2017 Annual Report – National Chairperson of Legislation
National Chairperson of Legislation
2017 Annual Report
Life Members Ann Devlin and Dorothy Johansen
Two resolutions were adopted under the legislation standing committee, Resolution 2017.03 Zero-Rated Status Under the Goods and Services Tax Provisions of the Excise Tax Act for Child Safety Products and Resolution 2017.04 Protection from Coercion of Conscience for Healthcare Professionals. Parish councils took action on these resolutions through various forms of contact with all levels of government.
Members acted on Resolution 2016.05 Amend the Canada Health Act to Include Home Care as an Insured Health Service by writing letters, signing petitions and hosting guest speakers, and Resolution 2016.04 Amend the Canada Health Act to Identify Palliative Care as an Insured Health Service by participating in the petition to “…specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act…”. The petition garnered over 32,000 signatures and was presented in the House of Commons by the member of parliament from Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.
Parish councils kept informed on bills, federally and provincially, that pertained to League resolutions, and members attended public forums at various levels of government. Some accessed Hansard to keep up to date on current bills.
Reported Action Taken on Federal Legislation
• C-16 An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (received royal assent on June 19, 2017): national president’s letter urging the federal government to provide assurances the Catholic viewpoint would not be viewed as hate of those living with gender dysphoria.
• C-45 Cannabis Act (first reading in the Senate on November 28, 2017): most provincial executives monitored how this act would be implemented within their provinces and took action accordingly.
• C-211 Federal Framework on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act (first reading in the Senate on June 19, 2017).
• C-214 An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (appeals) and C-255 An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (appeal process for temporary resident visa applicants) (first reading in the House of Commons on January 28, 2016 and March 24, 2016 respectively): Resolution 2016. 01 Equal Access to Permanent Resident Status, an Amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
• C-254 An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (baby products) (first reading in the House of Commons on March 24, 2016): Resolution 2017.03 Zero-Rated Status Under the Goods and Services Tax Provisions of the Excise Tax Act for Child Safety Products.
• C-257 An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (sugar content labelling) (first reading in the House of Commons on March 24, 2016).
• C-262 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and C-332 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Reporting Act (first reading in the House of Commons on April 21, 2016 and December 14, 2016 respectively): Resolution 2013.01 Building Relationships and Partnerships with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and 2017.01 Full Implementation of the Supreme Court Decision in R. v. Gladue for Indigenous Offenders.
• C-277 Framework on Palliative Care in Canada Act (received royal assent on December 12, 2017): Resolution 2016.04 Amend the Canada Health Act to Identify Palliative Care as an Insured Health Service.
• C-350 An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking and transplanting human organs and other body parts) (first reading in the House of Commons on April 10, 2017): Supports all human trafficking resolutions.
• S-225 An Act to Amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (substances used in the production of fentanyl) (bill passed by Senate on June 16, 2016, not introduced into House of Commons): Resolution 2005.07 The Illegal Manufacture and Trafficking of Crystal Methamphetamine.
• S-230 Drug-Impaired Driving Detection Act (bill defeated at second reading in the House of Commons on October 25, 2017): Resolution 2005.07 The Illegal Manufacture and Trafficking of Crystal Methamphetamine and Resolution 2004.12 Marijuana Possession/Use – A Criminal Offence.
Reported Action Taken on Provincial Legislation
• Bill 34 The Medical Assistance in Dying (Protection for Health Professionals and Others) Act: (received royal assent on November 10, 2017)
• Bill 27 Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act: (received royal assent on October 26, 2017)
• Bill 33 Time to Care Act (Long-Term Care Homes Amendment, Minimum Standard of Daily Care), 2017: (referred to committee on November 2, 2017)
• Bill 84 Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017: (received royal assent on May 10, 2017)
• Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017: (received royal assent on November 27, 2017)
• Bill 163 Protecting a Woman’s Right to Access Abortion Services Act, 2017: (received royal assent on October 25, 2017)
Prince Edward Island:
• Bill 13 Water Act: (received royal assent on December 20, 2017)
Provincial Chairpersons’ Comments
• “learnt a great deal about legislation”
• “tried to add educational components regarding bills”
• “there is a need for councils not to be fearful of becoming a legislation chairperson”
• “facilitated legislation workshops that were well received by members”
• “councils suggested ‘10 minute workshops’ and with so many important bills, that more direction be given on what to concentrate on”
• “councils were pro-active on issues and involved their parishes in letter writing and education through guest speakers”
• “legislation (and letter-writing) workshops be held at convention to create awareness of importance of this committee as it relates to our resolutions”
• “future goals of councils are to make local councils aware of government legislation, to educate, to read and discuss legislation and to write more letters regarding legislation and resolutions”
Many parish councils do not have legislation chairpersons and did not send in reports, yet I am convinced through individual actions councils performed great deeds in the legislation standing committee. I believe Quebec’s provincial legislation chairperson’s closing remark captures the true work of legislation. “By stepping out of the box, we acquire greater vision of the goal, namely bringing about change and having a voice.”
May Our Lady of Good Counsel continue to let the League’s voice be heard.