergo conversion therapy; take a minor abroad for conversion therapy; and promote, advertise, or benefit from the provision of conversion therapy, among other things.
The bill was introduced by Justice Minister David Lametti in October, reported on by the House Justice committee in December, and passed the report stage in April. But it’s been stalled at third reading ever since. Whether it passes depends on time, and whether the Conservative party — the only party whose members have voted against it — allows it to go to a final vote at third reading.
Why it matters: No one should be made to feel they need to change their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. While several municipalities have taken measures to outlaw conversion therapy, criminalizing it at the federal level would be a significant step toward protecting LGBTQ2 people, and their rights, across the country.
If the bill doesn’t pass by the summer hiatus — and the spectre of a fall election becomes a reality and the House doesn’t return in September — it will die on the order paper.
What next: If time allows for the House to wrap third-reading debate of Bill C-6, it has the support to pass. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Another piece of legislation we’ll be following down to the final seconds of this parliamentary session is the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.
Background: Since its introduction in November, the Act has gone through clause-by-clause review at the House Environment committee and is currently at report stage in the House.
Why it matters: The Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act would set national targets to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and require progress to be measured at five-year intervals. The big reward in 2050 would be, as the bill’s name suggests, net-zero emissions. Since Canada hasn’t hit a single one of its climate targets to date, the accountability prescribed in Bill C-12 could be just the thing to break that cycle.
What next: Time permitting, the House will continue report-stage debate of C-12 early this week to send it on to the Senate, where it’s been undergoing pre-study.