June 9, 2020 •

Canada House of Commons Recalled June 10 to Consider COVID-19 Bill

Temporary Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

On June 10, the House of Commons will sit by order of a recall by the Speaker Anthony Rota, who issued the proclamation on June 8. Lawmakers are being recalled to consider a bill to enact certain measures in response […]

On June 10, the House of Commons will sit by order of a recall by the Speaker Anthony Rota, who issued the proclamation on June 8. Lawmakers are being recalled to consider a bill to enact certain measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The House had agreed to meet following the conclusion of the proceedings of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senate, currently on an extended adjournment, is scheduled to next meet on June 16.

 

Since the start of safety measures to deal with the pandemic, the House and the Senate have been recalled under special standing orders for short one-day sessions.

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March 23, 2020 •

Canadian Parliament to Reconvene to Address Coronavirus

Temporary Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

On March 24, the Canadian House of Commons will reconvene for a one-day session to vote on legislation to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers are expected to allocate more than $80 billion in emergency aid for the nation. The Canadian […]

On March 24, the Canadian House of Commons will reconvene for a one-day session to vote on legislation to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawmakers are expected to allocate more than $80 billion in emergency aid for the nation.

The Canadian Senate is then expected to meet for a one-day session on March 25 to vote on that legislation.

On March 13, the Parliament had adjourned until at least April 20 because of the emerging health crisis.

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March 13, 2020 •

Canadian Parliament to Adjourn Until At Least April 20

Temporary Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

After completing its legislative business today, the Parliament of Canada will adjourn until at least April 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The political parties have agreed to the adjournment, according to Conservative House of Commons leader Mark Strahl. “Members […]

After completing its legislative business today, the Parliament of Canada will adjourn until at least April 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The political parties have agreed to the adjournment, according to Conservative House of Commons leader Mark Strahl.

“Members of Parliament are speaking with one voice today to say that we will do our part,” said MP Peter Julian on behalf of the New Democratic Party, according to Politico.

Additionally, on March 12, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.

Even while adjourned, the government will still have the ability to allocate federal funds to try to stem the spread of the virus.

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February 24, 2020 •

Ontario Canada electoral districts Byelection for Orleans and Ottawa-Vanier: Political Blackout

Legislative Assembly of Ontario building - Saforrest (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

From February 26 at 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on February 27, there will be the statutory blackout on political advertising. The blackout will be for the February 27 by-election being held for the Ontario Canada electoral districts of Orleans […]

From February 26 at 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on February 27, there will be the statutory blackout on political advertising.

The blackout will be for the February 27 by-election being held for the Ontario Canada electoral districts of Orleans and Ottawa-Vanier.

On August 2, 2019, the Chief Electoral of Ontario received a notice of vacancy in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the electoral district of Ottawa-Vanier.

MPP Mona Fortier left her seat to become the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance.

On September 24, 2019, a second notice of vacancy in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario was received for the electoral district of Orleans.

MPP Marie-France Lalonde resigned from her seat to run for a seat in Canadian Parliament, which she won on October 21.

On January 29, 2020, the Office of Premier Doug Ford issued writs for the byelections to be held on February 17.

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January 23, 2020 •

Lobbyist Registry Begins in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada

On January 20, a new Lobbyist Registry program and associated By-law and Code of Conduct were approved for Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. The new lobbying law defines lobbying as any communication with a public office holder by an individual representing a […]

On January 20, a new Lobbyist Registry program and associated By-law and Code of Conduct were approved for Collingwood, Ontario, Canada.

The new lobbying law defines lobbying as any communication with a public office holder by an individual representing a business or financial interest with the goal of trying to influence any legislative action, including any development, introduction, passage, defeat, amendment or repeal of a bylaw, motion, resolution or the outcome of a decision on any matter before the Town Council, a committee of the Council, or staff member acting under delegated authority.

The registry, maintained by the Collingwood’s Accountability Officer acting as the Lobbyist Registrar, will identify three types of lobbyists:

    • Consultant lobbyists
    • In-house lobbyists
    • Voluntary unpaid lobbyists acting on behalf of certain entities

While registration is mandatory, not-for-profit groups are not required to register for lobbying activities, unless the group has paid staff and the communication in question falls under the definition of lobbying.

Additionally, community groups and associations whose communications state a position for a general community benefit, either town-wide or local, do not have to register.

As of January 20, 2020, lobbyists are expected to register their name and the reasons for their contact with a public office holder. However, penalties will not begin to be enforced until June 1, 2020, in order to allow the first five months of the registry to operate as an educational period dedicated to learning how and when to use the tool.

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January 10, 2020 •

Federal Contribution Limits Increased in Canada

Temporary Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Elections Canada has published the federal contribution limits for the 2020 calendar year. In 2020, individuals may contribute up to $1,625 to independent candidates, leadership candidates, registered parties, and to, In total, all of the registered associations, nomination contestants and […]

Elections Canada has published the federal contribution limits for the 2020 calendar year.

In 2020, individuals may contribute up to $1,625 to independent candidates, leadership candidates, registered parties, and to, In total, all of the registered associations, nomination contestants and candidates of each registered party.

The limits also apply to any unpaid balance of loans made during a contribution period and the amount of any loan guarantees made during a contribution period.

The limits increase annually by $25 on January 1.

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January 10, 2020 •

Contribution Limits Increased in Ontario, Canada

Legislative Assembly of Ontario building - Saforrest (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

In Ontario, individual contribution limits for the period from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, have be increased by $25, to $1,625. This limit applies to contributions made as both money and goods or services given to a political […]

In Ontario, individual contribution limits for the period from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, have be increased by $25, to $1,625.

This limit applies to contributions made as both money and goods or services given to a political party, candidate or constituency association to support the election of a candidate to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

The contribution limit is applicable to both party and non-party candidates in a campaign period and applies to a leadership contestant of a party in a year holding a leadership contest or a calendar year during which the contestant is required to be registered.

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January 10, 2020 •

Contribution Limits Increased in British Columbia

British Columbia Legislature

Campaign contribution limits increased in British Columbia for 2020 to $1,253.15 for contributions to registered political parties, including their candidates, nomination contestants and registered constituency associations. Additionally, individuals can contribute up to $1,253.15 to independent candidates and leadership contestants, if […]

Campaign contribution limits increased in British Columbia for 2020 to $1,253.15 for contributions to registered political parties, including their candidates, nomination contestants and registered constituency associations.

Additionally, individuals can contribute up to $1,253.15 to independent candidates and leadership contestants, if a leadership contest is called in 2020.

These limits are updated annually.

The previous limits were $1,225.17 in 2019, and $1,200 in 2018.

Also increased to $370 is the limit of a fee paid to attend a leadership convention or other convention of a political party without counting toward the $1,253.15 limit contribution limit.

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December 24, 2019 •

May 4, 2020: British Columbia Lobbying Law Changes Coming

British Columbia Legislature

On May 4, 2020, several key changes of British Columbia’s lobbying law come into effect, including changing the name of the Lobbyist Registration Act to the Lobbyist Transparency Act. The legislation making the changes, Bill 54, Lobbyists Registration Amendment Act, […]

On May 4, 2020, several key changes of British Columbia’s lobbying law come into effect, including changing the name of the Lobbyist Registration Act to the Lobbyist Transparency Act. The legislation making the changes, Bill 54, Lobbyists Registration Amendment Act, 2018, received royal assent on November 27, 2019.

Other coming changes include:

  • Reducing the time threshold for requiring in-house lobbyists to register from 100 hours to 50 hours annually
  • Adding the requirement for lobbyists to complete a monthly return containing details of actual lobbying activities in the previous month by the 15th of each subsequent month
  • Declarations in those returns of what code of conduct the lobbyists has undertaken and where it is available for public viewing

Additionally, a newly enacted prohibition on gifts from lobbyists is included in the bill. However, the prohibition does not apply if the gift is given under the protocol or social obligations normally accompanying the duties of a public office holder and the total value of the gift given, directly or indirectly, is less $100 in a 12-month period.

Beginning in May, the registrar will also have the power to impose a prohibition on lobbying for up to 2 years.

Presently, a new online Lobbyists Registry is in development to replace the current Lobbyists Registry and is scheduled to launch on May 4, 2020.

Also effective on May 4, 2020, the Lobbyists Registration Regulation is repealed and the Lobbyist Transparency Regulation is enacted.

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November 21, 2019 •

Alberta’s Independent Election Commissioner To Be Terminated

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Alberta Legislature Building - Timorose

Upon Royal Assent from Alberta’s lieutenant-governor, the province will officially eliminate the office of the independent Alberta Election Commissioner. The move makes the commissioner a staff position under the Chief Electoral Officer. Bill 22, Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions […]

Upon Royal Assent from Alberta’s lieutenant-governor, the province will officially eliminate the office of the independent Alberta Election Commissioner. The move makes the commissioner a staff position under the Chief Electoral Officer.

Bill 22, Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions and Government Enterprises Act, 2019, passed on November 21. The bill also terminates the current election commissioner, Lorne Gibson, from his position.

Gibson, in his role as commissioner, has fined the members of the majority United Conservative Party government more than $200,000 for election violations.

The election commissioner’s staff will transfer to work for the office of the chief electoral officer, who will then hire a new commissioner.

The bill passed even though the province’s Ethics Commissioner, Margueritte Trussler, issued an opinion stating the individual MLAs who are in the process of being investigated by the Election Commissioner would be in breach of the Conflicts of Interest Act if they were to vote on the bill.

The breach would exist because those MLAs stand to materially benefit from the termination of the Office of the Election Commissioner.

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November 8, 2019 •

Recall Bill in Alberta Legislature

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Alberta Legislature Building - Timorose

On November 6, a bill to allow recall elections of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) was reported to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Bill 204, the Election Recall Act, allows constituents to petition for the recall of an MLA […]

On November 6, a bill to allow recall elections of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) was reported to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

Bill 204, the Election Recall Act, allows constituents to petition for the recall of an MLA if 40 percent of eligible voters sign the petition within a 60-day window.

A petition would not be permitted six months before or 18 months after a general election.

The legislation is a private bill introduced by MLA Mark Smith in October.

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October 30, 2019 •

Provincial By-election for Capitale-Nationale riding of Jean-Talon to be Held December 2

On December 2, a provincial by-election will be held in the Capitale-Nationale riding of Jean-Talon for the Quebec National Assembly. The election will be held to fill the vacant seat of former Member of the National Assembly Sébastien Proulx, who […]

On December 2, a provincial by-election will be held in the Capitale-Nationale riding of Jean-Talon for the Quebec National Assembly.

The election will be held to fill the vacant seat of former Member of the National Assembly Sébastien Proulx, who resigned in August to return to private life.

The election was announced by Premier François Legault on October 27

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October 9, 2019 •

Canada’s Government Contracts Regulations Requires Declaration: No Frauds Committed

Temporary Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Bidders attempting to contract with the Canadian federal government are required to certify they have not committed crimes of fraud or acts of corruptions. Recent amendments to the Government Contracts Regulations require a bidder declare he or she has not, […]

Bidders attempting to contract with the Canadian federal government are required to certify they have not committed crimes of fraud or acts of corruptions.

Recent amendments to the Government Contracts Regulations require a bidder declare he or she has not, during the bid solicitation process, committed an act or engaged in an activity constituting any specifically enumerated violations under the nation’s Criminal Code, the Financial Administration Act, the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, or the Competition Act.

Additionally, the amended rules allow a contracting authority to now enter into a construction contract, or any contract not using the solicitation of bids, when the value of the contract does not exceed $40,000, an increase from the previous threshold of $25,000.

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October 9, 2019 •

Prince Edward Island Lawmakers Want Public Input on Rules

Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly Chamber - Joseph Thornley

On October 7, lawmakers in the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly solicited public input regarding what procedural rules they should follow. The Standing Committee on Rules, Regulations, Private Bills and Privileges is seeking public input on the Rules of the […]

On October 7, lawmakers in the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly solicited public input regarding what procedural rules they should follow.

The Standing Committee on Rules, Regulations, Private Bills and Privileges is seeking public input on the Rules of the Legislative Assembly, in particular on potential changes to the parliamentary calendar, sitting hours, and budget process.

Public comments and suggestions by individuals and organizations must be in writing and submitted to the Assembly by October 25.

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